Four Kingdoms of the East
Dive Raja Ampat

Raja Empat has only fairly recently been discovered as scuba diving’s new frontier, and has very quickly gained a reputation as one of the world's finest dive areas, perhaps the finest amongst all in terms of biodiversity. New species keep being discovered here, and considering the vast geographic expanse of this group of islands, this is set to continue for years and years!

Our cruises depart from and return to Sorong, the area’s major town on the tip of the Bird’s Head Peninsula. Soon upon leaving Sorong harbor, Tambora will sail in crystal clear waters, among an endless string of densely forested and mostly uninhabited islands. The vast expanse and sheer number of islands allows us to pick itineraries and dive sites that suit during any season.

We will start things off diving the superb sites of the Dampier Strait. This is where waters from the Pacific and the inner Indonesian Seas first meet, providing for an extreme wealth of marine creatures including manta rays, schooling trevally and jacks, reef sharks, and the bizarre wobbegong shark. From here, cruises continue southwards towards Misool and the labyrinth of little islets surrounding it (Note: cruises in the June-August time period will turn north towards Waigeo and Wayag). You can expect it all – big pelagics, reefs teeming with life, great macro sites, and vibrantly colored night dives!

From Sorong, the major town on the Bird’s Head Peninsula and in the West of Indonesian New Guinea, you can connect easily to destinations across Indonesia.


Dive Blog - Four Kingdoms of the East

Check out our dive blog and read up on some spectacular dives we had on this cruise itin!

23-Feb-14: Twin Rocks
We enjoyed crystal clear water on our first dive this morning. The walls of orange soft coral lining the many rocks on the plateau were in full bloom, as rainbow runners swept past curiously checking us out, and batfish followed us around the reef during most of the dive.

22-Feb-14: Wagmab Wall
In spite of better-than-average visibility (presumably as a result of less-than-average plankton in the water), we were pleased to find large clouds of baitfish hovering under the surface towards the Northern end of the dive site. So it boiled down to keeping our eyes open for mobula rays, and yes, we were rewarded by a school of 11 of them, swooping back and forth majestically along the wall.

21-Feb-14: South Penemu
We had a stellar, extremely fishy dive today at South Penemu, drifting slowly with a very gentle current, first along the edge and later on over the top of this superb reef system. Over the course of the drift, we encountered 7 (!) separate batteries (not animals, but schools, each >100 animals) of barracuda. There was also a large school of jacks; surgeonfish stood motionless in the sandy patches, waiting for the current to pick up again; clouds of fusiliers swimming up and down the reef; many large snappers; and, a couple of grown up blacktip reef sharks.

13-Jan-14: Magic Mountain
We had another great dive this morning at Magic Mountain. To our surprise, viz here was much better than further up North. We had a light current only, smaw all the way to the end of the ridge, where a manta circled past. Than back to the main seamount and immersed ourselves in the jacks, giant trevallys, barracuda, and thousands of fusiliers!

10-Jan-14: Razorback Rock
Enjoying Farondi-untypical clear water and a slack current at the same time, we could dive all around this rocky island. The dive was fishy all around, with schools of pinjalo snappers, barracudas out in the blue, jacks and queenfish. A baby grey reef shark took a keen interest in us and kept circling back and forth for a while!

09-Jan-14: Mayhem
Another terrific amd unbelievably fishy dive on Mayhem: the school of jacks was moving in tornado-like formations slowly up and down the ridge, pinjalo snappers went back and forth very, very slowly a little deeper, and thousands of fusiliers greeted us a little off the ridge upon our safety stop.

08-Jan-14: Blue Magic
A sheer unimaginable amount of fish made for an action-packed dive! It appeared the fish were running out of space, as each school had to keep and defended its place on the reef against intruders. To top it off, two oceanic mantas were getting a thorough cleaning, and stayed around for the entire duration of the dive!

27-Dec-13: Four Kings
We had ideal conditions this morning – a light current and good visibility, allowing us to round the entire ridge, taking in its stunning underwater topography, large amounts of fish, and superb coral coverage.

25-Dec-13: Twin Rocks
As we entered to the North and swam past the steep slope, we had the good chance to be greeted by three large giant groupers, one of which came up almost all the way to us and kept a keen interest in us for a few minutes! A grey reef shark was patrolling in the deep, while orange soft coral dotting the rocks in the shallows were in full bloom everywhere.

24-Dec-13: Barracuda Ridge
We had a wonderful dive counting the blacktip reef sharks circling off the ridge, playing around with curious batfish on the ridgetop, and looking for wobbegong and nurse sharks under the many rocks and crevices.

28-Feb-13: Magic Mountain
Upon backrolling from our dive tenders, we were greeted by crystal clear water with spectacular viz. Visual overload during most of the dive, thanks to fish everywhere: many giant trevallies, including a healthy number of yound adults, batfish, yellowtail barracuda, jacks, a ball of surgeonfish, streaming bluetail fusilliers. Witnessing the baby whitetip sharks growing up and starting to explore their home reef is a exceptional experience!

26-Feb-13: Manta Sandy
It took a couple of minutes for the action to start, but it was well worth the wait: soon, black and white mantas started circling over the cleaning stations, totally undisturbed by our presence. We even felt they were performing some extra loops and coming in extremely close so as to show off for the photographers! According to our guests, the best manta dive they have ever done!

25-Feb-13: Blue Magic
Two spectacular dives on this site! In the first dive, we did not find much time to look around this extensive seamount, as four large oceanic manta rays circling over and over again captivated all our attention. During the second dive, the current had picked up, and several large schools of fish: each several hundred jacks, oceanic triggerfish, pinjalo snappers, and yellowtail barracuda. The Dampier Strait at its best!