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Dive Review of Mermaid Liveaboards in
Indonesia/From Ambon to Raja Amphat

Mermaid Liveaboards: "Indonesia's Best Liveaboard for Divers", Mar, 2014,

by Randall S Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 35 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 7847 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 This was the first of back to back trips on the Mermaid 1 and 2. The boats are very similar, as are the staff. Please forgive me for repeating much of my other report.
I have dived all over the world, almost always on liveaboards and can say that Raja Amphat is clearly the best diving I've done. The dives beginning near Ambon were excellent, but a cut below much of Raja Amphat. From pygmy seahorses and incredible nudibranchs to fleets of manta rays and massive schools of fish, Raja Amphat has it all. And more: beautiful islands, wonderful natives, mild weather, sunsets beyond belief, stars like you've likely never seen, great food, etc.
I've been on well over 20 liveaboards including 12 weeks diving in Indonesia, and the combined quality of the boat, service of the staff and helpfulness of the guides is unmatched on the Mermaid boats. If you're going to spend the time, money and hassle to dive in Raja Amphat/Ambon or other areas in Indonesia, don't trust your trip to anyone else if you can get a spot on Mermaid. They're that good. Dive groups of 4 are lead by dive masters who spend the entire dive finding new things for you to see; I cannot overemphasize how much this adds to your trip, not to mention your bucket list. My dive times ranged from a minimum of 60 to a maximum of 94(!!) minutes. And they busted their butts to get 4 or even 5 dives into every day they could. Note: my ratings are "IndoPacific", not Caribbean and I wish I could give 6 stars on quality of sea life. Some of the best dives had significant current and many had none. I wouldn't recommend this trip if you haven't already done some Pacific diving.
I could rave for hours on Raja Amphat and Mermaid, but I want to keep this message concise. After all, Undercurrent's purpose is to find the best and expose the worst. Raja Amphat on the Mermaid is as good as it gets!

Websites Mermaid Liveaboards   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Sea of Cortez, Komodo, Thailand, Burma, Sipadan, Tahiti, Palau,
Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Socorro, Cocos, Galapagos, Caymans, Bonaire,
Belize, Cozumel, Etc.
Closest Airport Ambon/Sorong at each end Getting There To get to Ambon you usually end up on Lion air, an Indonesian company. You can connect through Singapore(I recommend Singapore Air) or Kuala Lumpur. There will be many connections. Same with Sorong. Count on 40+ real hours and at least $2,000.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Sport diving/nitrox limits of 120 ft. You, with or without a partner, could split off from the group if you wished, but the guides were so good few did. My longest dive was 94 minutes! I easily averaged 5 hours of seeing fish a day--compare that to anywhere.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
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 5 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 Most of the divers were very experienced and many had "killer" camera set-ups. All were pleased with the camera care and ecstatic with the subject matter.
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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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