Ambon, Banda, Forgotten Island

Raja Manta 10 Days / 9 Nights

Ambon-South Banda Islands-Saumlaki

Starting with muck diving in Ambon and then crossing the Banda Sea, tracing the perimeter of islands. Let our experienced crew show you these remote and almost untouched locations with wonderful reefs and stunning drop offs. Marine life here is in abundance from macro critters, sea snakes and schooling fish to the ‘big fish’ favorites such as manta rays, reef sharks and even the chance to encounter Scalloped Hammerheads

Sample Itinerary 

(All schedules are subjected to changes according to weather, sea, & diving conditions)

Day 1. (1-2 dives) 3pm. Our staff will meet you in Pattimura Airport, Ambon, and take you to the waiting Raja Manta.  Depending on arrival time, we can do check dive(s) in Ambon Bay or Nusa Laut.  Sail to Banda Islands.

Day 2-3. (3-4 dives x2 days) Diving around Banda Islands with excellent visibility, fantastic coral coverage and tremendous numbers of fish along with potential Hammerhead sightings, plus a visit to one of the Spice Islands.

Day 4-6. (3-4 dives x3 days) Ring of Fire; diving around Volcanic Islands and stunning seamounts in search of hammerheads, encounter many sea snakes, huge schools of fish, reef sharks, tunas, & other pelagic superstars. 

Day 7-8. (3-4 dives x2 days) Forgotten Islands; Dai & Dawera.  Rarely visited, pristine corals, pinnacles, & walls.

Day 9. (2 dives) Dawera Island; easy shallow dives full of life for a great happy ending.  Sail back to Saumlaki.

Day 10. (0 dives) 6am-12pm. Check out after breakfast, farewells, and transfer to airport. Take your pre-booked flight to Ambon, then onto Bali or Jakarta via Ujung Pandang

Diving days: 9 days (26 dives)

Embarkation / Disembarkation

  • Ambon (AMQ) / Saumlaki (SXK)

How to get to Ambon (AMQ)

  • We will be there to transfer you to the Raja Manta (10 minutes transfer)
  • Lion Air daily flights from Bali via Makassar or Manado, Garuda Indonesia or Sriwijaya Air from Jakarta via Makassar to Ambon (flight time around 3 hours).  

How to get from Saumlaki (SXK)

  • Lion Wings flights from Saumlaki to Ambon (flight time 1.5 hours). After same airline Ambon to Jakarta

Dive Site Information 

  • Water Temp:  26-28 degrees Celsius, however deep water upwelling’s & thermoclines especially in Sept-Nov can mean temps as low as 25C.
  • Air Temp: 22-31 degrees Celsius
  • Visibility: 20-30 meters
  • Current: medium to strong
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced,
  • Best Time to Dive: mid-March to end-April, & mid-September to early December

What's included?

  • Round trip transfer local Hotel/Airport - Boat
  • All nights' accommodation on Boat
  • All meals (Western & Indonesian) snacks, hot beverages, coffee, tea, Milo
  • Towel, toiletries, cabin services
  • Warm towel & drink after every dive
  • Regular Air Tanks, weights, belt, 5 dive guides (1x Instructor, 4x Dive Master)

What's excluded?

  • All flights & hotels stay
  • Marine Park & Harbour fee
  • Dive & Travel insurance
  • Massage services
  • Soft drinks, alcohol, Nespresso coffee,
  • Diving gear; BCD, regulator, wetsuit (only 3mm shorty wetsuits available), fins, mask, dive computer, torch, 15L tank rental.   Note; Diving Gear items priced per diving day and are subject to availability.
  • Nitrox refills EANx32, subject to availability

Trip Schedule

  • Departure; 3pm, 1st Day - Laha Bay, Ambon. Or earlier if everyone arrives before and if all Trip Preparations are completed. Free transfer from local hotel or Pattimura Airport, Ambon to Raja Manta on Trip Departure day.
  • Return; 6am, Last Day - Saumlaki.  After we give you a breakfast and after farewells take you to local hotel or Olilit Airport, Saumlaki (transfer time 20 mins).  Latest Raja Manta Check-out midday, Trip Return day.
  • Last dive ends; 12pm, Penultimate Day, then sail back to Saumlaki where we spend last evening

Raja Manta Reminders

Domestic Flights

  • Please book BEFORE confirming your International flights to ensure you make your connection to Ambon & from Saumlaki. 
  • We advise you to stay a night in a local hotel in Jakarta/ Makassar/ Bali before the flight next day.  If your  stopover is in Makassar; you may wish to take advantage of some rest between flights, just remember
    to set your alarms in good time for your early flight to Sorong! Ibis Makassar Airport is located right on the side of the exit door, alternatively the Harper Perintis Hotel is just a 15min drive from the airport and offers good value & comfortable rooms.
  • Most Domestic airlines do not allow non-Indo credit card online payments. If you cannot book direct we have a local Indonesian travel agent, who are reliable and efficient and can help you with all flight & hotel needs. Their details on request. If booked with credit card please ensure the card is with you upon Check In or have an official Airline form filled in & signed by card holder authorizing the use of.
  • Our ticketing agents are not responsible for any flight delay or cancellation, luggage lost or delay. In any case, please contact our ground staff in Bali for assistance for flight delay issue.
  • Domestic Airlines normally have 20Kg allowance, although you may pay for 10Kg extra when booking, if needed (around US$3/kilo). With an additional 7kg carryon.
  • Early Arrivals/ NOTE Ambon Bay is vast.  For early arrivals we recommend staying at Maluku Divers Resort.  If on South or North-East side of the bay then this are NOT local and we shall meet you at Pattimura Airport on Trip Departure day.

Travel Documents

  • Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA); many countries now receive a free 30 days on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain VoA, others will have to obtain Visa BEFORE Arrival.
  • Passport; ensure your passport is in good order, has enough pages, is valid for at least 6 months, and that you are able to enter Indonesia.   Check with your local Indonesia Embassy if unsure.
  • Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (Mar-2015) to be included in your flight ticket price.  Please check though as previously it was 200,000IDRp to leave Indonesia, & up to 75,000IDRp for Domestic flights.  Carry small bills, Indonesia Rupiah preferred, as often no change given.

Health & Insurance

  • Dive Insurance; compulsory for this trip.  We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your diving needs.  If not covered them we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or their Asia Pacific branch.
  • Dive Computer; compulsory on this trip.  We have rentals onboard if you do not have.
  • Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times plus No Deco Diving and No Solo Diving.
  • Travel Insurance; please NOTE: we cannot be held accountable for airline flight changes, delays, or cancellations.  We STRONGLY advise you take out adequate insurance to cover such eventualities.  We recommend World Nomad for their flexible worldwide cover for travel insurance.
  • Malaria Zone; NOTE that in this part of Indonesia we advise you take the proper precautions against malaria.  The following anti-malaria drugs are considered safe with diving; Doxycycline or malaroneMefloquine (Lariam) is NOT recommended with diving.  Good preventative measures include DEET and long armed/legged clothing in evenings. If unsure consult a diving doctor.

Internet

  • Internet; No Wi-Fi onboard at this time.  You may sign up for local SIM card.  local Telkomsel is best local card to buy.  Telkomsel simpati bsim card starts at only 3usd. Plus credit to add on top!!
  • Mobile/ Internet signal; not long after you leave port we have has intermittent/ limited mobile signal until we return.

Trip Extras payment onboard

  • Credit card; due to the very unreliable connections we are NO longer able to take ANY credit card
  • payments on this trip.  Please bring enough CASH to pay for any Trip Extras.  We accept US Dollars, Euro, Singaporean dollars, Indonesian Rupiah.  Please ensure ALL bills are in good order; NOT worn or torn and unmarked or we are UNABLE to accept.  Exchange rates differ for USD100/50 bills and USD20/10 bills. Current Exchange rate. ATMs are available in town.
  • Fuel Surcharge; NO fuel surcharge in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.

Trip Extras

  • Marine Park & Harbour fee; US$250 per person
  • Massage US$30/ hour, 
  • Nespresso coffee: US$2, beer US$4, wine US$30-50
  • Nitrox Fill; US$6/ fill

Equipment rental

Diving Gear; Full Set USD50/ diving day (except Large tank) or if individual items then following rates apply per diving day*

  • BCD US$12
  • Regulator US$12
  • Dive Computer US$12
  • Wetsuit US$8
  • Fins, Mask US$5
  • Large Tank US$12
  • Torch* US$12/ night dive.

Diving Gear Items priced per diving day* and is subject to availability.  Note; Torch rental* priced is per night dive.