Expeditions

Research Liveaboard Expeditions in Indonesia

About Indo Ocean Expeditions

Ready to join a research liveaboard trip, deploy BRUVs, conduct fish and benthic surveys, and explore the most remote regions of Indonesia? Indo Ocean Project is partnering up again with the pirates at Scuba Republic to run an exciting expedition to Indonesia’s more remote destinations.

Our Expeditions are designed exclusively for our community of Divemaster and Research internship graduates to participate in action-packed/science-filled liveaboard adventures, applying the field knowledge you gained during your Divemaster and Research diver courses. 

Nerds on tour!

Upcoming Expeditions

Mission & Goals

  • To engage our community of highly trained ocean professionals to conduct rapid ecological monitoring assessments in remote regions of Indoneisa
  • To widen our research areas through liveaboard expeditions
  • To provide budget friendly expeditions for our community to continue to apply their field training and explore Indonesia

HIGHLIGHTS

√ Adventure expeditions through Indonesia’s remote destinations

√ Conduct IOP’s research projects on the go including BRUV deployments, benthic and roving surveys

√ Meet fellow Indo Ocean Project graduates and take part in our exclusive community expeditions

√ Led by experienced  Indo Ocean and Scuba Republic diving professionals, and marine biologists  

Central & North Raja Ampat

Dampier • Arborek • Piaynemo • Wayag

Calling all experienced divers! Dive into the heart of Central and North Raja Ampat on our exclusive Liveaboard Research Expedition. This is not your average dive trip – it’s a chance to explore the untouched wonders of Raja Ampat’s underwater world while participating in our fieldwork to gather critical baseline and ecological monitoring data. Get ready to encounter rare marine species and vibrant coral reefs and contribute directly to ongoing research initiatives. This expedition will be led by 2 Indo Ocean Project staff and 2 Scuba Republic guides to the best sites in Dampier Strait and Wayag. This is a unique opportunity for hands-on exploration and conservation efforts. Secure your spot now and be part of an elite group of divers unravelling the mysteries of Raja Ampat’s unparalleled biodiversity.

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary adventure – book your Liveaboard Research Expedition today!

What to expect…

All potential participants need to know precisely what they are getting into by joining the Indo Ocean Project’s Expeditions. Please read the following information carefully so we can ensure a fun and productive trip. 

Limited places are available, and places will be selected on a first-come-first-serve basis. You must complete an online fish ID training and re-pass your fish ID test when you arrive to participate in our research activities. 

ABOUT THE BOAT

You’re floating home away from home will be onboard Scuba Republic’s adventure boat Epica.

What makes Epica so special is that it was originally operated as a traditional Indonesian fishing boat before being repurposed by Scuba Republic to offer budget-friendly trips around Raja Ampat. It is a 24-meter and houses 8 crew members and 12 guests.

Rooms are basic without frills but equipped with AC, power sockets, and fans. Two shared bathrooms have fresh water conveniently located near the dive deck.

The upper deck is the main common area where you can lounge on the bean bags or take a nap in the hammock. This is also where all the buffet-style meals are served. A large table is our gathering point for evening workshops and data analysis.

     .    .    .   

THE FOOD

Local Indonesian meals and light snacks will be served three times per day. Rice-based meals with chicken, fish, tempeh, and veggies are typical, with tasty spicy sambal on the side.

Fresh drinking water, coffee and tea will always be found in the dining area. Cans of soda and beer are available for purchase.

You are encouraged to stock up on some non-perishable snacks for the trip.

GETTING THERE

The point of entry is: Sorong – West Papua Domine Eduard Osok airport (SOQ)

There are multiple daily direct flights from Indonesia’s main cities of Jakarta, Bali, and Makasar to Sorong. Most domestic flights are overnight and arrive early in the morning in Sorong. You may need to book two flights, one international flight into Jakarta or Bali and another separate domestic flight to Sorong.

Once arriving at the airport you will make your way to the island of Waigeo. There are two ferries per day departing at 9 am and 2 pm, and it costs 140,000 IDR for a one-way ticket. The ferry terminal is around a 15-minute drive from the airport. 

We are happy to help arrange your airport pick up and transfer with our driver Rahim. The cost from the Airport to the ferry terminal is 150,000 IDR/car. Before the trip, we will be making a WhatsApp group with all participants to get connected. 

The ferry to Waisai is around 2 hours in a large air-conditioned ferry; one of the Scuba Republic or Indo Ocean Project staff members will meet you off the boat, register you for the marine park, and welcome you onboard.

*We recommend asking your driver to stop at a local convenience store in Sorong to purchase some non-perishable snacks for the boat. 

Expeditions fees

We have done our best to offer this expedition at a budgeted rate with an additional discount to Indo Ocean Project graduates for their research contribution. Please see below the entire trip costs and what is included. 

Indo Ocean Project Graduates

USD 1,500

Prerequisites:

  • Graduated from one of Indo Ocean Project’s Divemaster and Research diver internships
  • Redo species identification exam with a 95% pass rate before the start date

Tasks

  • Take an active role in research activities, including BRUVs, roving surveys, benthic surveys, and water quality
  • Lead a coral restoration dive on our nursery site at the Raja Ampat Project
  • Take part in the data analysis and inputting
Non Indo Ocean Project Graduates

USD 1,750

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum Rescue Diver certification
  • 50+ logged dives

Take part in evening workshops alongside a team of marine biologists with topics in marine megafauna, macro life, ecological monitoring and more. Take part in some of our citizen science workshops and dip your foot into the wonderful world of ocean science.

What's included

Included:

  • Around 20-24 research and fun dives (weather dependent)
  • Shared accommodation
  • 3 local Indonesian meals per day
  • Drinking water, coffee and tea
  • Pick up at the harbor in Waisai
  • Weight belts and tanks
  • Dive guide

Not Included:

  • Equipment rental (available through Scuba Republic)
  • Raja Ampat Marine Park Fees (1,300,000 IDR)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Canned soft drinks (available for purchase on the boat)
  • Travel and dive insurance
  • International or domestic flights
  • Airport tax
  • Crew gratuity (recommended 10%)
Itinerary

*Itinerary is subject to change!

An exact day-to-day itinerary is impossible to make as it is very weather-dependent. But we have a plan! (and a plan B, C, D…).

June is considered the ‘shoulder season’, which means you can expect excellent conditions without the swam of tourists.

Starting our trip in Waisai, we will spend 2-3 days exploring the incredible reefs and megafauna through the Dampier Strait. Highlights here include famous dive sites Cape Kri and Magic Mountain. Watch for marine mammals as we zag through the central Raja Ampat archipelago around the island of Gam as we cross the equator and make our way to the most nothern part of the marine park. We will explore remote dive sites and villages along the traditional oyster farms. We will reach our destination of Wayag around day 4 of the trip —spending a few days watching breathtaking sunsets while reef sharks swarm the anchorage.

Next, we will head southeast towards the famous Pianymo lookout, dive into Melissa’s Garden, and explore the Fam Islands. Keep watch for whales and dolphins or other large pelagics breaching along the crossing.

During the last few days of the trip, we will turn east and explore the Arborek and Mansuar islands before returning to the home base at the Raja Ampat Project and Scuba Republic’s Raja Ampat Basecamp. We will dive into the house reef on the final day to conduct coral planting sessions at our nursery site. 

How to register

Ready to reserve your spot or if you have any questions please get in touch with info@indooceanproject.org. A deposit of $250 will be due immediately, with the remaining fees due by 5th March.

Diving in North Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat, nestled within Indonesia’s Coral Triangle, stands as a diver’s utopia, renowned for its exceptional conditions and vibrant marine life. The underwater realm here is characterised by crystal-clear waters with visibility often exceeding 30 meters, creating an immersive experience for divers. The warm tropical temperatures, ranging from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius, provide an ideal environment for exploring some of the world’s most pristine and biodiverse coral reefs. The sheer variety of coral species, both hard and soft, paints the underwater landscape in a breathtaking array of colors, offering a visual feast for those fortunate enough to explore its depths.

Divers in Raja Ampat are treated to an extraordinary diversity of marine life. The underwater encounters are nothing short of spectacular, from schools of barracuda, jacks, and trevallies to majestic manta rays and patrolling sharks. For macro enthusiasts, the region offers a treasure trove of tiny wonders, including pygmy seahorses and nudibranchs.

The northern region of Raja Ampat stands out as an awe-inspiring and secluded destination, featuring a nursery for sharks and mantas. Even though this journey falls outside the typical manta season, encountering numerous reef sharks along the shoreline is anticipated. The landscape is dominated by towering limestone cliffs emerging from the turquoise-blue waters, and the vicinity boasts extraordinary dive sites that are seldom explored, adding an element of exclusivity to the experience.

Whether you’re navigating the vibrant coral gardens or witnessing the graceful movements of pelagic giants, Raja Ampat promises an unforgettable and enriching underwater experience year-round.

Central & North Raja Expedition Gallery

Ready to Apply?

Join our Crossing Expedition as a research diver.

Contact lauren@indooceanproject.org to reserve your spot. 

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