The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on ...
MY Oceanic is a newly-renovated Phinisi that explores the Komodo National Park, the Banda Sea, Alor and the Forgotten Islands. Accommodating just 12 divers, these trips are intimate, sociable, and adventurous - with unexpected diving encounters, astonishing beaches, and remote villages all on offer.
MY Oceanic is a traditional Indonesian Phinisi exploring Komodo National Park, the Banda Sea, Alor and the Forgotten Islands. This vessel aims to escape the predictable cruise-like nature of many liveaboards, and instead offer adventurous voyages filled with unexpected diving encounters, astonishing beaches, and remote villages. Accommodating just 12 divers, MY Oceanic is intimate and sociable – setting the perfect tone for an action-packed expedition to some of Indonesia’s most remote islands.
Guests can expect outstanding service and incredible facilities onboard this recently refurbished liveaboard. With sociable lounges and sun decks, fantastic food and drink, and a well equipped dive deck, MY Oceanic boasts all the necessities for the perfect dive holiday.
Komodo National Park is situated close to the coast of Flores, with Sumbawa and the Sape Strait to the west. Covering over 1,730 square kilometres, the park includes the three large islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, along with 26 smaller islands. The park’s rugged terrain is dominated by jagged peaks and mountain slopes covered in dry savannah and dense stands of deciduous forests. Erosion has carved the coastlines of the islands into deep bays, inlets, channels and isolated beaches, creating some of Indonesia’s most spectacular scenery. Locations such as Komodo’s ‘Pink Beach’ and the incredible view from Padar looking across back-to-back, circular bays, are worth the trip alone!
Komodo’s dramatic landscape continues beneath the waves and the waters are some of the richest marine environments in the world. The reefs, channels, seagrass beds and mangroves are home to over 1000 species of fish and 250 species of corals. The channel surrounding theses islands funnels huge volumes of water between the Flores Sea and the Indian Ocean, resulting in nutrient-rich upwellings and dramatic currents that sweep past the islands, creating the perfect conditions for an incredible diversity of marine life and superb diving. The national park was founded in 1980 to protect its infamous resident - the Komodo dragon. This extraordinary species is the world’s largest land-dwelling reptile and can still be observed in the wild on both Komodo and Rinca islands.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands and reefs surrounding the 4 main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo - the ‘Four Kings’ from which Raja Ampat takes its name. The area is part of the newly-created province of West Papua and, despite its allegiance to Indonesia, the islands of Raja Ampat feel very much like part of a different world. Although resorts are being developed throughout the archipelago and liveaboards run regular schedules around its famous sites, this string of beautiful islands still holds on to a lingering promise of exploration and discovery.
Papua is home to an incredible diversity of flora, fauna and cultures with the rugged terrain and relatively late development having helped to preserve the unique biological and cultural diversity. Much of the mainland is made inaccessible by rugged mountains and dense jungle and new endemic species are being discovered here every year. Below the surface of the sea, the rich reefs of Raja Ampat are a similar treasure trove of unique species; in fact, Cape Kri on Mansuar Island in the Dampier Strait holds the record for the most number of fish species recorded on a single dive. Raja Ampat is so species-rich and such a vital area for reef conservation that the entire area has been protected as part of the Bird’s Head Seascape.
The Banda Sea lies just south of the equator in Eastern Indonesia and is bounded by the islands of Buru, Ambon and Seram in Maluku to the north, Sulawesi to the west, curving arcs of volcanoes and reefs to the east, distant islands of Nusa Tenggara and Timor to the south. Within the basin itself are two chains of islands - an inner arc of rugged volcanoes that rise from the deep waters of the central area and an outer arc of low, limestone islands that mark the eastern boundary of the sea. These remote islands of the ‘Ring of Fire’ have escaped much of the development of the modern world and remain pristine outposts of Asia’s extraordinary marine environment, offering untouched reefs, prolific marine life and plenty of bigger species.
This remote area once lay at the heart of the lucrative spice trade - in fact, Banda and its neighbour, Run, were the original ‘Spice Islands’ sought after by explorers and fought over by nations. Today the islands of the Banda Sea attract a different type of adventurer - drawn by the opportunity to dive remote, pristine reefs, visit islands rich in history and culture, and explore a part of Asia that, despite its previous fame and fortune, has become a pristine backwater.
The Alor region consists of two large islands, Alor and Pantar, as well as 14 smaller islands lying due east of Flores. They are amongst the least developed in Indonesia but offer incredible experiences both above and below the surface of the sea. On land, steep mountains and dry savannahs blend into lush forests that hide waterfalls, hot springs and even an active volcano.
The islands are part of the Lesser Sundas and along with Flores to the west, help to define the northern boundary of the Savu Sea. The famous Indonesian Throughflow is at its strongest in this part of the archipelago and an extraordinary volume of water passes through this region, funnelled through the channels that separate each of the islands. These huge currents bring with them a constant supply of nutrient-rich water, providing the perfect conditions for the marine life that so obviously flourishes around the islands of Alor. These pristine blue waters and swirling currents, along with beautiful reefs, drop-offs, caves and sheltered bays, are home to thousands of marine species in one of the richest biodiverse regions in the world.
MY Oceanic is a 28-meter traditional Phinisi vessel that was completely renovated in 2016. The vessel accommodates a total of 12 divers in 4 standard cabins and 2 suite cabins. Each cabin is equipped with air-conditioning and can be taken with twin or double beds. On the main deck, guests will find an air-conditioned lounge and dining area with a long sociable table. The upper deck boasts a sheltered lounge, as well as a tanning area with comfortable sofas on the sun deck. Indonesian, Chinese, Italian and Japanese cuisine is served buffet-style in the saloon, and all dietary requirements can be catered for. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, fruit and snacks are provided free of charge with beer, wine and espresso available to purchase.
The spacious dive deck is well-equipped for a day of adventurous diving including comfortable dive tenders, 24 aluminium cylinders, and 8 steel tanks – DIN and Int connections are available. Rental equipment is provided onboard, including dive computers, and Nitrox is also offered at an additional cost. A dedicated camera room provides plenty of space for storing and preparing equipment, while padded rinse tanks and a pressure gun ensure guests’ cameras are well looked after. PADI and SSI courses are offered onboard including Advanced Open Water and specialities such as Underwater Photography, Marine Biology, and Nitrox. MY Oceanic is fitted with all the necessary safety equipment including GPS, a Garmin sounder, and a Simrad radar for night navigation, VHF radio systems, and oxygen and first aid kits, as well as life jackets and life rafts.
MY Oceanic offers various multi-day trips around Komodo and Flores. An example itinerary for the whole of Komodo lasts 11-days and departs from Bima. Guests will undertake a check dive in Bima Bay before departing to Sagiang to explore sites such as Bubble Reef, Critter Creek, Pohon Merah, and Bontoh. MY Oceanic then moves on to Gili Lawa for some action-packed dives at Castle Rock, Crystal Bommie, The Lighthouse, and Shotgun. In the Strait between Komodo and Rinca, guests can visit spectacular sites such as Karang Makassar, Batu Bolong, and Tatawa Islands, with an optional walk to the Komodo National Park before more dives in Pulau Tengah, Siaba Kecil, and Pulau Wainilu.
Guests will then explore the underwater mountain in Pulau Sabolan, take a critter dive in Pulau Bidadari, and then visit Horseshoe Reef and Pulau Sebayor. MY Oceanic then travels to Pulau Padar, to dive the famous Three Sisters, Secret Garden, or Pilarsteen, with a possible night dive at Evening Star. Nusa Koda is next up with renowned dive sites such as Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall, Boulders, Torpedo Bay and more. Weather depending, guests can then take two dives in South komodo at sites such as Manta Alley, German Flag, or Tanjung Lehoksera. MY Oceanic may then revisit two popular sites such as Batu Bolong and Castle Rock before sailing back to Bima.
An example itinerary for MY Oceanic’s Maumere and Alor journey lasts 8 days and departs from Maumere with a check dive at the jetty and a possible night dive in Maragajong. The boat will then head to Tanjung Gedong to see reef sharks, tuna and barracuda, before exploring West Serbete and Watu Peni. A night dive is also possible in a nearby bay. The following day, guests can visit the village of Lamakera – a village once built around traditional whaling and manta hunting before the introduction of a conservation project to study manta populations. MY Oceanic will then travel to either Pulau Soangi or Tanjung Lowokuma for a dive before a possible night dive at The Brewery in West Lembata.
West Pantar is next with the current-swept Pulau Kambing and Watu Ile’s 26-meter swim-through. After this, MY Oceanic heads to the Straits of Alor, hitting sites such as Cave Point, Babylon, Kal’s Dream, The Great Wall of Pantar, Tanjung Elalara, and Beang Abang. Next guests can visit Clownfish Valley, Boardroom, and The Cathedral. On the final day, MY Oceanic explores Kalabahi Bay, diving Mucky Mosque and Pertamina Jetties before docking.
An example of MY Oceanic’s northern Forgotten Islands itinerary starts in Saumlaki before heading to the islands of Dawera and Daweloor for beautiful walls and seamounts. MY Oceanic will then travel to Pulau Dai to see schooling barracuda, jacks and trevallies, and then search for sharks around the volcanic island of Pulau Teun. Guest can spend full days exploring Dusborgh atoll and Nil Desperandum, where hammerheads are commonly sighted, with a possible night dive in Pulau Nila. Pulau Serua is visited next before diving around the small islands in West Kai. Guests will complete their last dives near Tual before heading to port.
An example of MY Oceanic’s Southern Forgotten Islands itinerary departs from Kalabahi Bay, before travelling overnight to Wetar where they will dive Tanjung Nunukae and the island of Reong, as well as visiting the nearby village to look for salt water crocodiles. MY Oceanic then journeys overnight to Romang to dive around Pulau Nyata, followed by another overnight voyage to Damar to dive the islands of Nus Leur, Terbang Utara and Terbang Selatan. MY Oceanic will then visit Duisborgh Reef and Nil Desperandum in search of schools of hammerheads before an overnight trip to Pulau Dai. Dawera is next on the list, and then the slopes of Pulau Nisnitu before sailing into Saumlaki.
An example itinerary for MY Oceanic’s Banda Sea journey last 10 days and departs from Kalabahi Bay. It will then dive some of the most renowned sites of the Alor Straits such as Clownfish Valley, Cave Point and Babylon, before an overnight voyage to Wetar to explore Tanjung Nunukae and Reong, and then visit a nearby village to look for salt water crocodiles. The vessel arrives at Gunung Api the next morning to dive with the many sea snakes before another overnight journey to Lucipara and Penyu. MY Oceanic then visits the Banda Islands with a cultural visit around Bandaneira and multiple dives before travelling overnight to Nusa Laut to dive Ameth’s Knoll. MY Oceanic will then explore the south coast of Ambon before heading to port.