Raja Ampat Cruise
Sailing towards the edge of the Pacific Ocean, our 7-night Raja Ampat cruise is a visual spectacle with unmatched marine diversity on show at the best dive and snorkel sites on Earth
Known for its unique topography, Raja Ampat captivates with the enigmatic beauty of its limestone karst island clusters. The archipelago – made up of over 1,500 islands – bewilders and enthralls explorers with dramatic landscapes that shelter secret lagoons, bays, beaches, and the magical blue river of Kali Biru. Surrounding these forested islands are some of the most biodiverse marine environments on the planet. Raja Ampat is known to harbor one of the richest coral reef ecosystems as well as a wide array of marine life, with new species being identified constantly. Every day spent in this East Indonesian paradise is an opportunity for new discoveries and unforgettable memories.
On Aqua Blu, discover our Raja Ampat luxury cruise with world-class wildlife excursions on both land and sea. It is here that famous 19th-century naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, stumbled upon the birds of paradise that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth. These winged wonders live alongside 350 other bird species, including forest kingfishers and king parrots. Opposite the canopies and the sky, Raja Ampat’s waters are often dubbed the “Amazon of the seas”. While exploring this tropical paradise, divers and snorkelers alike can spot incredible creatures such as black tip reef sharks, manta rays, and pygmy seahorses.
Raja Ampat’s many beaches are often the nesting ground for turtle species including the Pacific leatherback, the largest of all living turtle species on Earth. Meanwhile, you can find the world’s most extensive network of mangrove forests here that support populations of dugong and juvenile fish. Explore this designated Marine Protected Area (MPA) on Aqua Blu’s Raja Ampat cruise.
Raja Ampat: Home to the world’s most diverse underwater habitats
Onboard our Raja Ampat luxury cruise, sail across mesmerizing turquoise and blue waters which constantly jostle for your attention and beckon you to dive down and under. Located in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the 20,000 square mile region is home to every kind of underwater habitat imaginable; pristine reef flats, secret bays, swift channels, deep drop-offs, shallow seamounts, mangroves, marine lakes, and protected coral gardens.
Raja Ampat is a thriving subterranean metropolis that houses more than 1,300 species of tropical marine fish (about 50% of all known species) and more than 600 species of coral (nearly 75% of all known species of reef-building corals). This is in addition to manta rays, rare sea turtle species and schooling hammerheads. Cape Kri in the Dampier Strait notably holds the world record for the most number of species counted in a single dive (374 in total).
Raja Ampat: Witness the cradle of life between two major oceans
However, Raja Ampat’s underwater splendor isn’t defined by sheer numbers alone. Our Raja Ampat luxury cruise route also happens to be in the middle of a major cetacean migration route and aggregation site where various whales and dolphin species have been sighted.
Of great significance is also the fact that the region is the meeting point of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean called the Indonesian Throughflow. There’s a six-inch (15cm) average height difference between these two oceans, creating an immense exchange of water carrying millions of aquatic eggs and larvae that either spawn to life or serve as a vital source of food for other marine animals.
At the same time, the cooler water from deep-sea trenches and basins plays a part in Raja Ampat’s stunning biodiversity. These environments offer shelter from the glacial water of the ice ages, and today offer natural protection against rising sea temperatures that have resulted in the bleaching of other relatively unprotected coral habitats including the Great Barrier Reef and the Maldives. Endowed with natural geological defenses, Raja Ampat is truly Mother Nature’s last frontier.
Aqua Expeditions’ Raja Ampat cruise aboard Aqua Blu sails every year from December through to February. The cruise sets sail on 7-night itineraries, departing from the city of Sorong.
Come sail with us on Aqua Blu and experience one of the world’s most rewarding marine expeditions.
The voyage of a lifetime in East Indonesia
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