Beneath Cliffs & Cloves

Beneath Cliffs & Cloves

From Raja Ampat via Halmahera, Bacan and Goraici Islands to Ternate

This itinerary combines the best dive sites in southern Raja Ampat and around Halmahera and its many satellites into a single cruise. Please note that we are conducting this cruise in either direction, both from Sorong to Ternate as well as in the reverse sense, Ternate to Sorong.

Leaving Sorong, the first part of the cruise will take place in South Raja Ampat. We will spend a day diving the black sand beaches on the south coast of the island of Batanta, searching for critters like seahorses, ghost pipefish, tiny cuttlefish, cowfish and rare nudibranches. After a nightly crossing we arrive in South East Misool. Among the myriad of uninhabited islands and rocks, we will dive some of the best coral reefs in the world teeming with fish. This itinerary takes us all the way around the south coast of Misool and to the island of Pele which is rarely dived on most Raja Ampat only itineraries. Beyond Pele and Misool commences the second part of our cruise. Via the small archipelago of Pisang, we will reach the South of the large and sprawling island of Halmahera. Diving our way along the current swept capes along the south coasts of Halmahera and Bacan with some great fish action, we turn into West Bacan for some great muck diving prior to continuing our journey northbound to the island of Kasirutu and the Goraici archipelago, host to some of the best dive sites around Halmahera: steep walls, colorful reefs, large schools of reef fish as well as a good chance of encountering some pelagics. From Goraici we will move further North towards Ternate, stopping en route at the island of Makian in the search for rare critters.

Sorong and Ternate, our ports of embarkation and disembarkation, are well connected by air to Jakarta, Manado and Makassar.

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Cruise-IDStartEnd# NightsCruise NameCruise AreaFromToPrice (US$)Availability
2022-10 01-May-22 12-May-22 11 Beneath Cliffs and Cloves South Raja Ampat, Halmahera, Bacan, Goraici Sorong Ternate 4,425 Inquire

Dive Blog - Beneath Cliffs & Cloves

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

12-May: Tg. Siko
While not that fishy, this is one of the prettiest coral reefs to be found anywhere. The wall is alive in yellow and blue soft coral, and the vast reeftop boasts the most amazing variety of hard coral as well as many porites and bommies of immense size and height.

09-May: Pasir Hitam
Our dive here this afternoon was very productive, yielding (among many others): one painted, two red and three black frogfish; a seahorse; flying gunart; both ornate and robust ghost pipefishes; and, two oversize stonefish!

07-May: Orchard Reef
We started the dive at the steep coral slope in the South, enjoying the beautifully covered overhangs, as a cold upwelling brought dogtooth tuna, giant trevally and jacks in. Retreating to somewhat warmer (and shallower) water, we were pleased to find the reeftop awash with large schools or surgeonfish and bumphead parrotfish grazing among the many large sponges.

06-May: South Penemu
With only a very gentle current as a backdrop, we could swim almost the entire length of this reef, and it was incredibly fishy all the way, with multiple schools of barracuda (including both adult and juvenile) pinjalo snappers, jacks, fusiliers, and surgeonfish.

06-May: Batu Cukur
Even though we entered upcurrent, it took us some effort to make our way down the reef and a little further towards the current facing side. But there were ample rewards: a pristine reef scenery dotted with brightly colored blue and yellow fire corals; the live hunting going on right in front of our eyes, with bluefin trevally, giant trevally and Spanish mackerels dashing over and over again into thick walls of fusiliers; and, sharks circling with a rapid speed and at an extremely low height over the reef, as if they wanted to evade the reef’s ‘radar screen’, waiting for the fall-out!

04-May: Shark Cape
Our dive at Shark Cape started with a breathtaking first 15 minutes, as we backrolled from our dive tenders and basically found ourselves in front of a large school of barracuda, who advanced at a very leisurely pace. The barracudas were immediately followed by an equally large school of big eye trevallies. It was only as the jacks had moved on, too, that we started to descend a little deeper, briefly taking notice of the presence of black and whitetip sharks, before an even larger school of trevallies came right at us out of the depth! It was only after these first 15 frantic minutes that we started taking in the gorgeous reef scenery, while the reef sharks kept up their patrolling business a little deeper during most of our dive.

03-May: Soft Coral Mount
We did two dives on this spectacularly beautiful site. Our first dive was a rapid drift as the current was running, with the soft corals open in all colors of the rainbow, and the reef alive with large schools of surgeonfish, fusiliers and patrolling sharks. On our second dive conditions were more relaxed, however the world underwater was still standing in full bloom, and we could take in the schools of sweetlips sheltering between at the tall rock pinnacles.

01-May: Four Kings
Even though conditions were a little challenging, as a result of a medium strong current and somewhat reduced visibility due to lots of plankton in the water, ‘Fould Kings’ was still a dive that received the ‘Can we do this once again?’ verdict from our guests. The dramatic underwater topography of this dive site, with its pinnacles, ridges, walls and cuts, combined with the fish count – jacks, pinjalo snappers, barracudas – and hence sheer action going on around us made this once again a spectacular place to explore.