Snorkeling cruise to Indonesia: Shakti liveaboard
A cruise in Raja Ampat on a small wooden boat allows you to snorkel or dive every day in a different place, thus having the opportunity to see many different ecosystems and marine life depending on the area you visit. Affording a long trip to Raja Ampat to stay just in one hotel doesn't worth, either because the hotel availability is very limited and also because in such way you will see only few of the many things that West Papua has to offer.
The snorkeling cruise in Raja Ampat, lasting 12 days, was held in Shakti liveaboard, a wooden yacht that can accommodate up to 10 tourists in addition to the crew members. Cruising is the best option to explore Raja Ampat, as it allows to reach remote destinations that are usually out of range from all the hotels. Furthermore, the marine ecosystem varies considerably from place to place, depending on currents, geology and local climate, so a cruise is really the best way to catch all that Raja Ampat islands have to offer, because on a boat you are not limited only to the small area around an hotel or resort.
During the night, Shakti boat is usually anchored in some paradisiacal bay protected from open waters, so the snorkeling site can be reached quickly the next morning. A cruise in Raja Ampat is usually suitable also for those who suffer of seasickness: although the boat rolls quite frequently, sometimes even in calm water, such roll is never so exaggerated to make you sick (in any case, if you suffer from seasickness, it's still a good idea to take your medicines normally used to alleviate this discomfort --- I am quite sensitive to sea sickness, but I've been good throughout the cruise).
Shakti liveaboard photos. The yacht has a large deck where you can relax and soak up the sun between one snorkel and the next. Particular care is necessary in order to protect your skin, since the sun can be very strong and sunburns are a possibility even in cloudy weather.
On board the yacht there are two single cabins and several doubles. I had the single: the dimensions were very small and only enough to hold the bed and a small desk, but it was particularly comfortable and perfectly suited to sleep well. It was equipped with air conditioning, lighting and electricity 24 hours per day.
The charming living room.
The shared bathrooms are rather small, but are equipped with showers and desalinated water available 24 hours on 24. No passenger cabin has a bathroom inside.
On the yacht there is a rubber boat and a dinghy used to reach diving point more quickly and to get to the beaches for land excursions. During the snorkeling trips, at least one boat is always close to the group, to ensure proper safety.
A picnic on a deserted beach, which sees no tourists for many consecutive weeks.
Like any serious expedition, also this one has its own mascot: our dog Shakti.
Shakti on alert when another vessel was approaching (left picture).
Shakti loves to stay on the bow of the dinghy. During land excursions, she is always on alert.
The great swimmer Shakti.
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