The Ring of Fire – Liveaboard Trip
Raja Ampat to Flores
22nd April – 13th May 2019
As well as offering day trips and liveaboards in Komodo National Park and Raja Ampat, Mikumba Diving also runs two epic diving expeditions a year – “The Ring of Fire” liveaboard trips. We named these “The Ring of Fire” as the area we cover contains 75% of all active volcanoes on Earth.
These dive expeditions cover 2,000 km in 20 days and are an incredible experience. In April it starts in Raja Ampat, from the heart of the Coral Triangle with the highest concentration of marine life on earth and finishes in Komodo, the land where dragons still roam. In October we set sail from Komodo back to Raja Ampat. We head through some of the most famous dive sites in the world, Misool, Banda Islands, Alor and Komodo. We pass dozens of unexplored dive locations only accessible by liveaboard. We visit uninhabited islands, dive in places that no one has ever dived before and see some of the most amazing sites on earth.
This is not purely a diving trip – this is an exploratory journey, many of the dive sites are not named, or even on the maps! Over the past years we’ve swum with Orcas in the open sea, found and dived a seamount with an undocumented number of hammerhead sharks. We have found underwater caverns, explored 16th century Dutch East India forts, sailed by an erupting volcano, dived an island saturated with sea snakes and had super-pods of dolphins surround the boat.
There’s no strict itinerary and you must be comfortable with that! For a preview of what you may see, check out some footage from our last trip.
Please note, these trips are only available for experienced divers and for those who don’t need their creature comforts.
We cruise for nearly 3 weeks, out of phone signal, so no Facebook or Twitter, and no knowledge of what’s happening in the rest of the world – pure bliss! We need to be careful who joins us on our expeditions – the staff all love to be away from the stresses of the outside world, our whole lives are diving and enjoying life on board and you need to be comfortable with this too.
To join us on one of our dive expeditions, you will need at least 50 dives. Currents can be unpredictable, but not always, we will be going to virgin dive sites, you will be the first divers to some. One of our guides even discovered a new site – “Fred’s Delight” is one we’ll share with you (but make sure you keep it secret!).
Our expeditions go to far away places and even when we do get to see land, medical facilities aren’t the same as Western standards. Hospitals for diving related incidents are a minimum of 12-24 hours travel time away and we aren’t necessarily close to airports when we do these trips.
As safety is our primary concern for our guests and staff we have strict guidelines that need to be followed. Before your booking can be accepted you will need to complete a medical statement and get clearance from your Doctor stating you are fit to dive if you have any of the conditions on the form.
If it turns our that this incomplete, or you do not have medical clearance from your Doctor we will have to cancel your booking without refund. We aren’t doctors, and medical staff in remote places are not the same as qualified diving doctors in the West. It is not fair for anybody – neither our guests nor our staff – for you to put your safety at risk, even if it IS the trip of a lifetime.
Insurance is mandatory. We require every guest to have travel insurance in addition to diving insurance – this must cover cancellations (by airlines and ferries) as well as treatment for any diving incidents and evacuations. If you arrive without insurance you will need to purchase some before the trip departs, otherwise you will not be permitted to join. We do not refund for lack of insurance. We recommend DAN for diving insurance, and Nomads for travel and cancellations.
While we aim to have as much fun and excitement on the expeditions as possible, the health and safety our all our guests is of the upmost importance to us at Mikumba Diving, and we are serious about ensuring you are well looked after on our liveaboards.
Most expenses are included:
- Park Fees
- All meals
- 2 sheets, pillow and towel – but unfortunately no laundry machine, so please bring your own sleeping bag/liner
- Soft drinks and alcohol are not included – you are welcome to bring your own
Not included in the price of the expedition:
- Flights – but we can recommend who to fly with
- Soft drinks and alcohol
- Land based accommodation
- Tips (for crew and guides)
- Any other expenses
Mikumba Diving will always do everything we can to ensure your safety, but accidents can still happen.
Force Majeure and Acts of God are also a possibility, and there is nothing we can do to stop these from happening.
You will need to purchase sufficient insurance to cover all eventualities – diving incidents, flight cancellations and possible evacuations. We recommend using DAN for diving, and Nomads for the rest, as they provide good cover.
Although we may be in remote places, we do have continual contact with our office via satellite phone, and can help with arranging any assistance that may be needed.
Before booking please have a look at our Terms & Conditions.
This trip is an expedition – we’re going out there to explore the unexplored! We could find anything and everything – and we have done previously – from new dive sites to spectacular scenery above the surface too. We plan for 40-45 dives, but if we come across something unusual such as an erupting volcano or watching a traditional fire dance in a remote village, we think you’d agree that’s worth stopping for. We schedule a few stops along the way for topping up our fuel and food supplies, but apart from that we have nothing holding us back from just finding what else this beautiful world of our keeps secret from the unadventurous.
We will be diving within the famous Coral Triangle – there are pristine coral reefs, amazing hard and soft corals of every colour of the rainbow. You have the big stuff, schools of more than 100 hammerheads, masses of dancing mobula rays, curious manta rays coming in close to check you out, and there’s always the possibility of seeing pods of dolphins or pilot whales while you’re chilling on deck. If you’ve had enough of the big stuff, you can get your fill of macro with tiny shrimps, colourful nudibranchs, and pygmy seahorses. And if that’s still not enough, we have the weird and the wonderful, from seeing a whole other galaxy in the eye of a crocodilefish, to the fantastic face of a stargazer peering up at you from the sand. We can be sure you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.