Appreciate the beauty of Indonesia through your camera lens on our

11 or 12 night Special PHOTO Cruises with William Tan

2016 Raja Ampat 12N Cruise: Embark SORONG, 21 DECEMBER 2016 - Disembark SORONG, 2 January 2017


William Tan biography


A keen follower of Cousteau's documentaries of the underwater world, William has been a certified diver since 1994. William Tan has been fascinated with the creatures of the sea since childhood. While studying at the Johns Hopkins University (USA), much of his spare time was spent gazing at the extensive marine collection of the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Officially, he plays the violin with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra but he still makes time for assignments with dive magazines, tourism organizations and resorts, which allows him to travel extensively in the Asia Pacific region (albeit without his prized antique Italian violin).

William believes that cultivating knowledge and understanding of marine life is the key to long-term concern for and preservation of our rich marine heritage.

As a photographer he is famed for his captivating macro images, specializing in close-up shots of photogenic marine life, but he is a master of all underwater photography skills and a patient teacher. His photographic book "Gorontalo: Hidden Paradise", published under the commission of the Indonesian government, sees him collaborating with Hong Kong's leading underwater photographers Stephen Wong and Takako Uno.

  • Find out more about William Tan's photographic style in the magazine interview at THIS LINK
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  • Dexiang Chen biography


    Since childhood, Chen Dexiang has been fascinated with the natural world. At a young age, Dexiang became a keen follower of David Attenborough's documentaries and decided on picking up Scuba Diving after serving his National Service in Singapore.

    Since then, Dexiang has embarked on a journey to become a Marine Biologist and graduated with 2nd Upper Honours from the National University of Singapore. He is currently working as a Marine Biologist\Consultant in DHI Water and Environment Singapore which exposed him to a variety of habitats from the wide assortment of projects he was involved in.

    From the execution of Coral, Seagrass and Mangrove Surveys to the management and supervision of the pitcher plant relocation project in Brunei, Dexiang has developed a his abilities through the three year he has been with DHI. Dexiang believes that cultivating knowledge and communicating proper management strategies unto various stakeholders is the key to long-term concern for and preservation of our rich marine heritage.

    During his free time, Dexiang also enjoys underwater photography and believes that sharing the beauty and awe of the underwater world to those who have yet the chance to see it for themselves would ignite their interest. He has been awarded awards in local and international underwater photography competition and published articles in various dive magazines.

  • Keep up to date with this specific trip at our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

  • Dive RAJA AMPAT with William Tan and Dexiang Chen

    21 December 2016 ~ 2 January 2017



    View the stunning dive sites of Raja Ampat through your lens! Appreciate the colours, diversity and beauty of these famous reefs, as well as the fascinating creatures that call them home, as seen by a photographer's eye. Plus, learn from an expert about the local fish life.

    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). Joining a special photography cruise with William will be a memorable and educational experience for any budding photographer. Plus this trip goes a step further by ensuring you go home with a greater knowledge and understanding of the marine world, as you learn from our guest ichthyologist - Dex will be sharing his experience and of studying and diving with our oceans' fascinating fish 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.


    CRUISE OVERVIEW

    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 (Photography + Ichthyologist)"

    13 Day/12 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 2-6 Misool, Raja Ampat (17-18 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 four and a half days in the Misool area, on Day 6 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 a 'secret' cave to explore. This tour is dependent on receiving permission from the pearl farm and local village.

    Find other trips with William Tan:

    2015 Raja Ampat 11N Cruise: Embark SORONG, 11 December 2015 - Disembark SORONG, 22 December 2015

    As with the 2016 cruise, your adventure begins at the port city of Sorong at the western edge of West Papua (previously known as Irian Jaya). Raja Ampat offers the most striking biodiversity on the planet. 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 with the 2016 special photography cruise, William will be available for talks and advice aimed at budding photographers

    Click HERE