Cenderawasih Information

In Indonesian "Teluk Cenderawasih", means Bird of Paradise Bay. It is the largest marine national park in South-east Asia and in Cenderawasih Bay you can encounter in the shallows species that normally live in deeper waters. You can also find a wide variety of corals. The good muck diving will keep the lovers of the tiny and strange critters busy, they will enjoy searching for pigmy seahorses, tiger prawns and frog fish among other species.

Obviously Cenderawasih bay is reknown for the whale sharks that hang around the local fishing platforms (Bagans) feeding off the small fish that drop from the fishermen nets that hang below the bagans to keep the catch fresh. The whale sharks over time has learnt that by nudgng these nets some fish may fall out and create a tasty meal so this means that every bagan has regualar and consistent larege visitors that hang out there all day for your diving pleasure

Cenderawasih Diving

The major attraction at Cenderawasih is the congregations of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) in the southern part of the reserve. While there are a number places in the world where whale sharks congregate, such as the Galápagos, Belize, Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef and Donsol in the Philippines, the sharks are resident in those places for only one to three months before they move away. The fishermen in Cenderawasih say that the bay's whale sharks visit their fishing platforms throughout the year.
Obviously Cenderawasih bay is reknown for the whale sharks that hang around the local fishing platforms (Bagans) feeding off the small fish that drop from the fishermen nets that hang below the bagans to keep the catch fresh. The whale sharks over time has learnt that by nudgng these nets some fish may fall out and create a tasty meal so this means that every bagan has regualar and consistent larege visitors that hang out there all day for your diving pleasure.

Cenderawasih bay

About 23 of these semimobile platforms are located around Kwatisore Bay at the southern end of the park. At dusk fishermen lower massive nets beneath the platforms to about 60 feet deep. Floodlights on the surface illuminate the water to attract millions of ikan puri, three-inch-long baitfish. Fishermen raise the nets in the morning, bringing up tons of the fish, some of which will be collected and used as bait for bonito fishing. The rest of the baitfish remain in the net, hanging just beneath the platform. Whale sharks in the bay have learned to suck these small fishes from the nets. The fishermen feed bucketloads of ikan puri to the sharks, which we now know are opportunistic feeders that can associate humans with food. Cenderawasih Bay is the first location in the world in which such whale-shark behavior has been documented.

Cenderawasih - faqs

Getting There:

Established in 1993 by the Republic of Indonesia, the Cenderawasih Bay National Park covers 5,612 square miles in the southwest quarter of Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua. It can be accessed by sea from the towns of Manokwari and Nabire, which lie 60 miles north and 25 miles northeast, respectively. Flights are available to Manokwari, Biak and Nabire.


The weather is commonly rainy and stormy from February through May; the best time to dive is July through November. Whale sharks are resident year round. Air and water temperatures are commonly in the mid-80s°F, and most dives are between 80 and 130 feet. Tidal currents can be encountered on atoll and reef sites, but conditions are reliably mild where the whale sharks are found.

Hyperbaric Chamber:

The nearest hyperbaric facilities that treat divers are in Raja Ampat (West Papua, Indonesia), Manado (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) and Darwin, Australia.

What documents will I need to show on the boat?

Dive certification cards and dive logbook.

What money will I need?

Most boats accepts payment by Visa or Mastercard, Indonesian Rupiah, Euro or US Dollar. Please be advised that foreign notes should be clean, new and crisp. Indonesian banks and money changers will not accept old notes or notes which are damaged in any way. You can also use your credit or debit card at ATM machines in towns prior to boarding the boat to withdraw Rupiah, which is better should you wish to purchase local souvenirs or for tips. It is advisable to inform your bank or credit card company that you will be visiting Indonesia prior to your departure, as it is not uncommon for the bank to put a block on the card if they suspect it has been misappropriated.

What type of food is available on board?

Meals are prepared by the onboard chef and consist of a delicious mix of international and local dishes. Please advise us as soon as possible if you have any special dietary requirements. Certain special dietary requests and beverage requests may not be available on a consistent basis due to the remote nature of the locations.

Will there be any opportunities to go ashore during the cruise?

There are many different land excursions which are dependent on the schedule and guest preferences. Some land excursions available are beach visits, village visits and other possible trekas weather and time dependant

What if I am prone to sea sickness?

If you are prone to sea sickness we strongly urge you to bring some motion sickness medication.

Will I have to share a cabin if I am travelling as a single?

All rates are quoted on a share basis therefore, unless you require a guaranteed single room and pay an additional supplement you will share your cabin with one other guest.

What is the voltage on the boat?

Voltage in Indonesia is 220-240. Is you feel you will need an adaptor please bring one.

Does the boat provide any toiletries?

There is normally soap, shampoo, hand wash and towels.

What time zone is Indonesia located?

Komodo is 8 hours ahead of GMT. Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih is covered by Eastern Indonesia Standard Time which is 9 hours ahead of GMT.

Is smoking permitted?

A designated area on the boat is available for smoking.

What about crew gratuities?

Gratuities for the crew are not included in your trip price. If the crew performs to your expectations, we suggest a gratuity of approximately 10%-15% of the published package price per person be considered normal aboard a liveaboard dive boat. All tips are split equally among the boat crew. Personal tipping is frowned upon. Payment of gratuities can be by cash or credit card.

Diving Information

Do I need evacuation/dive insurance?

It is mandatory that each guest purchase comprehensive evacuation and dive accident insurance. We will be operating in extremely remote areas. Emergency evacuations from remote locations can cost in excess of USD $100,000. We recommend Divers Alert Network (DAN): www.DiversAlertNetwork.org (in USA), www.daneurope.org (in Europe).

How many dives will we do each day?

There will be up to 4 dives per day with 3-4 dives being normal dependant on the distances travelled between sites and possibly at nightime.

Are there any limitations or restrictions on the diving?

You should stay within the limits and standards of your qualifying agency. All dives should be no- decompression dives. Solo diving is not permitted.

What dive equipment do I need?

Tanks, weights and weight belts are provided onboard. Divers will need to bring BCD, regulator, wetsuit,fins, mask, snorkel and dive light. We have SMBs available for use snd rental equipment

What can I expect the water temperature to be and what wetsuit do you recommend?

This is always a difficult question to answer because people have different reactions to temperature. Typically temperatures range from 25-30C or 80-86F so usually a 3mm suit or even a skin is fine.

Do you have Int or DIN valves?

We have tanks with Int and DIN valve adaptors.

How do we dive from the boat?

All dives will be made from the tenders. Equipment will be transferred to the tenders and guests will board the tender with only their wetsuit on.

Is enriched air nitrox available?

Nitrox fills of up to 32% are available for an additional charge (boat dependant). We recommend diving with nitrox for all dives so we offer some great packages to dive the whole trip with nitrox. Please consult our prices for more details. If you are not yet qualified you can take the course onboard with one of our qualified PADI instructors.

Can I drink alcohol and dive?

No. Drinking alcohol and diving can increase your risk of decompression problems. You can drink alcohol once your have completed your last dive of the day.

Can I fish or spear fish?

Fishing and spear fishing are not available onboard. We will be diving in marine protected areas where any type of fishing is prohibited.

What facilities are available for photographers?

There are normally ample camera tables and cubby holes with charging stations with 110V and 220V above your dive gear. There are ‘camera only’ rinse buckets for the exclusive use of photographers onboard.

Can I pay by Credit card on board?

Yes you can but there is a bank charge of 3%, normal in Indonesia.


Depending on the season the visibility range is between 10-40 metres or 30-120 feet.


All diving areas are subject to currents that range from slight to extremely strong. Dive sites are selected according to currents and timed accordingly.

Night diving:

An opportunity to see some of the world’s most unique marine species that emerge only after the sun has set.

Marine life:

The areas where we dive are unmatched for small and unusual marine wildlife. The species list is endless and new ones are still being discovered in these areas. Whales, manta rays, sharks and larger pelagic species are found in the dive sites with higher currents. Strong currents and up-wellings transport nutrient-rich waters throughout these areas.


The average air temperature in the regions we visit ranges from 25 - 32 Celsius or 77-90 Fahrenheit.

Health and innoculations:

Vaccinations for typhoid, paratyphoid, tetanus, Cholera, Polio, and Hepatitis A are recommended. Malaria is endemic in many parts of Indonesia, please check with your local Tropical Disease Centre for anti-malaria/diver friendly medication.


The Indonesian currency is Rupiah. Rates fluctuate enormously, please check with our cruise directors for your cruise exchange rates.

Population and people:

Regarded as the fifth most populous nation in the world, there are approximately 200,000,000 in Indonesia. The majority, around 60% reside on the island of Java.


An amazing diversity of religions exists. Predominantly a Muslim nation, islands like Timor, North Sulawesi and Flores are Christian. Hinduism is found mainly in Bali. Scattered throughout the region are a variety of other beliefs.


Bahasa Indonesia, almost identical to Malay is the one national language. Several local dialects exist in each region as well. English is widely spoken in the more popular tourist destinations such as Bali.

Diving Indonesia

Out of 14,000+ islands in the archipelago, there are a plethora of exclusive dive locations in Indonesia, boasting up to 80% of the worlds species of undersea life. With Indocruises we take you to pristine spots not that known in your average dive travel guide and which are still being explored. Explore this vast archipelago in comfort, safety and luxury aboard the Pearl of Papua with our experienced and qualified crew.

Dive conditions in Indonesia

  • Diving all year around is possible.
  • Watertemperature 24°(75°F) to 30°C(86°F) (In the south of Komodo it drops down to 21°C (70°F)
  • Visibility is mostly very good (up to 30m) Diving rules

Safety Procedures and Emergency Evacuation Information:

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Indonesia There are 6 recompression chambers in Indonesia to treat decompression sickness

Bali: Sanglah General Hospital (in Indonesian language) USUP Sanglah Denpasar JI. Diponegoro, Denpasar 80114 Bali, IndonesiPhone 62-361-227911 through -15 ext. 232 (hyperbaric medical department) Fax 62-361-22426 Run by Dr. Antonius Natasamudra and Dr. Etty Herawati

Manado (Sulawesi): At the Malalayang Hospital (chamber for 3 to 4 persons) Phone: 0811430913 and ask for Dr Jimmy Waleleng (Phone home 860953). Makassar (Sulawesi): Rumah Sakit Umum Wahidin Sudirohusodo. Contact person: Pak Daniel Address: Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan Km. 11, Tamalanrea Kampus UNHAS Indonesia TEL:++ 62 - 0411 (584677) , 584675. Said to be for 3 to 4 persons.

Jakarta (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (Navy Hospital) in Jl. Bendungan Hilir No.17, Central Jakarta (see text in italian with some addresses - list of help) Kalimantan: The Borneo Divers have the only professional recompression chamber located on Sipadan island (Borneo - Malaysia)

Surabaya (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (RSAL) (Military Marine hospital) Jl. Gadung no. 1, SurabayPhone 031-45750 and 41731 (another number given was 031-838153 and fax 031- 837511) Run by Dr Suharsono Available SAR (search and rescue) contact information:

  • SAR Bali : ph 0361 - 751111 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Lombok : Ph 0370 - 633253 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Makassar : Ph 0411 - 554111 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Manado : Ph 0431 - 825986
  • SAR Kupang : Ph 0380 - 831111
  • SAR Ambon : Ph 0911 - 351111
  • SAR Sorong : Ph 0951 - 323816

**Available SAR (search and rescue) contact information: Medivac facilities from Travira Air www.travira-air.com