You could be exploring the seas of the Indonesian Archipelago in style with Amanresorts after the leading luxury hotel group said it will be running five and seven night adventures cruises through Raja Ampat from November 2012.
The Raja Ampat Expedition will travel through one of the world’s most exceptional marine areas in the northeastern seas of Indonesia, where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Indian Ocean and unparalleled coral reefs and marine life can be found.
The dive sites of Raja Ampat offer the chance to see over 1,300 species of fish, 603 species of hard coral (including 75% of all known coral species in the world), 57 species of mantis shrimp and 15 mammal species. Above the water, the islands are covered in tropical jungle and are home to unique flora and fauna including karst forests of rare orchids, sea eagles, tree kangaroos and birds of paradise.
The Raja Ampat Expedition takes place aboard Amanikan, Amanresorts’ custom-built, 32-metre, coastal cruiser. The boat is ideal for private cruises for one, two or three couples, or a family and supports a crew of ten, including a dive instructor and a private chef.
There is a master cabin at the rear of the upper deck offering 270-degree views from the large private terrace. The second spacious double cabin also boasts a king-size bed and a private balcony. The third smaller cabin can offer twin beds or a king-size bed.
All three cabins have air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms with double vanities, showers and separate toilets. Large teak decks feature loungers and dining furniture for relaxing, sunbathing and eating.
As Amanikan is offered exclusively, guests can discuss their preferred routes and dive sites with the crew before departure. There are a number of must see places on the expedition, including Gam Island, the location for two exceptional dive sites – a beautiful sloping reef known as Miskon Island and Blue Magic, an underwater sea mound.
Yangello Island offers unspoilt beaches and mangroves where you can kayak, as well as a dive site known as Mayhem and the colourful coral wall known as Citrus Ridge.
Amanikan usually anchors for one night in Wayag Island’s bay, allowing you the opportunity to trek up Mount Pindito and take a speedboat tour of the many rock islands nearby. Dive sites offshore include Ridge Rock and Arborek – a spot known for its manta rays.
Seven night itineraries also include stops in Aljui Bay, where guests can visit the pearl farm and see the newly discovered ‘walking shark’ on a night dive.
Other additions include diving at Cape Kri, which holds the world record for the largest number of fish recorded during one dive and a sunrise hike to see the region’s famous birds of paradise.
Amanresorts will be running 14 Raja Ampat Expeditions from November 2012 to February 2013, departing from Sorong, which can be accessed with flights from Bali, Singapore, Jakarta or Makassar.