Special Philippines Ninja Trip with LAMAVE Research Institute

Envision bow-riding spinner dolphins leading your hand-carved wooden Phinisi ship across aquamarine waters to some of the most pristine marine sanctuaries in the coral triangle. As you giant stride into the water, your view changes from rocky islands drenched in tropical forests to vibrant coral gardens teeming with fish, turtles and nudibranchs. Every diver has those critters on their bucket list that they have been searching the world over to find. From mating mandarin fish, clown frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish, mimic octopus, to the elusive thresher shark and gigantic whale shark, this ninja adventure has it all. 

In true Dive Ninjas style, we have created a chance to explore this breath-taking corner of the world with the leading marine conservation organization in the Philippines: LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines). Gonzalo Araujo, the executive director of LAMAVE will be joining us on this specially curated Siren Liveaboards trip, to explore the Visayas Archipelago. 

 Join us for 11 days, 10 nights in the global center for marine biodiversity, Jan 10-20th, 2022 for a chance to see first-hand the incredible work that LAMAVE is doing with the whale sharks, rays, turtles, and local communities of the Philippines that are learning to live in harmony with them. From pgymy sea horses to the biggest fish in the sea, you will not won’t to miss this! Sign up now or read on for more info.

Trip Quick Facts

  • Includes special $500 Ninja Discount!
  • Whale Sharks, Thresher Sharks, & Insane Macro!
  • 9 days of diving in the Coral Triangle!
  • 10 nights/ 11 Days Liveaboard
Diving with great hammerheads in Bimini, The Bahamas. Photo by Jay Clue, Dive Ninja Expeditions

The Ship

A ten minute drive from our arrival airport in Cebu, is the Mactan Island Marina where we will board our home for the next ten days. This handcrafted ironwood and teak boat, stretches 40 meters long and just under 10 meters wide to comfortably hold 16 guests and 12 crew.  Spacious twin and double bed cabins have ensuite bathrooms and feature centrally- heated hot water and individually controlled air conditioning units. You can take in the stunning views above deck with an outdoor dinning area,  and the covered and uncovered sundeck. Get ready for the day on the most spacious dive deck you have ever seen equipped with extra personal storage space and charging stations. Set up your camera gear on the INDOOR camera table, and prepare your gear without fear! Take a kayak and cruise around the archipelago, edit your photos in the indoor lounge, or join us for one of many presentations from LAMAVE and Jay Clue on the plasma screen T.V; you will NOT want to leave this floating divers heaven.

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Ninja-Level Itinerary

Being the global center for marine biodiversity with nearly 8,000 islands, the Philippines is like a diver’s buffet; but we have selected the very best dishes for this 10 day feast!  Imagine, after breakfast the crew ask you what you want to see today?  Macro or wide angle, cuttlefish or whale sharks? It’s as if you died and went to a heaven!  With 3-4 dives a day we will explore the Visayas archipelago including Southern Leyte, and Malapascua. The dives in Sogod Bay vary from coral decorated walls to world renowned muck diving, hard and soft coral, hairy frogfish to whale sharks in the clear deep blue, and at night we might even get to see the famous Wonderpus octopus in action. The free nitrox will come in handy when we go to Malapascua Island where we will go for dawn dives down to 30 meters in order to observe the Thresher sharks’ morning routine at the cleaning station. One of the only places in the world to see this incredibly evolved species make its quirky facial expressions all in its natural habitat. Eagle rays, devil rays, and manta rays even come into the cleaning station from time to time. Chocolate island is a haven for soft corals, nudibranches, bearded scorpionfish, and dwarf cuttlefish. The many other islands we will visit are known for their variety of sites and species including: stunning walls, turtles, sea snakes, shallow coral gardens, and macro life such as: coleman shrimps, zebra crabs, and giant frogfish, coconut and mimic octopus, seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, and so much more. Whale sharks even come into the pier to feed on plankton at night. Throughout the week, your Ninja guide, Jay Clue, will be offering talks on conservation and customized photography workshops. LAMAVE director, Gonzalo, will be teaching us all about their research with the marine life there and how they are using education and outreach within the community to better protect the center of the coral triangle.

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Bimini Big Game Club

What’s the Cost?

With only 15 spaces available, the trip price is $3950 USD per person, that’s a $500 Ninja Discount!  This includes all diving & activities, transfers to and from the airport, as well as a generous donation to the LAMAVE project.  In addition, it includes 12L tanks, weights and belts, presentations, Nitrox fills, full set of Aqualung rental gear (Reg, BCD, Fins, Wetsuit, Mask), 10 nights accommodation on a shared basis (2 per room), 3 delicious meals per day plus ample snacks, juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee, local beers, fresh towels in your stateroom as needed, as well as fresh towels on the dive deck for drying off between dives. Throughout the week, there will also be presentations and workshops from our special guest with the LAMAVE Project.

What’s not Included

Additional equipment hire such as torch and computer (please note that all divers are required to dive with a dive computer), spirits, cocktails, wine, on-board merchandise and dive courses, crew and dive guide gratuities (at your discretion), Port and Marine Park fees ($155 per person, which can be paid on board in cash) Also, the Philippines government charges a $18 airport tax.

Shark research trip to Bimini Bahamas
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Shark research trip to Bimini Bahamas

Supporting Sustainable Whale Shark Tourism and LAMAVE Project

In Southern Leyte, the local villages have a long history of protecting the whale sharks that feed on the zooplankton so close to their shores every year. They have realized the importance of minimizing disturbances to the whale sharks to sustain long-term ecotourism economies in the surrounding communities. Therefore, we can dive and swim with the whale sharks in clear blue water in a sustainable way knowing that these gentle giants congregate here naturally with little to no human impact. A portion of your trip will be donated directly to LAMAVE project and their ongoing efforts to protect the whale sharks and other marine vertebrates all over the Philippines with research and education.

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Flights and Pre-Trip Info

The closest international airport, Mactan-Cebu (CEB), is only a 15 minute drive from the boat! Being the second busiest airport in the Philippines, there are direct flights to and from Cebu on a regular basis from Emirates, Silk, Eva Air, Cathay Pacific, and Asiana Airlines. The boat will depart from the Marina Seaview Restaurant at the Cebu Yacht Club promptly at 1pm on January 10th. We will return to the same marina at 10 am on the final day of the charter. We always recommend arriving the day before the trip to avoid any delays, however if you want to arrive on the date of departure be sure to schedule your transfer to the boat at least 1-2 hours before the departure time. Please note that the authorities in the Phillipines require the dive licenses and certificates of all our guests at least 14 days prior to the trip.

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Shark research trip in Bimini Bahamas

Thresher Sharks Kill Prey with Tail 
By: Animal Wire 

Expedition Quick Facts:

Ship: Philippine Siren
Board: Jan 10th 2022 at 1pm
Disembark: Jan 20 2022 at 10 am
Duration: 11 Days, 10 nights
Dive Days: 9 full days,  32+ dives
Nearest Airport: Cebu-Mactan Internation (CEB)
Trip Cost: $4200.00 USD
Min Deposit to Reserve: 30%

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Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines
By LAMAVE Project