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Last Minute Diving Trip to Banda Sea on Tiare Liveaboard
On our special 11 night cruise on Tiare Liveaboard - Sep 28-Oct 09, 2017 - $ 5940 - NOW $ 4455
This is a very special diving trip to cruise Banda Sea from Alor to Misool in South Raja Ampat. You do not find this itinerary published. This journey cruises through a wide range of geological landscapes and formations of Indonesia, from volcanic islands of Alor and Banda to limestone pinnacles developed from ancient coral reefs of Raja Ampat. As we cruise along the natural migratory paths and playgrounds of marine mammals such as whales and dolphins, this trip is guaranteed to provide amazing diversity and beauty both above and below the water.
DIVING TRIP ITINERARY of TIARE LIVEABOARD from ALOR to RAJA AMPAT
SPECIAL 11 NIGHT CRUISE TO BANDA SEA FROM SEP 28 TO OCT 9, 2017
Diving Alor Straits
This area, the famed Alor Strait is another landmark on the Indonesian diving map. Sitting dramatically in the strait between the two large islands of Pantar to the west and Alor to the east are three small volcanoes that have long been extinct. The largest of these is the verdant island of Pura. This is another centre for traditional weaving and the islanders here are Melanesian in ethnicity with dark skin and tight curly hair.
Not only does Pura offer pristine reefs, each village protects the reef on its shores and practices a sustainable fishing system of traditional fish traps and spear fishing, but also the opportunity of seeing the spear fishermen carrying out their trade. The men and kids are a delight, diving down to 20m on occasion, to tend the traps or shoot a nearby reef fish. They also make willing underwater photo subjects. There are also great opportunities to take split shots of the small outriggers with the spear fishermen hunting below.
Here we have many different diving options. Whether you prefer drifting along coral encrusted walls, sloping reefs in crystal clear water or hunting for nudibranchs and ghost pipefish there really is something for everyone.
On the north coast of Alor we have a dive site where you will be completely surrounded by fish life. Steep slopes and drift diving on the current bring in the big fish on to this beautiful reef. Certainly good enough for a second look!
Diving Pulau Wetar on the route of the Forgotten Islands
The west coast of Wetar boasts amazing dive sites with drop-offs, colorful reefs and abundant fish life. Here there is a good chance to see some pelagics. Mind your depth as you swim over the edge in deep blue water as we are many miles away from civilization! Along the north coast we have regular sightings of dolphins and whales, often just a few meters away from the dive site!
Deep wall dive in Lucipara
In the north of Gunung Api is a remote archipelagic atoll named Lucipara. These atolls are also surrounded by a seafloor that is 3.000 feet below and consisting of three large islands and a few tiny reefs that just break the surface. The islands offer vertical walls and visibility of over 120 feet with very mild currents. They are also home to a population of the large sponges. Some barrel sponges can swallow a diver in their orifice without difficulty.
Diving the drop off of Gunung Api
It’s a volcano that’s summit breaks the sea’s surface by 800 feet yet which has its base on the seabed some 13.000 feet below. The island created by the volcano is 120 miles from the next nearest landfall and is therefore home to the reef fish that populate its steep drop offs and walls, occasional visiting pelagics, and extraordinarily an uncountable population of banded and olive sea snakes. These marine reptiles have found a sanctuary here among the warm volcanic vents and reef fish that live in the area. It is truly a unique spot that never ceases to amaze divers. In some shots there are over thirty snakes in the frame and they make inquisitive yet docile subjects.
Dive the No Take protected area of Nusa Laut
Only a few hours away from Ambon, Nusa Laut it is the best example of a village taking care of a reef. The reef is as it was hundreds of years ago. The locals have protected it and now it is an outstanding diving site. A little contribution in Indonesian Rupiah will be asked, for in forcing the "no take" protected area. The hard corals on the slope are unbeatable, the sandy bottom in the middle offers shelter to sting rays of different sizes, huge bumphead parrotfish and sea turtles. In the depths patrolling reef sharks, white tips and grey ones, and also leopard sharks and hammerheads. The encounter with the school of bumphead parrotfish fish feeding in this protected habitat will send in bliss uw photographers and videographers, where some resident dugong has been spotted.
Encounter the pelagic at Pulau Soangi
A few miles sailing from Banda we arrive at Pulau Soangi. This is exceptionally rich spot plentiful of sea life which list includes bump-head, blunt head parrotfish,jacks, Napoleon wrasse, sea turtes and sharks as residents and some hammerheads as visitors, if you are lucky enough for coinciding with their eventual passages. A nice wall that ends up in a ridge where encounters with pelagics (dog-toothed tunas, rainbow runners, barracudas, trevallies, mackarels), are always a thrill, as is the presence of a number of hammerheads that we spot regularly. The wall itself is worth the dive, huge barrel sponges, even bigger fans, soft corals on the wall and hard ones in the best conditions.
Dive Banda Islands
Banda has an important place in Indonesian and world history. Dominated by a 2.500ft active volcano, for more than three hundred years these tiny islands were the center of wealth for the Dutch colonies. They were the only source of the rare spices of nutmeg and mace for centuries and the Dutch, after capturing them from the Portuguese, guarded them jealously from all comers including the English. For centuries, a kilo of these spices held more value than the same weight in gold. The old fort, the governor's house, the church, nutmeg plantations, are well worth visit and bring us back to colonial era.
Let's not forget the diving, both Pulau Run and Pulau Ai have pristine clear waters, lovely walls and good fish life, we might go a bit deeper in search of more hammerheads, big fish can be seen here as well, napoleons, schools of black snappers, bumpheads, etc. The outer reefs of Bandaneira are full of marine fauna of all colors and shapes. Schooling fish gather and the macro life is rich. A really unique area is the dive under the pier of Bandaneira. The size of the mandarin fish is just out of this world and if you are looking for other critters as cockatoo wasp fish, flying gurnards, frog fish, juvenile barramundis, juvenile emperor angle fish, juvenile sweetlips… this is the place. A bit south is Hatta, consisting of an underwater coral garden with a friendly school of bumpheads and some white tips among its highlights.
Those who are fit and want to get up early, can climb the Volcano Gunung Api to watch the sunrise. Of course diving is our main focus and the dive site Lava Flow is not to be missed. Twenty 20 years ago Gunung Api erupted and the lava poured into the ocean and in the short time since a hard coral garden grew which is unrivaled in the world. Table corals over 5m width, staghorn corals as far as the eye can see and even endemic species found nowhere else is just a sample of what you can see here.
Dive Pulau Koon also known as "Too Much Fish"
This island is located in the South of Seram Island and is the next stop after our departure from Banda. The bad thing is Koon has only one dive site, the good one is that spot is named “Too Many Fish'. What makes Koon so special is the location on a trench that goes down to over 3,000m. All the big sea life that passes from the north to the south ocean has to go through these waters. Big schools of all kinds of fish, trevally, batfish, snapper, grouper, pompano and barracuda are seen here. There's also the chance to see Orcas, whales and sharks. Depending on the moon phase the strong currents can make this dive very challenging.
The diving paradise of South Raja Ampat: Misool Island Group
The Misool route will show you an abundance of the undersea world. Its beauty will carry you away! Hundreds of isles, which have been pushed up throughout the thousands of years and build a wonderful scene. Everywhere you come across caves or caverns, you will find rocks as big as cathedrals, over hangs that all together improve the dramatic sight of these breathtaking landscapes. Of course these sights will continue in no less impressing views under water. Misool is one of the places on earth where you will find the most various species of fish, hard and soft corals, sponges, worms, nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs and all kind of non-vertebrates, like cuttlefish and octopus. You will as well come across Wobbegong shark and Epaulette sharks, which you will only find in the region of “Raja Ampat”. Giant clams as well as fantastic tiny shells.
Photographers as well as videographers will have the dives of their lifetime!
- Embarking Port: Alor Kalabahi
- Disembarking Port: Sorong
At your arrival at airport, our staff will be there to pick you up: you will easily identify them wearing their Tiare Liveaboard T-shirt and a folder mentioning your name and our logotype.
You will need a flight from Bali or Jakarta-Alor and Sorong-Jakarta or Bali, in connection with your international flights.
You might need spend one transit night before and after your diving trip depending of your international flights. One transit night is COMPLIMENTARY, as courtesy from CRUISING INDONESIA.