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 ...
Exploring Indonesia’s best diving since 2002, Wallacea Dive Cruises provide luxurious, comfortable, and convenient liveaboard voyages throughout the archipelago. Boasting beautiful Phinisi vessels that combine traditional design with modern facilities, as well as complimentary nitrox and spacious camera rooms as standard, Wallacea Dive Cruises deliver the most relaxing and enriching experiences possible.
Wallacea Dive Cruises have been exploring Indonesia’s best diving since 2002, visiting the highly famed diving destinations like Raja Ampat and Komodo as well as the secluded off-the-beaten-track gems like the Forgotten Islands. Wallacea Dive Cruises aim to provide the luxury of a comfortable, safe, and convenient liveaboard experience, with each vessel boasting a high crew to guest ratio and friendly staff who are on-hand to assist guests 24-hours a day.
Wallacea Dive Cruises two vessels combine traditional Phinisi design with modern, luxurious amenities and service to provide unforgettable dive holidays. Each boat offers exceptional facilities such as complimentary nitrox, spacious camera rooms, and onboard massage services as standard, ensuring guests have the most relaxing and enriching experience possible.
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 these 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.
Triton Bay is located in the far south of the Bird’s Head Seascape in West Papua, about as far from civilisation as it is possible to be in Indonesia. At the mouth of the bay lie a number of islands which funnel currents inwards and create the perfect conditions for the growth of soft corals in the nutrient-rich waters. To the east and west of Triton Bay are large estuarine areas that have effectively isolated Triton Bay’s marine creatures and helped to create the unique habitats and endemic species that are found today.
Triton Bay was first surveyed by scientists in 2006 who recommended the creation of the Kaimana Marine Protected Area that now extends along the coast either side of Triton Bay. The scientists’ attention was drawn to the large numbers of bigger reef fish such as grouper and snapper, the unusual soft corals and black corals that dominate the underwater landscape in Triton Bay and the many endemic species that they discovered. One of Triton Bay’s biggest draws are the whale sharks which congregate around fishing platforms known as ‘bagans’ to feed on anchovies and other baitfish caught in the nets.
Constructed in 2012, the MV Ambai was conceived and custom-built specifically for diving. Traditionally designed from tropical hardwood, the 32-meter vessel can host up to 16 divers in absolute comfort. It’s 8 boutique cabins are made up of 6 double and 2 twin rooms, each equipped with ample storage for personal belongings, air-conditioning, and en-suite bathrooms with hot water. Towels and toiletries, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are complimentary. The air-conditioned restaurant serves a delicious fusion of Asian and Western cuisine and features a large flat-screen TV where photographers and videographers can present their images at the end of the day. A comfortable inside lounge, large shaded deck areas, and a relaxing sun deck complete the superb common areas. An onboard massage service offers treatments either under the shade on deck or in guests’ cabins.
At the rear of the main deck, a large dive deck offers easy and direct access to the spacious dive platform which can receive all 3 purpose-built tenders at the same time. Equipment rental is available on board, including computers and torches, and nitrox 32% is provided free of charge for certified divers. 3 to 4 dives are offered every day and groups are kept small, with one dive guide for every four guests. Photographers are well catered to onboard the MV Ambai, with a dedicated camera room for maintenance and preparation as well as separate camera rinse tanks.
Built in 2005, this luxury Indonesian Phinisi was entirely renovated in 2018 by one of the most respected marine carpenters of the country – combining traditional craftsmanship with modern conveniences. Every little detail has been re-thought to offer the amenities and comfort of a floating hotel. The 33-meter vessel can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests in 3 double and 5 twin cabins, each equipped with individually-controlled air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms with hot water. Towels and toiletries, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are provided onboard. A delicious fusion of Asian and Western cuisine is served in the air-conditioned lounge and dining area which comes equipped with a library and entertainment station. The sun deck features plenty of comfortable sofa-style seating and provides a great place to relax between dives.
The large shaded dive deck at the front of the vessel provides plenty of space for each diver and diving is from 2 spacious 22-foot custom-built aluminium tenders. Equipment rental is available on board, including computers and torches, and nitrox 32% is provided free of charge for certified divers. 3 to 4 dives are offered every day and groups are kept small, with one dive guide for every four guests. Photographers are well catered to onboard the MSY Seahorse, with a dedicated camera room for maintenance and preparation as well as separate camera rinse tanks.
Wallacea Dive Cruises offer multi-day voyages around Raja Ampat. An example itinerary departs from Sorong and then sails south overnight through the Sele Strait to reach the East of Misool. Here, guests can experience fantastic dive sites such as No Contest, Love Potion, and 3 Rocks before spending the night in a sheltered bay. After a short morning navigation, the vessel will arrive at southeast Misool to visit Boo Rocks, Fiabacet, and Fantasea. Next up are Yellit Kecil, Rock Tank and Nudi Rock before overnight navigation to Penemu where guests can dive at Penemu North and Galaxy.
The cruise will then navigate towards Alyui Bay, allowing guests to dive Mayhem en-route. At Alyui Bay guests can dive Wofoh, Intersection, Aljui 1, and the Channel, as well as a night dive at the Jetty. At Kawe Island, guests will dive Black Rock and Eagle Rock before navigating to Dampier Strait. Here, guests can explore Citrus, Manta Sandy, Cape Kri, Chicken Reef, and Sardine Reef. The boat will then sail to Sorong for the last night on board.
Wallacea Dive Cruises offer multi-day voyages around Komodo. An example itinerary departs from Bima with a check dive at a site called Bethlehem in Bima Strait. The boat will then cruise through the night to Banta Island to dive Tanjung Rusa or GPS Point followed by more dives on the west coast of Komodo Island. After an anchorage in Loh Srikaya Bay, guests can do one more dive on the west coast of Komodo Island before the cruise heads south to Manta Alley. At dawn, the vessel will cross the channel between Komodo and Rinca to explore Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall, and Torpedo.
The vessel then heads north to Padar Island to visit sites such as 3 Sisters, Pilarsteen, and No Problem, before crossing the channel again to visit Pantai Merah. A night dive will be offered and there will be an opportunity for a short walk on the island from the Pantai Merah beach. In the northern area, guests can explore sites such as Batu Bolong, Batu Mandi, Tatawa Besar, Tatawa Kecil, and Siaba, as well as Castle Rock and Caldron. The vessel will then head to Labuan Bajo to disembark.
Wallacea Dive Cruises offer multi-day voyages around Komodo. An example itinerary departs from Maumere, navigating to Lembata overnight. At Lembata, guests will do a check dive followed by two more dives in the north. Alor Strait is next up with healthy reefs, fishy pinnacles, and great muck dives before overnight navigation to Wetar Island. Guests can do several dive around the Wetar Islands before exploring Romang Island and then Terbang and Damar Islands. The cruise will then arrive at Nila Island and Nil Desperandum Reef where guests will do several dives along impressive walls with the possibility of hammerheads at certain times of the year.
Manuk Island is next up, offering guests the opportunity to dive among huge numbers of sea snakes. After a couple of dives around Hatta Island, the vessel will enter Banda Harbour for a village visit and an excursion to the fortress. The cruise then heads to Banda Neira to explore Batu Kapal and the small islands of Suanggi. In South Seram, guests can visit Ahmet and Molana before moving on to Ambon for a whole day exploring its famous muck sites. The vessel will then disembark in Ambon.
An example itinerary for Wallacea Dive Cruises’ Banda Sea and Triton Bay cruise departs from Kaimana. Triton Bay is the first stop with dives in Larry Dive's Heaven, Batu Aruba, Flasher Beach, Little Komodo, Saruenus, and Xmas Rock. The vessel then heads to Momon Waterfall to dive Pulau Paradise and Kg Dua and have some fun on the waterfall.
Koon Island is up next with its incredible walls, slopes, overhangs, and caves before heading to Manuk to dive Red Cliff, Coconut Point, and 8 Wonders. At Banda Island, guests will dive Lava Flow and Batu Kapal before visiting the fort and some spice plantations. The vessel will then head to Nusa Laut to do 3 dives close to Ameth Village. The last 2 days of diving are spent in Ambon Bay exploring sites such as Ship Wreck, Twilight Zone, and Aviation Jetty. The vessel will then disembark in Ambon.