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Dive Review of Wakatobi -- Pelagian in
Indonesia/South Sulawesi

Wakatobi -- Pelagian, Oct, 2012,

by Robert , OR, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6889.

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 $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Wakatobi is 600 miles east of Bali and 300 miles away from any other dive operation or liveaboard. Travel to Wakatobi Resort is via private charter to their private airport, then a transfer via boat to the resort. Wakatobi staff meet you on arrival at the Denpasar airport, taking care of Immigration and tourist visas while you pick up your luggage. They then accompany you through Customs. You have to spend at least one night in Denpasar. (We spent 3 nights in Kuta. Hey! Itís a long flight!) On the day you leave for Wakatobi Resort, they again meet you at the airport, get you checked in, then take you to an airport lounge to await the charter flight. Guests receive VIP treatment all the way. The Bali office will assist you in making any other travel arrangements you need. (We had them arrange for transport from the Denpasar airport to Tulamben, on our return from Wakatobi.) The Bali office will store any of your unneeded luggage for you while youíre at Wakatobi. (On the theory that the less luggage you take, the more supplies they can put on the flight for the resort.) They have the stored luggage waiting for you at the Denpasar airport on your return.
The cost for two passengers for 7 nights on the Pelagian was $7,500; 5 nights at Wakatobi Resort $4,500 (separate review.) So, itís a little pricey, but we feel we got our moneyís worth in great diving, great food, great service and great accommodations. More than once, they took Bob out on night dives when he was the only diver.
While we didnít see many critters that we hadnít seen before, there was a profusion of everything! Hundreds of Mandarin fish on a night dive at Magic Pier. (A creepy venue with crappy vis, but an exciting dive nevertheless.) Dives ranged from pinnacles to walls to muck. Dive times were 0645, 1015, 1415 and 1740. Dive tenders were RIBs (back roll entry) that would be a bit cramped if you had six divers. (There were 4 of us, plus DM.) The gear stays on the RIBs. The crew analyzes the Nitrox for you and you watch the process, since the RIBs were usually hanging from davits until dive time. We saw a whale while we were under way, not while diving. The Captain slowed and changed course, so we could whale watch from an appropriate distance.
The staff, food and accommodations were top shelf. They definitely believe in customer service. The diving was great and the trip was worthwhile.
Websites Wakatobi -- Pelagian   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Bali, Belize, Costa Rica, Egypt, Fiji, Grenadines, Guam, Hawaii, Honduras, Irian Jaya/Papua, Jamaica, Keys, Komodo, North Sulawesi, Palau, Philippines, PNG, Solomons, St. Vincent, Tahiti, Truk, Turks & Caicos.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox depth limits; signal DM at 750 psi.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Subscriber's Comments

By Maria Chapman in TX, US at Feb 21, 2013 07:26 EST  
Good report, thanks. Can you please give names of cruise directors and/or photo pro on Pelagian?
By report author: Robert in OR, US at Feb 21, 2013 19:38 EST  
Ben and Kaori were cruise directors/dm's. No photo pro per se. I would like guess it is Ben. No photographers on our trip.
By Maria Chapman in TX, US at Feb 21, 2013 22:06 EST  
Thanks lots. I have been trying to track down the italuan couple who was doing those two jobs when we were onboard Pelagian. CiCi and Marco... They were really, really good. Glad you enjoyed the trip.
By report author: Robert in OR, US at Feb 23, 2013 14:21 EST  
We were assigned to an Italian DM named Marco during our stay at the resort, but we don't have a last name. We never heard any reference to a DM named Cici, tho.
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