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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/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 kayak

Based upon that, here is a potential itinerary for an 11 nights /12 days cruise from Kaimana (West Papua) back to Ambon (Maluku). 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 a plane to Kaimana. You will be picked up by crew members at the airport. Embarkation in the port of Kaimana and start to sailing to Pulau Dramai.

Day 2: Kaimana Regency

Kaimana Regency started to declare a 6000 sq km Marine Protected Area in 2008, and its area is around the waters of Kaimana and Triton Bay. The marine biodiversity here is beyond fantastic and continues to surprise us with new finds every time we go diving. Some called it “the next frontier of Indonesian Diving” or “the last best place”, Triton Bay offers something for everyone both above and below the waves.

Even though the visibility in Triton Bay is generally quite poor; due to the incredibly nutrient-rich water, means that it has tremendous soft coral growth and lots of schooling fish.

And best of all you will be one of few divers enjoying the waters in this very remote area.

After an initial general dive briefing, we will do our check dive with you at an easy and protected dive site. Check dive in the sense of you checking your gear and weights, making sure the camera housings are properly sealed, and our guides checking your buoyancy. No skill demonstrations are required. We will spend our day diving in the area of “Pulau Dramai”.

Our preferred dive spot is “Batu Jeruk”, “Tim Rock”, “Goby Gully” and “7th Heaven”. For this first dive, we will expect to see a school of Fusilier, Giant Grouper, Turtles, Bump Heads, Wobbegongs, Jacks, Sweet Lips, and for sure some beautiful soft corals.

Day 3: Pulau Aiduma 

With a little navigation we will reach “Pulau Aiduma”. Which is the most beautiful dive spot in Triton Bay. We will dive in a very famous spot of “Larry’s Heaven” North and South, once you dive in you will be stunned with the colors and the biodiversity of this dive spot. “Black Forest” has nice boulder formations covered in black coral. And night dive will be a first-class dive with a good potential to see a walking shark.

Day 4: Pulau Namatota 

Around Pulau Namatota, there are floating fishing platforms ( bagan ) with a bright light on them. The bagan only started to operate in the night to attract fishes with the light and trap the fishes on the net, which very early in the morning the fisherman will come and lift the full net of fishes before the sunrise. So, it is a good time to attract the whale shark to stay around the bagan. On this day we have to wake up early before the fisherman pulls out the net or the sunrise. In the afternoon, we will move to Tanjung Papisoi, here we will dive in “335 Pinnacle”, which means that this place has counted 335 different species of fishes and corals. We will not have a night dive at this night, due to long navigation to “Pulau Koon”.

Day 5: Koon

At the south-eastern tip of Seram there is a little island named Koon. It’s basically three dive sites in one, offering an incredible spot depending on the current. The name of the site says it all: ‘Too Many Fish’. You will have a hard time focusing on what to look at. A fish soup of Fusiliers and Surgeonfish is divided by hunting Giant Trevallies and Jacks, enormous Giant Groupers are all of a sudden looking at you whilst a school of hundreds of Batfish is passing by. Mobula and Manta rays might fly by. Leopard Sharks like to relax in overhangs of the wall on the north side. Macro life is plenty as well. Hairy Shrimp, Pygmy Seahorses, Tiny Frogfish, Robust Ghostpipefish.

Day 6: Gili Manuk

This place is also known by the name ‘Snake Island’. If you’ve got a phobia of snakes you should definitely go diving here to face your fear and thereby cure it. You may encounter dozens of sea snakes in one single dive. These graceful creatures, though highly venomous, are very peaceful, sometimes even curious. Despite these reptiles, there is plenty of reef fish but also pelagics around. On top of all thousands and thousands of seabirds are nesting here. A very unique and spectacular place. Our favourite dive site is called: ‘Smoking Hot’.

Day 7 & Day 8: Banda Islands 

The famous Spice Islands, the island group around Banda Neira, is also historically very interesting. Wars were fought over these islands by colonial powers as these islands used to be the only islands in the world where nutmeg grew. A historical walk through the town of Banda Neira with its museum and two forts is a must. An interesting option for ambitious challenge seekers is to climb the volcano Gunung Api, which raises ‘only’ 600 m above sea level. Which, in the tropics is a strenuous climb. The diving here is very diverse and spectacular. As these volcanic islands raise to the surface surrounded by deep seawater, the chances for sightings of large pelagics are very good. In the past we’ve often encountered schooling hammerheads here. A dive site called ‘Lava Flow’ is one of the most pristine hard coral reefs you will ever see. After the last eruption of Gunung Api in 1988, a flow of lava made its way down into the ocean and destroyed the whole reef. What has grown back ever since will boggle your mind. In the harbour of Banda Neira we’ve got a beautiful Mandarin Fish dive waiting for you. Other highlights include: ‘The Cathedral’, ‘Batu Kapal’ and ‘Karang Hatta’.

Day 9: Suanggi 

A beautiful small island in the middle of Banda Sea reached by liveaboard only. It is an oasis for birds and fish. We dive between the pristine hard coral reef full of pelagics, huge school of barracuda or tuna, fusiliers and bannerfish etc. We met hammerhead sharks in this spot in the past.

Day 10: Nusa Laut

In the early morning we will arrive at the island of Nusa Laut, which is a great example of how active conservation by the local community can not only preserve the reefs but actually make them even better. We see here for many years a proper growth in biomass. We have four spectacular dive sites here, either wall or slope diving. Great variety of reef fish as well as large schools of jacks. Bumphead Parrotfish like to pass by here also. A lot of macro life can be found in the wall as well.

Day 11: Ambon Bay 

We will offer two more dives in the bay of Ambon. Both of these dives 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.

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.

Marine Life: Snapper, bumphead, blunthead parrotfish, turtles, sharks, moray eels, dog-toothed tuna, fusiliers, jacks, Hammerhead, thresher and silvertip sharks, mobula rays, whales, dolphins and much more.

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Triton Bay & Banda Sea

From: $7035 /pp
April 28, 2025
May 9, 2025

Triton Bay & Banda Sea