The Blue Asylum
Dive the crystal clear waters of the Southeastern Banda Sea

Our cruise ‘The Blue Asylum’ runs between Tual in the Kei Islands and Saumlaki on the island of Tanimbar; Tual and Saumlaki are the two main ports in the deep South of the Banda Sea. During the times of the year we are sailing this route, the water is typically crystal clear, providing the ideal setting for wide angle underwater photography.

Over the course of this 12D/11N cruise, the Tambora sails a circle-like itinerary through the southeastern Banda Sea surrounding the Kei Islands. On each and every visit, we have found diving in this part of the country to be spectacular. We have discovered some of the most extensive and intact coral reef systems Indonesia has to offer, often steep walls but also some gentle sloping formations. Fish life is abundant, with large schools of reef fish as well as frequent sightings of large pelagic fish, including big schools of yellowtail and grey barracuda, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, white and black grey reef sharks, thresher sharks, huge napoleon wrasses, as well as massive clouds of fusiliers streaming up and down the walls and slopes. Some dive sites on our itin are beautifully covered in the most colorful soft corals, others boast large overhangs, cracks, caves and other stunning underwater formations. What’s more, there are also many rare critters to be found, including various types of ghost pipe fishes and some rare nudibranches.

In spite of their rather remote locations, access to both Tual and Saumlaki is surprisingly straightforward, thanks to reliable flights to and from Ambon that connect to a number of different cities across Indonesia including Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar, Manado and Sorong.



Dive Blog – The Blue Asylum

Check out our dive blog and read up on some spectacular dives we had on this cruise itin!

16-Nov-14: Jack Point
Nome nest omen, and we had briefed our our guests about the resident school of bigeye trevallies at this site. The jacks were there, also many barracuda … but as we followed the schools around and into the blue for a few meters, out of a sudden we found ourselves right in the middle of a large school of great hammerheads, more than one could possibly count, all around us and very close distance!

14-Nov-14: Mad World
We had school of just about everything on this dive, including thousands of unicorn surgeonfish and fusiliers, and, most remarkably, bonitos and many bigeye trevallies. What’s more, a giant dogtooth tuna came in to the reef to check us out, and a few lonely mobula rays swept past!

10-Nov-14: Kurang Satu
This is a difficult site for us to suggest an optimal depth: the wall drops into the abyss and is stunning all along. Large overhangs in the depth house some very healthy red snappers, while the overhangs just right under the reefcrest bloom in red and violet dendronephtia. At the same time, the flat reeftop is equally magnificient, entirely covered in soft coral and small hard corals, with ghost pipefishes hiding under bommies.

09-Nov-14: Pancoran
Fish everywhere! We were surrounded by streams and curtains of fusiliers, so thich that it was at times difficult to see the curious black jacks that appeared to take in keen interest in the divers. Takine a breath from the fish soup and looking into the reef, the guides found warty frogfish, too.