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, 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 11nights / 12 days cruise from Labuan Bajo/Flores to Maumere/Flores. 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 Labuan Bajo. You will be picked up by crew members at the airport. Embarkation in the port of Labuan Bajo. A general orientation follows.
Day 2: Pulau Sabolan & Seraja – We spend the first day of the trip on two small islands that have nice dive sites with a resident school of Bumphead Parrotfish, garden Eels in the white sandy bottom and colorful soft coral. Depending on your flight schedule of the day after we dive one or two times in the morning and in the afternoon you can try the wakeboard & the kayak to get to the beach.
Day 3: Komodo Central – Working our way north, we’ve got a few secret spots to offer or we may go instead for some of the popular highlights if the conditions allow us to do so. Potential dive sites for the day: ‘Batu Bolong’, ‘Manta Point’, ‘Golden Passage’.
Day 4: Manta Alley & Padar – A perfect place to meet big stuff, Manta ,Shark,Giant Trevallies, Big Grouper etc…..Our preferred spot ‘Manta Alley’,’Germang Flag’. Over lunch, we will move to Padar where we can dive in ‘Thee Sister,’ after we can visit the pink beach in the afternoon and with a little climbing we get a spectacularly breathtaking view of the Komodo Park at the sunset.
Day 5: Nusa Kode – We offer three more day dives in the Horseshoe Bay. Some of our favourite dive sites here include: ‘Cannibal Rock’, ‘The Yellow Wall of Texas’, ‘Devil’s Corner’ and ‘Torpedo Alley’.
In the afternoon we will leave this truly spectacular place and head back up north. For a night dive, we will pull into the island of Pantar. Starry Night Octopus, Frogfish, rare Nudibranchs – this dive site never disappoints.
Day 6: Rinca Trekking – Trekking with Komodo dragons in the morning before it gets too hot in the sun. Enjoy an encounter with the last dragons on this planet. A must when coming here. Local rangers take care of our safety.
After this adventure we will be heading to the south of Rinca, also known as Nusa Kode or Horseshoe Bay. Some of the lushest diving Komodo National Park has to offer. During the months of May until October however, the waters are quite cold (down to 23°C) and the visibility is rather poor. You will be, however, rewarded with critter galore: Ambon Scorpionfish, Rhinopias, Frogfish, Wonderpus, Coconut Octopus paired with an overwhelming growth of soft and hard coral on the reefs. A very common sight at the beach are Komodo Dragons, Deer, Wild Boar and up in the trees, you might spot a sea eagle.
Day 7: Komodo Central – Dive site: ‘Sebayor Kecil’. Over the day we are heading south through the National Park and look into doing an easy drift dive over an impeccable reef, like ‘Tatawa Besar’. To cap this day of diving we offer a night dive at Wai Nilu, which ranks within the Top 5 favorite night dive spots all over Indonesia of our Cruise Director.
Day 8: Banta – Just outside the National Park of Komodo this island makes you feel as if you were already inside the park. We will spend the whole day in a great variety of dive sites. ‘Banta Wall’ also known as ‘The Rollercoaster’ is a spectacular wall – however, the timing with the currents and the swell is key to a safe and satisfying dive. And we get our timing right. GPS point is a reef more than half a mile north of Banta. Very fishy with the potential for Grey Reef Sharks and other big boys passing by. Again the timing here is key. One of our favourite spots here is our secret spot which happens to be a Manta cleaning station.
For sunset we offer some trekking on a hill which will reward you with an epic view over the bay, the sun setting behind the volcano of Sangeang. After dinner, we take you on a night dive on a sandy slope, where Stargazers will make an angry face at you.
Days 9 & 10: Komodo – The North – We arrive in the morning in the northern part of the famous Komodo National Park. And straight away hit the signature dive sites ‘Crystal Rock’ and ‘Castle Rock’. Sharks, Jacks, Fish Soup. Action fuelled by the current. In the afternoon and at night two more world-class dives at famous sites like ‘The Golden Passage’, ‘The Cauldron’ or ‘Lighthouse’. Komodo National Park diving at its best.
Day 11: Pulau Raja – In the morning we offer three dives there before moving to the National Park of Komodo. On a stunning wall with very good coral growth and overhangs. We will stay here until the afternoon and snorkelling is always a good option here.
Day 12: Disembarkation in Maumere – 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