Banda ? Where on earth is that ?
A small archipelago of 10 islands, off the South of Ambon, in the province of Maluku. Also called the “spice islands”, due to strong culture of nutmeg and cloves.
OK, but why go there?
The Banda Sea is on the migratory path of schools of hammerhead sharks! In October, if you’re lucky enough, you could be diving with thirty or more ! Come on, let’s be honest, who has never dreamed about doing that?
Along these volcanic islands, the drop-offs are impressive, the reef is teeming with life, and you’ll see many examples of pelagic life: barracudas, tunas, turtles, reef sharks … everything is there, just open your eyes!
And as we are never short of new adventures, why not dive the reef at the foot of Gunung Api, where innumerable but peaceful marine snakes will come along to say hello. A moment of a lifetime!
Macro lovers, you have also come to the right place!
As well as the population of mandarin fish in Bandaneira, you will discover Ambon Bay, where our trip ends. Definitely a world-class heaven for Muck Diving. Even without moving you could spend an hour and a half just observing mandarins, pikatchu, harlequin shrimp, ghostpipe fish, marbled shrimp… Going a bit further and you’ll meet some frogfish, “Solar Powered” nudibranchs, Coleman shrimps, Rhinopias or other small crabs…
This cruise is the perfect mix of creatures big and small!
Underwater Photographers, the door of this underwater paradise is about to open!
So, will you be “Crazy Hammer” enough to join us?
Length: 10 Days / 10 Nights (Approximately 27 dives in total)
Experience level: Advanced Open Water recommended – 30 minimum logged dives required.
Please note: There are about 500 nautical miles (nm) to cover during this 10-nights cruise. We are mostly diving 3 dives a day and then traveling at night. This cruise is not advised for people who get very sea sick or who are unable to sleep whilst the boat is under way.
While this is the description of a typical dive trip, actual trips may vary due to wind and sea conditions, weather or guests preference.
Pick up from the airport and transfer to the boat. Welcome drink and introduction of the boat, cruise and team. We require a minimum level of Open Water – 30 logged dives.
Dive 1: Check dive in Ambon bay, 1st encounter with all those small and weird critters!
Depending schedule of the flights, 2nd daytime dive in Ambon’s Bay.
Overnight sailing to Nusa Laut (45nm)
Dive 1 & 2: Amed’s Village, well preserved coral gardens, beautiful walls and numerous fishes on the reef.
Dive 3: Arch of Archon, endless walls. Mobulas, BlackTip reef sharks, tunas or even Hammerhead can be spotted there.
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Clear water, nice plateau, huge sponges and Hammerheads sites.
Overnight sailing to Manuk (70nm)
Dive 1, 2 & 3: “Snake Volcano”. Hot rocks and ascending bubbles from the bottom. This spot is filled by harmless by sea snakes.
Overnight sailing to Nila (75nm)
BANDA SEA REEFS & NILA SERUA
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Hammerheads sites, healthy walls and 50+ meters visibility sometimes.
Overnight sailing back to Manuk (65nm)
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Snakes, tunas, barracudas and hopefully more Hammerheads !
Overnight sailing to Banda Islands (75nm)
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Let’s start the day with another hammerhead hunt on Karang Hatta and its schools of Jack fish! Heading then to Bandaneira, a large choice of dive sites is available, from volcanic rock at Pohon Miring to the black sandy bottom of Banda’s harbor.
Possible Land excursion: Banda Neira and its traditional market, historic fort and small Maritime Museum.
Night at the mooring.
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Waking up facing the beautiful view of Gunung Api, we’ll be looking for Boxer crabs on Batu Kapal to begin the day! And then heading to Suanggi, its walls, tons of fish, and our last chance for Hammerheads!
Overnight sailing to Ambon (120nm)
Day 9 – 10:
Dive 1, 2 & 3: Back to small critters and macro lovers! Let’s hunt for some frogfish, ghost pipefish, seahorses, marble shrimps and flamboyant cuttlefish during day and night dives!
On day 10, depending on the flights schedules, 1 or 2 dives can be done.
End of the trip and transfer to airport according to your flight schedule.
The route is always organized according to the weather conditions, tides and currents.