The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on earth can visitors experience such a range of spectacular diving - from encounters with huge whale sharks and oceanic manta rays, to muck dives with beautiful Rhinopias and the exceedingly rare psychedelic frogfish.
White Manta Diving offers adventurous and fuss-free voyages to some of the most remote corners of Indonesia, onboard spacious vessels designed specifically for divers. Boasting high crew to guest ratios, massage services, and onboard camera facilities, White Manta Diving ensure first-class service both above and below the waves.
- Relax on huge sundecks furnished with luxurious massage beds
- Some of the largest dive vessels in the region
- KM Blue Manta: spacious camera room and personal rinse tanks
Established in 1989, White Manta Diving boasts a wealth of experience providing fuss-free diving cruises around Indonesia and Malaysia. Their fleet of vessels have been designed and built by divers, for divers, and are crewed by staff who understand guests’ needs and expectations. The team at White Manta Diving are all passionate about scuba diving and aim to transform each dive vacation into an adventure that will educate, inspire, and energise their guests. Tours are crafted with this in mind and strive to be as environmentally-sensitive as possible.
White Manta Diving’s 3 vessels now offer exciting voyages to far-flung areas in Indonesia including Komodo, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Molucca Sea and the Derawan Islands. Each vessel boasts an amazing mix of facilities and services - with high crew to guest ratios, luxurious lounges, camera facilities, and spacious sun decks furnished with massage beds – ensuring five star service both above and below the waves, and making white star diving the perfect choice for a comfortable, convenient, and stress-free dive holiday.
Komodo National Park is situated close to the coast of Flores, with Sumbawa and the Sape Strait to the west. Covering over 1,730 square kilometres, the park includes the three large islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, along with 26 smaller islands. The park’s rugged terrain is dominated by jagged peaks and mountain slopes covered in dry savannah and dense stands of deciduous forests. Erosion has carved the coastlines of the islands into deep bays, inlets, channels and isolated beaches, creating some of Indonesia’s most spectacular scenery. Locations such as Komodo’s ‘Pink Beach’ and the incredible view from Padar looking across back-to-back, circular bays, are worth the trip alone!
Komodo’s dramatic landscape continues beneath the waves and the waters are some of the richest marine environments in the world. The reefs, channels, seagrass beds and mangroves are home to over 1000 species of fish and 250 species of corals. The channel surrounding theses islands funnels huge volumes of water between the Flores Sea and the Indian Ocean, resulting in nutrient-rich upwellings and dramatic currents that sweep past the islands, creating the perfect conditions for an incredible diversity of marine life and superb diving. The national park was founded in 1980 to protect its infamous resident - the Komodo dragon. This extraordinary species is the world’s largest land-dwelling reptile and can still be observed in the wild on both Komodo and Rinca islands.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands and reefs surrounding the 4 main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo - the ‘Four Kings’ from which Raja Ampat takes its name. The area is part of the newly-created province of West Papua and, despite its allegiance to Indonesia, the islands of Raja Ampat feel very much like part of a different world. Although resorts are being developed throughout the archipelago and liveaboards run regular schedules around its famous sites, this string of beautiful islands still holds on to a lingering promise of exploration and discovery.
Papua is home to an incredible diversity of flora, fauna and cultures with the rugged terrain and relatively late development having helped to preserve the unique biological and cultural diversity. Much of the mainland is made inaccessible by rugged mountains and dense jungle and new endemic species are being discovered here every year. Below the surface of the sea, the rich reefs of Raja Ampat are a similar treasure trove of unique species; in fact, Cape Kri on Mansuar Island in the Dampier Strait holds the record for the most number of fish species recorded on a single dive. Raja Ampat is so species-rich and such a vital area for reef conservation that the entire area has been protected as part of the Bird’s Head Seascape.
The Banda Sea lies just south of the equator in Eastern Indonesia and is bounded by the islands of Buru, Ambon and Seram in Maluku to the north, Sulawesi to the west, curving arcs of volcanoes and reefs to the east, distant islands of Nusa Tenggara and Timor to the south. Within the basin itself are two chains of islands - an inner arc of rugged volcanoes that rise from the deep waters of the central area and an outer arc of low, limestone islands that mark the eastern boundary of the sea. These remote islands of the ‘Ring of Fire’ have escaped much of the development of the modern world and remain pristine outposts of Asia’s extraordinary marine environment, offering untouched reefs, prolific marine life and plenty of bigger species.
This remote area once lay at the heart of the lucrative spice trade - in fact, Banda and its neighbour, Run, were the original ‘Spice Islands’ sought after by explorers and fought over by nations. Today the islands of the Banda Sea attract a different type of adventurer - drawn by the opportunity to dive remote, pristine reefs, visit islands rich in history and culture, and explore a part of Asia that, despite its previous fame and fortune, has become a pristine backwater.
HALMAHERA & MOLUCCA SEA
Located between Raja Ampat & Eastern Kalimantan, the Molucca Sea & Halmahera region offers divers the opportunity to embark on some truly world-class cruises, featuring breath-taking scenery both above and below the surface. The region is made up of remote volcanic islands filled with interesting flora and fauna, deserted beaches, mangroves, and exotic birds. Beneath the waves, divers can explore uncrowded and rarely visited dive sites which abound with stunning pelagic action and world-class muck diving.
The largest island in the region, Halmahera, remains relatively under explored by divers, boasting pristine, untouched reefs, and levels of biodiversity comparable only to Raja Ampat. These waters are filled with plunging drop-offs, stunning atolls, and vibrant coral gardens, which attract a variety of marine life such as pygmy seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish, schools of barracuda, and manta rays.
The string of islands, reefs and atolls that make up the Derawan Archipelago runs parallel to the coastline of Kalimantan’s northern coast and offer a mix of different habitats including mangroves, fringing reefs and steep walls. Due to the effort required in getting to the islands, and the lack of any real tourism on the nearby mainland, these islands have remained ‘under the radar’ for many divers. Those who are willing to make the long journey to Derawan are rewarded with some incredible underwater experiences - with whale sharks, turtles, manta rays and huge schools of fish all on the cards.
Close to the mainland, divers can find many sought after critters such as sea horses, flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus and ghost pipefish, while further away, the visibility improves and several sites are known for bigger subjects such as whale sharks and manta rays. The island of Kakaban features an isolated, brackish lake filled with stingless jellyfish, unusual gobies and sea snakes, while the steep, current-swept drop-offs around the island are renowned for sightings of leopard sharks, grey reef sharks, and the occasional hammerhead shark. Maratua is also a great location to spot different sharks species - including thresher sharks.
At 46-meters, White Manta is possibly the largest RINA classed dive vessel in the region. The brand-new liveaboard provides fascinating diving adventures for up to 24 guests in 14 beautifully furnished ensuite cabins. White Manta also boasts a high crew to guest ratio, ensuring personalised and attentive service at all times. The onboard chef is regarded as one of the best in the region, serving delicious meals throughout the day which can be enjoyed al fresco in the outdoor dining area, or in the air-conditioned dining room. Guests can also enjoy the luxurious lounge equipped with a plasma TV, or head to the sundeck for a massage on one of the many mattresses. 24 hour WiFi is also provided onboard.
White Manta is well equipped for underwater photography, boasting facilities such as a spacious camera room, a wide outdoor work table, and blow-dry stations that cater to even the most avid photographers. The vessels spacious dive deck has room for 4 large dinghies and personal storage for each diver. Full rental equipment is available on board including dive computers and torches, and Nitrox is provided at an additional cost. Tanks with both DIN and Int connections are used and larger tanks can also be rented. PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, and various speciality courses can be taken on specific journeys and with prior arrangement. White Manta is fitted with all the necessary safety equipment including life rafts, life jackets, first aid kits, and emergency oxygen.
KM RAJA MANTA
KM Raja Manta is a 36-meter steel hulled vessel offering comfortable cruises and a relaxed atmosphere. The vessel was launched in 2011 and underwent major refurbishments in 2016, boasting a sleek, modern design. 22 guests can be accommodated in 8 ensuite cabins and 3 standard cabins. 5 meals are served every day, comprising a blend of Western, Indonesian, and Thai cuisine, and can be enjoyed in the large outdoor dining area or at indoor dining tables. Guests can also enjoy the luxurious lounge equipped with a plasma TV and hundreds of movies, or head to the sundeck for a massage on one of the many floor mattresses.
The vessels spacious dive deck features 3 large dinghies, a camera table, freshwater rinse tanks, and personal storage for each diver. Full rental equipment is available on board including dive computers and torches, and Nitrox is provided at an additional cost. Tanks with both DIN and Int connections are used and larger tanks can also be rented. PADI Advanced Open Water and various speciality courses can be taken on specific journeys and with prior arrangement. KM Raja Ampat is fitted with all the necessary safety equipment including life rafts, life jackets, first aid kits, and emergency oxygen.
KM BLUE MANTA
KM Blue Manta is a 45-meter liveaboard providing spacious, stable, and safe voyages around Indonesia. The vessel can accommodate up to 22 guests in 14 beautifully furnished ensuite cabins and boasts a high crew to guest ratio, ensuring outstanding personalised service at all times. 5 meals are served onboard every day and can be enjoyed al fresco in the outdoor dining area, or in the air-conditioned dining room for a finer dining experience. Guests can also enjoy the luxurious lounge equipped with a plasma TV, or head to the sundeck for a massage on one of the many mattresses. 24 hour WiFi is also provided onboard.
KM Blue Manta is well equipped for underwater photography, with a spacious camera room, individual rinse tanks, a wide outdoor work table, and blow-dry stations, catering to even the most avid photographers. The vessels spacious dive deck also features 4 large dinghies and personal storage for each diver. Full rental equipment is available on board including dive computers and torches, and Nitrox is provided at an additional cost. Tanks with both DIN and Int connections are used and larger tanks can also be rented. PADI Advanced Open Water and various speciality courses can be taken on specific journeys and with prior arrangement. KM Blue Manta is fitted with all the necessary safety equipment including life rafts, life jackets, first aid kits, and emergency oxygen.
White Manta Diving offers multi-day trips around Raja Ampat. An example itinerary departs from Sorong, with a check dive at Red Light District, before sailing overnight to Penemu Island. Here guests can dive Barracuda Reef, Galaxy, and more, followed by a night dive at Kima. The vessel then visits Fam Island to see sites such as Melissa’s Garden, My Reef, and Keruo channel, followed by Yanggefo Island the next day to dive Mayhem Ridge, Citrus ridge, and Deep rock. Guests can then explore Mansuar, Manta Sandy, and Cape Kri, before the boat heads to Moiskon Island’s Blue Magic and Yellow Fever. Finally, the boat returns to Sorong.
White Manta Diving offers multi-day trips around Komodo. An example itinerary departs from Labuan Bajo, completing a check dive at Bidadari, followed by a night dive at Pulau Sebayor. The boat will then explore south Komodo, visiting sites such as Manta Alley, Cannibal Rock, and Torpedo Alley at Nusa Kode. Heading back north the following day, guests get the chance to visit Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, and Shot Gun at Gili Lawa Laut, followed by a day exploring Tatawa Besar, Tatawa Kecil, Siaba Kecil, and Wainilu. Batu Balong, Makassar Reef, and Siaba Bay are also on the agenda, as well as a trek to see the famous komodo dragons. The boat then sails back to Labuan Bajo.
White Manta Diving offers multi-day trips around Sangalaki, Kakaban, and Maratua. An example itinerary departs from East Kalimantan and sets sail to Derawan. Several dives will be done around Sangalaki looking for manta rays, turtles, and more, with a chance to visit the beach to watch as baby turtle hatch from the nest. Multiple days will then be spent diving around Maratua Island, searching for schools of barracudas and big-eye jacks, as well as occasional hammerheads, at the mouth of the channel. After that, guests can explore Kakaban’s stunning wall dives and incredible freshwater jellyfish lake. On the last full day, the boat will head to the local fishing platforms known as ‘bagans’ looking for whale sharks before sailing back to port.
White Manta Diving offers multi-day trips around the Banda Sea. An example itinerary departs from Ambon with a check dive in the bay. An overnight sail brings guests to the Banda Islands with potential hammerhead sightings and a visit to the ‘Spice Islands’. Several days will then be spent diving around the volcanic islands and underwater seamounts in search of hammerheads, sea snakes, reef sharks, tunas, and other huge schools of fish. On the final full day, guests can explore Hukurila Cave and Molana before sailing back to Ambon.
RAJA AMPAT, HALMAHERA, LEMBEH
White Manta Diving offers multi-day trips around the Banda Sea. An example itinerary departs from Sorong, making a check dive at Red Light District, before sailing overnight to south Raja Ampat to visit Fiabacet, Boo, and the Wayil area. If the current permits, guests can spend another day exploring the Wayil and Pele area before moving to the west coast of Misool. After that, the boat travels to the quiet and secluded island of Pulau Pisang, and then Pulau Bacan to search for reef sharks, jacks, snappers, and barracudas. Patientie Strait is next on the agenda, with a mix of healthy reefs and current-rich dive sites, followed by Kepulauan Goraici which boasts amazing topography and large pelagics. The boat then heads to Pulau Tifore with its steep pinnacles before sailing to Lembeh for some muck diving, and then finally sailing to Bitung Port.