BANDA SEA • Banda Discovery

START*:
Ambon • AMBON or Maumere • FLORES
END*:
Maumere • FLORES or Ambon • AMBON

*please check our "Agenda" for your date.

Cruise Key
Critters, muck dives, unspoiled dive sites, wall drift dives, sea snakes, clear & warm water, volcano sightseeing, unexpected encounters.
Sea Conditions

Generally calm. Can be choppy while crossing in open sea.

Weather Conditions
Most of the climate is determined by monsoon winds. Refreshing breezes onboard throughout most of the season.
Nature of dives & Currents
This may not be the cruise destination for every diver, more for adventure divers and not for novice divers.  Unexpected sightings can happen though they may not occur on every trip. This area changes and every trip is very different. CURRENTS can be varied, depending on the moon phase. Especially in the bay of Ambon.
Water Temperature
Avg. 27° to 30°C
Embarkation
Ambon • AMBON or Maumere • FLORES

The WAOW staff will pick you up in your hotel or await your arrival at Maumere or Ambon Airport to assist and accompany you on board SMY WAOW, only a short drive of around 10-30mins away. Our experienced staff will look after your luggage and transfer it to your cabin onboard SMY WAOW while you enjoy our "refreshing welcome drink". As soon as the last guests are onboard around 2:00pm in Ambon or 4:00pm in Maumere, you will be introduced to our team and have plenty of time to settle in, get everything ready and enjoy life onboard with us.

Disembarkation
Maumere • FLORES or Ambon • AMBON

Early breakfast befor disembarkation & transfer to the airport or hotel between 06.00am and 11.00am at the latest

Recommandation
All long distance passengers arrive in Jakarta or Bali one day before embarkation day. The boat departs at 2:00pm from Ambon Harbor and 04:00pm from Maumere Harbour.

The Cruise

see the video

The Banda Sea is the deepest of the numerous seas that make up the beautiful Indonesian archipelago. Typically, with depths over 4,500m, and the deepest point being over 7,300m, it is a very large body of water stretching for over 1,000 km East to West, and 500 km North to South. The Banda Sea is located North of Flores and South of Seram. While there are island chains on the edges of the Banda Sea, it retains a very “oceanic” feel to it with vast stretches of deep blue water. Within the mid-section of the Banda Sea there are very few mostly tiny islets sticking out of the water from the vast depths, with the next outcrop many miles away. MSY WAOW takes you to those remote places: spots that rise from the abyss to the surface, and therefore provide a haven for marine life to concentrate around. The topography of the sites is a divers dream: to one side slopes or walls covered in a myriad of hard and soft corals, huge barrel sponges and other benthic life forms surrounded by clouds of reef fish - to the other side the deep blue of the Banda Sea – a depth from which spectacular pelagic sea creatures are likely to rise from below. One of the main objectives of this voyage are encounters with those big fish: schools of tunas and jacks, barracudas, Spanish mackerels, but also different shark species – grey reef, silky, silvertip, thresher, and the occasional tiger shark has been spotted by our guests on the dive sites of this itinerary. But the real stars of the show are the hammerhead sharks – on quite a few different locations off the atolls and islands we have found preferred places for schooling hammerheads.

Located in the warm tropical waters of the Banda Sea, MSY WAOW takes you to Ambon Bay, Lucipara Atoll, Gunung Api, Wakatobi marine park, Komba Volcano and Maumere bay. All in all, this trip can be the trip of a lifetime, with a chance for unforgettable encounters and moments both above and below the waves of the Banda Sea - a stunning place with a certain "off the beaten track" appeal…

Typical dive sites

Ambon Bay

The Intensity of marine life in this Bay is unrivalled; with a combination of nutrients pushed into this large bay with lots of small coves where critters can benefit from the passing currents but are still protected by sheltered waters. A unique combination creates conditions that nourish an incredible eco system that makes this bay one of the richest and interesting places to dive. Ambon Bay is also famous for weird species like the Psychedelic Frogfish, right here at a dive site named the twilight zone, where many different kinds of moray eel, sea moth, ribbon eel, stonefish take habitat too. The Ambon shipwreck, a Dutch cargo vessel that sunk during 1950s, is also a very photogenic site and teeming with life.

Lucipara Atoll

The 5 Atolls in the middle of the Banda Sea are the tops of undersea mountains, hidden world-class sites with sheer walls surrounded by crystal clear, blue water. An amazing site with lots of barrel sponges in the deep blue which is alive with rainbow runners, schooling surgeonfish, dogtooth tunas, jacks and barracudas which occasionally fade away from sight of hammerhead sharks. The uninhabited beaches around the atolls are also ideal green turtle nesting sites.

Wakatobi National Park

SMY WAOW plans to have 5 full days of diving around this amazing national park, which has been well protected thanks to Lorenz Maeder, the Swiss founder of the now famous Wakatobi Dive Resort, established in 1996. Wakatobi's reefs are among the most diverse in the world. Wakatobi is blessed with nutrient – rich water that favors brightly colored soft coral, sponges and gorgonian sea fans over hard corals. Hard corals are very pristine but limited to the shallows, creating vivid reef scenery from the surface down to the deeper areas. From drift dives along the stunning walls, to muck dives with wonderful critters, Wakatobi has a lot to offer… Just about everything!

Komba Volcano

Komba is an active volcano in the Flores Sea with the smell of sulphur in the air when you are nearby. You'll find sheer walls and ridges all around the island with black volcanic sandy slopes up in the shallows. Colorful walls with soft coral, sea fans and encrusting sponges, lots of reef fish along the walls and out in the blue there's a good chance for bigger stuff like dogtooth tunas, mackerels, jacks, rays, turtles and reef sharks. Another highlight of Komba are the regular eruptions, which which turn the night sky into a spectacular natural firework display that can be witnessed from a safe distance.

Maumere Bay

Maumere is a beautiful bay on the north coast of Flores. There is a wealth of macro life to keep any diver fascinated for hours. It’s this diversity that has also made Maumere a perfect place to finish our cruise

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