One of the largest, purpose-built RINA class vessels to be plying Indonesia’s waters, the White Manta Explorer is a new dive liveaboard that stretches to 150 feet (46 meters) in length. This steel hull vessel can accommodate up to 32 guests in comfort and style, having been designed to withstand the hardest sea conditions on blue water crossing trips.
Accessing the spectacular dive sites of Raja Ampat, Sangalaki and the Banda Sea, she’s equipped with state-of-the-art dive facilities and photography amenities, as well as all the latest safety equipment. Aside from thrilling diving, she offers 14 beautifully appointed cabins and elegant common areas to make for an unforgettable Indonesian dive vacation.
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The White Manta Explorer dive liveaboard features just 14 cabins, with six on the Upper Deck, four on the Main Deck and four on the Lower Deck (no windows). They’re beautifully furnished and offer around 200 square feet of space, with either twin, double or triple share configurations available. Each comes with an en-suite bathroom and shower, as well as power outlets and plenty of storage space.
The White Manta Explorer dive liveaboard offers no less than five meals a day, including in-between dive snacks so you never go hungry. Begin the day with freshly baked bread, cereals, fruits, and hot dishes, followed by morning tea after your first dive. Lunches are served buffet-style, with a range of meat and vegetarian dishes to select from while dinners are served either on the alfresco deck or in the elegant dining room. Special dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.
Local beers and wines are available to accompany your meals, together with soft drinks, fresh juices, tea, coffee, and iced water.
Aside from its spacious, en-suite cabins, the White Manta Explorer dive liveaboard features an outdoor dining area and a full-length sun deck where you can kick back with a good book in between dives. There’s a large indoor salon with a digital media center, a sound system, and widescreen television for watching DVDs, as well as a 24/7 Wi-Fi connection.
Indonesian dive vacations on the White Manta Explorer liveaboard access Ambon and the Banda Sea, as well as Sangalaki and the islands of Raja Ampat. There’s an enormous dive deck with designated rinse tanks, not to mention individual gear lockers and plenty of room to move when preparing for dives. The vessel is also well-equipped for underwater photographers, with camera-friendly facilities that include a wide outdoor work table and a dry indoor camera table, as well as blow-dry stations.
This dive liveaboard is staffed by experienced dive instructors and divemasters, with one dive guide available for every four divers. Tanks, weight belts and weights are included in liveaboard trips while a range of high-quality equipment can be rented if needed and Nitrox is available for a surcharge.
Up to four dives are offered each day (depending on the itinerary), with night dives included at select locations. All diving is conducted from the vessel’s three dive tenders, which transport guests out to the dive sites. A range of specialty diving courses is also available on-board the White Manta Explorer with advanced notice.
Indonesia has a warm year-round climate, with temperatures ranging from around 21°C (70°F) to 33°C (90°F). But it’s marked by distinct wet and dry seasons that differ slightly across the archipelago, with the west monsoon arriving from around December to March and bringing the heaviest rains.
The water temperatures in Raja Ampat and Sangalaki are around 82-86°F (28-30°C) while the Banda Sea is around 68°F (26°C), with a 3mm long wetsuit adequate protection for most divers. Visibility ranges from around 30 to 90 feet (10 to 30 meters) in Raja Ampat and Sangalaki while often being at the higher end of the scale in the Banda Sea.
Raja Ampat is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity, including rare encounters with wobbegong sharks and more than 1,000 types of reef fish, and dive conditions are at their best between November and May. The Banda Sea around Ambon is best explored between March and October, with hammerhead and thresher shark encounters among the highlights. The islands of Sangalaki, Maratua, and Kakaban off the East Coast of Kalimantan offer uncrowded diving with manta rays and huge schools of trevally, as well as featuring a unique freshwater jellyfish lake.