Here’s one for the adventurous diver: how about boarding a dive liveaboard boat that will set sail and have you exploring new territories in Indonesia? If this tickles your fancy, join us on board S/Y Indo Siren for one of our exciting new itineraries in 2022. Last week, we introduced you to The Spice Islands and Southern Forgotten Islands; but there is more! Take a look at more great itineraries: Halmahera & Northern Molucca, and the Eastern Banda Sea itineraries.
Halmahera & the Northern Moluccas
On this cruise, you’ll travel from Bitung in North Sulawesi to Raja Ampat (or v.v.), via Lembeh and Halmahera. We’ll not only be crossing two seas – Halmahera and Molucca Sea – but also the equator. Outside of Raja Ampat, the diving is pretty much completely off the beaten track, so all treasures are up for finding. Highlights of this itinerary include:
Batjan (or: Bacan) is one of the Northern Molucca islands. Located just southwest of Halmahera Island, it features two incredible dive sites: Akiko’s Neverneverland, a site with diverse topography; a plateau that slowly merges into a beautiful wall that plunges to 40 metres. Cruising along the wall are schooling jacks, blacktip reef sharks and hawksbill turtles. The plateau is covered in stunning leather corals plus an abundance of fish. Another gorgeous site we’ll likely explore is Tanjung Maragarando. Here you’ll find lots of pelagic and schooling fish such as jacks, blackfin barracudas, golden batfish and fusiliers. Starting at 30 metres depth, the slope is adorned with bright yellow soft corals.
Makian Island, south of Ternate Island, features a 6 mile wide volcano. Around Makian, dive into arguably some of the best muck diving in Indonesia. Encrusting sponges completely cover underwater pillars where frogfish, Honshu pipefish and nudibranchs hang out. The grey shallow sand plateau is home to a variety of critters, including ghost pipefish, dragonets and several kinds of cephalopods, such as long-arm octopus, bobtail squid and colourful flatworms.
.Eastern Banda Sea
This itinerary takes you to the best dive sites of the remote areas of the Eastern Banda Sea. Rarely visited, let alone dived, you can safely bet the marine life and corals will be pristine. Highlights include: hunting Chinese sea snakes in Manoek Island, and 2 good chances to spot scalloped hammerheads. These remarkable creatures visit both the islands of Nil Desperandum & Serua, and the Spice Islands. Or watch mantas doing their manta business up close at Mike’s Mount in Sanggala Bay. If macro marine life is more your cup of tea, get ready for mandarin fish, cockatoo wasp fish and pygmy seahorses.
In Triton Bay, the area around Pintu Arus at Saruneus Island is known for three specific dive sites: Little Komodo, Larry’s Heaven and Saruneus. It’s a true melting pot of diverse seascapes, including walls, rocky and sandy slopes, plateaus and boulders, boasting a huge diversity and density of soft corals of all colours and shapes, brimming with life. Deeper down the slopes, a large black coral forest with large gorgonian fans meets the sandy bottom. When the current hits the boulders, huge colonies of orange cup corals extend their polyps to feed on the nutrients carried by the current. Wobbegong sharks, spiny lobsters and pipefish hide beneath large table corals.
Coral and nudibranch: © Udo van Dongen
Wonderpus: © Gerald Rambert