Sapphire Seram SeaFrom Raja Empat via the Banda Sea to Ambon
This 13days/12nights cruise departs from Sorong, the main starting point for diving cruises to Raja Empat, and arrives in Ambon, capital of the Moluccas.
The Tambora will sail out of Sorong and head straight to the Sagewin Strait for a day of critter diving in the many bays along the South shore of Batanta, one for the four kings that make up Raja Empat. After an overnight sail south, we will arrive in the labyrinth of islands, islets and rocks east of Misool. Here, we will spend a couple of days diving what are widely recognized as the world’s most prolific coral reefs. Big schools of reef fish as well as manta rays are also often sighted in the waters around Misool.
Another southbound overnight steam will take us to Koon Island, in the Seram Laut group; here, strong currents from the depth create an environment that attracts feeding fish, big and small. The Banda archipelago, a volcanic mini-archipelago rising out of 5,ooom of water, is our next stop. We will be diving along the walls at the outer edge of the caldera, on the lava flow from the most recent eruption which has since been covered by a vast field of cabbage coral, and right in the center of the protected lagoon to check out mating mandarin fish. Some of the best muck diving in the country, right in Ambon Bay, will round things up on the day prior to disembarkation.
Access to Sorong, our port of embarkation, is easiest via Jakarta, Manado and Ambon. Upon arrival in Ambon, you can catch an onward flight to many destinations across Indonesia, or stay on for a couple of days to take in the varied cultures and sights of the central Moluccas.
Dive Blog – Sapphire Seram Sea
Check out our dive blog and read up on some spectacular dives we had on this cruise itin!
20-October: Laha II
What a great way to end of cruise: we saw a violet paddle flap rhinopia, a yellow rhinopia, two ornate ghostpipefishes, and a seahorse among many other critters!
18-October: Sand Chute
The sight of a number of great hammerheads amply rewarded us for getting up that early and defying the cold water below the thermocline! A little shallower hundreds of jacks were schooling, and a ball of black snappers sat motionless in 5m water on the reef top.
14-October: Too Many Fish
Nomen est omen: this morning we saw large schools of almost everything; batfish in their hundreds or more, big-eye trevallies, yellow fin barracudas, black snappers, carpets of fusiliers, a small school of African pompanos and a huge giant grouper.p>
12-October: Number Nine
We enjoyed an extremely fishy dive, as the shallows were teeming with silversides which in turn attracted large schools of predatory yellow-spotted trevally, Almaco jacks and mobula rays, all wanting to join the feeding frenzy.
10-October: Cape Kri
Perhaps the best dive we ever had on Cape Kri, with crystal clear water and thousands of fish including large schools of snappers, barracudas, jacks, surgeonfish, batfish and sweetlips. As we were already on our safety stop, out of a sudden the schools of fish that had been standing almost still in the mild current started to move about hectically: a red snapper had attacked a surgeonfish, biting off the lower part of his body! The two severed halves of the surgeonfish were floating in the water, surrounded by blood, and within less than one minute, black tip reef sharks were rushing to the scene!