Roger Tours’ North Sulawesi Passport to Paradise
This week we welcomed back to Murex Manado Roger Winter who is the owner of Roger Tours – a large scale German dive travel agency that organises group and individual dive travel all over the world. This group took our Passport to Paradise, our most popular program as it allows divers to explore 3 distinctive diving areas (Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh) with boat diving transfers so there is no wasted travel time and no packing and unpacking your gear.
Roger himself has a long history with Murex and this is his 12th time visiting Murex – his first time being 32 years ago when the resort was still being built by late Dr Hanny Batuna. Roger’s first dives in North Sulawesi were made during this time and he loved it so much he came back again and again. Roger recalls the days before Murex had the fast dive boats that we have today and him and his wife Margit would explore the area with Dr. Hanny on board the “Serenade” liveaboard. On one of Roger’s return visits he visited Bangka Island at the time when Dr Batuna was merely thinking about purchasing land to develop a resort. Roger and Dr Batuna spent time exploring the diving, walking around the local villages and admiring the stunning white sand beach which is now where Murex Bangka is located.
It was around 1968 when Roger began arranging dive trips, primarily for friends, under the name of “Roger Tours Best Friends”. At that time Roger would organise just 4 trips a year to the Mediterranean Sea and later to the Red Sea in Egypt. From these small beginnings Roger Tours developed and grew in size until Roger eventually shortened the name of the company to Roger Tours, moved into an office, hired staff and started sending divers all over the world. As the company grew however it maintained its family friendliness and the personal touches which divers came to love so much from Roger and Margit. Roger Tours now sends divers to the Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, French Polynesia, the Caribbean, Palau, the Maldives, Galapagos, Norway, the Arctic and of course Indonesia.
It’s incredible that with so many destinations to choose from and 32 years on, Roger still chooses to bring his guests to Murex and dive with us! This week Rogers group of 16 divers are exploring the Bunaken Marine Park as well as some of the muck diving sites around Manado Bay. The guests are looking forward to a highland tour at the end of the week which they will take on the way to Murex Bangka. After a week in Bangka they will visit the Tangkoko Nature Reserve on their way to Lembeh Resort – what an awesome adventure Roger has planned for them!
Roger says that he loves diving in North Sulawesi and returning to Murex as he likes the drift dives at Bangka and the walls in Bunaken and he finds that in the resorts guests are treated like family and are extremely professional. “I know my guests will be looked after in the resort and when out diving. Everything at Murex is about divers – the boats are for divers, the schedule is organised and the guides are great. In the resort the food is good and the service is excellent. The Passport to Paradise program combined with some land tours means that my guests really get to see a lot of North Sulawesi and the package can be tailor made to suit my guests schedule and how many days they want to spend in each location”.
Roger, who is now based in Bali also owns Bali Villa Dive Resort which is a boutique dive resort in North Bali. If you’d like to explore Bali as well as North Sulawesi during your stay we also offer combination packages with Bali Villa Dive Resort which can be viewed on our Indonesian Explorer page.
Why choose between Bali and North Sulawesi when you can do both in one trip!