BANDA & SERAM Sea • Moluccas to Papua

START*:
Ambon • AMBON or Kaimana • PAPUA BARAT
END*:
Kaimana • PAPUA BARAT or Ambon • AMBON

*please check our "Agenda" for your date.

Cruise Key
Warm and clear waters, except in Triton Bay where the visibility can be very low but the density of life is exceptional, unspoilt dive sites, soft & black coral galore, new species photo opportunities, the last frontier, non-stop pygmy seahorses, warm water, lagoon-sightseeing, river cruising, rock art painting, pearl farm.
Sea Conditions

Calm and mostly short motoring between destinations.

Weather Conditions

Tropical climate, nice breeze in the evening.

Nature of dives & Currents

The currents can be varied and need to be checked before entering the water. Especially around Triton Bay. This is a truly wonderful place but may not be the cruise destination for every diver, more for the adventure diver.  The visibility can be very low (5-10m) in Triton Bay and Ambon Bay.

Water Temperature

Avg. 26° to 30°C

Embarkation
Ambon • AMBON or Kaimana • PAPUA BARAT

The WAOW staff will pick you up in your hotel or await your arrival at Ambon or Kaïmana airport to assist and accompany you on board SMY WAOW, only a short drive of around 20-30mins 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, 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
Kaimana • PAPUA BARAT 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 or Kaïmana.

The Cruise

see the video

Ever since their discovery and colonization by the Portuguese and Dutch, the nutmeg and clove rich spice islands have been a sought after destination. With WAOW, navigate in the shadows of history.

A mountainous chain of islands covered in dense vegetation, surrounded by fringing reefs and dreamlike beaches sets the scene. The seascapes are also home to a rich flora and fauna with many sites still remaining unexplored by divers.

During this West to East migration WAOW allows you to explore exceptional sites. During the first stage, Banda Neira, there are spectacular dives, history, 17th century forts and spices. Near the end of the cruise there is also Triton Bay, protected and rich in plankton, home to a fireworks array of color and action. The hikes in the jungle here are also something special.

This cruise is all about diversity - not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with amazing diverse hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, white sands…Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world, from pygmy seahorses to top predators. In many places brightly coloured soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colourful. There is also a price to pay for the great biodiversity, especially in Triton Bay… Visibility is generally not the greatest, especially in comparison to the rest of Indonesia, due to the incredibly nutrient-rich water, but this is easy to overcome due to the sheer amount of life found in this area.

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.

Pulau Suanggi & Pulau Ai

A secret place in the middle of the Banda Sea, reached by live-aboard only, makes this another unspoilt reef where not many divers witness the true nature of Pulau Suanggi and Pulau Ai. This area acts like an oasis for pelagics that cruise by these pristine hard coral reefs full of fish, which they all call home. Napoleon wrasse, green & hawksbill turtle, tuna, rainbow runner, huge schools of barracuda mixing with schools of bannerfish, redtooth triggers and fusiliers that sometimes-just cloud the whole reef.

Banda Island

The Banda area offers a good variety of dive sites, from volcanic rock at Pohon Miring to the black sand in Banda’s harbour, muck diving with flying gurnards spreading their electric blue wings, nervously moving sea moth, nudibranchs and the mandarin fish, which are seen in many places around the harbor of Banda Neira.

Pulau Koon or Pulau Pisang

Today’s diving location is depending on the weather and the sea conditions. Palau Koon; The southeastern part of Seram, is one of the top sites. The profusion of fish life and healthy vibrant coral is amazing. The reef is stunning and teeming with life that will take your breath away. Pulau Pisang; Situated half way between Misool and Fak Fak is another incredible wide-angle site. An intricate web of hard coral covers a rounded sea­mount where the sides become more vertical as they plunge into deeper water. Sea whips and fans grow at right angles to the colorful walls around Pulau Pisang. The reefs are healthy and fish life is abundant with turtles, bumpheads, napoleon wrasse and schools of fusiliers that attract jacks and mackerels, even mantas have been spotted here on several occasions.

Tanjung Papisoi

Midway between Fak Fak and Triton Bay’s calm waters, sheltered by a hard coral-dominated reef, where Dr. Gerry Allan broke his record for the most species counted on a single site, lays Tanjung Papisoi, with 330 species – also the name of the dive site. The reef is nothing spectacular as such but on the other hand, the many different kinds of fish species are. 

Triton bay

Triton Bay, a place where scientists have recorded a total of eight different mantis shrimp species, 24 new fish species, and 20 species of coral that are new. Many are believed to be endemic to the region, meaning that they are found nowhere else on Earth. Scientists also first spotted the new species of two kinds of epaulette shark (the walking shark) here – small, slender-bodied bottom-dwellers that use their pectoral fins to "walk" across the seafloor, mostly at nighttime. This area is known for its underwater beauty and extensive biodiversity.

TRITON, Larry's Heaven

Larry’s heaven is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places ever and has been given its name by the late Larry Smith. As soon as you plunge into the water, the colors and the sheer diversity you encounter will blow your mind away! Fields of soft coral, a thick forest of black coral trees, sea fans and hard coral all dominant the reef and there is hardly a bare spot on these boulders. It is very special when the water rushes through this channel and it springs to life. Fish, fish and fish are just everywhere, all kinds, and all sizes, a true “Heaven on Earth”.

TRITON, Aiduma

An island outside the mouth of Triton Bay contains a mixture of deep basins and shallower waters. Every inch is occupied by some type of invertebrate and there’s an abundance of tunicates and encrusting sponges with soft and hard coral. This is a Triton bay dive site with huge groupers, jacks, mackerels and tasseled wobbegongs in abundance. But there’s not only big fish that light up the reef, small critters are found on every corner too.

Land Excursions

The Pinisi Charter vessel and liveaboard MSY WAOW cruising, sailing and scuba diving in Indonesia Papua Barat. Raja Ampat, Misool, Kaimana, Triton Bay. Djungle walk in the rainforest.

Walking around Banda Neira

Enjoy the view of Gunung Api, a 650 metre high active volcano, from the top of Fort Belgica, built by the Dutch in 1611 and located in the historical town of Banda Neira. Clove, Nutmeg, Marc and cinnamon are still the main spices that are grown here. During the cruise SMY WAOW will walk you through the magical smell of the spices that once ruled the world.

The Pinisi Charter vessel and liveaboard MSY WAOW cruising, sailing and scuba diving in Indonesia Papua Barat. Raja Ampat, Misool, Kaimana, Triton Bay. Djungle walk in the rainforest.

River Cruise or Jungle walk

In the Triton Bay area the landscape is quite unique, with channels, inlets and bays, with beautiful sandy beaches around the fresh water bay and channels that lead to a lush and rich green tropical forest behind.

River cruise or Jungle walk : An easy, relaxing day when adventurers can take a tender ride up the river, or go for a hike and explore the nature above the water in the rich, tropical rain forest. Don't forget to pack light hiking shoes in your luggage !

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