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Dive Review of Grand Komodo Tours/Rajah Ampat Explorer in
Indonesia/Rajah Ampat

Grand Komodo Tours/Rajah Ampat Explorer, Mar, 2009,

by phil johnston, Victoria, Australia (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4711.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, PNG, Malaysia, Indonesia, Tonga, Galapagos Islands, Cocos Island, Cozumel, Tahiti.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco diving, no solo diving, come back with 50 bar left in tank.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table & 2 large fresh water tubs at stern of boat, no fresh water on dive dingies. Recharging bench in main cabin, this could get a little crowded if all 14 passengers were UWPs.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 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 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 7 of the 11 booked passengers failed to front, despite only 4 guests being aboard we were still given the full cruise of Rajah Ampat including Misool to the south. Rajah Ampat was a good mix of reefs, seamounts, walls & muck diving, topside scenery was also good with multitudes of small uninhabited islands. Hard corals were generally good at most (but not all) sites, at a couple of places the soft corals were as good as Eastern Fiji. Small & rare critters were found at almost all sites, 2 sites in particular provided muck diving almost the equal of Lembeh. 2 large Mantas were seen at a cleaning station at one reef, including a 12-plus foot individual that ended up entering a steep climb & flying out of the water for 2-3 seconds before splashing down to rid itself of any remaining parasites - awesome. The cruise ended with a big fish dive in strong current at Cape Kri - a large school of truly massive bump-headed parrot-fish,& the largest barracuda & emperors I've seen - who said Rajah Ampat has no big fish?
Crew & particularly dive staff were excellent without fail - always attentive & helpful. Dive masters Harry & Anton excelled at finding critters that most of us would have otherwise missed.
The boat itself is designed in similar fashion to a traditional Indonesian Bugis sailing vessel. It isn't a luxury item but was neat, clean & well maintained. Food was not gourmet but always of high quality & in generous amounts - often more than we could eat. Small snacks were provided between dives.
Negatives? Only one - a few small cockroaches were seen in cabins & hallways by most passengers. This was discussed with the crew at the end of the trip & they agreed that some sort of fumigation (rather than ad hoc spraying)needs to be done. I mention this with some regret as it was the only aspect that detracted from what was a fantastic trip with excellent levels of professionalism & service from the crew, in a place that is justifiably rated as one of the best diving areas in the world.
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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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