Raja Ampat Trip on the Aurora 2023


february 2023 Raja Ampat photo workshop

Join us on February 9 - 19, 2022 for some of the most amazing diving in the world on the Aurora (All Star Liveaboards) with a maximum of 18 divers!

february 9 - 19, 2023

Sorong to Sorong

Trip Leader: Nirupam Nigam

Was: $5,370 per person

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Bluewater Special: FREE NITROX! Read the package details here



  • 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
  • Arguably the best diving in the world: highest number of fish and coral species in the world, great macro, amazing reefs and much more
  • FREE daily photo workshops
  • Great itinerary covering Raja Ampat’s best dive sites
  • Inclusive prices: accommodations, snacks and weights/belts, beverages, and airport to dock transfers.

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Trip Overview

The jewel-like islands of Raja Ampat are caressed by a convergence of swift nutrient-rich currents. Here the pulse of marine life thrives from the sea floor to the surface where the kaleidoscope of corals can start in less than a meter of water.

There are sites that are so pristine and packed with growth, that a photographer is hard-pressed to find a spot to place a steadying finger. Exotic sea life and macro critters abound, of course, and photo opportunities border on overwhelming. But at the end of the day, the most memorable moments for us are what can rarely be captured in digital format: the incredible experience of drifting along miles of exquisite reef brimming with a rainbow of hues and activity, the likes of which few have ever experienced.

Read all about the BWT trip to Raja Ampat in November 2019 here.


Boat Details

Dune Aurora Dune Aurora 

The Aurora is a 40-meter long Pinisi that was constructed in Sulawesi, Indonesia. It offers all the advantages of a modern boat while keeping the traditional charm. Cabins are air-conditioned and have either king beds or two single beds or a combination of the two (king and single).  They are all located on the main deck. The Dune Aurora navigates all year long in the Indonesian archipelago so as to offer its guests the opportunity to discover some spectacular sites. 

Upper Deck:

  • Foredeck, preparation area for scuba diving
  • Dining area, bar and sofas
  • Captain’s bridge
  • Diving equipment, compressors and laundry
  • Lounge area and photo and video room

Open sitting corner at stern; spacious sundeck with sunbeds above the main salon.


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Marine Life to Photograph

Raja Ampat has one of the highest numbers of fish species of anywhere on the planet. Here are just a few examples of marine life you're likely to see: wobbegong sharks, jacks, barracuda, Napoleon wrasse, trevally, bumphead parrotfish, pygmy seahorses, batfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, barramundi cod, and a good variety of nudibranchs.

If you look a little deeper when the current picks up, you can see reef sharks at most sites, especially at places like Blue Magic and Sardines. These are also prime locations for schooling fish, which tend to gather when the current is running. At such times, it’s not unusual to be surrounded by clouds of fusiliers and surgeonfish in mid-water, while legions of sweetlips completely obscure large coral heads below. 

See also: Raja Ampat Dive Travel Guide


weather Conditions

Average water temperatures in Raja Ampat are in the low to mid-80s. A full 3mm wetsuit is recommended.



Read the reviews on diving Raja Ampat here

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  • Full board on MSY Aurora in double occupancy cabins with private bath
  • 2-3 day dives and 1 night dive per day with dive guides
  • Tanks and weights/belts
  • Beverages (coffee, tea, juices, sodas)
  • Airport to dock transfers in port of call.
  • Bluewater special: Free nitrox! 


  • Port Fee $150
  • Marine Park Fee 1,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($100)
  • Fuel Surcharge $225
  • Rental diving equipment
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Dive Insurance - MANDATORY
  • 15l tanks
  • Any extra excursions requested
  • Beer, wine, and spirits, Expresso coffee
  • Souvenirs, laundry, use of satellite phone
  • Gratuity

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This trip is a PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP. It will be led by one of our photo instructors and will include daily underwater photography tutorials, in-water photography support, and one-to-one advice and guidance as required.

What to expect from our Photo Workshops

  • Daily photo workshops - Your photo instructor will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include additional topics relevant to the location and your experience.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the photo instructor, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the photo instructor will do his or her best to accommodate all requests. 
  • Consecutive days of practice & review - Each day you will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills learned in the previous day’s tutorials. If you are new to underwater photography you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructor and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers - Both new and experienced photographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos, increase your confidence in finding the best underwater shots, or hone specific skills. We also encourage non-photographers to join, as many of them really enjoy the daily photo reviews, learning about underwater photography, and some have even returned to a photo workshop with an underwater camera setup!

Enjoy free, unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and advice from your photo instructor.


Trip Schedule

The itinerary can be variable and is subject to change depending on weather conditions:

  • Day 1: Sorong
  • From Jakarta or Makassar, flights usually arrive early in the morning. Our staff will welcome you at the airport and you will start your experience! As soon as all the guests are on board, we will lift the anchor and, if conditions allow, we will have the check-dive in the afternoon.
  • Day 2-3: Dampier Strait
  • We will arrive early in the morning around Mansuar, where we will dive some famous sites, such as "Mioskon," "Blue Magic", "Sardines" and other amazing places. Prone to currents, this area is characterized by untouched corals and all kinds of schools of fish. On the surface, green islands and marvelous white sand beaches will surround us.
  • Day 4: Penemu
  • Further south, we stop at Fam. We will dive on "My Reef", a submarine ridge with schools of fusiliers and sweetlips. "Keruo Channel" is a fascinating passage between two islands. The slopes are covered with hard corals and sea fans and schools of silversides are seen further in the blue. Do not miss the chance to make a stop on land to enjoy the breathtaking view over the typical landscape of Raja Ampat.
  • Day 5-6: Farondi
  • Wake up in the Misool National Park, an area with thousands of islands. Here you will be able to see wide varieties of fish, soft and hard corals, all kinds of macro, wobbegong and bamboo sharks. Misool is also one of the rare places, where the landscape is absolutely wonderful. Do not miss the show of the mobulas feeding on schools of silversides!
  • Day 7-8: Misool National Park
  • So many Islands to visit and so many different dive spots. We will cruise around Jilliet, Fiabajet, Walib, Wajil, Jef Pele, Meenta, Boo etc... The crew will assure you as many dives as possible to completely appreciate this wonderful and beautiful area.
  • Day 9: South Fam
  • "Melissa's Garden" will be our next dive site in the morning. A huge reef with a beautiful coral garden filled with spectacular fish. Wobbegong sharks are one of the highlights here. Sea snakes, pygmy seahorses and huge tridacna clams can be seen in the shallow waters. On "Fam Wall" for the night dive, we will see harlequin shrimps, frogfish and many species of nudibranchs.
  • Day 10: Arborek
  • Here we will have the chance to visit a typical local fishermen village, but the morning will be dedicated to spot manta rays, wobbegong sharks and much more.
  • Day 11: Sorong
  • After a nice breakfast on board, our crew will organize transfer to the Sorong Airport according to your flight schedules. Unfortunately have to say goodbye but we hope to see you again on board.


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About The aurora

The Aurora is a splendid two-masted wooden Phinisi Schooner and can host up to 18 passengers in 9 en-suite cabins, with either one double bed or two separate beds, or a double + single bed. 

Cabins 1, 3 and 5 have a double bed. Cabins 2, 6 and 7 have twin beds side-by-side, and Cabins 4, 8 and 9's double and twin bed are laid out in an L-shape. All cabins have portholes to provide light.

The cabins have air conditioning and a private bathroom with cold and hot water -fresh from the Aurora's watermakers, daily cleaning service, bath, and beach towels set. 

Dune Aurora Dune Aurora


Read the reviews of the Aurora here.



  • Restaurant/bar with TV, video, DVD, HiFi, Ipod connection 
  • Diving deck (preparation) on bow 
  • Boutique
  • Laundry Service
  • Dedicated camera station
  • Large living room with a library, PC, DVD, camera recharging station and a large solarium
  • Open sitting corner at stern
  • Spacious sun deck with wooden sunbeds 



  • Shaded dive deck  
  • DIN Adaptors 
  • Nitrox 
  • PADI courses 
  • Rental Equipment
  • 3 tenders for diving
  • Showers
  • Rinse tanks

 Dune Aurora Dune Aurora



The chef on board the Aurora will prepare a variation of Indonesian, international or vegetarian specialties, in accordance with their preferences. Kindly inform the staff in advance of any form of dietary intolerance or allergies.

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cakes, fruits served as buffet style
  • Before the main breakfast/ first dive, guests define what they would like to have for the “big” breakfast (sunny side up or rather Indonesian soup etc.)
  • Water, soft drinks, Nescafe /Bali coffee and tea free of charge
  • We always do our best to satisfy special requests, such as for vegetarians, for all meals. 

Dune Aurora Dune Aurora 


Aurora liveaboard deck plan 

Dune Aurora Upper Deck

Dune Aurora

Dune Aurora

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Flight Information

The trip will begin and end in Sorong. When the time comes (no sooner than 1 year before departure) we can assist you with flight suggestions and booking if you prefer. Getting to Raja Ampat generally takes at least 2 layovers/connections, and will require roughly 2 days of travel.

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Nirupam Nigam

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. He spent some time as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his fiancee and taking photos. As the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide, Nirupam is one of the world's few full-time underwater photography editors. You can get in touch with him at nirupam@uwphotographyguide.com or through his website www.photosfromthesea.com

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Payment Schedule

  • Deposit: $1,200 to confirm
  • Payment 2: $1,200 due on May 1, 2022
  • Balance due: $2,050 due on November 5th, 2022 

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SEE also:

Raja Ampat Dive Travel Guide 

Aurora Liveaboard: Amenities, Cabins, Reviews & More... 

Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 email us at trips@bluewaterdivetravel.com

Or stop by our office at 3961 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 206 Culver City, CA 90230 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Raja Ampat Underwater Photos

Dune Aurora Dune Aurora

Dune Aurora Dune Aurora

Dune AuroraDune Aurora

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