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Dive Review of Amira Liveaboard/Amira in

Amira Liveaboard/Amira: "Very good liveaboard in Raja", Nov, 2014,

by Victor Kenton, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 8038.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Amira is a custom built, 120 foot boat. It regularly dives Raja Ampat, Komodo, and Triton Bay. I did an 11 night trip through the southern and northern parts of Raja, a huge area from Misool in the South to the Dampier Strait in the North. 3 dives a day, and on most nights, a night dive. Dinner is served after the night dive, about 8:30.

The boat holds about 20 divers, in double cabins, with a few singles available, also. There are more crew than passengers, so you are well taken care of, and in typical form, the Indonesian crew are very friendly. Very comfortable, and the AC works well. The food is really quite excellent and varied. As an example, on a trip several years ago to Raja on a Grand Komodo boat for 8 nights, I lost 8 pounds; on this trip, I came back the same weight. There is everything from sushi to a variety of Indonesian-oriented main courses. You must, however, pay for your own canned beverages. Breakfast and dinner are served at large tables on the back deck; lunch is a buffet.

Raja diving is, of course, spectacular, featuring clouds of fish, mantas, a huge variety of hard and soft corals, and lots of nudis and other interesting macro stuff. Raja is not for shark diving: they were fished out years ago, and through aggressive protection measures, are just now coming back. The Amira's dive guides are good to excellent. Perhaps because of the currents, they go down quickly, sometimes too quickly for me to equalize easily. They are good at pointing things out, but sometimes not great at keeping track of divers in their group. Most people who dive Raja are very experienced: no one got swept away or lost. They are the first dive boat in Raja to provide at no charge very costly units which, if activated, broadcast your location to the boat.

Diving is done in groups of 4-8 in 3 dinghies. They offer a few land based excursions to the pretty island areas of Raja, and on one morning, at 4:00 a.m., 7 of us got up and trekked up a hill to get a glimpse of rare Birds of Paradise. On some of the outings, they provide drinks for free, a nice touch.

There is one caveat for American divers: Amira is a Swiss and German owned operation, and so you are unlikely to be guaranteed to be among American divers or perhaps even English speaking divers. They fill the boat mostly with German, Swiss, and Austrian divers, although on my trip there was one Brit, a Danish couple who spoke English, and a couple of international fellows who were comfortable with English. So, although you come for the diving, it's also nice to be able to socialize in your own language. If in doubt, go with a buddy.

You can use your own agent, or the agent on their website, who is really helpful and very responsive to emails.

Finally, the price for the trip is very reasonable, significantly less than, for example, Arenui or Damai.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All of the Caribbean; Palau; New Guinea; Australia; Indonesia; Southern California; Baja
Closest Airport Sorong, Indonesia Getting There A long trip: Count on several days

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A big camera table near the dive deck, inside the boat.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Gabrielle Villarino in Prachuap Khiri Khan, TH at Dec 06, 2014 23:21 EST  
Hello - this is Gabrielle from MSV AMIRA. I would like to comment on the above report. First of all - thanks Victor, I am glad, you had an amazing dive holiday on AMIRA! MSV AMIRA is 170 ft (52m) - while AMIRA is SWISS/ German s owned, our clientele during the year is very much COSMOPOLITAN - as we welcome guests from US to Australia, from SOUTH AFRICA to Spain, Turkey, Poland, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, France, UK - and also from Asia. Our dive Ratio is 4/5:1 dive guide. MSV AMIRA has 8 double/twin bed cabins and 2 single cabins! - maximum 18 GUESTS. I am glad, dear Victor, you like out food and that you did not lose weight!! Most divers gain wight while aboard AMIRA ..:) thanks Victor and terima kasih to our dedicated, hard working CREW - Gabrielle - MSV AMIRA
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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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