SULAWESI • Sangihe 'Pearls of the North'


*please check our "Agenda" for your date.

Cruise Key
Volcanic landscapes, lagoons with black or white sand, underwater volcano (Mahangetang), drift diving, rare critters (muck-dive), exploration dives, pelagics, colorful and mineral reefs, pinacles.
Sea Conditions

At this time of the year the conditions are ideal for a sea which at other times can be quite rough.


Weather Conditions

Tropical climate, nice and breezy in the evening. 

Nature of dives & Currents

The currents can be varied and need to be checked before entering the water. This diving region is reserved for relatively experienced divers.

Water Temperature

Avg. 27° to 30°C


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" and have plenty of time to settle in, get everything ready and enjoy life onboard with us . 

Once all guests  onboard you will be introduced to our team. WAOW will leave Bitung harbor at 3pm at the latest.


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

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.
see the video

The Cruise

The Siau Islands, Sangihe and Talaud are found in the North East of the Celebes Islands (Sulawesi) dominated by a still active volcano at 1830m, Karangetang. (Recent lava flows and a source of underwater heat). This island chain of approximately 40 steep and luscious islands connects Indonesia to the Philippines. The waters to both the East and West are deep with several oceanic fault-lines and currents bringing plankton and rich nutrients from the depths. Due to this the marine life is very rich and varied. 

This first cruise edition "Sangihe- Perls of the North"  offers a unique itinerary which allows us to combine firstly some exploratiuon dives on those islands with the Lembeh Straits, The Bangka Islands and the celebrated Bunaken National Park, as the more well-known areas. However, the main attraction on this cruise resides in the exploration of the volcanic sites rarely visited like Nenung (muck, wreck and wall dives), Tagulandang & Ruang (ancient lava flows covered in life), Biaro (pinnacles and reefs on black sands), Siau and its still active volcano Karangetang at 1827 meters (recent lava flows and underwater hot sources), and finally culminating in the underwater volcano “Mahangetang”. Having appeared and disappeared several times over the past centuries, the volcano now tops at a depth of 3-4 meters from the surface offering seascapes of rocks and hot black sands animated by the flow of gas bubbles.



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.


First Island heading North, Bangka is surrounded by sandy white bays and lots of mangroves. Drop-offs, volcanic pinnacles and fishy reefs with both soft and hard corals, pygmy sea horses, frog fish, nudibranchs, sea snakes, napoleon wrasse and turtles. A superb dive at the Paradise jetty where on scarce occasions an encounter with a dugong is possible.


Siau & Mahoro

The culmination of Siau is the Karangetang, an active volcano (more than 40 eruptions since 1675) with an altitude of 1’827 meters. Beaches around this area are of black sands. Diving : Evidently volcanic. The lava flows from the volcano have extended into the ocean and created drop-offs and pinnacles. On some occasions we hear the growl of the volcano. Schools of barracuda, jacks, sweetlips, sea snakes, napoleon wrasse, angel fish, tile fish, fusiliers, blue ringed octopus and all types of macro fauna.


The volcano, the star of the show. The Mahangetang rises from the depths between Siau and Sangihe from 400 meters. Having appeared and disappeared several times over the centuries, it culminates at 3-4 meters below the surface. An underwater sea scape of rocks, black sands and animated by a stream of gas bubbles. The current can sometimes be quite strong but brings with it schools of fish including barracuda, Spanish mackerel and sharks.

Within the Kakitang port there is a macro dive with everything necessary.


Further to the North, Biaro is the first island within the Sangihe archipelago. A very large submerged caldera offers a location to lay anchor for the night and a peaceful place to dive. Underwater pinnacles, white sandy bottoms, large variety of beautiful corals including table corals, dog toothed tuna, spanish mackerel, napoleon wrasse, black tipped reef sharks, hump head parrot fish, turtles, frog fish, nudibranchs etc..


Blue water diving with currents, big fish, drop-offs, pinnacles and plateaus. Between 15 and 32 meters there is a very pretty wreck magnificently decorated in coral and fauna of all colors. Muck dives in more sheltered waters with nudibranchs, large varieties of frog fish, flamboyant cuttlefish and coconut octopus.

Tagulandang & Ruang

Dives on ancient lava flows with black sands dotted with volcanic rocks. This base provides an ideal substructure for the growth of hard and soft corals, bushes of black coral, gorgonian sea fans and other forms of life. Underwater the regeneration after the eruptions seems to happen much faster than on land and in this instance the visibility is very good. Fusiliers, red snapper, butterfly fish, garden eels, pygmy sea horses, moray eels, frog fish, flamboyant cuttlefish, Spanish dancers, ghost pipe fish, napoleon wrasse and barracuda.


The Bunaken National Park essentially consists of the 5 islands :  Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Nain and Siladen. The waters within the park are as deep as 1566 meters providing drift dives along vertical drop-offs with cracks and caves. The big stuff : Whales and dolphins while transiting, huge hump head parrot fish, sharks, large tuna and Spanish mackerel, turtles, dugongs in the shallows, schools of barracuda. We also encounter batfish, snapper, surgeon fish, sweetlips, ghost pipe fish, nudibranchs, dragon fish, leaf fish, wrasse, giant clams and all types of reef fish.

Land Excursions

Cruising, sailing and scuba diving in Indonesia with the liveaboard MSY WAOW. Destination SANGIHE island, atoll

Mangroves, swimming or fishermen

Excursion in the Mantehage mangrove (1473 hectares) in the Bunaken park or swimming amid upwelling hot water, along the coast of the island of Siau.

If the sailing conditions allow, we will take you to the island of Makalehi with it's freshwater lake on which a traditional fishing community settled.

If you extend your stay in Manado or Lembeh before or after your cruise, be sure to visit the Tangkoko National Park to observe the Sulawesi crested macaque, the bear cuscus and dwarf cuscus (marsupial, Koala's cousin), the knobbed hornbill or the tarsier, the world's smallest primate.