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No cruise on MV Samambaia is like the other. Every single trip is tailor-made to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The decision on the itinerary is made by the cruise director as we cruise along and is based on factors such as weather conditions, dive conditions, requests of guests, and schedules of other liveaboards, which we try to stay away from.

There are however certain constants on every cruise which are:

  • Three day dives of minimum 1 hour duration
  • One sunset- or night dive (unless we have to cover a serious amount of miles overnight)

Activities during the surface intervals such as:

  • scenic rides through lagoons and coves in our tenders
  • trekking to breathtaking view points
  • visits of secluded perfect beaches
  • excursions to traditional villages
  • whale watching
  • water activities such as wakeboarding and water skiing

Based upon that, here is a potential itinerary for an 11 nights / 12 days cruise from Maumere/Flores to Ambon/Seram. This is just to give you a general idea and is subject to change due to weather- and other conditions. Popular dive sites are named. We do however have our secret spots as well, which you will learn about during the cruise.

Day 1: Embarkation – Arrival with plane to Maumere. You will be picked up by crew members at the airport. Embarkation in the port of Maumere. A general orientation follows.

Day 2: Serbete & Adonara – After an initial general dive briefing, check dive in the morning at a pretty, easygoing and protected dive site. A wall south of the tiny island of Serbete. We will offer two more macro focussed dives this day, at two of our secret spots south of the island of Adonara.

Day 3: Lembata’s Critters – Sandy critter diving par excellence. One spot is at a pier, the other one a bit further to the east. Critter hunting at it’s best: Seahorses, different species of Rhinopias, sometimes even side by side, frogfish, all sorts of cephalopods. Truly a world-class dive spot.

Day 4: Lembata / Komba – We will do three dives in the daytime at a spot we call ‘The Shark Wall’ (the name says it all) and two other fantastic wall dives. In the afternoon we will head north towards the active volcano of Komba, which erupts every 15 to 20 minutes. A spectacular display of nature’s power and free fireworks for us.

Day 5: Alor / Pura – Time for some action-packed current drift dives with potential for big stuff. All our dives are going to be either slope or wall dives. We have spotted here in the past: Oceanic Sunfish, Big Dogtooth Tuna and Thresher Sharks.
Popular dive sites here: School’s Out, Anemone City, The Great Wall of Pantar

Day 6: Beangabang – A protected bay which is said to have a better macro life than the famous Lembeh Strait. Be prepared for some cold water upwellings which will not stop you from having extended bottom times if you are a critter lover. No time limit here on the night dive.

Day 7: Alor – We are back for three more day dives around Alor, with many great spots to pick from. Depending on the preferences of our guests, we’re able to choose here between action-packed, current fused diving, or calm and protected critter hunting.
We conclude the day with an afternoon dive at a pretty wall, that has a few rare secrets to it

Day 8: Reong – Our last stop before heading out into the Banda Sea will be Reong, a small island just off the coast of Wetar. Very fishy wall diving with small caverns and overhangs in which nurse sharks like to chill out during the day. In the shallows, we find hard coral heaven that will delight every snorkeler.

Day 9: Gunung Api – Also referred to as one of the two Snake Islands in the Banda Sea. Be prepared to meet dozens of sea snakes. In a single dive. Besides snakes, we have seen Silvertip Sharks and Hammerheads here. Usually, the waters around here are gin clear so make sure you look out into the blue not to miss something big passing by.

Day 10: Lucipara – A group of seven paradise islands in the middle of the Banda Sea. All dives are steep wall dives. The Dutch seafarers named this island group the Schildpad Islands as we have not only found nesting grounds but also a healthy population of sea turtles here.

Day 11: Ambon – All of these days will be muck dives. World-class critter hunting. That’s what Ambon is famous for. Rhinopias, Frogfish, Ghostpipefish, Harlequin Shrimps, and if you are really lucky: the Psychedelic Frogfish that has been very recently found here again. Two more dives here before lunch. If you have planned a land-based extension in Ambon after the cruise and are not flying out straight away the next day, our dive guides will happily go diving again with you in the afternoon.

Day 12: Disembarkation in Ambon – Depending on your flight schedule, our crew will check your luggage in for you in advance so you can rest on board and let us shuttle you to the airport when your plane is ready to leave.

Critter Life: Rhinopias, Ghostpipefish, Pipefish, Pipehorses, Seahorses, Pygmy Seahorses, all sorts of Crustaceans, many different species of Cephalopods, Frogfish, Nudibranchs, Pegasus, Ambon Scorpionfish

Big Stuff: Sharks, Tunas, Jacks, Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Napoleon Wrasses and surprises

The chances to have close encounters with whales (Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, Pilot Whales and others) are very good whilst cruising the Banda Sea.

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Alor & Banda Sea

From: $6700 /pp
September 9, 2024
September 20, 2024

Alor & Banda Sea