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West Papua: Cruise Cenderawasih Bay

Cruise Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua. With about 500 kilometers of coastline, a tropical rainforest, mangrove and countless species of sea creatures, this distinct and varied cruise destination is a bucket list destination for those looking to explore some of the remotest regions on earth.The first thing anyone talks about when recounting the wonders of Cenderawasih Bay is the whale sharks. There are few places in the word that offer a year-round encounter with such a high density of the gentle giants. Far in West Papua, Cenderawasih Bay National Park is essentially a land that time has left untouched.The largest national park in Southeast Asia, 1.5 million hectares of protected marine reserve ensures pristine conditions and a massive population of vibrant flora, fauna, and healthy coral cover.  With an underwater landscape like this, it’s understandable why divers desire this destination. It has been noted that you can find about 200 species of mollusks, including the giant clam, cowries mussel, and the conus mussel.

Dive & Cruise Cenderawasih Bay

Cruise to Cenderawasih Bay to experience a geographically completely isolated marine system from the rest of the sea for thousands of years. The limited influence of outside ocean currents produced endemic species.

The fish are plenty, over 200 species, including the ornate pipefish, butterfly fish, cockatoo waspfish, parrot fish, anemonfish, damselfish and so much more. Of course, for the those seeking the giants of the sea, you can encounter blue whaled dolphins, various species of sharks including whale sharks.

Consisting of 18 islands, this national park has several recommended places to explore from. Snorkel or dive Kwatisore for your best chance to encounter whale sharks—Ahe and Harlem islands are also good for spotting the giants. There are also several shipwrecks of aircraft and ships from WWll in the area.

Looking for land adventure? Serui Beach has a beautiful coastline, perfect for relaxing. Misowaar Island has a cave with a natural hot spring and waterfall. Rumberpon Island is where you can also find wreck diving spots and it is perfect for bird watching, it has about 3 dozen species of flying birds.

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Season

Cenderawasih Bay region between the months of June and October. Triton Bay region between November and April.

Cruises

Diving and Exploration

Airport

Kaimana, Biak, Nabire, Manokwari

Departure Port

Kaimana, Biak, Nabire or Manokwari i West Papua or depart from Raja Ampat (Sorong/Waisai).

The WhaleSharks of Kaimana & Triton Bay

A Cruise to Kaimana Triton Bay is truly one of Papuas lesser-known wonders. This area, along with the rest of the Birds Head Seascape, has the highest number of recorded marine fish species in the world, with more expected to be discovered in the coming years.

Kaimana, a quaint harbor town in the southwest coast of West Papua, is home to one of the last frontiers of marine biodiversity on Earth: Triton Bay. The unique and ancient relationship between the fishermen and the famed giants of the sea, Whale Sharks, not only provides a rare opportunity to witness symbiosis with man and nature, but it gives visitors a high chance to dive amongst the sea giants in harmony from a man-made bagan.

West Papuan fishermen on a “Bangan” – feeding baitfish to attract the Whalesharks.

Diving Triton Bay

Recently observed by the dive community, Triton bay is still a bit of a secret amongst divers and therefore offers a pristine destination, unspoiled by tourism development. Seldom dived, this remote bay offers some of the most incredible and untouched dive sites known to liveaboards in Indonesia. Triton Bay is becoming known for its unique habitat of lush corals, the fantastic health of the reefs, and the opportunity to be amid the Whale Sharks of legend. Tere are also towering formations of limestone set with the high mountains of New Guinea’s lush tropical garden in the background. The dive sites here also have the highest recorded fish biomass in all of Indonesia.

In addition to whale sharks, cruising here offers you the chance to see huge amounts of endemic species along with undersea flora and fauna of all shapes and sizes. These sites are perfectly situated to attract larger marine life, like Mantas and Sharks. Because Triton Bay sits in a large and remote Marine National Park, cruising Triton Bay on a Private Yacht Charter is arguably the best way to see its wonders.

A whaleshark surfacing for a easy meal.

West Papua Cruise Seasons

The area around Triton Bay and Kaimana is best visited October-April and can be combined with a Raja Ampat. 

From July to September, rain and  wind can cause choppy sea and its is better to fly to Cenderawasih in July/August for the best conditions.

Indonesia’s Papua provinces experience 2 wet seasons: – July/August and November/December and features various micro climates – so there is generally always the change for some rain. but also the whalesharks are around all year round.

 

A local village in West Papua: the population is mostly Christian.

How to get to Kaimana and Cenderawasih Bay?

Generally speaking, you will need to plan spending some extra time travelling i order to explore this extraordinary and remote area.

Cruises to Cenderawasih Bay usually depart for ports of Manokwari, Nabire or Biak in Papua Province. From Jakarta you flight go either via Ambon or Makassar.

For Cruises to Triton Bay,  either depart fro Raja Ampat (Sorong Airport) or fly to Kaimana from Sorong.