*please check our "Agenda" for your date.
The WAOW team welcomes you at Saumlaki or Sorong airport to accompany you on board SMY WAOW (15-20mn drive). 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 12:00pm (Sorong) or 2:00pm (Saumlaki) you will be introduced to our team and have plenty of time to settle in, get everything ready and enjoy life onboard with us.
Early breakfast befor disembarkation & transfer to the airport or hotel between 06.00am and 11.00am at the latest
Starting from Sorong, and sailing through the Dampier Strait, Batanta, Misool and Koon Islands, SMY WAOW takes you past the historical islands of Banda. Then, you will explore the remote atolls of Manoek, Dusbourgh and Nil Desperandu, all the way down to Saumlaki. The Secrets of Seram II 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, muck, caves, black sand, white sand, new lava flow…Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but also all the levels of the food chain are well represented – 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.
The volcanic islands and submerged reefs in the middle of the Banda Sea are calling out for exploration. Drop offs, drift dives, great visibility and the possibility of “pelagic action”.
A treasure closely guarded and lost in the middle of the Banda Sea, this isolated reef runs for several kilometers and is an oasis for pelagic life. Schools of jacks patrol the edges of the reef and are joined by large numbers of hammerhead sharks on a regular basis. The coral is in good health and lovers of the macro fauna won’t be disappointed, however it is more often than not that our heads are facing into the deep blue for a special spectacle.
Approaching Manoek Island the odor of sulfur and the sight of fumaroles escaping the steep slopes reminds us that we are definitely in a volcanic zone. Once underwater the hot rocks and ascending bubbles are another reminder of this. Manoek is also one of the largest shelters for thousands of birds. Not only birds but sea snakes, lots and lots of sea snakes.
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.
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.
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.
A labyrinth of thousands of small mushroom like islands form tiny dots of lagoons with sparking white sand surrounded by extensive formations that make the Misool area one of the most wonderful places on earth. Not only will the land scenery take your breath away but the underwater scenery is even better and holds some of the richest species in the world! Massive seamounts, rocky outcrops, lime stone arches with windows that are overgrown by fountains of life; clouds of glassfish dancing away from tuna and golden jacks, a ground for mobula rays drifting by with the sweeping of currents. It’s really hard to take it all in, with so much action happening at once.
Not to be missed, “Boo Rock”, the gully called “The Windows”, where two rocks connected by magnificent soft corals and sizzling with fish. The surface crashes through the top of these window arches creating a constant pounding noise, which can be felt through your whole body. The fish life is outstanding with jacks and dogtooth tuna feeding in the surge and schooling bannerfish sitting behind sea fans catching tiny bits of plankton floating in the current. Hardly a spot on the reef is left uncovered by sea fans, soft coral and thick schools of baitfish.
One of the most radiant reefs in all of The 4 Kings, each dive is never an ordinary dive, it’s always special and there’s always a new scene to be found. The reef is covered in short growth pastel soft corals that form larger purple and pink soft coral, red and white sea fans and enormous barrel sponges jutting out from the steep slopes and walls. Excellent fish life: Fusiliers, surgeonfish, small schools of barracuda and profuse schools of anthias all milling about in the rising and falling tides.
Welcome to the majestic land of magnificent Manta rays. Here is the most reliable site to observe manta ray‘s behaviour, especially when you approach them right! If you keep your position, they will make loop after loop or swoop by again and again often somersaulting through the water while being cleaned. Besides cleaning, the manta rays also come to feed on current borne plankton, so be prepared for strong currents and reduced visibility.
Other dive sites like Airborek Jetty, Sardine Reef, Cape Kri and Mioskon are some of the very finest wide-angle photo opportunities. Beautiful hard coral bommies are hosts to dazzling soft corals and rainbow-colored crinoids with a foreground of oriental sweet lips, snappers, a swirl of glassfish and anthias, and a background of schooling surgeonfish, batfish, barracuda, jacks and the occasional tuna. When the visibility is right, this can be an underwater photographer's heaven.
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.
Penemu, Wayag or Misool. Sit back and relax in our comfortable tenders while we take you cruising into the labyrinths of a thousand lagoons, to Wagmab's caves for the gorgeous views of stalactites and stalagmites, or the magic surrounds of Misool Island. Either take a walk up the top of a limestone ridge for a spectacular picturesque view of lime stone Islands or do some canoeing along the limestone cliff. It’s just another of those unforgettable moments in life. A Water proof bag is ideal here to transport your camera and other electronic devices.