9 Affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards (Budget Raja Ampat Diving)

Liveaboard Indonesia Raja Ampat Affordable - Budget Raja Ampat Diving
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Dive Indonesia’s Raja Ampat on a budget liveaboard

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You may ask if there are affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards and you may be wondering if it’s possible to dive Raja Ampat on a budget. Is it possible to a find cheap Raja Ampat liveaboard offering great value for money, but without compromising the diving and comfort.

One of Indonesia’s best places to scuba dive is Raja Ampat, but it’s not the cheapest place to go. However, there are some affordable liveaboard boats to choose from to scuba dive Raja Ampat. With this in mind, this is a table of 9 Raja Ampat liveaboards on a budget.

9 Affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards - Table of cheap Raja Ampat liveaboard (Scroll table right for more info.)

Raja Ampat
Liveaboard
Review Rating
Out of 10
Cost Per Day
(From price)
EnquireFlexible BookingNitroxCater for Dietary RequirementsDive Courses AvailableLogged Dives/Min dive certificationInternet
Cost
(From price)
Available for CharterSidemount/Rebreather
Diving support
LengthMax Guests/
Cabins/Bathrooms
Family cabins
Kira Kira Liveaboard9.0£161/$219/€181EnquireYesNoYesNoEnquireNoYesNone22m/72f08/4/2Yes
Raja Manta9.2£201/$274/€225EnquireNoPaidYesYesEnquireNoYesNone36m/118f20/10/10No
Jaya liveaboard9.0£173/$236/€194EnquireYesNoYesYesOW - 04NoYesNone23m/75f14/6/3No
Tidak ApaPa10.0£151/$206/€169EnquireNoNoYesYesEnquireFreeYesSidemount.
Tech Diving.
Rebreather Support.
20m/66f08/4/1Yes
Empress II Liveaboard
(***Editors Choice***)
9.2£158/$215/€392EnquireYesPaidYesYesAOW - 10FreeYesSidemount.
Tech Diving.
Rebreather Support.
81m/267f10/5/3Yes
Putri Papua liveaboard9.3£180/$245/€202EnquireNoNoYesNoAOW - 50NoYesNone26m/85f09/5/5No
Akomo Isseki liveaboard9.3£113/$154/€127EnquireYesNoYesNoAOW - 30NoYesNone27m/89f08/4/3No
Mantra Liveaboard8.9£271/$369/€304EnquireNoNoYesNoOW - 00NoYesNone23m/75f10/3/4Yes
Bigkanu liveaboard
(Non-diving)
8.6£146/$199/€164EnquireYesNoYesNoNone-Diving
Snorkelling Only
PaidNoNone24m/79f12/9/2No
The best cheap Raja Ampat liveaboard comparison chart notes:
1. The exchange rate used for GBP to USD 1.36 and GBP to Euro 1.12.
2. The 'Cost per day' column will make it easy to sort these Raja Ampat liveaboards by cost, but these prices may vary when you visit to book. The prices listed are a cost guide and were correct at the time of compiling this table.
3. Under review rating '0.0' means no rating received at the time of compiling the table.
4. To scroll on desktop select table and use arrow keys. On touch screen including mobile devices scroll the table using the screen.
5. Min dive certification: OW = Open Water Diver. AOW = Advanced Open Water Diver.
6. If 'Yes' is indicated on your chosen liveaboard for specific dietary requirements you can add this to your special requests on step 2 of the booking form.

Scroll down to find out more about each of these liveaboards, which includes customer reviews for each dive liveaboard. Together with my recommendation at the end of the article.

There’s no doubting that a dive trip to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat is top of many scuba diver’s bucket list. Indonesia’s Raja Ampat is a photographers heaven, with some of the best marine bio-diversity on the planet and has nine affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards to choose from, eight of which are dive liveaboards and one is not.

Indonesian Raja Ampat where is it

Raja Ampat where is it?

Raja Ampat is situated off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula on Papua. Where Papua is the most eastern Island of this Indonesian Archipelago.

Raja Ampat is all about diversity and draws in mostly advanced divers. This is due to its drift diving and currents. It’s also an ‘off the beaten trackdive location.

Raja Ampat is probably not suitable for beginner divers due to the strong currents. It’s worth reading the quote below from someone who experienced a strong down-current!

I dived Raja Ampat in October, I only had about 16 dives and actually got stuck in a down current which took me to 30 meters and out of air which was damn scary! I was diving with my friend who is an instructor who said she had never experienced currents like it. The other five dives were all fine however I felt not as easy to relax there as I have diving other places.

It is incredible, however I would advise getting at least an Advanced before going to help with the depth of some of the dive sights. There are some easier sights and just snorkeling around the house reef on our island of Kri there was so much wildlife.

Is Raj Ampat diving appropriate for beginners? – Lonely Planet

It’s a photographers heaven and a scientists dream. There’s a huge diversity of species and a huge range of dive sites to choose from. Indonesia’s Raja Ampat is one of the most bio-diverse marine region on earth.

Raja Ampat or the Four Kings

Raja Ampat means ‘The Four Kings.’ It is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands and cays. If you take the master cabin (see below), you could be diving ‘The Four Kings‘ like a king.

The main four islands in the area include Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool.

As the diving is so amazing, you’d think it would be very expensive, but there are affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards. So let’s take a look.

9 affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards in more detail

There are nine affordable liveaboard boats to choose from to scuba dive from in Raja Ampat.

These affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards are as follows:

KLM Kiri Kiri Raja Ampat cheap liveaboard
KLM Kiri Kiri Raja Ampat cheap liveaboard – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

1. Affordable KLM Kiri Kiri Raja Ampat Liveaboard

The Kira Kira liveaboard is an affordable dive boat offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat with flexible booking.

  • 22 metre (73 feet) wooden Phinisi schooner liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 8 divers across 4 cabins.
  • Seaview cabins.
  • Dive trips of 7-10 nights with 16 to 25 dives in total.
  • Rated Superb, 9.0 out of 10, with 4.5 stars.
  • Other activities include kayaks onboard and there’s a library.
  • Western and local food with vegetarian and vegan options, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the KLM Kiri Kiri liveaboard.

KLM Kiri Kiri Liveaboard review

Simply perfect dive trip with Kira Kira. Amazing underwater worlds that would be discovered safe and fun. The sunsets, sunrises and stars are just breathtaking, the Kira Kira is a beauty and crew and diveguides create a great atmosphere throughout the trip.” Recommended for: The dive guides were amazing, the crew friendly, sweet and helpful, and the boat itself wonderful.

Helena S customer review from GermanyRated 10 out of 10
KM Raja Manta Raja Ampat liveaboard - affordable budget Raja Ampat diving
KM Raja Manta Raja Ampat liveaboard – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

2. Cheap KM Raja Manta Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Raja Manta liveaboard is an affordable dive boat offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat with flexible booking.

  • 36 metre (118 feet) large steel-hulled boat purpose-built budget liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 20 divers across 10 cabins.
  • Seaview cabins.
  • Dive trips of 6-10 nights with 18-30 dives in total.
  • Rated Superb 9.2 out of 10, with 4.5 stars.
  • Other activities include massage.
  • Western and local food plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the KM Raja Manta liveaboard.

KM Raja Manta Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Absolutely great. The vessel is not the youngest and you can perhaps find more luxurious boats. The Food was excellent, the while staff was great too. All work was done with a smile and there was such a good spirit on this ship. The diving was just spectacular, the richest coral gardens I have seen anywhere. And so many fish – unbelievable. Also saw Manta Rays and sharks, turtles, crocodile fish, Napoleons and and and. I will come back to Raja Ampat, that’s for sure!” Recommended for: Kris, having been a great leader and diveguide, Nathan who was my diveguide, the best I ever had, and the friendliness of the staff overall.

Klaus-Stefan H customer review from Germanyrated 9.6 out of 10.
KM Jaya Raja Ampat liveaboard cheap diving
KM Jaya Raja Ampat liveaboard cheap diving – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

3. Budget KM Jaya Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Jaya liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • 23 metre (76 feet) 6 sail Phinisi schooner purpose-built budget liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 14 divers across 6 cabins.
  • Dive trips of 4-13 nights with 12-30 dives in total.
  • Rated Superb 9.0 out of 10, with 4.5 stars.
  • Local food including vegetarian and vegan options, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the KLM Jaya liveaboard.

KLM Jaja Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Wonderful diving trip. We saw a manta, jumping dolphins in the nature. It was a wonderful memory. All staffs are very friendly, pick up service / diving schedule was on time, well organized. Food / snack was delicious, no need cup noodles. It could be better to separate the toilet and shower room. And I know it could be hard to control but kill the cockroach could be better. Our dive guide Erica kept us safe in any situation and showed us Wobbegong shark, shrimp, Pipe fishes, etc. Local staffs shared with us their life stories like family, marriage, their further plan, it was a good chance to know their life. And please indicate clearly tips required on the price list to be more transparent& budget setting. it is indeed valuable unforgettable experience!” Recommended for: Diving, sun deck, island visiting.

Ghislain O customer review from Francerated 9.6 out of 10
KM Tidak ApaPa Raja Ampat liveaboard - cheap liveaboard diving
KM Tidak ApaPa Raja Ampat liveaboard – cheap liveaboard diving – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

4. Affordable KM Tidak ApaPa Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Tidak ApaPa liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • A small 20 metre (66 feet) traditional Phinisi 7-sail liveaboard for small groups of divers purpose-built budget liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 8 divers across 4 cabins.
  • Dive trips of 6-13 nights with 17-35 dives in total.
  • Rated Exceptional, 10 out of 10, with 5 stars.
  • Western and local food including vegetarian and vegan options, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the KLM Tidak Apa’Pa liveaboard.

KLM Tidak ApaPa Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Unforgettable diving safari, great diving moment. 10 days diving on the Tidak Apa’Pa with Ariane and Ludo in the region of Komodo from July 15th to 25th. We are a family of 4. Unforgettable cruise, great diving moment, a lot of fun on the boat. Ariane, Ludo and the crew could not do more for us. In short, we are delighted and just waiting to return. Small boat, only 6 divers (and in all cases, maximum 8 guests – 4 cabins), very nice conditions for the dives and the atmosphere of the boat. The Komodo area is also really beautiful above and under the sea. 5 excellent meals a day, so no way to be hungry 🙂 To recommend highly.” Recommended for: Super dives / Super atmophere on the boat / only 6 divers on the boat.

Vincent G customer review from Francerated 10 out of 10.
Empress II cheap Raja Ampat liveaboard diving
Empress II cheap Raja Ampat liveaboard diving – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

5. Budget Empress II Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Empress II liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • 24 metre (79 feet) steel hulled exploration boat purpose-built cheap liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 10 scuba divers on a budget across 5 cabins.
  • Seaview and family cabins.
  • Dive trips of 4-10 nights with 13-28 dives in total.
  • Other activities include a library and naturalist itineraries with a naturalist guide.
  • Free internet.
  • Rated Superb, 9.2 out of 10 and 4.5 stars.
  • Western and local food including vegetarian and vegan options, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the MV Empress II liveaboard.

Empress II Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Great experience. I had a nice experience on the Empress it’s definitely not a luxury boat but it is sufficient to take you to one of the most beautiful scuba diving destinations in the world. Our dive master Jenny was outstanding and really made for a wonderful experience. I would recommend the trip to Raja Ampat for anyone that’s wondering if it’s worth the money and difficulty in getting there.” Recommended for: The diving, scenery, people on the boat.

Steven W customer review from the United Statesrated 9.2 out of 10
Putri Papua affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboard
Putri Papua affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboard – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

6. Affordable Putri Papua Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Putri Papua liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • A 26 metre (85 feet) Indonesian Phinisi boat purpose-built cheap liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 9 scuba divers on a budget across 5 cabins.
  • Dive trips of 10 nights with up to 28 dives in total.
  • Other activities includes a library.
  • Rated Superb, 9.3 out of 10 and 4.5 stars.
  • Local food including vegetarian, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the MV Putri Papua liveaboard.

Putri Papua Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

It was such a great experience and i would totally recommend it to everyone. The great Dive Sites, thanks to our Divemasters. They did a great Job. Also thanks to the Crew. The Food was awesome and the Rooms were nice and clean.” Recommended for: Diving, Dive Masters, Hospitality of the Crew.

Simone H customer review from Austriarated 10 out of 10.
Akomo Isseki affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboard
Akomo Isseki affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboard – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

7. Affordable Akomo Isseki Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Akomo Isseki liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • 27 metre (89 feet) traditional hand-crafted wooden Phinisi boat purpose-built affordable Raja Ampat liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 8 scuba divers on a budget across 4 cabins.
  • Seaview cabins.
  • Dive trips of 7-10 nights with up to 17-25 dives in total.
  • Other activities include kayaks onboard, fishing and a library.
  • Rated Superb, 9.3 out of 10 and 4.5 stars.
  • Local food including vegetarian, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the Akomo Isseki liveaboard.

Akomo Isseki Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Exceptional and beyond my expectations. Staring into the souls of mantas The guests, the guides, and the crew Getting inked by a squid.” Recommended for: The diving, the people, and the games.

Ling C customer review from United Statesrated 9.2 out of 10
Mantra Raja Ampat liveaboard
Mantra Raja Ampat liveaboard – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

8. Mantra Raja Ampat liveaboard

The Mantra liveaboard is an affordable offering scuba diving to Raja Ampat.

  • 30 metre (98 feet) traditional Indonesian Phinisi sailboat purpose-built affordable Raja Ampat liveaboard.
  • Accommodates up to 10 scuba divers on a budget across 3 cabins.
  • Family cabins.
  • Dive trips of up to 11 nights with up to 27 dives in total.
  • Other activities include kayaks onboard, stand-up paddle board and a library.
  • Rated Exceptional, 8.9 out of 10 and 5 stars.
  • Western and local food including vegetarian and vegan, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the Mantra liveaboard.

Mantra Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Beautiful boat, great crew, amazing diving. Saw six manta rays in one day! – Komodo dragons – the area has very healthy corals – the crew and the diving instructor were fantastic.” Recommended for: manta rays, Komodo dragons and corals.

Ruben Huai-en L customer review from United Kingdom – rated 9.6 out of 10.
Bigkanu Raja Ampat Indonesia liveaboard - non-divers only
Bigkanu Raja Ampat Indonesia liveaboard – non-divers only – image courtesy of Liveaboard.com

9. Bigkanu, Raja Ampat Indonesia liveaboard (non-divers only)

The Bigkanu liveaboard is an affordable offering non-diver trips to Raja Ampat.

  • 24 metre (79 feet) trimaran affordable Raja Ampat liveaboard for non-divers with snorkelling onboard.
  • Accommodates up to 12 guests across 9 cabins.
  • Seaview cabins.
  • Cruise trips of up to 6 nights.
  • Other activities include kayaks onboard, snorkelling and a library.
  • Rated Superb, 8.6 out of 10 and 4.5 stars.
  • Western and local food including vegetarian and vegan, plus other dietary requirements upon request at booking.
  • Book the Bigkanu liveaboard.

Bigkanu Raja Ampat Liveaboard review

Great fun, food, snorkelling, local crew and value. Snorkelling Kabui (actually all the sites had something beautiful and new to offer) The beauty of Wayaga(spelling?) Rock climbing for the view So many snorkelling sites! The food! Aldy Henny❤️ Captain Andy’s antics and laugh.” Recommended for: 4 THINGS! Awesome snorkelling 2x a day in different locals each time. Great food! Friendly, helpful Indo crew. Value!

Elizabeth M customer review from Canada – rated 9.6 out of 10.

The best affordable Raja Ampat liveaboard for your trip on a budget

The best of these 9 affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards is the Empress II Liveaboard as its one of the cheapest Raja Ampat liveaboards in the list, but has many good options.

These include:

Large number of dive sites on affordable dive boats

The above affordable liveaboard dive boats in Raja Ampat go to varying places and dive sites. Depending on the budget liveaboard you choose and the length of trip, will depend on where it takes you.

But wherever you go in this bio-diverse area, you’ll not be disappointed. You’ll get to see shark action with various reef sharks, a chance to see manta rays, turtles, schooling fish and big pelagics.

What creatures you'll see on affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards - includes Raja Ampat Sharks Include Whale Sharks

Raja Ampat underwater species list

From the Papuan Garden Eel to the Mantis Shrimp at the small end of the scale.

With the Raja Ampat Epaulette shark (also known as the shark that can walk on land! See below). To the Tasselled Wobbegong shark at the smaller end of sharks through to the largest of them all, the whale shark. You’ll see a whole host of sharks. If of course you like scuba diving with sharks that is, when you visit Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat Epaulette shark – The shark that can walk on land

I think this is pretty cool, I’ve also learned something new today from writing this article.

Until I looked up the Raja Ampat Epaulette shark (which I’d not heard of before now), I had never seen this before.

I think it’s a pretty remarkable creature. I remember ‘rock-pooling’ when I was younger and loved to explore rock pools. But if I’d come across something like this land -walking shark, I’d have been amazed!

Here’s an Epaulette Shark in Australia:

Here’s a video of the shark walking along a reef underwater:

Dugongs in Raja Ampat

Something else I learned today was about the dugongs that live in and around Raja Ampat. Dugongs have been mistaken for mermaids in the past. They are similar creatures to the Manatees of Florida and the Caribbean.

They are extremely rare in Indonesia. Therefore your chances of seeing one when you’re diving Raja Ampat are extremely low. Look at it as a bonus if you spot one.

Crocodiles of Raja Ampat

There are also salt water crocodiles in the Raja Ampat region. These don’t seem to be the same problem as the salties of Australia, but nevertheless they are there.

These seem to pose more of a threat to those staying on land on islands like Gam. They pose a particular thread to snorkelers.

But having said that, diver David Shem-Tov was grabbed by a crocodile when scuba diving in Raja Ampat. So they are worth knowing about. He lived to tell the tale, but sustained a number of injuries.

16 hours back to land!

The liveaboard dive boat from which he was diving had to motor 16 hours back to land so he could be treated in hospital.

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE JUST ANOTHER pleasure dive to observe some of the small creatures of the mangroves. I was absorbed by a tiny crustacean on a patch of anemone. 
My concentration was broken by a strange muffled sound. Chus Barrientos, my friend and diving buddy, was shouting through his regulator. I looked up to see him finning furiously backwards. 
On the surface, perhaps 6m away and just 1m above me, was a saltwater crocodile. It was swimming fast, roughly in my direction. 
I froze, and held my breath, hoping that if I didnt blow bubbles or stir the water, it might not notice me. It passed. Then its head suddenly swung sharply to the right and it dived towards me. 

Crocodile attack Raja Ampat Indonesia – divernet.com

Four months before the above attack (which was in 2009), Lauren Greider, a former nurse from California, had been chased by a smaller, significantly less bulky crocodile at the same Blue Water Mangroves dive site.

More Reading: How do I get a dive buddy? (5 easy ways to find a dive buddy)

Other sea life at Raja Ampat

Other less dangerous sea life in the waters of Raja Ampat include dolphins, manta rays, as already mentioned above, and of course other rays too, including the blue spotted ray.

You may also be lucky enough to see a banded sea krait or sea snake too. Plus this list of other sea creatures:

  • Sharks in addition to those mentioned above include blacktip reef sharks,
  • Broadclub cuttlefish.
  • Octopus.
  • Seahorses and pipefish.
  • Blenny.
  • Clown fish (Nemo).
  • A whole host of coral fish including bennies, cow fish, scorpionfish, lion fish,
  • Bumphead parrotfish.
  • Moral eels.

Cenderawasih Bay 2018 – with whale sharks

For the whale shark footage, jump to 3 minutes 10 seconds.

I hope you enjoyed this article about
affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or types of scuba diving (or specifically about affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.

Have fun and be safe!

9 Affordable Indonesian Raja Ampat liveaboards (Budget Raja Ampat Diving)
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