Wander Women Indonesia:
A Dive + Spa Liveaboard
March 14-21, 2023
Join us for a week of unparalleled diving and indulgent spa treatments cruising through the best of Raja Ampat on our private charter.
After falling in love with the luxury ScubaSpa Yang vessel we chartered earlier this year in the Maldives, hopping aboard the launch of their brand new sister vessel, the ScubaSpa Zen in Indonesia, was a natural next step!
Join us on a beautifully renovated phinisi, a traditional Indonesian sailing vessel turned floating eco-resort, for a this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip — you deserve it! We’ll meet up in the gorgeous archipelago of Raja Ampat, Indonesia for a blissful seven nights exploring the topside and underwater of some of the most beautiful islands on Earth.
The Indonesian Archipelago is a global biodiversity hotspot housing more than 76% of the world coral species and more species of reef fish than anywhere else on the planet! And we can’t think of anyone better to explore it with than ScubaSpa, who’s award-winning vessels offers exceptional scuba diving, indulgent onboard spa facilities, creative gourmet cuisine, lush yoga decks, stunning itineraries, and truly outstanding service.
When you’re not enjoying a hot stone massage or visiting one of the world’s top dive sites, we’ll be stopping for visits to deserted islands, stand up paddle boarding in crystal clear water, or watching a movie and stargazing from the top deck. This boat was created specifically for divers and non-divers alike — so grab a friend who loves snorkeling and spa treatments as much as you love exploring underwater for an unforgettable week immersing in the islands of the Four Kings!
Spending a week in one of only eight major coral reef zones in the world wouldn’t be complete without a professional photographer to capture it — so we’ll have a true artist onboard along the way to snap photos of you all week long. Need a new profile photo diving with turtles, or if we’re lucky, manta rays? We got you!
Although many would not be able to point out the small cluster on islands on a map, Raja Ampat is well known to the diving community. Home to over 17,500 islands, the archipelago is renowned for its coral reefs, birds of paradise, and the world’s largest mangrove forest. The Coral Triangle is recognized as the epicenter of marine biodiversity, housing the majority of all know coral species and we will be diving smack dab in the middle! This itinerary will visit the best of Raja Ampat, with stops on empty islands for hiking, local villages for smiles, and idyllic beaches for blissing out. And, of course, we’ll explore underwater, whether you prefer to blow bubbles at world-class dive sites or float on the surface with breathtaking snorkeling. You’ll see it all from a luxury phinisi, where you can catch every sunset with a cocktail in hand from the top deck!
This floating retreat will be held from March 14-21, 2023. The cost, which includes nearly everything for the week, starts at $6,075 USD. Because of the exclusive group rates we worked hard to negotiate with the operator, we are able to offer cabins at a lower price than if you booked them directly — with added bonuses like having a private photographer, our own premium yoga instructor, luxury welcome gifts, and guaranteed good vibes!
Each guest will choose their preferred package type, with options listed below.
• Seven nights of accommodation on a luxurious phinisi sailboat
• All meals — seven breakfasts, six lunches, and seven dinners, prepared by internationally qualified chefs
• Daily yoga classes
• Up to eight spa treatments (depending on package chosen)
• Up to fourteen dives (depending on package chosen)
• Visits to secluded islands
• Snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding in the crystal clear waters
• Movie night under the stars on the top deck
• BBQ on a deserted island
• On board wifi for multiple devices, up to 1 GB of usage per a guest (additional coverage available for purchase)
• Liveaboard taxes, service fees and national park entrance, typically charged separately, but covered by us
• A custom welcome bag
• Professional photos of the trip, including underwater shots!
• Roundtrip airport transfers
• Donation to an Indonesian charity, 4Oceans, that supports marine conservation efforts
What’s Not Included
• Flights to Sorong, Indonesia
• Alcohol and snacks not included in the itinerary
• Coffee and tea after breakfast (free of charge during breakfast)
• Dive gear (available for rental) – please note that dive computers are required in Raja Ampat
• Wifi over 1GB of usage
• Mandatory dive and travel insurance
• Tips for the local boat staff (we’ll provide guidance)
• Scuba Enthusiast: This scuba package is for the diehard bubble blowers. You’ll skip the spa treatments for up to fourteen dives over the course of the week. Spa treatments are available for purchase!
• Scuba and Spa: Love both underwater adventures and indulgent topside experiences? Us too! Book this package for six dives and four spa treatments.
• Spa Seeker: This one is for those looking for a wellness week of total relaxation. You’ll get to enjoy eight spa treatments as well as guided snorkeling trips — gear included!
The below itinerary is a sample planned route — but as we want our trip to be unforgettable, we’ll constantly be in search of unique opportunities and experiences. Itinerary is subject to changes due to season, weather conditions and circumstances. And of course, expect a few Wander Women surprises thrown in!
Day 1: Welcome to Indonesia! You’re on island time now. You’ll be picked up at the Sorong Airport and board our luxury phinisi where you can drop your bags and meet for a restorative yoga class to stretch out your travel kinks. Later on, we’ll gather for a safety briefing and dinner al fresco on the deck. The fun has just begun!
Day 2: Rise and shine for a sunrise vinyasa class! Grab some tropical fruit and breakfast, and settle in for a day of diving or spa treatments. We’ll visit Mioskon and Waigeo, where schools of yellow snapper, napoleon wrasse, giant groupers, and wobbegong sharks can be found waiting for both snorkelers and divers alike. Tonight there will also be a night dive at Maaya Tapokren, renowned for its rich biodiversity.
Day 3: Wake up to Gam Island, with its lush and hilly jungle landscape, famous for its population of birds of paradise. Divers can get an early start with a morning dive before breakfast, where we’ll hopefully see wobbegong sharks and pygmy seahorses. Depending on your package, enjoy another dive in the afternoon or a day of pampering in the spa and we’ll meet back up for sun salutations. Enjoy your evening dive at Aljui village jetty, which is also famous for its pearl farm.
Day 4: Picturesque Wayag is a spectacular group of islands and a beautiful site to start your day. We will visit the legendary dive site Cathedral, which is renowned for its spectacular topography and swim-throughs. Meet us on the top deck for a sunset slow and after dinner we will enjoy a movie night under the stars!
Day 5: Another day, another spectacular dive. Kick off Day 5 with a morning dive at Black Rock and Eagle Rock, dive sites well known for their currents and manta populations. Continue your dive expedition at Aljui Wall, which ends in chances a wonderland of shallow corals. Dine under the stars with a beach BBQ after practicing partner yoga on a deserted beach.
Day 6: Awake next to Piaynemo, home to magnificent dive sites like My Reef, a submerged ridge with a wonderful hard coral garden and a hotspot of fish activity. We will then hike to a viewpoint for an awe-inspiring view overlooking the archipelago, a truly Instaworthy view! End the day with yoga nidra that will lull you off to a deep and restful state.
Day 7: Spend your last day at Sawandarek Village, a picturesque area known for its long white beaches. Enjoy an absolutely stunning final dive popular for the hundreds of fish that congregate in and around the multicolored hard and soft corals along with octopi, massive turtles, and giant clams. Non-divers can enjoy snorkeling, spa treatments, and our daily yoga class — we’ll have a local instructor lead one one day partially in the local language, for fun! We’ll then gather for our farewell cocktail and a final dinner on the al fresco restaurant on the phisini.
Day 8: Today we’ll say farewell to our beautiful home for the week. After a final breakfast, exchange photos and contact info with all your new Wander Women besties for future adventures. You’ll have two options for your airport transfer back, depending on your flight schedule.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
This isn’t your average liveaboard dive vessel! The ScubaSpa Zen is a floating PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, complete with spacious rooms, an extraordinary onboard spa, and much, much, more. Rooms are spread along two decks, with slightly larger Superior Double rooms located on the upper deck and featuring panoramic windows and direct outdoor access. Doubles on the lower deck have port lights for peeks out to sea! All rooms have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms with shower. Traveling with two dive buddies? Contact us to book the boat’s sole triple cabin on the upper deck.
When you’re not relaxing in your traditional teak cabin, you’ll be luxuriating and enjoying the boat’s ample amenities. The spa offers a wide range of classic and signature spa treatments, a secluded deck for open-air Thai massage or meditation, and a spa lounge for relaxation. And of course, in typical Wander Women style, we’ll get our yoga on! Some days we’ll flow on the top deck, while some days we’ll hit a private beach for our asanas. The rest of the day, bathe in the tropical climate on the spacious sun-deck to melt away all your stress. And it wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor bar, which is the ideal spot from which to sip a glass of fizz while the sun sets on another day across the Coral Triangle.
All of your meals are included and will be prepared by internationally qualified chefs. We’ll dine on varied cuisine at buffet-style meals, complete with live cooking stations served in the spacious al fresco restaurant at the rear of the main deck. Vegetarians and vegans will be easily accommodated. For those looking to indulge further, wine and cocktails are available each meal for purchase (and between meals at the bar — let’s toast to you!).
Given that Raja Ampat is one of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems, our vessel and their operators have sustainability as a top priority. All of the waste is treated with a state-of-the-art system, and the boat has reduced plastic use by installing mineralized water plants, eliminating single-use plastic water bottles, and replacing plastic straws with reusable glass and aluminum ones.
Raja Ampat has been called “the Amazon of the Seas,” boasting the record amount of fish species ever recorded in one dive, and graces the bucket list of underwater addicts everywhere. Diving in Indonesia can be challenging due to strong currents, and dive sites are in most cases very remote. Divers will be required to hold an Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent with a minimum of 30 logged dives.
Raja Ampat is home to world-class dive sites with rich biodiversity, thriving coral beds and incredible visibility. Indonesia boasts a tropical climate, stretching for more than 5000 km on either side of the equator. We chose March for our retreat dates as the sky and seas are clearest during this dry season, ranked as peak season for liveaboards. Water temperatures are balmy in the low 70s to low 80s F (23-29 C). As if one luxury yacht wasn’t enough, we’ll be hopping in the turquoise waters from a separate dive vessel which carries our equipment, including air compressors and state-of-the-art nitrox. The dive boat is purpose built for comfort, with plentiful seating, multiple entry points, a stern platform, and on-board toilet facilities. We’ll be diving with experienced, multilingual dive masters/instructors and boat crew throughout the week.
Diving from a liveaboard offers the opportunity to visit many different reefs and dive sites throughout the archipelago, so we’ll drop anchor at secluded dive spots off the beaten path. Expect swim throughs, caves, overhangs, healthy coral reefs, and a night dive. Whether you’re an instructor or recently certified, there will be plenty for you to see. (Turtles galore! Hopefully hammerheads! Excited for eagle rays!) Groups will be divided based on experience level.
Getting There and Away
We’ll meet in Sorong, where you will fly in and out of Domine Eduard Osok Airport (SOQ), the main airport to access Raja Ampat.
There are no international flights into Sorong but many airlines fly there from Indonesia’s international airports – Jakarta, Makassar, Surabaya and Manado. Airport transfers to the boat each way are included. We recommend booking a return ticket to one of the above airports and then a separate return ticket to Sorong. We are always happy to help with booking and travel recommendations.
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alex Baackes as your host, yoga teacher, and ocean hype girl Rayna O’Nan as your photographer.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland as well as a PADI Divemaster, a PADI AmbassaDiver, and a Women Divers’ Hall of Fame Grant Recipient and Associate Member. She has worked in the dive industry as an underwater videographer, a writer for publications like Sport Diver and Scuba Diver magazines, and as the creator of Wander Women Retreats. She is also a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an RYT 50 Aerial Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for more than a decade — she can’t wait to practice with you.
Rayna is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, owner of Ocean Rays Photography and self-professed shark whisperer who has been working with sharks for nearly 10 years. Rayna has joined us in Key Largo, in the Maldives, and in her home of West Palm Beach! After becoming a scuba instructor in the Florida Keys, she picked up an underwater camera and fell in love, allowing her to travel the world taking photos of underwater life to inspire marine conservation. Rayna spends her days guiding others through their own shark experiences, along with using her marine biology background to educate her guests on the importance of sharks in our marine ecosystems. She can’t wait to capture your best angle amongst the beauty of Raja Ampat, above and below the surface.
Extend Your Adventure
Want to see more of Southeast Asia? Year after year Bali is rated as the #1 bucket list destination in the world – basically, it’s paradise and we want to be the ones to show you why.
Alex and Shannon are long time island girls and Shannon has even called Bali home for the last two years. Picture hidden waterfalls, beach clubs, endless paddy field views, melting massages and crystal clear waters.
On Wander Women Bali we will spend two nights at an authentic villa overlooking the jungle in central Ubud before setting off for three nights in our wow-worthy villa in Canggu, and finally, two nights at a boutique hotel in Uluwatu.
Nowhere on the planet offers the same combination of surfing, spirituality and sun-kissed pleasure as Bali. On the Island of the Gods, fresh ideas arrive like waves, creating a glorious cocktail of cultures and influences. Bali is teeming with creative energy, filled with delicious healthy food, blessed with easy access to nature and bursting with adrenaline-fueled adventure activities.
Coming all the way and can’t imagine not doing it all? Guests who are signed up for the Raja Ampat Liveaboard get an additional 10% off the Bali retreat!
Our last liveaboard sold out in four days! This retreat has even more limited availability of accommodation styles, so we recommend booking quickly to avoid missing out on your first choice. Please note, the price is the same for each package, so once you book your preferred room style we’ll reach out for your choice in package. A deposit is required to hold your spot, and payment plans are available upon request.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over whether this luxury Raja Ampat experience is right for you. We’d love to chat.
Wander Women Raja Ampat // March 14 – March 21, 2022
$6,075.00 – $7,000.00
Is this trip women only?
This one’s for the girls! (Okay, all our trips are but…) Our customers love taking time to dive with just women in this male-dominated industry. We are so proud of the supportive, empowering vibe of our dive retreats and know that you’ll love them, too!
What is the refund policy?
Remaining invoices are due 120 days before departure, and all payments are non-refundable.
If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control (for example, a global pandemic resurgence!), you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip. Otherwise, your investment will be protected by mandatory travel insurance, which brings us to our next question!
Will I need travel and dive insurance?
Everyone will be required to have personal travel and dive insurance for the duration of the trip. World Nomads offers coverage incredibly affordable rates — we recommend their Explorer Plan, which will reimburse you in the case you need to cancel your trip for a myriad of reasons, or should your trip be interrupted by flight delays, illness, or more. We urge you to purchase travel insurance as soon as you make your deposit to ensure the most coverage.
I have a unique rooming request, how can you help me?
Email us! If you want to share a bed in a double room, want a triple with two of your besties, want to be on the waitlist for a sold out room type, whatever — we’ll do our best to make it happen via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the COVID situation in Indonesia?
As of July 2021, only travelers who are fully vaccinated (with two doses) can enter Indonesia. Full vaccination with a booster is required for domestic travel within Indonesia but those who have not received a booster will need to undergo antigen testing prior to their domestic flight – this service is available within all airports in Indonesia for a small fee ($5-$10). We expect the tourism industry to be fully open by the time of this trip, and will re-evaluate COVID policies closer to the time of departure.
What dive certification do I need?
Advanced Open Water certification is required along with 30 logged dives on the Raja Ampat expedition. Diving in Indonesia can be challenging due to strong currents, and dive sites are in most cases very remote! This means that any help (doctor, hospital or recompression chamber) is most of the time several hours or days away. Divers should be able to dive without help of an instructor. Dive guides are there to guide, and for unlikely cases of emergency.
What will this trip be like for non-divers?
We chose this boat specifically for its incredible amenities that appeal to both divers and non-divers! Each guest will choose between three packages, with one being geared towards non-divers. The spa package includes eight spa treatments as well as guided snorkeling trips.
The spa menu consists of more than 20 treatment options including Balinese, Thai, Filipino ‘Hilot’, Ayurvedic, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, Warm Bamboo, Lava Shell and Hot Stone therapies. Additionally, we have some activities planned for everyone, diver and non-diver alike, including beach visits, hikes, as well as other water sports. And of course, you’ll have full range of the phinisi’s amenities, where you can take in all the views of the turquoise waters of the Coral Triangle! We couldn’t have dreamed up a more relaxing trip if we tried.
Is there a price difference for non-divers or divers?
No. Non-divers will choose the spa package, where they’ll be spoiled with eight spa treatments, guided snorkeling, and all the other non dive activities listed. Our diehard scuba gals can choose the scuba package, where they can dive to their heart’s content (up to 14 dives). And, for those of us who like a little of everything, you can choose the scuba + spa package, with six dives and four spa treatments. Divers can purchase spa treatments separately and spa-goers can add on dives, too! Once you book your room type, we’ll reach out with a welcome email to lock in your choice of package.
How safe is this boat?
The safety of our guests is of utmost importance! This phinisi has high safety standards, including regular fire drills, multiple exit points, fire hoses and fire extinguishers, EFR trained staff, a defibrillator, and an emergency evacuation boat. Contact us if you have more questions.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish. Some guests attend none at all!
How much money will I need to bring?
For alcohol not included in the itinerary, expect to pay around $7-16 per drink, depending on your preference for beer, wine, or cocktails. For non-alcoholic drinks, (like coffee and tea after lunch, fresh coconut juice, zero proof cocktails, or sodas) prices range from $5-10 per drink. All prices are subject to a 10% tax.
While you’ll be fed three delicious meals per day by internationally qualified chefs, everyone has a snack hankering here and there! Snacks available outside of mealtime include smoothies ($8) and ice cream sundaes ($12) — so whether you’re feeling healthy or indulgent you’ll have an option.
For tips to the local boat crew, we recommend between $400-800, whatever you feel comfortable with.
Want your travel clothes washed? Laundry is available at $5 per 1KG. Wifi is included, with up to 1 GB of data, but incurs fees after that data is used.
The boat accepts cash payments in Indonesian Rupiah as well as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Union Pay credit cards at a 3% charge. The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and it is possible to change money at the airport upon arrival or to use an ATM. The exchange rate is 15,000 IDR to 1 USD. All transactions onboard will be converted from USD to IDR on the final billing.
What’s the wifi situation like?
We all love some time to unplug, but we understand checking in with family or work is important, too. Each guest gets 1GB of data included in their package, and additional data can be purchased, ranging from $10 for 1 GB, $40 for 5 GB, or $100 for unlimited data. All prices are subject to a 10% tax.
While it might not be exactly as speedy as home, 4G speed data (up to 15MB/S) isn’t bad for floating in the Indian Ocean. The phinisi is covered with hot spots, meaning you can log on on up to four appliances at once. The range depends on proximity of broadcasting transmitters located on local islands. Good reception is available most of the time.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older to join.
Is there a waiting list?
Yes! Once a retreat is sold out, we start a waitlist. Email us at email@example.com with your preferred room type.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.