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Dive Review of Blue Manta in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat, Banda Sea

Blue Manta: "Fabulous Indonesia liveaboard experience with Blue Manta", Nov, 2017,

by Melissa Berkoff, MD, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 9988 has 1 Helpful vote.

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 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I can't imagine a nicer liveaboard diving experience than that supplied by the Blue Manta. This is the third liveaboard I have been on (others include Mike Ball's Spoilsport in GBR and the Humboldt Explorer in Galapagos) and, while all were very nice, the Blue Manta is just that little bit nicer in just about every way.

The entire boat is huge. Each cabin is spacious, with large windows, private bathrooms, and plenty of room to spread out. The dive deck easily accommodates all divers simultaneously so there's no uncomfortable jockeying for space when getting ready for a dive or taking off equipment after one. The top sun deck has plenty of room for laying out on one of the numerous double bed-sized lounges under the shade or in the sun on the reclining deck chairs. The saloon/dining area and lounge are huge. The lounge has a small library with fish and creature ID books and reading materials, and a large TV screen for watching whatever anyone is playing.

The menu was varied and excellent, and the crew was very accommodating to those in our party with special dietary needs. In addition to three meals a day we got an early light breakfast before the first morning dive, plus snacks after each dive. Sodas were included, beer was extra. Coffee and tea were always available.

The crew was friendly, hardworking, fabulous, and numerous! They were full-service, helping divers into and out of their gear before and after each dive and carrying dive gear down onto the platform and into the zodiacs that are used to drop divers off at each dive site. Upon returning from a dive there was always someone on the platform to help you out of your wetsuit so you could take immediate advantage of one of the 5 hot fresh water showers on the deck.

The dive briefings were informative and creative. Cedric, the cruise director, created a 3D diorama of each dive with the materials at hand as part of each briefing to demonstrate the topography of each site, which was very helpful (and also fun!).

The diving itself was incredible - colorful, varied, rich, saturated with life. Indonesia lives up to its reputation for unique world-class diving. While we did see a few sites that had suffered some catastrophic human intervention (dynamite fishing still happens there, and a couple areas close to some villages had trash scattered around the site), the majority of the sites were pristine and breathtaking. Most days we did 3 dives per day; I think we only did 4 dives on 2 of the days we were on board.

We did 2 shore expeditions: one to a remote, isolated village that Blue Manta is helping out with donations (and also transportation - we picked up some passengers who had been stranded there and gave them a ride to Ambon); and another to a former Dutch fort in a small town where we dove to see mandarin fish.

There was a videographer aboard who participated in all the daily dives and put together a very nice video at the end of the trip.

The boat also offers massages and a laundry service. What else can I say? We are already talking about returning to Indonesia for more diving with Blue Manta.
Websites Blue Manta   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman
Puerto Rico
Cozumel, Mexico
Positano, Italy
Galapagos Islands
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Closest Airport Sorong (SOQ) Getting There From DC, we flew to Narita (Tokyo), then Jakarta, then Makassar, then Sorong. Total travel time was about 40 hours or so with a 24-hour layover in Jakarta.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 25-50 Ft/ 8-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Nothing was enforced, just suggested. They asked that we avoid deco obligations.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat has a dedicated camera room for camera maintenance, battery charging, and photo downloading.
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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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