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Cendrawasih Bay

Cendrawasih Bay is located in Indonesia’s Papua province, on the opposite side of the Bird’s Head Peninsula to Raja Ampat. A liveaboard trip to Cenderawasih Bay promises encounters with Papua’s amazing Whale Sharks, exploration of forgotten WWII wrecks off Manokwari and amazing diversity on Cendrawasih Bay’s rich reefs. The reefs in Cendrawasih Bay are home to an amazing array of life from large Wobbegongs to tiny Pygmy Seahorse!

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When diving with the Whale Sharks in Cendrawasih Bay, you don’t just see one swimming by, they stay at the same location for hours. Sometimes there are just a few (2-3) but if you are lucky it is teaming with Whale Sharks. The reason for them staying at one spot is because they like to suck on the nets of the Bagan fishing boats. These boats use small fish kept in a big net under the boat to attract bigger fish. The Whale Sharks swim up to these nets and start sucking on them. Around the world policies are put in place to snorkel with Whale Sharks instead of diving as the sharks do not like the bubbles. The Whale Sharks of Cenderawasih Bay are different, they swim into the bubbles on purpose – for some reason they appear to like the feeling, they will even try to ‘gulp’ the bubbles with their mouths. The bay at Manokwari provided safe anchorage to the Japanese in World War II and the surrounding hills are riddled with tunnels, a trademark of Japanese occupation. A number of Japanese ships were sunk in Manokwari harbour, five of which are in recreational dive depths – these are Pasir Putih, Pillbox, Cross, Mupi and Shinwa Maru. The Shinwa Maru is a large freighter lying on its side with big open cargo holds containing Sake bottles and bombs. Around the wreck there are patrolling Batfish, Scorpionfish and some beautiful Nudibranchs. The Cross Wreck is a patrol boat, and whilst it is much smaller than the Shinwa Maru it has more abundant fish life, including plenty of critters in the anemones that are dotted around its perimeter – a site with a lot of potential for macro fans.

Cendrawasih Bay Liveaboards