Explore the fascinating underwater world of Indonesia on our 11-night

Special MARINE BIOLOGIST Cruises with TV celebrity Monty Halls

2016 Raja Ampat 11N Cruise: Embark SORONG, 12 November 2016 - Disembark SORONG, 23 November 2016

Monty Halls biography

Monty has been passionate about the oceans and wildlife for as long as he can remember.

He has written 7 books and has presented programmes for TV channels such as National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

Monty is a well-known BBC television presenter, with a particular record of making adventure and natural history series (see more details below).

Monty served as a Royal Marines Officer for 8 years, worked for Nelson Mandela after his release from prison (Mr Mandela's release, not Monty's), and has led numerous expeditions throughout the world. This has included leading a multi-national team to the ruins of a sunken city off India, several circumnavigations of the globe, and numerous demanding projects with film crews and scientific teams.

In 2003 he was awarded the Bish Medal by the Scientific Exploration Society for his services to exploration. He established Monty Halls Ltd in 2004, a business that has grown year on year and now deals in many aspects of film production and corporate training.

  • Find out more about Monty Halls, his passion for the ocean, his TV work and more, at WWW.MONTYHALLS.CO.UK
  • Keep up to date with this specific trip at our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

  • MONTY TV: Take a look at his series of Great Ocean Adventures (circumnavigating the globe, seeking out encounters with some of the most iconic creatures in the ocean ... taking 37 flights around the world, conducting over a hundred dives... and meeting the giant sun fish off Bali) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-ocean-adventures. Or his more recent projects such as the initial Great Escape (renovating a centuries old bothy, exploring old crofting techniques, and making forays into the extraordinary archipelago that is the Western Isles, one of the most beautiful regions on earth. Basking sharks, whales, dolphins, and otters have all passed by the beach upon which the bothy sits, with the real exploration of the mountains and ridges only just beginning) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/monty-halls-great-escape. Or for a more dive-central Great Escape see his series in Ireland (going back to his roots as a marine biologist by working with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to establish whether the pod of bottlenose dolphins are a resident group, plus the dissection of a beached whale, tagging massive basking sharks, swimming with a mysterious lone dolphin and diving with curious congers) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-irish-escape.

    Dive RAJA AMPAT with Monty Halls

    12 ~ 23 November 2016

    Join us to explore the famous dive sites of Raja Ampat, while learning more about the amazing marine life you meet.

    Your adventure begins at the port city of Sorong at the western edge of West Papua (previously known as Irian Jaya). Sorong is almost equidistantly located between Indonesia's famous "island of the gods" - Bali - and the capital of neighboring Papua New Guinea - Port Moresby (roughly 1,060 nautical miles east of Bali, versus 1,080 west of Port Moresby). This special cruise features talks from marine biologist and celebrity diver Monty Halls, sharing his stories and knowledge with our guests and offering some of his experience and advice for studying and diving with our oceans' fascinating marine life.

    Famed as the world's epicentre of marine biodiversity, the Raja Ampat area offers vibrant underwater colours but also majestic landscapes; a perfect destination for keen photographers. The waters of the region's 1,500 virtually untouched islands, boast over 1,300 reef fish (25 endemic species), 600 hard corals and 75% of all known coral species, plus 13 marine mammals and 5 species of endangered sea turtles. Wobbegong sharks hide under colourful coral shelves and the elusive Epaulette "walking" shark comes out at night. Jump in at Neptune Fan Sea for a great drift dive, rushing along a gulley past giant colourful gorgonian seafans. Manta Sandy is well-known as one of the most consistent spots for finding congregating mantas.

    Read more about this destination at our page on DIVING RAJA AMPAT.


    Set sail from Sorong at the western edge of Papua, for a 12-day/11-night cruise, ending back in Sorong. Raja Ampat offers the most striking biodiversity on the planet. Famous dive sites such as Misool, Dampier Strait, Manta Sandy and Boo are all on the agenda. This area is known for its vibrant underwater colours but also its majestic landscapes, making it a perfect destination for keen photographers. The only problem with diving here is that you’ll be so spoiled by the near-perfect conditions that you may never want to leave.

    As many divers know, Indonesia is located in the very centre of the Coral Triangle and the variety of species seen underwater is truly astonishing. In certain bays and around small islands, you can find more species than in the entire Caribbean. In Raja Ampat, Gerald Allen (world-famous ichthyologist) counted the incredible number of 284 different species of fish during a single dive. In the same area, 465 different species of corals were found. As a result, scientists nowadays believe that this destination is the world's current no. 1 spot in terms of biodiversity.

    In terms of water temperature and recommendations for wetsuits, for most dive sites in Raja Ampat you can expect 27-30C+ (80-86F+) so a 3mm wetsuit or even a skinsuit is usually fine. For repetitive diving days you may start to notice the cooler thermoclines more than usual, so prefer to wear a slightly thicker wetsuit and/or a hood, but usually 3-5mm is sufficient. We don't recommend gloves as this can encourage divers to touch corals or delicate reef areas, but for night dives, where you could be more likely to bump into fire coral etc, many divers do prefer earning a full length suit and hood/gloves.

    SAMPLE CRUISE ITINERARY "Raja Ampat (Marine Biologist)"

    12 Day/11 Night Sorong-Sorong Cruise

    Day 1 Embarkation in Sorong

    Raja Ampat means 'Four Kings'. In an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands there are four main islands or 'kings' - Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta, Misool. The majority of Raja Ampat is in Marine Protected Areas. These islands usually experience varying visibility depending on the weather conditions and warm water around 27-30C (81-86F).

    Day 2-5 Misool, Raja Ampat (13-14 dives)

    Misool is in the south of Raja Ampat and we will dive at the many small islands in the southeast. Southeast Misool is famous for the profusion of colourful soft corals and sea fans beautifully draped all over the reefs. Take a look at some photos taken in this area in our SOFT CORAL HEAVEN PHOTO ALBUM.

    We will stay three and a half days in the Misool area, on Day 5 we will complete 1-2 dives before traveling to the central part of Raja Ampat. There is a possibility to visit Tomolol Cave that has a river-sized waterway running through it. We take a 30-minute tender ride through a pearl farm and into the rugged interior. Once at the cave we float and paddle our way inside to enjoy the amazing rock formations. There is a large opening at the other end and also aa 'secret' cave to explore. This tour is dependent on receiving permission from the pearl farm and local village.

    Find other trips with Monty Halls:

    2015 Grand Komodo 11N Cruise: Embark BALI, 1 July 2015 - Disembark BALI, 12 July 2015

    Embark on this dive adventure from the highly accessible port of Bali - "land of the gods". Divers keen on coral reefs will be amazed at the range of corals here - from soft to hard and in warm to temperate waters - while those seeking out schooling fish need look no further than the thrilling current dives of Gili Lawa Laut. If it's pelagics and ocean giants you're after, then pack your wide angle lens for the resident mantas and sharks but keep a watch for passing dolphins, whales and the elusive mola mola (sun fish). Or if it's muck diving you crave, then this is the trip for you; get your macro lens ready for truly unbelievable critters such as ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, rare clown frogfish, weird and wonderful nudibranchs (if lucky, the ridiculously cute Pikachu nudi), blue-ringed octopus, pipefish, scorpion leaf fish, coleman shrimp, boxer crabs, zebra crabs and many more!

    Join marine biologist and celebrity diver Monty Halls, who will be sharing his stories and knowledge with our guests and offering some of his experience and advice for studying and diving with our oceans' fascinating marine life - especially those we encounter in these incredible waters of central Nusa Tengara, at the very heart of the Coral Triangle.

    Click HERE