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  • Writer's pictureMatthieu

Go on a cruise to Raja Ampat

Want to go to Raja Ampat but not sure whether to book a hotel stay or go on a cruise? Here's a guide to help you decide between the two options... but especially for the cruise!

Cruising in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

What are the main differences between discovering Raja Ampat in a hotel or on a cruise?

These differences are summarized around 3 main points:

First of all, the price.

Discovering Raja Ampat on a cruise is a more exceptional experience but more expensive than discovering it by staying in an accommodation. There are, however, different options and categories of comfort for very different budgets in the 2 cases.

On a cruise, boat standings range from standard to luxury. You can choose to charter a yacht for a luxury cruise in Raja Ampat, but you can also choose to join a group departure, a more affordable option.

Similarly, the accommodations offered in Raja Ampat range from modest local guest houses to luxury resorts.

In the end, sometimes there is little or no difference between a cruise and a stay at a luxury resort in Raja Ampat.


Getting to Raja Ampat is quite a logistical undertaking.

Once you arrive at Sorong airport in Papua, you have not yet arrived in Raja Ampat. Your journey to paradise must still continue, and that takes a little longer for some than for others.

Indeed, if you have booked an accommodation, you will most likely have to take the public ferry to Waisai Port on Waigeo Island to allow you to reach your accommodation afterwards. Read here for more information on how to get to Raja Ampat.

On the other hand, most cruises to Raja Ampat start directly from the port of Sorong. So if you have opted for a Raja Ampat cruise, you will only have to reach Sorong port from Sorong airport, a 15 minute cab ride only.

The experience itself.

If you want to explore Raja Ampat while staying in an accommodation, you will have to go on day trips by boat. This means that for exploring the most beautiful and remote areas of Raja Ampat, such as Wayag or Misool, these boat trips will be long, tiring and expensive. Since most of the accommodations are located in the central region of Raja Ampat, you will need a 6 to 7 hour boat trip for example to have the chance to discover the beautiful Wayag Bay and its famous Pindito panorama. Staying in an accommodation can therefore be a less relaxing and more tiring experience than discovering the archipelago by cruise. But that depends on how many different spots you are planning to visit.

In summary, here are the reasons why you should opt for a cruise in Raja Ampat if you can afford it:

  • The logistics are simpler. Embark and disembark your boat directly in Sorong.

  • Discover the whole archipelago, sailing from North to South, depending on the length of your cruise.

  • Explore the most remote and beautiful areas (don't miss exploring the Wayag mangrove by kayak or stand-up paddle!)

  • Have a more exclusive experience.

  • Relax and disconnect. You're less rushed in your day-to-day activities.

What's so wonderful about a cruise in Raja Ampat?

Peace. Comfort. Exclusivity.

These are the 3 words that best describe a cruise to Raja Ampat.

Because Raja Ampat is so remote and inaccessible, it stays away from mass tourism. Most tourists stay in accommodations in the center of Raja Ampat. Going on a cruise allows you to discover the most remote and inaccessible areas of the archipelago in a very intimate way.

Imagine yourself sailing through a paradise of crystal clear water and karst peaks aboard a traditional wooden Phinisi sailing boat. Let yourself be lulled by the waves, far from any hustle and bustle. You will watch the landscape pass by with a feeling of inner peace.

You will certainly not forget the quality service offered on board. Tasty dishes cooked 3 times a day by a chef, delicious snacks between excursions, and little treats to punctuate your cruise. All of this makes the adventure even more unforgettable.

No need to worry about organization. We take you to secret bays and the most beautiful places to snorkel and/or dive. Everything is done to make sure you have the best Raja Ampat experience possible.

How long is a Raja Ampat cruise?

Allow a minimum of 6 to 7 nights to explore the central and northern parts of Raja Ampat. You start your cruise in Sorong and sail to Wayag in the North of the archipelago.

A minimum of 10 to 11 nights is necessary to discover Raja Ampat completely, from north to south; or rather from south to north since you generally start your journey in Sorong, sail to Misool in the south and then go up to the Wayag islands in the north.

What is the best season to go on a cruise in Raja Ampat?

The best season to cruise Raja Ampat is from October to April. Outside of this period, the waters are generally too rough to cruise. And during the off-season, most sailboats head to the Komodo archipelago where the sailing season is reversed.

What are the types of cruising boats in Raja Ampat?

Most of the boats that sail in Raja Ampat are traditional Phinisi. These all-wooden, 2-mast, 7-sail yachts originate from the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. As the Raja Ampat archipelago is rather big and the waters not always calm, the cruise boats must have a certain size to provide the necessary comfort and safety. Low budget small boat options therefore do not exist here.

In conclusion, a cruise is a unique and exclusive experience that allows you to access the most pristine islands and waters of Raja Ampat.

Sleeping in an accommodation is a pleasant adventure, charming for the tighter budget.

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