BANDA SEA - RAJA AMPAT

STARTING AT USD 5,650

Known as one of the most biodiverse diving destinations in the world, Raja Ampat is home to the greatest diversity with more than 1,800 species of fish, including the majority of coral species. This itinerary brings guests from the footprint of the old sailors in the past, to a divers’ paradise today, promising a unique dive and cruise adventure. A unique diving experience between Raja Ampat and the Banda. Experience exciting drift dives, picturesque wall dives, spot pelagic fish, tiny critters; making up an explosion of the abundance of the marine life of this incredible experience. The boat will cruise along the North Banda Sea to end the cruise in Raja Ampat while allowing guests to experience the different topside sceneries throughout.

Trip Highlights

World-Class Diving: A fantastic opportunity to combine the extraordinary experience of pelagic marine life of the Banda Sea and Raja Ampat. From majestic Pelagics to small marine life exhibiting vibrant splashes of colors throughout the dives on this cruise. 

Cruising the Famous Banda Sea: The boat will sail along the remote area of the North Banda Sea, once used by the Spice Trade ships. Wake up in this stunning open ocean with no land in sight. Guests will get the opportunity to experience unobstructed views of the sunset with the Gunung Api in the background.

Entrance in Banda Neira: A stately place surrounding a volcano in a calm bay, a picturesque backdrop featuring a full history of colonial times. Spice Trade and wars have occurred in this destination in the past.

Nutmeg Plantations: Visit the nutmeg plantations, an old Dutch fort and its museum. A nice walk to the traditional market will complete this fantastic experience.

Raja Ampat View Point: Fantastic view of the mushroom islands of Raja Ampat. A must-visit destination for taking pictures and capturing memories.

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Cruise Route and Diving Areas

Weather, sea conditions and length of trip may affect the itinerary and dive sites selection. 

NUSA LAUT

Nusa Laut

Protected by its population, this island next to Ambon is a true example of how villagers live to protect their reefs. Nusa Laut holds a very unique combination of coral gardens in shallow water. Manta Rays and other pelagic life may be encountered along these beautiful walls. Divers can spot Turtles, Dugongs, Schooling Jacks in the area. This place is the perfect area to start or end a diving trip between Raja Ampat and Banda.

SUANGGI

Suanggi

This island, on the way to Ambon, is a very special place. There are a large numbers of seamounts that shelter an impressive quantity of marine life. Pelagic Fish often patrol between pinnacles . An incredible coral garden at 25-meters is also a distinctive attraction of this dive. Divers encountered Hammerhead Sharks in the area.

BANDA NEIRA

Banda Neira

There are several dive sites  along the two islands of Banda and Neira. Lava flow is the highlight for divers. An impressive coral garden has grown in a very special way after the last eruption of this volcano. Its formations makes a very unique dive site in the world. Neira Bay presents a great opportunity for a night dive to spot special Critters and even the Mandarin Dish. There is also another pinnacle out of the bay which allows divers to spot Tunas, Sharks, and Schooling Fish.

RUN/AI

Run/Hai

On the West side of Banda islands, the two islands are home to some interesting and beautiful dive sites to explore. The wall on the south of Pulai Ai is covered with some of the biggest Sea Fans. These dive sites are usually patrolled by Rainbow Runners, Schooling Barracudas and Napoleon Wrasses.

HATTA

Hatta

Several days of diving along Hatta Island shall be allocated during the cruise. On the South side, there is a submerged reef that breaks the surface at low tide. Divers can spot Eagle Rays, Mobula Rays, Tunas or Hammerhead Sharks in the area. The beauty of the walls covered by Soft Corals and Barrel Sponges will impress divers. Guests can spot Pelagic marine life and Sharks along the nice sloping reef covered by soft corals on the South of Hatta.

KOON

Koon

Located at the edge of the Banda Sea and the Arafura Sea, Koon Island is an exceptional diving destination. Schooling Fish are spotted very often. Goliath Groupers, Jackfish, Barracudas, Spade Fish, Mackerels and Tunas are just a few of the species divers can find here. A slope covered by corals houses an incredible diversity to drift along. This cruise route offers divers an opportunity to dive this remote island.  Those dive sites have one of the richest marine life in Indonesia. A must-go for divers. This place is only accessible during a diving trip between Raja Ampat and Banda.

MISOOL/FABIACET

Misool/Fiabacet

Fiabacet is an incredible experience for any diver. This protected area has been deemed as a “no-fishing” zone. An incredible range of explosive colors of soft corals will keep divers’ eyes fixated to its beauty. A Manta Ray dance at Magic Mountain or diving through Schooling Fish of Fiabacet, are just a few experiences divers can experience at this dive site. Macro lovers can spot Pygmy Seahorses in Sea Fans, while other divers will be amazed by the stunning healthy Corals. A night dive to discover the Endemic Raja Walking Shark will certainly wrap up the day. During the Mobula Ray seasons, divers may be able to witness the impressive hunting of Mobula Rays chasing Anchovies. This marks also the beginning or the end of Raja Ampat on a diving trip to or from the Banda.

Famous Dive Sites: Magic Mountain, Boo Windows, Nudi Rock, Eagle Nest, Anchovies

BALBULOB/FARONDI

Balbulob/Farondi

This area is made up of several islands situated on the East side of Misool. Each island is worth exploring. Farondi has stunning corals and an incredible diversity in terms of diving style and wildlife. Cavern, drift, wall, or shallow dive fits all profiles of divers. The dive sites in this area attract macro lovers, coral lovers, diversity lovers, fish lovers.

Famous Dive Sites: Goa Farondi, Three Rocks, Love Potion

PIAYNEMO

Piaynemo

This UNESCO Geosite houses one of the most incredible Coral Gardens of Indonesia. Melissa’s Garden is an underwater journey. Fish and Corals live in harmony in a colorful haven. Other dive sites such as My Reef will also amaze the divers with its diversity of fish and explosion of colors. Barracudas, Reef Sharks, and the Wobbegong sharks are among the marine life that divers can encounter. Macro lovers would also love to discover Pygmy Seahorses and Mushroom Pipefish.

Famous Dive Sites: My Reef, Melissa’s Garden, Keruo

CENTRAL RAJA AMPAT

Central Raja

Dive sites in Central Raja Ampat hold the world record of the most species of fish counted during a single dive. Oceanic Manta Rays are often encountered during the season. Aside from the Manta Rays, it is definitely the diversity and the quantity of fish that will surprise all divers. From the Pygmy Seahorses to the Grey Reef Sharks patrolling around submerge pinnacles, the area has a variety of diving experiences to offer.

Famous Dive Sites: Manta Ridge, Cape Kri, Blue Magic, Sardine Reef

Other Information

Embarkation from Ambon (AMQ): Direct flights from Jakarta (CGK) or Makassar (UPG)

Disembarkation from Sorong (SOQ): Direct flights from Jakarta (CGK) or Manado (MDC). Some short transit flights through Makassar (UPG) can be an option from Bali.

Reef and Pelagic Sharks, Tunas, Rainbow Runners

Wobbegong Sharks, Walking Sharks

Manta Rays, Eagles Rays, Sting Rays

Stunning Soft and Hard Coral Gardens

Pygmy Seahorses, Nudibranchs, Pipefish, Crabs 

Impressive Old Barrel Sponge Walls

Banda Sea is an open sea that is mostly recommended to visit during the Changing Monsoon Season.

April – May and September – November: During this changing season, the wind speeds are lower, which makes for much favorable sea conditions.

Water Temperature: 26 to 30 degrees Celsius

Air Temperature: 25 to 32 degrees Celsius

Currents: Gentle to Strong

Visibility: 15 to 35 meters

Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced

Experience Recommended: 20+ Logged Dives

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