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Indonesia Liveaboard- Seven Seas vs. Archipelago Adventurer II


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#1 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:51 PM

I have an opportunity to go on a trip on the Seven Seas. I was ready to sign up but just got some recent feedback from some friends who went on a trip on the Archipelago Adventurer II. They were raving about the high quality of the boat, the crew, the service, etc. How do the boats compare?

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who's familiar with (and even been on :) ) both boats.

I'm all ears!

Ellen
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#2 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:05 AM

Is this during our trip or a separate one?
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#3 TheRealDrew

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 07:13 AM

I'm all ears!



Then how can you type? :) :D Sorry. Could not resist :)

#4 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:32 AM

Is this during our trip or a separate one?


Hi,

This trip is to Raja Ampat in February 2010. You're most welcome to come, I'd love to have you along. :) I'll send you a separate email with all the particulars. Apparently the Seven Seas is very similar to the Archipelago Adventurer II that our board friends went on. It's gotten some rave reviews, too. The underwater photographer who invited me to go on this trip has been on the Seven Seas before and liked it so much he chartered the boat for another trip.

Cheers,

Ellen
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#5 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:34 AM

I have not been on Archipelago Adventurer, but I have been on Seven Seas. And it was AWESOME. FWIW :)

(my comparison is against Okeanos Agressor, Galapagos Aggressor II, Cayman Agressor, Supersport in Australia and the Gulf Diving boats. Seven Seas wipes the floor with all of them, IMHO)
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#6 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 10:04 AM

Then how can you type? :) :ninja: Sorry. Could not resist :huh:


There's nothing I can say to that one right now except :) :D


The REAL response (as in REAL Drew) will come later :wacko:
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#7 Graham Abbott

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:10 AM

For quite some time now I've been thinking about the dive industry and the kind of divers travelling these days? For me, I always make sure I'm going with an operator who can offer me the best quality diving and show me marine life and/or behaviours I've never seen before...

I thought the first thing any really keen diver would be intersted in was the quality of diving offered. Am I wrong, is it really the quality of boat that divers think about first now?

#8 mtnman

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:26 AM

Graham-
I agree that the quality of the diving is most important but the quality of the boat can affect a trip. A bad crew, bad food, leaky vessel etc. can overshadow the diving. I think people are looking for a certain minimium in the boat regardless of the diving.

#9 webhead

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:22 PM

Hi, I had a wonderful time on the Adventurer earlier this year, and would recommend it for all the important things on a liveaboard trip - great people, diving and boat...

#10 cor

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:30 AM

I think the quality of the boat is a big part of what makes or breaks a trip. Im not just talking facilities, but maybe more important, local knowledge of the crew
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#11 scorpio_fish

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:05 AM

For quite some time now I've been thinking about the dive industry and the kind of divers travelling these days? For me, I always make sure I'm going with an operator who can offer me the best quality diving and show me marine life and/or behaviours I've never seen before...

I thought the first thing any really keen diver would be intersted in was the quality of diving offered. Am I wrong, is it really the quality of boat that divers think about first now?


The quality of diving is the primary factor in choosing a destination.

The quality of the boat determines which operator the diver chooses. Each person or couple has a minimum standard of comfort, a desired standard of comfort and a value expectation based on comparable dive operators in other locations.

A trip to Raja for 12 days cost us US$13000. For that amount of money, I prefer not to pump a marine head, nor have it belch noxious fumes constantly, nor have a container with a weeks worth of toilet paper in it, eat tepid food, pull hair out of the food, not have a an A/C'd salon to hang out in, a semi-mattress that kills your back, etc., etc. No matter how good the diving is, no one wants to be miserable the other 19 hours of the day.

Such a trip is not an annual event for most. What dive operators need to understand is that if they provide a premium service, even if they have to charge and extra $100 a day to provide it. People will pay it if they know they have confidence they will receive a great experience.

I counted 8 boats plying the waters of Raja Ampat, excluding the Odyssea. Two more are coming. If you haven't noticed, you get far more questions asking which is the best boat vs. which is the cheapest.

Is Wakatobi the best dive destination? Probably not. Is the cheapest place to dive in Indonesia? Definitely not. Why is it always full? It the other stuff.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

Edited by scorpio_fish, 20 May 2008 - 11:05 AM.

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#12 Graham Abbott

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:06 PM

Interesting to see how wrong I am here!

I too want and need a level of comfort, though if there's an option between great comfort and great knowledge, I'll go with the latter each time.
Here's an example - I just went to Anilao, no air-con rooms though I didn't get hot once, no shades on boats, really didn't like this as I had to squat under a small shade for long periods of time. However the knowledge of our guide (Peri) was second to none. He managed to avoid currents, take us to places with no other divers and show outstanding marine life, some of which I'd never seen before too! Now I realise why Club Ocellaris is the place professionals choose in Anilao!

For any diver new to Indonesia you will be blown away by either seven seas or archipelago, they are both fine boats with great guides!

However for photographers I'd suggest trying to book on a more photo specific trip as your usual join in charter trip may do lots of sites, where as a photo specific trip should dive you on only the best for capturing great images!

#13 seagrant

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:45 PM

However for photographers I'd suggest trying to book on a more photo specific trip as your usual join in charter trip may do lots of sites, where as a photo specific trip should dive you on only the best for capturing great images!


I totally agree with Graham here. I know there are nice liveaboard trips - on fancier boats - but when the boats are filled with 18 or more photographers and it is more expensive - what is the point?

I went on a trip with Graham to Flores/Alor in fall of '05. It was on the Temukira which was plenty nice enough. The trip was reasonable $$, 11 or 12 days - something like that and 7, yes only 7 photographers on the boat and long-long bottom times!! Plus the convenience of not having to dive off tenders or chase boats I really liked - just jumping off the back of the boat whenever..... Great dive freedom. And then get the chase boat to pick you up or swim back to the boat. No worries! Plus we had three great dive guides (for 7 divers!) - Graham and two from the Temukira, including a guide who was from Flores and knew it well. Ah, I want to go back!!!! :lol:

So I'm sure you will enjoy either of the boats mentioned. But I'm all for the "trips less traveled" - more personal attention, local knowledge and great guides.

Just my 2 cents - :D

Kind Regards, Carol


Graham-
I agree that the quality of the diving is most important but the quality of the boat can affect a trip. A bad crew, bad food, leaky vessel etc. can overshadow the diving. I think people are looking for a certain minimium in the boat regardless of the diving.


Re: the trip mentioned above - food was great - no leaks - fantastic crew - we even had air cond. (although it was too cold for me sometimes so I turned it off.....). Some boats just run a lot more $$ than others and I can live without some of the "fancier" aspects that add a lot of cost and need to pack the boat more full of divers. I think Graham and I and whomever else spent most hours of the day/night underwater anyway. B)

Regardless you will have a great time! Best, Carol

Edited by seagrant, 23 May 2008 - 10:54 PM.


#14 mandarinfish

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:04 PM

I tend to gravitate more toward what Graham and Carol have indicated. Smaller, more personalized and photo-centric tours with absolutely *the best" local knowledge. Reputation is everything. Boats full of photographers are not necessarily what I'm talking about. Seems like all boats are full of photographers these days.

While some minimum level of comfort is desired, it is far less important to me what the amenities of a boat are, versus the knowledge and service of the operator. That is why I choose the operators that I choose, rather than those which are favored on scuba bulletin boards and the like. Most popular means little to me.

Linda

Edited by mandarinfish, 25 May 2008 - 06:25 AM.


#15 Scuba_SI

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

I have an opportunity to go on a trip on the Seven Seas. I was ready to sign up but just got some recent feedback from some friends who went on a trip on the Archipelago Adventurer II. They were raving about the high quality of the boat, the crew, the service, etc. How do the boats compare?

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who's familiar with (and even been on :D ) both boats.

I'm all ears!

Ellen


If your friends were on the Archipelago Adventurer II in the last two months they were fortunate enough to have the MOST HANDSOME Cruise Director ever! :lol: :D

Both boats are great, just make sure you get on the boat with like minded people and you'll have a blast.

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#16 Drew

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:49 AM

I'll refrain from commenting too much on the 7 seas since I know the owners but suffice to say I've chartered it before and am booked again. There are a few people who have been on the boat with me, and Craig R has voiced his opinion on the boat. I do hope that people who have actually been on both boat and have no vested interests other than happy or unhappy customers comment on the boats.

Both 7 Seas and Adventurer II have camera table designs "inspired" by me and both management still grumble at me for making them do it too. :lol:

I too want and need a level of comfort, though if there's an option between great comfort and great knowledge, I'll go with the latter each time.
Here's an example - I just went to Anilao, no air-con rooms though I didn't get hot once, no shades on boats, really didn't like this as I had to squat under a small shade for long periods of time. However the knowledge of our guide (Peri) was second to none. He managed to avoid currents, take us to places with no other divers and show outstanding marine life, some of which I'd never seen before too! Now I realise why Club Ocellaris is the place professionals choose in Anilao!

Graham, if you were just in Philippines just now, how do you know who the best guides? :D :D There are quite a few pros who use other ops in Anilao. And sites that were suddenly discovered the last 2 years were dived for many years by certain people who keep it quiet. I'd say unlike a liveboard, resort location is also important. Being closer to a good site or a great house reef makes the resort a much better place to dive... even if one has to suffer bland food.

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#17 Graham Abbott

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:44 AM

Drew... I clearly state -- "Here's an example". You're going far away from this threads original question so if needed I'll answer you by email or PM as the readers of this thread may not want to know about Anilao or our views on dive site secrecy!

I have a several months worth of charters already filled and starting very soon on Seven Seas if this helps the thread!

#18 ornate_wrasse

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:14 AM

If your friends were on the Archipelago Adventurer II in the last two months they were fortunate enough to have the MOST HANDSOME Cruise Director ever! :D :D


Simon,

Yes, those are the friends I am referring to in my post. They've made many posts about this trip on another scuba board. I did see Judy make a reference to Simon and wondered if it was you.

I'll have to check with her to see if your "Most Handsome Cruise Director" statement is accurate :D

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#19 cor

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:57 PM

Are people suggesting it's an either-or thing? Either you have great comfort but a sucky crew, or the best crew but a bad boat? What's wrong with wanting both? Id prefer not to settle for either. Id like a comfortable place to stay, and a knowledgeable crew.

Maybe comfort means different things to different people.
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#20 JudyG

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:18 PM

Simon,

Yes, those are the friends I am referring to in my post. They've made many posts about this trip on another scuba board. I did see Judy make a reference to Simon and wondered if it was you.

I'll have to check with her to see if your "Most Handsome Cruise Director" statement is accurate :D

Ellen


Simon - the most handsome Cruise Director? I'll take the 5th on that one :D - but as you know, Ellen, our group loved the boat and thought the crew (with the exception of flagrante and frequent wagging on the part of Simon :D were outstanding.

Sounds like you can't go wrong with either boat - likely just an issue of picking best timing.

J.