Dive Tours to the World’s Finest Locations


Guests not only enjoy the benefits of small groups and first class live-aboard dive boats, but Chris and Birgitte are there to offer personal photography coaching and consultation.  Participants can learn the philosophy and techniques that Chris and Birgitte employed to produce their award winning books, Within a Rainbowed Sea and In a Sea of Dreams.

Upcoming Tours:  In March of 2012 we will visit for third year in a row what is universally regarded as the ultimate critter site in the world, Lembeh Straits in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. In a departure from our traditional program of exclusive live-aboard dive boats, we will be operating a land-based tour out of Lembeh Resort. To a large extent, our options have become limited due to the dramatic decline in dive boats offering E-6 processing --  a casualty of the digital revolution. However, Lembeh Resort promised to install E-6 film processing for us if we came, and since E-6 is essential for any film shooters, we jumped at this chance to finally visit this legendary destination even if it meant giving up the conveniences of a live-aboard boat.  At the same time, a land-based resort offers its own set of advantages, such as complete flexibility for guests to arrive and depart on their own schedule, rather than a boat’s schedule.  As a result, we will be there for the entire month of March, with guests coming and going throughout the time we are there.  Some are staying for a week, some will join us for the entire month.  If you would like more information on becoming part of our group, just contact us without delay!

Raja Ampat and Triton Bay 2013:  Yes!  We have finalized our plans to return to Raja Ampat and the fabled Triton Bay in the West Papua Province of Indonesia for an extravaganza 21 day tour.  Our boat dates will be February 20 through March 13, 2013.

We had an incredibly fabulous trip there in 2008 as far as the diving went, but the boat was just too slow to cover the long distances efficiently, and too much time was lost in the crossings.  But this region offers spectacular diving, particularly for wide angle photographers, as the coral reefs and fish life are the most dazzling we’ve ever seen.  At last we have found the perfect boat for this extended itinerary.  She is the Ocean Rover, a wonderful 100 ft. steel hulled vessel built exclusively for live aboard diving.  Among her many attributes, her 10 knot cruising speed doubles that of the traditional Pinisi boats typically used for live aboard diving in Indonesia.  This will cut our travel time in half compared to the previous boat we used, and that translates into greater comfort and more diving!  You can see and read complete details of this wonderful vessel by clicking here.

Itinerary:  We will embark Ocean Rover in Sorong on February 20, 2013 and head directly to Raja Ampat.  We call our trips Photo Pro Tours, meaning we will not be governed by any strict, predetermined schedule.  As serious divers and photographers, we will concentrate on those reefs that offer the finest photographic opportunities to be found, rather than trying to visit as many different dive sites as possible.  In other words, we will pursue a program of quality vs. quantity.  There are certain highlights that we will be sure to include, such as the mangroves of Misool for instance or the magnificent reefs around Bia Bajet.  All told, we will spend perhaps a week in Raja Ampat before heading south to Triton Bay.  If weather and conditions are favorable, we'll spend a good week to ten days in and around Triton Bay.  With our cruising speed double that of the previous boat we used, we will get there faster, stay longer, and be able to explore more reefs than we were previously able. But this is exploratory diving, and guests must understand that not every dive will hit the jackpot.  But when we do discover a winner, as we found out before, the payoff is extraordinary!  For it was here in Triton Bay we stumbled across the single most prolific reef any of us had ever seen.  Who knows how many more like it can be found there?  We'll plan on finishing off the trip with a few more days in Raja Ampat on our return, eventually disembarking in Sorong on March 13.  With 21 days on board, we will have an unparalleled opportunity to explore and experience the full riches of this most amazing part of the world in comfort and style.

There are no other trips like this available in all of Indonesia. This is a serious trip for serious, enthusiastic divers and underwater photographers.  The Ocean Rover accommodates 16 passengers, but following our long tradition of “limited participation”, we will only take 10 diving guests maximum, guaranteeing everyone an uncrowded boat while optimizing the underwater photographic opportunities. 

E-6 Processing:  As perfect as the Ocean Rover is for our needs, the charter wouldn't work for us unless daily E-6 film processing was offered on board.  While most of our clients now shoot digital, we and a handful of other "filmasauruses" not only still embrace, but we actually relish the rituals, challenges, discipline, exactitude and results of film photography.  When she formerly plied the reefs of Thailand, Ocean Rover was the seagoing home of famed underwater photographer Mark Strickland.  When Mark left and the boat was sold to her current owners, the film processing department was dismantled.  However, by special arrangement  with Lembeh Resort, not only will we have the use of Lembeh Resort's automated E-6 processor for the duration of this trip, we have hired Lembeh Resort's photo pro Steve Fish to be on board this charter to do the processing!  Many of you know and admire Steve.  Not only is Steve an expert at film processing, but he is a master of digital and video photography as well as perhaps the most clever "fix it" guy we have run across.  Steve will be a priceless asset to everyone on this trip for his technical know-how of cameras, housings and all things photographic.  For anyone interested, Steve will offer his 5-hour digital photography seminar during the trip as well.  And of course we will available for one-on-one photographic consultation throughout the cruise.

Cost:  A trip of this magnitude will not be inexpensive.  Not only does the Ocean Rover have to relocate to Sorong for this itinerary, but the fact that we are only taking 10 diving guests on this 16 passenger boat obviously increases the cost considerably, as we still have to purchase all 16 guest spots in order to guarantee there will only be 10 divers on board.  When we ran our similar tour in 2008, 5 years before this trip on a boat of less quality and with 13 paying guests, the price was $10,400.  Needless to say, costs have increased since 2008.  Thus, we are very excited that we will be able to offer this 3-week Limited Participation Photo Pro Tour for $10,900.  This represents the fixed cost of the boat, all diving (Nitrox for those wishing it), meals, etc.  However, there are three variable costs that cannot be predicted this far in advance and these expenses are outside the control of the boat's operators.   For these reasons, the Ocean Rover management is unwilling to include them in the charter price they commit to at this early date.  These three expense items are the Sorong port clearance fee for each person, the entrance fee for diving in Raja Ampat, and lastly the highly volatile fuel cost, a major consideration for a trip where we have such an extended itinerary. The first two fees amount to government taxes, which are always subject to change.  Regarding fuel, most Indonesia dive boats add a fuel surcharge, allowing them to protect themselves in long-range advanced bookings where the future cost of fuel cannot be accurately calculated.   Based on today's rates, these additional charges will be:  $100 per person port clearance, $130 park entrance fee for Raja Ampat, and a $250 fuel surcharge.  Combined therefore, these added expenses amount to about $500 per person and are subject to change, up or down.  While these fees have been stable for a while and may not go up, I doubt they'll go down.

So yes, it is not be a cheap trip, but it is excellent value.  For a 21 day charter where we are filling the boat to a mere 60% of her diver capacity, I'm very pleased that we have struck a deal with the boat operators that allow us to keep the price less than 10% higher than our 2008 trip that included 13 divers instead of the maximum of 10 for this program.  And with such a faster boat, we can expect even more top quality diving!

Contact us directly if you would like to be put on the list to join this spectacular cruise.

Raja Ampat 2013 10-Day Tour:  Now it goes without saying, not everyone can afford the time and expense of our extravaganza three-week expedition to Raja Ampat and Triton Bay.  So we got to thinking, as long as we’ve brought the Ocean Rover all the way to Sorong, and as long as we’ve traveled half way around the world to get there, why not add on a shorter, less expensive trip to Raja Ampat only, following the really big trip?  Why not indeed?  So this is our plan:  we will follow-up up the three-weeker with a 10-day trip to the dazzling reefs of Raja Ampat.  It will be slightly less than half the duration of our 21 day tour, so naturally it will be a bit less than half the price, or $5200.  The projected boat dates will be March 15 through March 25.  As with the longer trip, and for the same reasons, there will be a fuel surcharge currently estimated at $200.  The Raja Ampat park fee and Sorong port fee will be the same, or $130 and $100 respectively.  For any guest doing back-to-back trips, the park fee only has to be paid once as it is good for one year.


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In all other respects, this tour will be just like the three-week trip:  same fantastic boat, same wonderful crew.  We will limit the number of diving guests to just 10, as before.  We will also feature daily E-6 processing for the stubborn, archaic, can’t-let-go-of-the-past photographers like... well, like us!

How Do I Join?  That’s super easy!  Just contact us and we’ll add you to the participant list.  When all the tour application materials are prepared, you will receive the formal application packet in the mail.  But remember, we are only taking 10 diving guests maximum, so if you would like to partake in this extraordinary adventure, call or email us as soon as possible!

Be sure to visit our underwater gallery for a small selection of images made on our tours.