Ambon - Banda Sea - Alor
The following itinerary is for example purposes only. Your actual itinerary may vary due to weather or other environmental conditions and at the Captain's discretion in order to seek out the best available diving during your cruise.
Start in Ambon Harbour with Laha
This is world renowned muck diving with top quality critters! Prepare to see rhinopias, harlequin shrimp, coleman shrimp on fire urchins, sea horses, frogfish galore, leaf scorpion fish, octopus of every sort and lots more… top diving!
Head out to Nusa Laut
These islands lie south of Ambon Island. Nusa Laut usually has clear blue water and this offers a great contrast between the muck diving and then clear reef diving. Some nice steep walls and white sand flats to explore where you may be lucky enough to spot a hammerhead and even a dugong. The anchorage is good here as you are very near land and it’s possible to have a little trip into the local village. There is some interesting muck diving here near the anchor point.
Head down towards the Banda Islands
There are a number of good dive sites on all of the Banda Islands: Run, Ai, Rozengain, and Pisang. The boat usually stays here for a couple of days so guests get the opportunity also to do the Banda walking tour and visit the nutmeg plantations and see Banda Naira. This is a great anchorage point too as you are very close to the volcano of Gunung Api and very much surrounded by the Banda Islands. By day we normally take the boat out and dive on open reefs and walls. The water is incredibly clear here. In the evening you can do a dusk dive to see the mandarin fish on the jetty at Banda Naira in only one metre of water! We also found some nice critters - various nudibranch, huge moray eels, cuttlefish etc. Around the mandarin fish dive it can be a bit mucky. Banda is a real highlight as the walking tour is very interesting and you get to taste nutmeg snacks and tea and cake in a local house at the end of your tour.
Travel down to the Lucipara Islands for a couple of dives.
This part of the trip involves a lot of travelling. It is normally possible to get two dives if not three around the Lucipara Islands. There is some nice shark action, lots of pink leaf scorpion fish, turtles, and plenty of good areas of hard coral in beautifully clear water.
On to Gungung Api
There are many Gungung Api in Indonesia however this one is also known as Snake Island. This is a crazy amazing dive as there are literally hundreds of snakes that live there. It’s notoriously tricky to dive here due to weather and sea conditions. It is very isolated and the waters around this tiny wee island are unprotected and rough. There is very little area to anchor a boat. However it’s very strange and unusual and something every diver will remember. There are plenty of walls, rocks and plateaus to hang out and watch the snake traffic.
Diving highlights around Alor Island
Kalabahi Strait: Great muck diving at Mucky Mosque, you can easily spend a few days going to the same site! Similar to all top muck spots - black sand and small rocks and not much else but great marine life - rhinopias, octopus, shrimps, crabs, seahorses, cuttlefish, scorpion fish etc.
Just outside Kalabahi there is another few days diving in the Pantar Strait. This area can have high current and very cold water, down to 20 degrees! You have to pick and choose your best times but it’s all great diving. One of the most unique sites is Anemone City. On the island of Pura there is anemone after anemone.
Beang Abeng Bay: muck diving at a small bay on the Island of Pantar.
South of Alor and Pantar: exploratory diving, plenty of new discoveries to be made here and the chance to buy some Ikat handicrafts from the local ladies who come out in their fishing boats.
Lembata: more muck diving, especially good for rhinopias and usually a bit warmer in the water here.