The Biodiversity Super Special takes you diving in three completely different areas – Alor, the Banda Sea, and Raja Ampat – you can be certain that the biodiversity will be amazing!
It is almost impossible to put together a daily itinerary due to the magnificent diving everywhere Mermaid goes on this trip. No trip is the same, with so many different sites to visit and explore. If there is somewhere, in particular, you really have your heart set on, please discuss with the Cruise Director who will do their utmost to get you there – conditions, ship, and your safety allowing! However, here is a rough guide just to whet your appetite!
Day 1: Check-in on board. We recommend all guests arrive the day before the cruise departure. After all the guests have settled into the cabins and set up the diving equipment, we will start cruising overnight to our first destination at Kawula Island, 90 nautical miles.
Day 2 (4 dives): Dive Cape Bacatan and Lewaling Bay on the island of Kawula. Three dives along walls and ledges covered in sea fans and soft corals – a chance for pygmy seahorse and critters here as well.
Cape Bacatan is a good place to spot whitetips, blacktips, and occasionally, grey reef sharks. Also a popular spot for eagle rays and Napoleon wrasse with loads of schooling fish. A great muck night dive will be done in front of a traditional fishing village. Cruise overnight to Alor, 70 nautical miles.
Day 3 (4 dives): Alor is a favorite dive spot for divers coming to dive Indonesia year after year due to its variety of dive sites. Healthy reefs, pinnacles, walls, great muck dives, cold water, warm water, strong currents, and protected areas. Alor has it all. Cruise overnight to Wetar, 95 nautical miles.
Day 4 (3 dives): In Wetar, you will dive at the small island of Reong and at Cape Nunukae.
Pulau Reong is a small island on the northwest coast of Wetar and separated by a small channel only 700 meters wide. More walls, like many of the dive sites in the Banda Sea, are covered in small soft corals but of a great variety of colors, with zillions of triggerfish of every species.
Cape Nunukae, about 6 nautical miles southwest of Pulau Reong, is a large ridge with slopes on both sides, covered with a hard coral reef on the shallow area of the ridge, with soft corals on the slopes in the deeper areas. There can be strong currents at the end of the ridge, where large aggregations of schooling fish can be found. Cruise overnight to the Damar Islands, 150 nautical miles.
Day 5 (3 dives): Today, you will dive into several small islands – Neus Leur, Terbang Selatan, and Terbang Utara. The island of Damar and its three surrounding small islands have spectacular diving. Like many dives in the Banda Sea, there is crystal clear water and beautiful walls covered in massive sponges and beautiful soft corals. Cruise overnight to Nila Island, 90 nautical miles.
Day 6 (4 dives): Surrounding Nila Island there are two atolls, Dusborgh and Nil Desperandum. It’s at these two atolls that there is a good chance of seeing hammerhead sharks. Even without the hammerheads, the reefs are fabulous, with healthy walls and big schools of fish. Cruise to Serua Island, 20 nautical miles.
Day 7 (4 dives): Serua Island is probably one of the most emblematic spots in the Banda Sea to see schooling hammerhead sharks. Also, an amazing side to see schooling fish such as big eye trevallies, Pinjalo snappers, and others. Cruise to Manuk, 55 nautical miles.
Day 8 (4 dives): Manuk, also known as the Snake Volcano. Don’t need to be afraid! The site also offers a black sand reef dive with loads of fish and pretty hard and soft corals. We will spend the whole day here doing four-day dives, then cruising to the Banda Islands, 60 nautical miles.
Day 9-10 (7 dives): Banda Islands for the next 2 days! Walls, swim-throughs, sponges, and sea fans – good diving and great for wide-angle. Several sites have swim-throughs large enough for several people to go through at the same time and are especially nice for wide-angle shots, as they are covered in soft corals and sponges.
Dive sites in the Banda Islands drop down thousands of meters, offering spectacular walls and stunning reef tops, with visibility usually in the 40-50 meter range.
The sunset dive is at the pier in front of an old colonial hotel! Black sand and volcanic rocks with an unusual amount of large and not shy mandarin fish – also great for critters.
For the second day here, in addition to great diving, you will go on land for an excursion on the island of Banda Neira visiting the local museum, Dutch fort, nutmeg plantation, and local market. You will even get to have breakfast at the nutmeg plantation! Cruise overnight to Koon Island, 80 nautical miles.
Day 11 (3 dives): Pulau Koon is a small island on the southeast of Ceram, halfway between Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands. Here, you will find walls covered in soft corals and sandy slopes with hard coral bommies. But the most interesting feature of this island is the amount of schooling fish and pelagics, including barracudas, bigeye trevallies, aggregations of red snappers, pompanos, batfish, and giant groupers. Cruise overnight to Misool, 100 nautical miles.
Day 12-13 (7 dives): The next two days will be spent around the island of Misool, Raja Ampat, where there are literally hundreds of dive sites. Misool is heaven for wide-angle photographers. The prettiest soft corals reefs in the world are located in Misool. In addition, there are multiple pinnacles surrounded by masses of schooling fish, barracudas, jacks, and snappers.
There will be some excursions with the tenders through some amazing inner lagoons, with fantastic scenery and wildlife sightings. Cruise overnight to the Dampier Strait, 90 nautical miles.
Day 14 (4 dives): The Dampier Strait is known for a huge variety of diving, from giant mantas to mangroves, beautiful reefs, many pinnacles, and seamounts covered in schooling fish, aggregations of sweetlips, schooling barracudas, Bumphead parrotfish, fusiliers, and lots of wobbegong sharks. It is also a great location for critters and macro subjects, with several species of pygmy seahorses and a large variety of nudibranchs.
There are also several jetties to do a great night dive, where you can see the Raja Epaulette shark, toadfish, frogfish, and crocodile fish.
Day 15 (2 dives): The last two dives of your cruise will be done in the Dampier Strait area. Where big schools of fish and glorious corals are simply amazing! After the second dive, the boat must go back to Sorong. The crew will take care of rinsing your equipment and there’s time to pack during this 5-6 hour run.
Day 16: After breakfast, staff will transfer you to the airport or hotel in Sorong.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to changes beyond the operator’s control. The exact itinerary, route, and amount of dives for your cruise may be adapted to best suit the weather conditions, tides and currents, season, and other prevailing events.
Marine Life: Soft corals, gorgonians, pygmy seahorses, turtles, manta rays, amazing muck diving, wobbegongs, schooling hammerheads. crocodile-fish, toadfish, dugong, frogfish and so much more!
We recommend all guests to arrive the day before the cruise departure. Guests will disembark at 08:00 having a lot of time to catch the same day flight out of Sorong.