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Dive Review of Dewi Nusantara in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Dewi Nusantara: "Raja Ampat on Dewi Nusantara", Jan, 2018,

by Kendall Raine, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 10366 has 2 Helpful votes.

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 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The trip exceeded expectations in every way. The boat, crew and diving set the standard for what is possible in liveaboard diving.

Our itinerary took us from Sorong south to Misool where we dived Boo, Fiabacet, Wayil and Warakaraket before heading north to Fam, Penemu, Kri and the Dampier Straight, then back to Sorong.

The profusion of fish and coral species was amazing. The colors and abundance of soft corals rival that of Fiji while diversity and health of hard corals exceed Palau. No bleaching. That massive fields of pristine Elk Horn and Turbinaria corals flourish at one of the oldest, and most frequented, of the Raja sites, Melissa’s Garden, speaks to the effectiveness of preservation efforts by dive operations and the Raja Ampat Regency.

During our ten days of diving we were treated to an incredible display of macro life. Denise’s Pygmy Seahorses on every dive. Pygmy Squid, crab and shrimp species in the dozens, Ghost Pipefish, Ringed Pipefish, Robust and Ornate Pipefish were so plentiful, and camouflaged, I opted to remove one of my contact lenses and adopt “monovision,” together with a magnifying glass, in order to see what I was looking at.

We also encountered mobula, oceanic manta, grey, black tip and white tip reef sharks, turtles and blue ringed octopus. A Tridacna at Melissa’s appeared to be over five feet in length and over two feet across. Squadrons of fusiliers, rainbow runners, mackerel, jacks and barracuda paraded in such numbers that at times one couldn’t see ten feet. The contrast between tiny and enormous, frequently on the same dive, created a challenge for the photographers in choosing lenses.

Our dive guides, Eddy, Simone, Andri, Steven and Wendy were expert at finding the smallest critters and putting us on the cleaning stations for the biggest.

Dewi is bigger and beamier than most other boats in Raja. She has a square, stately profile that makes her stand out like a visitor from another century. Under full sail Dewi is stunning. Cabins are spacious (200 sq. ft.) and well appointed. The Master cabin, at 500 sq. ft., spans the entire beam at the transom and is the largest of any liveaboard-well worth the extra cost.
The dive deck, forward of the salon, is normally covered and doubles as the outdoor dining area when the weather is good. Like the salon, it is spacious and easily accommodates 20 for meals or hanging out.

The camera room can comfortably accommodate 12 photographers with large systems or double that with small systems.

The food was consistently excellent. The meal plan is a light pre-dive breakfast served at 6:30 followed by a large made to order breakfast at 9 followed by lunch at noon and dinner at 8 after the night dive. Lunch was normally Indonesian fare with nasi goreng, gado gado, satay, gulai ayam, beef rendang, fish and the ubiquitous krupuk along with fresh sambal and other Indonesian spices. Dinners were where Chief Steward Hendrik and the galley team really shone. Always wearing a smile, he brought a joy to match his competence as one delicious meal after another was served by he and his assistant, Teguh. Turns out Chef Suroto and Teguh are talented musicians who, after feeding us, often entertained us, as well. Hendrik was a demon on cowbell and spoons. Many calls of “more cowbell.”

As good as Dewi was, it was the crew that really made the difference for us. They’re special because of their attitude and attention to the little things. With 18 ship’s crew plus another 5 dive crew, every detail was seen to. Because so many of the crew have been with Dewi for years-several since her first sailing-things ran smoothly and the crew was very attentive while having a laid back Indonesian style which made the time aboard very pleasant. No sign of burn out or sourness.

Wendy Brown, from the UK via Honduras and has been in Indonesia 14 years, joined Dewi at the beginning. She was always one step ahead, anticipating people’s needs and issues both in and out of the water, doing and thinking about a hundred things no one else even knew about. Her affection for the crew and Indonesia is obvious and infectious. After ten years diving Raja her enthusiasm was equal to the most wide-eyed newbie. Simone Tomazela is from Brazil and just finishing her first year as Cruise Director on Dewi. She has such a sunny disposition I think she’ll continue to be a big hit with guests and crew.

The Dewi support operations, including Reni in Bali, and Alison in the UK, were very responsive and helpful. Reni helped us set up a post dive land excursion to the Baliem Valley in Papua and ran interference for us on a delayed connection, sparing us a major hassle.
Websites Dewi Nusantara   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Rangiroa, Morea, Huahini, Grand Cayman, Turks, Palau, Truk, Galapagos, Cocos, California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Tulum, Cozumel, Bali, Lake Superior, Raja Ampat,
Closest Airport Strong Getting There LA to Hong Kong to Jakarta to Makassar to Sorong

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions ~60 ft for 60 minutes
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 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 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Excellent for photographers. Spacious camera room. Expert camera handling by crew. Excellent critter spotting. Giant rinse tank on board.
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By peter bernstein in FL, US at Jul 25, 2018 09:46 EST  
Would you please give some details about yourland excursion in the Baliem Valley
By report author: Kendall Raine in CA, US at Jul 30, 2018 13:37 EST  
Hi Peter; We booked a four day tour through Adventure Indonesia following the dive trip. Reni in the Bali Dewi office set it up for us. The tour took us on a series of day trips outside the town of Wamena to visit several Dani villages. The tour cost us about $1,000 per person including air and was worth it. Included was a day in Jayapura, which was cut short because of a flight delay. There is no road into Wamena so literally everything comes in by air. Flights are often booked solid. Afternoon flights from Jayaura to Wamena are often cancelled due to weather. Factor that into your plans if you have tight connections.
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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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