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Dive Review of Archipelago Adventurer II in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

January, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by David Bader, NC, US
Contributor   (17 reports)
Report Number 5372
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, surge, currents  
Water Temp
84   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives were guided with one or two divemasters for every six divers. 
Generally, depth did not exceed 80 feet.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera tables left lots of space for cameras and laptops.  Air
supplied by a nozzle attached to a scuba tank.  Large camera tubs for
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
The travel from the USA is brutal.  Six flights over three days with an
overnight in Jakarta.  Company reps met our group in Jakarta and Mirkassa
and helped with transfers.  Watch overweight baggage.  The weight allowance
for the last two flights was only 20 kilos (44 lbs).  The overweight charge
was about $4 per kilo.  The Sheraton in Jakarta was comfortable but food
was almost all Indonesian.  One item to note was the restaurant would only
accept US dollar bills dated 2006 or newer.  It's better to get local
currency at the airport.  Once we reached the boat, all was forgotten as
the crew of 18 pampered us for the next ten days.  Cabins were large and
comfortable with plenty of storage.  Each cabin had its own hot water
shower and marine toilet.  Food almost always included fish and rice as a
staple.  The chef added some western cuisine for those of us that don't eat
fish and rice at every meal.  Each day started with an early continental
breakfast at which time you ordered late breakfast.  First dive was at 7:30
or 8:00 followed by late breakfast.  Second dive was at 10:30 followed by a
buffet lunch.  Afternoon dives were at 3:00 and 5:30 followed by a formal
sit-down dinner.  Diving was done from two tenders.  Gear was loaded and
unloaded from the tenders by the crew.  Crew was also there to help into
and out of wetsuits and washed everything at the end of each dive.  Water
entry was made by backrolls and tanks were removed in the water at the end
of the dive.  The Nitrox system was not operational during our visit. 
Diving was awesome.  Schools of fish surround you during every dive.  Lots
of pigmy seahorses, nudibranches, sweet lips, barracuda, wobblygong,
octopus, and many species I'd never seen before.  We did three manta dives
and were saw others during the week.  Also saw occassional white-tip and
black-tip sharks and turtles.  Currents were manageable but strong. 
Picture taking can be a chore when the current is fast.  Bouyancy is
critical to keep off the reef.  Unfortunately, not all divers onboard had
the requisite skills to be environmentally safe.  I can't speak highly
enough of our cruise director Dan and the entire crew.  Very friendly and
went out of their way to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.  The final
night they serenaded us with local songs and dances.  We all felt a sense
of sorrow when we had to leave.  I've done many liveaboards and would rank
the Archipelago Adventurer II as my number one choice.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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