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Dive Review of WAOW Dive Boat in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

WAOW Dive Boat: "Great dive boat, good diving", Dec, 2014,

by Todd Lichtenstein, NJ, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 8084 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 We have been on 5 or 6 liveaboards. The WAOW is the most luxurious and the largest boat we have ever been on. It is 200 feet long 35 feet wide and displaces 800 tons. It is a 3 masted schooner beautifully built and maintained. When we were aboard we had 16 divers and a crew of 23. The dive staff is wonderful and the diving operation is very well run. This is a Swiss owned boat and it runs with the precision of a Swiss watch! The food is very good. We almost never had a bad meal. It is gourmet level with a mix of Indonesian and International themes. The rooms are more spacious than any other liveaboard we have ever been on and the shower is to die for. Be warned this is an expensive boat, but you get what you pay for on the WAOW and it was well worth it.

The diving was very good. These reefs are some of the healthiest I have ever seen. I did see some coral bleaching but very little. It is true what they say about the bio diversity here. There was a tremendous amount of soft, and hard coral and schools of fish that ran into the thousands. We saw tons of mantas at two different dive sites. We saw Wobbegong Sharks, pygmy seahorses, ornate pipefish, and nudibranchs. I didn't find critters like pipefish, pygmy seahorses, and nudibranchs to be in the vast numbers that were in Lembeh but they were there if you looked for them. Incidentally there are several different itineraries to chose from. We picked the one that gave us a taste of the Northern and the Southern islands. The land excursions we also very interesting. We motored around many coves in our speedboats (all diving is done from them not from the big boat) and climbed to the top of two lookouts for a spectacular view of the islands.

We flew Singapore Airlines from JFK to Jakarta through Singapore. Then we flew Garuda the national airline of Indonesia to Makassar on Sulawesi. We stopped here to visit the Tana Toraja area about 200 miles north of Makassar. Then we flew Garuda from Makassar to Sorong in West Papua where we boarded the WAOW. On the way home we flew from Sorong to Jakarta on a small Indonesian airline called Sriwijaya Airlines. The plane was 2 hours late arriving in Sorong thus starting a cascade of missed flights and lost luggage. In hindsight we should have flown Garuda from Sorong to Jakarta. Sriwijaya's baggage allowance was also more restrictive than Garuda's. As divers with a lot of equipment be resigned to the fact that you are going to have to pay something for overweight baggage charges, however Garuda does have an extra allowance for scuba gear. You have to ask at the check in counter for it, sometimes they give it to you and sometimes not.

Websites WAOW Dive Boat   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Lembeh, Maldives, Galapagos, Cocos, Dominica, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Papua New Guinea, Andaman Sea
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Singapore Airlines from JFK to Singapore, and then Jakarta, Garuda Airlines from Jakarta to Makassar to Sorong

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions With a ratio of one divemaster for every few divers, divemasters tended to stay with divers. They would allow you more freedom to roam on the sites that there was no current. There was no limit on dive time. Most dives were around an hour although we did a few that were 70 mins.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments They had a wonderful dedicated camera room with plenty of outlets for charging batteries. The one drawback was it was exceedingly hot in this room due to lack of ventilation. I can understand why they would not want to have this room air conditioned because of the chance of lenses etc fogging up but they certainly could have put in some fans.
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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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