Starting in the world-famous critter heaven of the Lembeh Straits, we cross 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 full of critters, sea snakes, manta rays, sharks and much more.  We also have known cleaning stations for regular sighting of hammerheads………

Sample Itinerary 

Note; all schedules are subjected to changes according to weather, sea, diving, & local conditions.

Day 1. (0-2 dives) 3pm. Our staff will meet you upon your arrival to Manado Airport & transfer to White Manta. Depending on arrival time, we can do Check dive(s) plus night dive in Lembeh. After critter dive(s) we sail overnight to Gorontalo in the Gulf of Tomini

Day 2. (3-4 dives) Togean Islands; beautiful coral reefs at Una Una & Kadidiri search for the endemic Hippocampus Walea (Waleanus pygmy seahorse). Visit the Red Jellyfish Lake, just a two-minute walk from shore.

Day 3. (3-4 dives) Banggai Islands; stunning reefs, walls and overhangs with a huge variety of marine life in an untouched & remote location.  Meet the “local sea gypsies”, the Bajau people & search for the elusive Banggai Cardinal fish.

Day 4. (3 dives) Taliabu & Mangoli islands

Day 5. (3 dives) Manipa Island.  Sail to overnight towards Ambon.

Day 6. (3-4 dives) Saparua & Nusa Laut with its pristine corals. Sail overnight to Banda Islands.

Day 7-9. (3-4 dives x3 days) Banda Islands. Diving around Banda Islands with excellent visibility, fantastic coral coverage and tremendous numbers of fish along with potential Hammerhead sightings.

Day 10. (2 dives) Muck dives in Ambon Bay or Nusa Laut.  Sail back to Ambon where you spend last night on board.  Plenty of time to wash & dry equipment, rest & relaxation, and if need be, an early flight on Trip Departure day. 

Day 11. 0 dives) 5am-12pm. Check out after light breakfast & farewells, we transfer to local hotel or airport. Take your pre-booked flight to Ujung Pandang (aka Makassar), Jakarta or Singapore.

Diving days: 10 days (30 dives)

Note: 3 dives are scheduled per diving day*.  This is due to deeper dives and long distances covered between islands.  Where possible a bonus night dive may be scheduled at the discretion of the Cruise Leader. *Except Trip Departure day & Trip Return day.

Embarkation / Disembarkation

  • Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi / Ambon (AMQ), part of the Maluku Islands

How to get to Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi

  • From Bali Lion Air daily flights via Makassar/ Surabaya.  From Jakarta, direct with Garuda Indonesia
  • International, from Singapore direct flights with Silk Air.  Or fly to Jakarta and catch early morning Domestic flight
  • Note; if staying in Manado, please review our ‘Hotels in Manado’ section in the Celebes Sea Fact Sheet for included pickup/ drop offs from local hotel to Bitung Port.  If NOT local then OWN way from/ to hotel to Manado Airport or Bitung Port.

How to get from Ambon (AMQ), part of the Maluku Islands

  • Lion Air daily flights from Ambon to Bali, or with Garuda Indonesia or Sriwijaya Air to Jakarta via Makassar or direct to Jakarta with Batik Air. Early morning flights should give you best chance of making connecting International flights (flight time around 3 hours).
  • Note; if staying in Ambon please review our ‘Ambon Hotels’ section in the Banda Sea Fact Sheet for included drop offs from Laha Bay to local hotel.  If NOT local then OWN way to hotel.

Dive Site Information (Lembeh)

  • Water Temp; 27-30 degrees Celsius,
  • Air Temp; 27-32 degrees Celsius,
  • Visibility; 20-30 meters,
  • Currents; mild,
  • Level; beginners to advanced. 
  • Best Time to Dive; September to April (less rain & much less wind; perfect for diving)

Dive Site Information (Banda-Ambon)

  • 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,
  • Currents; medium to strong,
  • Level; intermediate to advanced. 
  • Best Time to Dive; March, 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, soft drinks
  • Towels, toiletries, & cabin services
  • FOC replacement if equipment breakdown
  • Warm towel & drink after every dive
  • Regular Air Tanks, weights, belt, 5 dive guides (1x Instructor, 4x Dive Masters)

What's excluded?

  • All flights & hotels stay
  • Marine Park & Harbour fee  
  • Dive & Travel insurance
  • Massage services
  • Laundry services
  • Nespresso coffee, alcohol; beer & wine
  • Satellite Wi-Fi
  • Diving Gear; dive computer, torch, 15L tank rental, BCD, regulator, wetsuit, fins mask.
  • Nitrox Enriched Air fills
  • Note; Nitrox & Diving Gear Items priced per diving day and are subject to availability.
  • Note: Exposure suits; 3mm shorty wetsuits available ONLY. 

Trip Schedule

  • Departure: 5pm, 1st Day - Bitung Port, Manado, North Sulawesi.  Or earlier if everyone arrives before and all trip preparations completed. Free transfer from local hotel or Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado to White Manta on trip departure day (transfer time 2 hours).
  • Return: 5am, Last Day - Ambon, part of the Maluku IslandsAfter a light breakfast and fond farewells, we take you to local hotel or Pattimura Airport, Ambon in time for Check-in & flights (transfer time 10 mins).  Note; latest WM Check-out, midday.
  • Last dive ends: 12pm (midday), Penultimate Day.  Plenty of time for R&R while we sail to Ambon where we spend last night on White Manta.  This also allows for your minimum 18 hours surface interval/ No Fly Time (as recommended by PADI) before flying next day.

New White Manta Reminders

Domestic Flights

  • Please book BEFORE confirming your International flights to ensure you make your connection to Manado & from Ambon
  • 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.
  • Early Arrivals; we can help recommend local hotels where we can pick you up on Trip Departure day. If needed transfers can be arranged for a nominal fee. Day of trip all included.
  • Luggage Allowance; most airlines allow 10-20kg/pax check, & 7kg carryon.  Additional weight is charged per/kilo (USD2-3/kilo). Maximum allowance between 20-30kg. Check the link for more details and additional flight info. Consult with our Travel Agent or Airline carrier (if booking directly) for actual details.
  • Jakarta (CGK);if you are travelling via Jakarta someInternational & Domestic flights do not always arrive/depart from same terminal building. If yours is one here is a useful Transfer link or if too late get a taxi for 50,000IDRp between terminals (10 mins transfer time).

Travel Documents

  • Note; late receipt of Passport details may very likely lead to delayed departure & significant changes to the itinerary.  We MUST receive guest’s details well in advance in the trip.
  • 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.
  • Passport; REQUIRED please provide a scan of your Passport (face-page) in advance of the trip
  • 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 then we recommend DiveAssure for their single trip policy cover.
  • 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.

Internet/ Mobile

  • Satellite Wi-Fi
  • Mobile signal; local Telkomsel is best local card to buy.  Not long after you leave port we have has intermittent/ limited mobile signal until we return.
  • Telkomsel simpati bsim card is the best and cost only 3usd. Plus credit to add on top!!!

Trip Extras payment onboard

  • By Credit card comes with 4.5% additional handling fee.
  • By Cash we accept US Dollars, Euro, Singaporean Dollars, and 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 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 (including USD70 fuel surcharge)
  • Massage US$35/ hour,  Laundry services US$10/ basket
  • Nespresso coffee: US$2, beer US$4, wine US$30-50
  • Satellite Wi-Fi US$30 for trip per person.
  • Nitrox; US$15/ diving day or US$5/ 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.