[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_inset=”0px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_inset=”0px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px 15px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Enjoy a splendid cruise in Eastern Indonesia: explore the incredible Raja Ampat archipelago! The following itinerary has been designed to access the most engaging locations Raja Ampat has to offer, with intent to dive three times per day. Depending on the weather forecast, we will either plan a route starting from the Southern or the Northern part of the Park. The following itinerary presents a route starting from the South. 24+ dives are planned during the trip.[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false”]Itinerary[/x_custom_headline][x_slider animation=”slide” slide_time=”7000″ slide_speed=”1000″ slideshow=”false” random=”false” control_nav=”false” prev_next_nav=”true” no_container=”false” ][x_slide]
We will be waiting for you at Ambon airport or hotel to take you to the harbor where our crew will welcome you aboard Kira Kira. Following refreshments and a short tour with a boat briefing, your safety on board and intended plans for the voyage.
We will set sail in the evening and cruise overnight towards the Banda.
With favorable seas, we wake up next to the island of Suanggi, a fire like sunrise and Banda Neira’s ‘Gunung Api’ volcano reaching to the clouds at distance. Suanggi hosts a large colony of seabirds; Frigates, which, if your cruise director has not done so already, will wake you up. After coffee, a check dive on one the islands sheltered reefs to become familiar with our operation, and for us to assess the abilities and requirements of the dive group. Breakfast, followed by two extremely special dives, if very lucky, a chance to see Hammerhead sharks patrolling the wall drop offs and deep ridges. After three dives, we set sail into the sunset for Banda Neira, looking out for Sailfish breaching, Dolphins and Whales, that are common during this two hours crossing.The night is spent on anchor in the heart of the historic Banda islands.
Day 3, 4 & 5
The Banda region is made up of small clusters of islands and a towering volcano, where we will spend three days exploring, diving nine or ten incredibly different locations. Riddled with imperial history relating to the conflicts between the British, Dutch and Portuguese, land missions, spice trading locations and forts visits are not to be missed.
Pulau Ai and Pulau Run are just a short sail from Banda Besar and home to some very exciting dive sites, ranging from furied drift dives to mystic secluded bays, the currents are generally quite strong in these areas making for excellent and rich reef life. A famous dive site by the name of ‘Lava Flow’ sits very close to Banda Neira, directly beneath the volcano, created by the flow of lava that rushed into the ocean and destroyed everything in its path… With only twenty years passed since the eruption, the condition and rapid growth of the newly made reef will take your breath away. Batu Kapal, a two dive location, with its astonishingly varied topography is another clear favorite in this region.
For our final day in Banda, we sail south east, to Pulau Hatta, once occupied by the Dutch. Sitting atop an extremely deep trench of 5000m, it is a fantastic spot to conclude activities in this area.
Our second overnight voyage on this itinerary, taking approximately nine hours from Pulau Hatta to Pulau Manuk, a remote volcano in the middle of the ocean, famous for Sea Snakes and active sulfur plumes. Currently dormant, with no recorded eruptions since first study, plumes of sulfuric gas seep out of large volcanic rocks around the island, home to another large colony of birds. The diving here can be extremely unique, with large congregations of Chinese Sea Snakes living on its pristine reefs, curiously swimming towards divers and snorkelers. ‘Bubble reef’ is a truly special location where sulfur running off can be seen underwater, where Barrel Sponges resemble, mystic potion cauldrons, smoking and bubbling away. The dives here filled with wilder macro species and bigger pelagics. The ‘Big Ridge’ running along the east side of the island makes for a very adventurous wall dive.
‘Coconut Corner’ is also a fantastic dive and another chance to witness the earth’s core bubbling through the sands. A swim or snorkel between dives is most welcome, be prepared to say hello the curious Sea Snakes that are almost guaranteed to swim up to. Pulau Manuk is without question the most remote area we attempt to visit on the itinerary. Thereafter, we begin our third overnight crossing to Pulau Koon, the divide between Raja Ampat and the great Banda Sea.
A fourteen to sixteen hours overnight crossing brings us to Pulau Koon, a small island sat south east of mainland Seram, the midpoint of our trip. With a large reef plateau jumping right off of the island, the most exciting feature here is, without a doubt, the huge amount of schooling and hunting fish species, that can be seen at the very aptly named ‘Fish market’.
Slowly moving along the wild and vivid coral slopes in the currents and back eddies, being approached by curious Mackerel and Tuna, surmises a not so typical day. After two dives on this absolutely fantastic reef, late afternoon, we begin our crossing to Misool, Raja Ampat.
Day 8, 9 & 10
Arrival in Misool, home to the best coral growth on planet earth. Huge Gorgonian Sea Fans, big pinnacles and button islands, we have reached a true diver paradise. The final three days of the voyage will be spent here, and with it being home to literally hundreds of dive sites, not one trip will ever be the same. We aim to visit our favorite sites whilst here, safety and weather depicting. Incredibly healthy coral formations, Pygmy Seahorses, huge pelagic fish, Oceanic Mantas and much, much more, this place has it all… A fantastic time to see the blooms of Silverside Batfish, responsible for initiating large feeding frenzies. Dive sites such as ‘Magic Mountain’ and ‘Four Kings’, ‘Wedding Cake’ and ‘Goa Farondi’ are just a few to name, to add to the perfection Misool has to offer. Exploring the turquoise lagoons by kayak is always a great little adventure after a diving day. We set sail to Sorong on day ten, just as the sun is setting.
End of the trip and transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule
[/x_slide][/x_slider][cs_text]The route and dives are always organized according to the weather conditions, the currents and tides.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]