Translating as “King of the Sea”, the Emperor Raja Laut is an eye-catching, schooner-style yacht that offers exciting dive liveaboard experiences in the Komodo Islands, Raja Ampat and the Banda Sea. It was built in 2005 by a highly-skilled Sulawesi boatbuilder and stretches 100 feet (31 meters) in length, with the capacity for just 12 guests.
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With around 18,000 islands scattered across the Coral Triangle, Indonesia is one of the world’s most exhilarating dive destinations. Onboard Emperor Raja Laut, you can get up close to Komodo dragons while experiencing the current-swept dive sites of the Komodo Islands or encounter the staggering biodiversity of Raja Ampat and the Banda Sea.
There are six cabins onboard the Emperor Raja Laut, all of which are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, fans and mini safes.
There are three double cabins on the Lower Deck, each of which has an en-suite bathroom with complimentary towels.
There are three bunk bed-style twin cabins on the Lower Deck, each of which has an en-suite bathroom with complimentary towels.
Three hearty meals are included on all Emperor Raja Laut itineraries, with a mix of both local Indonesian dishes and international fare. Beef, chicken and seafood are all served, together with plenty of vegetable dishes and salads, while most special dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notification.
Afternoon snacks are also served to keep you energized throughout the day, along with complimentary drinking water, tea and coffee. Alcoholic drinks and sodas are available for an additional charge.
The Lower Deck of this Indonesian dive liveaboard comprises the guest cabins and crew quarters, as well as a cozy lounge that’s equipped with a 49” full-HD flatscreen television and DVD player. There are a small music and book library that guests are welcome to peruse, as well as a selection of board games for you to challenge your fellow divers. The striking teak Upper Deck features an alfresco dining area and sun loungers where you can relax between dives, together with a small bar area.
The Emperor Raja Laut is equipped with a 300 HP Yanmar engine and 2 x 28kW Mitsubishi generators, as well as a GPS system, VHF/SSB radio and both a satellite and mobile phone for communication. It’s been designed to meet the specific requirements of yacht chartering in Southeast Asia and is built from tropical hardwood that gives the vessel a distinctly elegant feel.
All diving onboard Emperor Raja Laut is done from two large RIBs (rigid-hulled inflatable boats) to access the best dive spots and the vessel is equipped with oxygen, life jackets and a First Aid Kit. There are two CAT compressors and Nitrox is available for all Nitrox certified divers, with lifelines and safety marker buoys provided free of charge.
This Indonesian dive liveaboard uses 12-litre aluminum tanks, with 15-litre tanks available for an additional charge. Both INT & DIN adapters are used and full dive sets, reef hooks and dive computers are available for hire. There’s a camera rinsing tank and camera preparation area on the Upper Deck but underwater photographers should keep in mind that power sockets for battery chargers and flash are available only in the cabins.
Indonesia boasts a warm year-round climate, with temperatures ranging from around 21°C (70°F) to 33°C (90°F). There are distinct wet and dry seasons, however, with the west monsoon from December to March bringing the heaviest rains.
Water temperatures average around 78-82°F (26-28°C) in the Komodo Islands (although it can drop to as low as 20°C in South Komodo), while the Banda Sea is around 68°F (26°C) and Raja Ampat waters range from 78-84°F (26-29°C). Most divers are comfortable in a 3mm shortie or wetsuit, although a full 5mm wetsuit and hood are recommended for South Komodo.
In the Komodo Islands you can expect to see schooling jacks, trevally and manta rays, as well as pygmy seahorses, frogfish and nudibranchs, with the best fish action normally from April to October. The peak Raja Ampat dive season extends from November to May when wobbegong sharks, schooling barracuda and a huge diversity of macro life can be seen. The Banda Sea is at its best from March to October, with hammerheads, thresher sharks and sea snakes a highlight.
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