Raja Ampat - Frequently Asked Questions
How to get to & from Sorong (SOQ), West Papua
Raja Ampat trips start and finish in Sorong, West Papua, we will be there to meet you at Sorong Airport (SOQ) and transport you to your liveaboard adventure. It is easiest to fly to & from Sorong (SOQ) via Jakarta (CGK), Makassar (UPG Ujung Pandang), Bali (DPS, Denpasar), or Manado (MDC).
At the moment we are not yet booking international flights for our guests. We do recommend for ease of connecting domestic flights that you arrange your international round-trip tickets via Jakarta (CGK) or Denpasar, Bali (DPS)
Please be aware that if you are travelling via Jakarta or Denpasar, some International & Domestic flights do not always arrive/depart from same terminal building. In Jakarta they have free buses that shuttle passengers between terminals. While in Bali you will either have to walk, approx.. 500meter, or take a short taxi ride, approx. 50,000rp/$4.
There are a number of operators who offer domestic flights to and from Sorong; Garuda Indonesia / Sriwijaya Air / Lion Air / Express Air
Booking Domestic Flights
You may need an Indonesian credit card. If you would like help with booking domestic flights you can arrange this with the member of our marketing staff that is helping you to book your trip
We can help recommend and book local hotels in Sorong where we can pick you up & drop off on Trip Departure/arrival day. Check out the following hotel options in Sorong; Swiss-Belhotel; Hotel Mariat; Royal Mamberamo; JE MeridienHotel;Waigo Hotel,
Please check the current schedule with your chosen operator before booking flights as schedules are subject change. Sea Safari Cruises and recommended agents cannot be held responsible for any flight delays, cancellation, or changes in schedules.
What Exposure suit do I need?
Warm, tropical waters with temperatures between 26-28C mean a 3mm shorty is fine for most, however if you do get cold easily you may want to bring along a full wetsuit (3mm or more) and hood.
Are you diving with 12L or 15L tanks and are you using DIN or Yoke valves?
Our tanks have both INT valves and DIN inserts. You don't need to bring an adapter. We can provide 15L tanks on request (rental fee applicable and subject to availability on booking)
When is the best time to visit Raja Ampat?
We conduct different itineraries in the Raja Ampat area. For the southern area, Misool, the best time is between November and April. For Dampier Strait and Northern Raja Ampat itineraries, diving is good throughout the year. Raja Ampat is a little different from the western areas in Indonesia which have pronounced wet and dry seasons. In Raja Ampat the weather is hot and humid all year around, and whilst there may be some heavy showers they are generally short lived and followed by long sunny periods.
Check List of what to bring?
PASSPORT, Dive cards, log books, Sun lotion, hats, sunglasses, books, MP3/Tablet, camera chargers, memory sticks/SD cards, personal beverages, CASH for any Trip extras; beer, massage, equipment rental, nitrox, and tip for the crew.
Check List for Diving Gear
BCD, Regulator, Fin/booties, Mask, snorkel, wetsuit, dive computer, torch with batteries, SMB, hood, reef hook. If you do not have we have rental gear available, just let us know what items and sizes (if applicable) in advance as all gear is subject to availability. Guests are required to use dive computers during any Raja Ampat trip, if you do not have, we have them available for rent onboard.
Do I need a visa?
Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA); many countries now receive a free 30 days on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain VoA, others will have to obtain Visa BEFORE Arrival.
ensure your passport is in good order, has enough pages, is valid for at least 6 months, and that you are able to enter Indonesia. Check with your local Indonesia Embassy if unsure.
Will I need to Pay Departure Tax at the airport?
Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (Mar-2015) to be included in your flight ticket price. Please check with your airline if unsure.
Should I purchase Travel & Dive Insurance?
Dive Insurance is compulsory for this trip. We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your diving needs. If not covered them we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or their Asia Pacific branch.
please NOTE: we cannot be held accountable for airline flight changes, delays, or cancellations. We STRONGLY advise you take out adequate insurance to cover such eventualities. We recommend World Nomad for their flexible worldwide cover for travel insurance.
Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times we do not allow Decompression Diving or Solo Diving on any of our trips
Is Malaria present in this area? Will I need Immunisation boosters?
You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel, while the risk is low some Health professionals recommend travel vaccines for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Raja Ampat is a low risk Malaria Zone; however it is advised you take the proper precautions against malaria. The following anti-malaria drugs are considered safe with diving; Doxycycline or malarone. Mefloquine (Lariam) is NOT recommended with diving. Good preventative measures include DEET and long armed/legged clothing in evenings. If unsure about any health matters please consult a diving doctor prior to your trip, you can also check out up to date travel health information
Is There a fuel Surcharge?
There is NO fuel surcharge in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.
What Plug types are available?
We have 2 pin standard plugs, 220v in every cabin, in the lounge, dining area, and dive deck. 110v sockets are available at the tables/counters in the restaurant area
Is there Internet/ Mobile signal available in Raja Ampat?
Not long after you leave Sorong, Raja Ampat has intermittent internet/ mobile signal in the north/ central areas of Raja Ampat and very limited in the south. Telkomsel simpati sim card is the best local card to buy and costs only 3usd. Plus credit to add on top!!! Whilst currently there is no wifi/satellite internet available on Sea Safari trips the all Sea Safari vessels have 24hr Satellite phone available onboard.
How much luggage is allowed on domestic flights?
Most airlines allow 10-20kg/pax check, & 7kg carryon. Additional weight is charged per/kilo (USD2-3/ kilo). Maximum allowance between 20-30kg. Consult with your Travel Agent or Airline carrier (if booking directly) for actual details.
Can you Book my flights?
Sea Safari Cruises can assist you with booking your domestic tickets. However, at this time international flight tickets need to be taken care of by the guest/diver
How about the weather? What Clothes should I bring?
Generally, throughout the day, light clothing such as shorts and T-Shirt should be enough, most often it is hot and sunny with fine clear blue skies. However the Northwest monsoon can bring occasional brief but heavy downpours, you may want to bring along a waterproof jacket just incase.
Will There be any land based visits?
Raja Ampat is as stunning above the water as it is below and so we like to include occasional visits to the islands whenever possible. Typical land based excursions include visits to mangroves, early morning hikes for bird watching, we also might stop off at a local village which is great for our guests and also for us to support the local village too, there are numerous Beaches we can visit along with some amazing view points.
How Much should I tip the crew?
We suggest you work on a basis of 10% of your trip price, or more if you wish to reward their excellent service, this is entirely up to you of course. (USD or Indonesian Rupiah preferred)
FURTHER ONLINE RESOURCES
Wonderful Indonesia; General Travel link
Wonderful Indonesia; Raja Ampat- link
Dive Raja Ampat- link
Raja Ampat; Weather & Climate link
Sorong 10 day weather report link
The Nature Conservancy; Bio diversity in Raja Ampat link
Raja Ampat; Local Culture & Traditions- link
World Wildlife Fund; Guide to Marine Life in Raja Ampat link
Endemic Marine Species of the Bird's Head Seascape link