MOLUCCAS • Magical Moluccas

START*:
Bitung • SULAWESI or Ambon • AMBON
END*:
Ambon • AMBON or Bitung • SULAWESI

*please check our "Agenda" for your date.

Cruise Key
Unspoiled dive sites, wall drift dives, crystal clear warm blue water, non-stop pygmy seahorse, lagoon sightseeing, unexpected encounters, all in one-weird critters to schooling fish, black sand dives. 
Sea Conditions
Generally calm, except while crossing in the open sea through the Malukus where it could be a bit choppy.
Weather Conditions
March to November is dry season. Most of the climate is determined by monsoon winds. Refreshing breezes onboard throughout most of the season.
Nature of dives & Currents
This is one of the cruises that offer adventurers the possibility to dive in the large unexplored area of Halmahera, and dive on untouched reefs where unexpected encounters may occur. Like many places in Indonesia, currents can be varied. A reef hook can be very helpful while watching and filming in the currents. 
Water Temperature
Avg. 27° to 30°C
Embarkation
Bitung • SULAWESI or Ambon • AMBON

The WAOW staff will pick you up in your Lembeh straits resort or await your arrival at Manado Airport to assist and accompany you on board SMY WAOW in Bitung Harbour; A small harbour town around 35km away from Manado, the drive will take around 60mins. It's an interesting drive through Manado's countryside. 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 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
Ambon • AMBON or Bitung • SULAWESI

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 Bali or Jakarta one day before or, with direct intl. flights to Manado, on embarkation day. The boat will be on anchor in Bitung harbour, Lembeh Strait over night.

The Cruise

see the video

A cruise off the beaten path, exclusively dedicated to the discovery of the Molucca Sea: From North Sulawesi to the active volcanic islands of Halmahera, Pulau Obi, Seram then to finally finish in Ambon Bay. The WAOW weighs anchor in Bitung to start a few dives in the Lembeh Strait, mecca of "muck-dive", before joining the historic crown of Halmahera, the "Ring of Fire". Volcanic landscapes, lush jungle but exceptional dive sites await us: from the smallest to largest, the entire food chain is represented (from the smallest pygmy seahorse to reef sharks), with beautiful and well preserved corals. Then comes Pulau Obi where several exploration dives will be made as this area is still not well known. The location and configuration of the reefs of Pulau Obi lead us to expect some beautiful dives, sometimes along drop offs patrolled by by pelagics, sometimes on coral reef tops or gentle slopes covered with black sand. At the end of the cruise, Seram and Ambon Bay are waiting for dives on black sand bottom where rare macro life unveil day and night: bobtail squid, frogfish, ghost fish and a fine collection of nudibranchs, among others.

A route that will satisfy both photographers and divers seeking adventure divers.

Typical dive sites

Lembeh Strait

Welcome to the macro mecca - Lembeh Strait - well known for the volcanic black sand that is home to many weird and wonderful critters that the sea has to offer, where "muck diving" all began. Very often the divers tend to disappear in this underwater world of Lembeh longer than they expected, with performances of those rare critters, all playing hide and seek in their homes of those manmade debris along the sea bed. This is one of those places where, before the dive you can easily hand out your critter list and at the end of your day, it will mostly be ticked off– That's how rich the wonderfully weird marine life in Lembeh is.

Tifore

Rising midway between Halmahera and Sulawesi, in the very deep open Sea of the Maluku, the dive sites around Tifore are mostly plateau’s with sheer walls and steep slopes plus great visibility in clear blue water. The topography here makes all the dives seem like just floating in the deep blue with lots of action around. This is one great adrenalin dive. 

Pulau Goraki and Terumbu Gora

The Pulau Goraici group has many great dive sites with one of the most amazing fish life zones in Halmahera. The reef is covered with hard & soft coral, sponges teaming up with sweetlips on the foreground and lots of red and black snapper, napoleon wrasse in the distance, huge size dogtooth tuna and reef sharks while the current flows around these sea mounds. 

Patinti Strait

The Patinti Strait is a channel between Halmahera and Bacan Island which holds excellent reefs full of blooming orange soft corals packed with anthias, plenty of large soft coral covered bommies in all different colours and different species. It is a good drift dive area with lots of reef sharks; black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks are resident here as well as rays and many big napoleon wrasse. The sites around the Patinti Strait offer great day and night dive sites with many calm bays which provide good shelter for many critters like robust & ornate ghost pipefish, bobtail squid, even blue ring octopus and includes rare encounters with epaulette sharks “the walking sharks” which are also found here.

Pulau Pisang

Don’t be confused by the name as in Indonesia any island with bananas growing on it is called Pulau Pisang, meaning Banana Island! This one here lays just half way between Misool and Halmahera, surrounded by very deep water. Dive sites are mostly steep sloping reefs with some swim-through’s and overhangs but not as special as the Misool area and not as rich in terms of hard and soft coral. Just a few sea fans and barrel sponges, however the schooling fish life here is excellent! As an oasis in the middle of the sea, and especially when the current is flowing, anything can happen in this oasis. 

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