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Dive Review of S/Y Indo Siren in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

S/Y Indo Siren: "Terrific diving in Raja Ampat and great vegetarian food!", Jan, 2015,

by Angela Richards Dona, HI, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 8115.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is the second time we dive with the Siren Fleet and we are even happier after our Raja Ampat trip than we were after our Philippines excursion. We are already looking to book our next holiday with them!

The trip preparations began with our booking, which went smoothly and our agent at Worldwide Dive and Sail (Sybout) was excellent. He even booked our flights within Indonesia and our hotel in Jakarta. I also requested that my husband and I (vegetarians) be catered to as well as the meat-eaters and I was reassured that we would be. I am happy to report that we were very pleased with the food but must point out that it was Sybout that made sure the staff on board was prepared. I also mention this because it is the only thing about the Philippines Siren that we were displeased about.

High quality liveaboards generally deliver a high level of service, but we really appreciated the small details. The Indo Siren is a fairly large liveaboard that can manage up to 16 divers. On our cruise, we had 15 so it was nearly full but it never felt crowded. The dive deck is probably my favorite part of the boat. It is situated in such a way as to make getting ready for the dive a very easy, clutter- and diver-free part of the experience. Each person has a station with a drawer next to his/her tank (not a milk crate on the floor that allows everything to get wet). Your BC gets put onto a tank and stays there for the entire trip. Your tank gets filled (with free Nitrox) after each dive. Divers are put into groups and arranged accordingly so group one is closest to the dinghy (and goes first), followed by group two and three. Freshwater showers are numerous on the dive deck so I never had to wait for one and there are also two bathrooms (one on each side of the boat) for use before or after a dive.

Before each dive we would find our wetsuits next to our tanks, and it seems they were always dipped in water before the dive for easy donning. Our host, Joe, always brought a glass of water to us before we got into the dinghy. Once kitted up, we walked down the steps to the dinghy where our fins and cameras were waiting. The crew wanted us to be hands-free for safety so they put our items into the dinghy for us.

The diving was spectacular and I enjoyed nearly every dive. Here are the exceptions and something I already discussed with the crew: there were two night dives done in the North (Dampier Strait) that are so littered with trash, it was hard to concentrate on anything else. I find it exceedingly hard to believe that in such a wonderful area, the crew cannot find better sites for night dives. These were both jetty dives that should be avoided at all costs. It is true you can find some cool critters at these places, but that is also true of spots without trash. A major mistake in my opinion. Then there was a manta dive that was pretty cool. Only problem is that they do it twice in a day. Boring! The first time we saw several mantas, the second time we saw one. That's 55 minutes spent in current staring at a bommie waiting for a manta to come along. One time was enough - especially since we did see mantas the first dive.
On most days we did 4 dives, which was great. That is just the right amount to get a lot of diving in and a lot of relaxing. This well-balanced schedule meant that none of us sat out a dive and we always felt keen and ready to go when the dive briefing "cowbell" rang.

Returning from dives was nice because we always had excellent dinghy drivers that never made us wait for pick up and we always had refreshments waiting for us when we arrived back on the Siren. Betty dried and folded our towels before our return and after a night dive they were even warm! Hot chocolate or hot ginger tea were served after night dives as well. Nice touch! The crew rinsed and hung our wetsuits and hoodies after every dive. We simply took the suits off and the crew took care of the rest.

As I mentioned, the food was great! Unlike every other liveaboard we have been on, the chefs on the Indo Siren fed us as well as all the meat eaters. There were so many vegetarian options that we gained weight during the trip. And many of the meat eaters loved eating the veggie options as well: noodles, fried rice, tempeh dishes, tofu dishes, stir fried mixed vegetables, etc. Breakfast was a particular joy and our snacks after dive 3 often consisted of warm cashews and something else we could eat. The food is a major part of the enjoyment of a dive trip and we have been so disappointed on other liveaboards. It can really put a damper on a trip if one does not get fed properly.

Our cabin was comfortable and cleaned daily. The bathroom and shower worked perfectly and the A/C had its moments, but managed to keep the room cooler than the salon--almost always. In the salon, we had ample space for our camera equipment. On this trip we had three really serious cameramen with big rigs and a few of us less serious types with small cameras or Intova video cameras. There are many charging outlets, so there was never a problem with so many cameras in need. The camera facilities are quite good. We didn't spend much time in the salon, rather, spent most of our time seated around the large dining area to catch the breezes. The sundeck was also a comfortable place to lounge. Given that there was a sufficient amount of down time, it was nice to have places where we could enjoy it.

Finally, the staff: all of the supporting staff were wonderful. From the chefs to the host to the dinghy drivers, we felt they all did a stupendous job of making our holiday everything we hoped for. We did, however, think that one of the dive guides was beyond his expiration date for this highly service-oriented job. We really liked him, but you could see that he just wanted to be done. Another dive guide did not attend dive briefings and did not care what we wanted to do underwater, and appeared upset with us for not wanting to chase after him and look at all the tiny things he found for us. To an extent we did, of course, want to see everything his expertise could show us, but we also wanted to dive at our own pace - which was slow and deliberate. These two guides were safe and competent and the details of their personalities did not spoil our trip. I mention it so that people can perhaps not expect these guys to be perfect or always friendly. I can only imagine how hard it must be to do that job! And they should probably get a day off during a 10-day cruise. I also wish they had discussed proper diving etiquette and environmental awareness with some of the guests that seemed to feel the reef was their living room and the corals were theirs to lay on or kick.

Here's what we saw: blue-ringed octopus! wobbegong and walking sharks, sea snakes, corals galore, both hard and soft, nudibranchs of every sort imaginable, flatworms, sea stars. The coral scenery is amazing and is by far the most diverse I have ever witnessed. As a coral biologist, I intend to return here as often as money and vacation time allow. Raja Ampat is a spectacular place to dive and the Indo Siren is a great boat from which to do it!
Websites S/Y Indo Siren   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Micronesia, Red Sea, Philippines, Fiji, Bonaire, Turks & Caicos, Mexico, Hawaii, other Caribbean...
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There ANA flight Honolulu to Tokyo, Tokyo to Jakarta, then Express Air Jakarta to Sorong.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 27-29°C / 81-84°F Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10-25 M / 33-82 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Really the only restriction was the 60 minute dive time. Otherwise, if someone wanted to dive a different profile, that was allowed.
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 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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 All mentioned above.
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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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