12 nights
Duration
Nov
Month
19 People
Max Group Size

Journey with us onboard the beautiful Amira Liveaboard as we explore the breathtaking reefs around the Banda Sea’s Forgotten Islands and then continue on into the south of Raja Ampat known as Misool, where we’ll finish this epic journey.

We will board the vessel in Saumlaki, one of the easternmost islands in Indonesia. We’ll then sail north through the Banda Sea through a chain of islands and atolls known as the Forgotten Islands. One of the main attractions of the Banda Sea, outside of the fact that we will most likely be the only boat in the area, is the reefs. They are absolutely mind-blowing. For most of the sites, the coral is so dense you will be hard-pressed to see any patches of the reef’s limestone foundation. Many of the reefs are made up of expansive fringing shallow hard coral plateaus that extend from the island or atoll and then eventually drop off into deep blue as walls or slopes covered in sponges, colorful soft corals, and sea fans. Aside from the stunning coral gardens, you can rest assured that there will also be plenty of everyone’s favorite reef dwellers like dazzling schools of tropical fish, larger pelagic species like tunas, jacks, and batfish passing in the blue, and juvenile reef sharks patrolling the shallows. As it’s also the time of the year when the blue whales start their migration south to Australia, it’s not impossible to spot one or several from the boat.

As we continue north we’ll leave the Banda Sea behind and enter Misool, the southernmost part of Raja Ampat. The last few days of the tour will be spent exploring some of the different regions of Raja where we are likely to encounter the big schools of fish, mantas, and turtles that this area has become famous for. Not to mention more stunning reefs!

This snorkeling safari is escorted by a Snorkel Venture team member.

*Please note that this particular itinerary covers a lot of territories and therefore involves multiple overnight crossings between regions where we will be in the open sea and more exposed to the elements, particularly swell.  If you have any reservations or hesitations about what it’s like onboard a liveaboard, please get in touch with us and/or read this blog about what you can expect from a liveaboard itinerary such as this. 

Marine Life Guide


This tour is partnered with Thrive Conservation. Find out how we support Thrive Conservation via this tour here.

*Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to sea and weather conditions. 

9 November - Meet the group in Jakarta

On arrival in Jakarta (CGK) you will check into the hotel and relax before a group dinner where you can meet your fellow tour snorkelers and the Snorkel Venture group leader. We will have a very early morning flight to Ambon followed by another flight down to Saumlaki where we’ll board Amira.


10 November - Arrive in Saumlaki

Upon arrival in Saumlaki we’ll be met by a member of the Amira team who will drive us the short distance to the port where the liveaboard is waiting. We will check in, unpack, and relax before a full boat briefing as well as a brief overview of the following day’s itinerary. The boat will depart for an overnight crossing to the islands. This day will very likely be a non-snorkeling day.
Amira Liveaboard sailing

Snorkeling the Forgotten Islands

Each day begins with a “light” breakfast before starting a site briefing for our first snorkel session. Each snorkel session will run for 60 – 90 minutes. From Amira, we will board the smaller zodiac boats so we can be safely dropped in the shallows. All the snorkel sessions have surface support, and you can jump on a tender and return to the main vessel if you prefer a shorter snorkel session.  After our morning snorkel, we will return to our boat and dry off. There will be dry towels waiting on the dive deck for us. A full hot breakfast will then be served.
After breakfast, we hit the water again for another snorkel session on a nearby site. We return to the main boat for a delicious buffet lunch, usually 2 – 3 courses. After a little break to allow our food to digest, we prepare for the third snorkel session of the day. Afterward, snacks are served (you will not go hungry on this cruise!). As we need to cover a lot of territory on this tour, we will most like begin moving to our next destination, which will typically involve an overnight crossing. There will be a few nights where we will be on a mooring or anchor, but expect to be moving for most of the nights.

From Saumlaki we will head north passing islands and atolls in the Banda Sea from Tanimbar in the south to Ceram in the north. Amira has been traveling this route for the last 10 years but many of the snorkel sites we visit are so remote they are not officially named. We’ll stop at Palau Manggur, Palau Kur and Palau  Kaimeer, an island chain offering stunning fringing reefs, the chance of big fish such as schools of barracuda, jacks and batfish and critters in the shallows.
Our last stop in the Banda Sea, before entering Raja Ampat’s Misool, we’ll stop at a site in the Ceram Islands known as Koon. If conditions are amenable, we’ll likely do several snorkels in an area that the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) found to be eastern Indonesia’s largest reef fish spawning site. From the resident school of batfish, the swirling bluefin & giant trevally, to the many dozens of pompano hanging out, this site can be overwhelming. What’s more, is that a lot of this fishiness can take place at depths in which us snorkelers can clearly and comfortably be immersed in the action.
We intend to offer  3 -4  snorkel sessions a day. There may be a few days when we have to make a longer crossing, in which case we will do two longer morning snorkels. You are not obliged to participate in them all.

Snorkeling Misool

We will enter the waters of Raja Ampat via Misool in the south. Depending on sea conditions we’ll spend a couple days exploring the bustling reefs in this iconic region. In raja there are good chances of swimming with larger species like mantas, reef sharks, turtles, and large schools of fish like batfish and bumphead parrotfish.

School of jack fish above coral reefThe final snorkeling day of the tour will be on the 20th where we’ll do two snorkels in the morning before sailing for Sorong.


21 November - Fly to Jakarta

 This will be our final morning onboard and so we’ll have a big breakfast, say farewell to our lovely Amira crew, and then transfer to the Sorong Airport for our flight back to Jakarta. Upon arrival into Jakarta, we will bid farewell to our new snorkeling friends and part ways.
Please speak to a member of our team before booking any international flights.

Amira Liveaboard

Amira Liveaboard sailing

Amira was built in 2010 using traditional methods of construction and design, she offers an authentic Indonesian experience. Amira is backed by an experienced crew who have been exploring these waters for many years. Onboard you can expect plenty of space to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

The boat is equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation and security system and top-notch rescue equipment. Amira is 52 meters long and 10 meters wide and offers 10 comfortable and spacious, single and double cabins, each equipped with an ensuite bathroom and natural lighting. In addition, there is a spacious indoor restaurant, a cozy lounge, and a very spacious sun deck plus our huge and comfortable outdoor restaurant. Whether you want to enjoy some privacy or socialize with other guests, you will find a suitable corner for every need on our `Princess`.

The spacious dive deck enables easy and efficient snorkel preparation whilst tender zodiacs are on call for speedy drop-offs and pickups, Amira Liveaboard also boasts its own dedicated camera room for preparation in comfort.

Vessel Guide

We will be reaching most of the snorkeling sites via a zodiac RIB as pictured below, there is a ladder and the Amira crew are on hand to assist with water entry and exit. A certain level of fitness is required to climb the ladder – if you have any questions on this you can contact us here.

On this page you will find our Tour Dates & Pricing (see below contact form), a Booking Form and Details of Payment schedule including deposit and final balance. If you have any further questions please complete the form and we will reply within 24-48hrs.


Make an Enquiry or Book this Tour

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    2025 Tour Dates

    9 – 21 November

    $8,290 USD per person

    Single-person supplement upon request


    How to book your place?

    Initial deposit to secure your booking is $800 per person

    12 Months before departure interim deposit of $1000 per person

    6 Months before departure interim deposit of $1000 per person

    Balance due 3 months before departure

    Includes:

    • Domestic flights from/to Jakarta in Economy Class with 40 Ibs of luggage allowance
    • One night at a Jakarta hotel at the start of the trip with group dinner included
    • Group transfers throughout
    • 11 Nights on-board the Amira Liveaboard with all meals and snacks, drinking water, soft drinks, tea, and coffee
    • Daily snorkeling activities with Amira snorkel guides
    • Services of Snorkel Venture tour leader throughout
    • Guided snorkel sessions as specified
    • Marine Park and Port Fees (subject to change)

    Excludes:

    • International flights & visas
    • Snorkeling equipment rental
    • Tips
    • Travel and health insurance
    • Alcoholic drinks, laundry, and general sundries

    Please note our cancelation policy:

    • 1 Year or more: 150 USD penalty per person to switch to a credit note for use within 2 years
    • 12 months or less: Loss of deposit and interim payment
    • 90 – 28 days: 25% Refund (includes your final balance payment)
    • 28 – 0 days: No Refund

    We recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect your deposit in the event that you have to cancel your trip.

    amira liveaboard
    guest kayaking in Raja Ampat
    hard coral reef with snorkeler above
    Anemone fish in anemone
    Coral reef with many reef fish and snorkelers above
    Snorkeler with manta rays
    reef mantas and snorkeler
    red coral and snorkelers
    Blue and orange nudibranch
    octopus standing up
    guest snorkeling in Raja Ampat
    Aerial view of snorkelers snorkeling around Raja Ampat islands
    schooling fish over hard coral reef