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Join acclaimed marine biologist and photographer Dr Richard Smith as he returns to Wakatobi to explore the exceptional marine life of this remote region on board the luxurious Pelagian liveaboard, and from resort.

Extending out from the south-eastern reaches of Sulawesi in Indonesia, Wakatobi consists of four main islands, along with numerous smaller islands and atolls.  Located at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the region is renowned for exceptional coral reefs and staggering diversity. 

An expert in the dive sites and marine life of Wakatobi, Richard will join the luxurious Pelagian liveaboard for one week as it cruises some of the most remote reaches of Indonesia, lending his knowledge and expertise through informal talks and workshops. A second week will be spent based at Wakatobi Dive Resort, where guests will experience a level of care, comfort and seclusion rarely found elsewhere. Over 40 exceptional dive sites surround Wakatobi Dive Resort, including possibly the world’s finest house reef. 

You are invited to join Richard for various lengths of stay on either the liveaboard, at the resort, or both.

Read Richard's blog on his previous adventure with Dive Worldwide to Raja Ampat.

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart the UK for Bali, Indonesia

  2. Day 2: Arrive in Bali

    On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation in Bali, where you will have the rest of the day to relax, enjoy a spa and settle into the Indonesian way of life.

  3. Day 3: Begin your Wakatobi adventure

    Continue to Wakatobi Dive Resort by private resort flight this morning. Once at Wakatobi, there will be time to enjoy your beautiful surroundings and get to know Richard, your expert leader, and fellow guests.

    Those opting to join the week on board the Pelagian liveaboard, will be shown to their cabin and embark on an unrivalled adventure around the islands, reefs and atolls of Wakatobi.

  4. Days 4-8 : Dive and explore Wakatobi

    Enjoy five days of diving the exceptional reefs and dive sites of Wakatobi, from either resort or by liveaboard. This area is unique in having barrier reefs, fringing reefs and atolls, ensuring a superb variety of dive sites and  diversity of marine life.

    Richard will enhance your diving experience each day with informal marine life talks to ensure you get more from your diving experience.

  5. Day 9: Day at leisure

    Unless you opt to continue your stay in Wakatobi, today is at leisure to take stock of your adventures and appreciate your surroundings. A range of spa treatments are available at Wakatobi Dive Resort to round off your stay in suitable style.

  6. Day 10: Depart Wakatobi

    Your adventure ends today as you say goodbye to Wakatobi and Richard, taking a private resort charter flight back to Bali, continuing your journey home later today.

  7. Day 11: Arrive UK

You should note: The above itinerary is based on a one week stay only in Wakatobi. Extended stays combining both the Pelagian liveaboard and Wakatobi Dive Resort differ in price, duration and itinerary. Further details on request.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 11 to 18 days from £4,345 pp
  • Single supplement: From £1,120
  • Group size: 9: (12 in resort)
  • Departures:
    1. , Liveaboard only (7 nights)
    2. , Liveaboard & resort (11 nights)
    3. , Liveaboard & resort (14 nights)
    4. , Resort only (7 nights)
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Flights from the UK
    • 1 night accommodation Bali (breakfast)
    • 7 nights Wakatobi Dive Resort (full board)
    • 5 days diving with up to 3 boat dives per day and unlimited shore diving
    • Services of expert leader Dr Richard Smith
    • Private resort charter flights
    • All transfers

Expert leader

Dr Richard Smith

Photo of Dr Richard Smith

Dr Smith studied marine ecology and evolution, completing the first ecological research on pygmy seahorses as part of his Phd to become one of the world’s leading experts.

Richard spent a number of years as the in-house naturalist at Wakatobi Dive Resort Indonesia and more recently has been the resident marine biologist on board the Dewi Nusantara luxury liveaboard. An acclaimed photographer and engaging speaker, his work has been published widely in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia, including his regular column for Sport Diver magazine.

He also supports conservation initiatives such as ARKive, The Zoological Society of London and EDGE of Existence (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) with images and expertise. Richard has travelled widely throughout the Asia Pacific region and regularly leads trips to some of the world’s top dive destinations.

Featured locations:


Located in southeast Sulawesi, the Wakatobi islands are in Tukang Besi Archipelago and can be dived from resort and liveaboard. Uniquely, there are fringing and barrier reefs as well as atolls, ensuring incredible variety and fantastic diving, with large numbers of cetaceans.

  • Ideal for viewing: pygmy seahorse, spotted eagle ray, green turtle, giant frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish
  • Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Resort based diving, Singles diving, Luxury diving, Reef diving, Shore diving


Often overlooked as a dive destination, Bali offers exceptional diving, from superb macro life to exciting drift dives and encounters with mantas. The wreck of the USS Liberty at Tulamben is the island’s signature dive, while the elusive mola mola are seen seasonally.

  • Ideal for viewing: mola mola, reef manta ray, pygmy seahorse, ornate ghost pipefish, black-tip reef shark
  • Excellent for: Resort based diving, Luxury diving, Family diving, Group diving, Muck diving, Shore diving, Underwater photography
This itinerary is available on the liveaboard shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.


Accommodating just ten guests, this boutique yacht is based at Wakatobi and can be easily combined with a stay at the resort. The region offers pristine reefs, muck diving, steep walls, caves and drift diving.

Featured accommodation:

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Located in southeast Sulawesi, this luxury eco-friendly diving resort offers all the creature comforts of the modern world in a secluded, unspoiled setting. A true tropical island hideaway.