The Banda Sea cruise is for those with the spirit of adventure as we set sail to rarely dived sites, islands and atolls. There are several ways to cross the Banda Sea and this depends mostly on the weather and depths of the thermoclines for the hammerhead sharks. Crossing is generally done in March/April and September/October when the prevailing winds are changing between the seasons. Seldom-dived sites, active volcanoes, hammerheads and pelagic action, plus a visit to the mythic Banda Islands (original Spice Islands), make this a once in a lifetime cruise.
In Alor, there is plenty of opportunity to find those rare critters like frogfish, mimic octopus, fire sea urchin and even rare rhinopias in the hundreds of bays and coves in the island chain. Dolphins and whales are often encountered as this area is also part of the migration routes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. If you don't mind the water being a bit 'frisky' from time to time, this itinerary is beautiful and often quite extraordinary.
Dive Spots at a Glance:
This cruise may, depending on the route chosen, include the following highlights (these are not limited to each route):
- Alor Region: Boardroom, Babylon, Cave Point, Clown valley and Wall of Pura plus, famous muck diving in Kalabahi Bay
- Wetar Area: Tanjung Nanukae, Nunukae Wall, Reong North and Reong Wall
- Gunung Api: Snake Ridge, Snake Pit and Sulfur Ridge
- Tebang Area: Nusleur Wall, Tebang North and Tebang South
- Nil Desperandum: Hammerhead dives depending on conditions for sites
- Manuk Island: Dives depending on conditions for sites
- Banda Islands: Pohon Miring, Batu Kapal, Batu Kapal Pinnacle, Banda Neira Jetty and Lava Flow
- Secret Spots: We know some excellent spots for shark action that we prefer not to publish but happy to share with you!
- Banda Land Visits: On this cruise we visit Banda Neira to see the nutmeg plantation, historic forts and small Maritime Museum. An excursion of half a day, plus two good nights' sleep on anchor before and after. Trust us, we all need it by then.
Please note: Due to weather and diving conditions, it's not always possible to visit each dive spot. Your Cruise Director will decide the best ones to visit at the time of diving. This itinerary is not for beginners. Most dives will involve going to depth and currents can be strong. We recommend you have 50 logged dives to join this trip and require that you are Deep Diver/Advanced Open Water or equivalent. Currents can vary from medium to extremely strong in both Alor and the Banda Sea. Inexperienced divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. All diving is made from zodiacs to give precise entry and exit points. In parts of Alor Strait water temperature can drop dramatically to around 20 degrees Celsius. It is highly recommended to bring a 5mm wetsuit and/or hooded vest. There are 600-700 nautical miles to cover during this 12-night cruise. We are mostly diving three dives a day and then travelling 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.