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Dive Review of Archipelago Expeditions/Archipelago Adverturer II in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

June, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 3392
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Lembeh, Komodo, Manado (Indonesia), Palau, Fiji, PNG, Hawaii, Galapagos,
Revillagigedo Islands, Carribean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
0   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minute dives (loosely enforced)  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
small table for set up; air from tank on short low pressure hose; 110 and
220 current for recharging; gear handed down from tender and handed up at
end of dive
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
I have dove on liveaboards before - Peter Hughes (Palau and PNG); Aggressor
(Galapagos); Sea Safari III with Kararu Diving (Komodo); but this boat was
hands down the best I've been on.  In fact, the boat was so good and the
diving so exceptional that I was tempted not to write a review and keep it
a secret!  First and foremost, the cabin was almost as big as a hotel room.
 Large king bed, a built in writing desk and chair, large closet, separate
enclosed head and shower stalls, separated by a sink area.  I didn't even
use the separate charging area because there was power right at the desk. 
There was a large living room area with flat screen tv with DVD player. 
Upstairs, a large dining area opened up onto a covered deck which also
doubled as a second dining area, and a third deck above for sunning and
watching sunsets.  The food was the best I've ever had on a liveaboard,
truly gormet, but portions which would not sink you on your next dive.  The
diving was, well, what more can be said about the diving in Raja Ampat?  I
suppose it's possible to have a bad dive here, but you would have to have
bad weather, exceptionally strong current and flood your camera housing all
on the same dive!  The coral life and amount of fish is staggering.  The
program included several days diving in the south to the west and south of
Misool.  The viz is not particularly good here, but the soft corals are the
best I've seen, better than Fiji by far.  You'll be finning into a gentle
current at a corner and see a torrent of fish sloping down the wall, but
unlike other locations, the line of fish doesn't stop, it just goes on and
on.  The last two days were spent in the north, around Cape Kri.  Here, the
viz is much better, there are some large fish, including sharks and
turtles, and the current is stronger.  It would be too time consuming to
list all the varieties of fish seen in Raja Ampat, but suffice it to say
that I think we saw every type of fish in the ocean with the exception of a
few varieties of sharks.  The program includes (usually) four dives a day,
including a night dive.  The water was so smooth and the boat was so stable
that we discarded our scopolamine patches after a couple of days.  The crew
was professional and friendly.  Both dive guides, Ali and Made, spoke
excellent English and were witty, attentive, safe and able to point out
interesting critters.  The tender drivers were unfailingly helpful,
encouraging us to pass up our tanks from the water, handing down cameras,
providing water, etc.  The diving was close to the ship, so if you came up
early, they would take you right back, not making you wait on the others. 
Since the dives were somewhat deep, the 60 minute limit was satisfactory. 
All equipment was taken from the tenders by the crew, with the exception of
of mask and fins.  They even washed out and hung up our wetsuits between
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