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Dive Review of Aggressor Fleet in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi to Raja Ampat

Aggressor Fleet: "Great Trip from Bitung to Sorong", Oct, 2017,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 88 reports with 53 Helpful votes). Report 9971 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Boarded the Raja Ampat Aggressor in Bitung, North Sulawesi for a 12 night trip covering about 500 miles eastward to Sorong, West Papua.

We experienced an excellent variety of dive locations, some of which are not usually on live-aboard itineraries. The diving started in Lembeh Strait then headed north to Bangka Island. We then headed east to Tifore island then across to Goriaci. From there, it was on to the west side of Halmahera Island where we dived the Pantienti Strait then Bacan Island. Next, we continued over to the Raja Ampat area where we dived Fam Penemu and Yangeffo. Then we continued east diving the Dampier Strait for 2 days before disembarking at Sorong.

The Raja Ampat Aggressor (RAA) carries 16 divers who are divided into 3 dive groups of about equal #'s of divers and cameras. The dive guides and sequence into the water is rotated daily. Most dive days offered 4 dives, which included the night dive. Diving started at 7 AM with the night dive at 6:16 PM before dinner. The diving was done from skiffs with a back roll entry. The skiff drivers did a good job looking after the cameras. The dive deck is fairly spacious with each diver having an assigned dive station with a storage bin. There are 2 fresh water showers on the dive deck. There was no wet suit rinse on the dive deck.

The camera table is adequate; at times could get a bit congested. There are 2 large camera rinse tanks on the dive deck. There is plenty of battery charging outlets inside the salon. We were always needing more dry camera clothes.

The dive briefings were thorough with an emphasis on safety. Due to the full moon, we had a few dives with ripping current.

The dive guides did an adequate job finding critters. The aquatic marine life encountered included: various shrimp, crabs and squat lobsters; the more common nudibranchs; various scorpionfish and frogfish; schooling barracuda and snapper; an occasional shark; various moray eels; banded sea snakes; pygmy sea horse; wunderpuss; decorated dart fish; wobbegongs

I had a very spacious cabin with good lighting and A/C. At times the water pressure in the shower was a bit low.

The dining area was arranged so that 2 long tables ran across the short width of the room instead of the longer length dimension. We sat on stools and benches with no backs. Seating 16 divers around these tables could get tight and awkward. The food was generally nicely prepared with an occasional over-cooked item. The galley crew was quite accommodating with special requests. Bitang beer was available along with drinkable wine at dinner. Coffee, cookies, fruit and soft drinks were always available.

The cruise director was quite entertaining ("say hello to me little friend") and kept all well informed with a briefing after dinner. The crew did a good job recognizing special events such as a 60th birthday and milestone dives (1000 and 400). The crew was always friendly and helpful.

This was a very good trip diving areas not normally visited although I did miss diving some favorite sites off Misool and Waigeo. This 12 day itinerary is scheduled infrequently but I certainly recommend it.

Websites Aggressor Fleet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport Manado, North Sulawesi Getting There From west Coast USA, thru Singapore about 20 hours

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco; 65 minute dives no deeper than 110'
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Fairly good accommodations for cameras. Dive guides OK at finding critters but bear in mind that many of the dive sites on this trip are not normally dived by this crew.

Strong current made photography difficult on some dives.
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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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