Sulawesi's Secret Sites

Sulawesi's Secret Sites

Along the Southern shores of the Celebes Sea

This cruise takes us through largely uncharted and undived waters along the north coast of the island of Sulawesi, prior to arriving in the well known Bunaken National Park, Bangka-Talisei islands to the north of Sulawesi, and Lembeh Strait.

Leaving Palu, the Tambora will sail a northerly course, and we will dive some of the bays and capes along the Makassar Strait between the islands of Sulawesi and Borneo. Our next stop is Toli-Toli Bay, a large bay offering a broad variety of dive sites: some of the sheerest walls in the country, current-swept rocks where large schools of fish aggregate and terrific macro sites. We will spend 2-3 days diving and exploring Toli-Toli Bay prior to continuing our journey along the journey towards the East, following the Celebes Sea shoreline.

We will dive a series of sites along this coastline, including some large atolls offshore as well as fringing and patch reefs closer to the mainland; the dive sites here are characterized by a mixture of hard and soft coral gardens. Rarely visited and dived as it is, this section of the cruise also offers plenty of opportunities for further exploration.

Heading further East, we will reach Bunaken National Marine Park, the islands off the Northern tip of Sulawesi, and eventually the Lembeh Strait.

Palu, our port of embarkation, can easily be reached from Bali, Manado, Singapore (via Balikpapan) or Jakarta. We will disembark in Bitung, the harbor of Manado, from where guests can adjourn to a resort in the Manado area, or the airport for their onward flight connection.

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Cruise-IDStartEnd# NightsCruise NameCruise AreaFromToPrice (US$)Availability
2021-15 19-Jul-21 30-Jul-21 11 Sulawesi's Secret Sites Lembeh, Bunaken, Toli-Toli, West Sulawesi, Palu Palu Manado 4,425 Inquire
2022-16 23-Jul-22 03-Aug-22 11 Sulawesi's Secret Sites Lembeh, Bunaken, Toli-Toli, West Sulawesi, Palu Palu Manado 4,425 Inquire

Dive Blog - Sulawesi's Secret Sites

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

20-June: Stadium
As usual, it took a little extra effort and depth to take in all the offerings of this great dive site. Giant trevallies, sharks, large Napoleon wrasses and jacks were all present in the Stadium. But bottom time is limited, as is divers’ abilily to withstand the current. Thankfully, the current in the equally beautiful shallows was only very gentle, and the colorful reeftop of hard coral and sponges in the bright sunlight is a terrific sight.

18-June: Refugium
This was probably the fishiest dive on the cruise; the schools of fusiliers and surgeonfish swirling over the vast reef flats and up and down the steep wall were at times so thick that it was difficult to see through. Three eagle rays also stopped by, in addition to a few turtles, rainbow runners, and whitetip reef sharks; and we saw another dugong, bringing the total dugong count on this cruise to three.

17-June: Jackpot
We had an action-packed dive, thanks to a rather strong current sweeping the almost barren rocks: hundreds of jacks travelled up and down from the depth at rapid speed, swirling around us the divers on their reef hooks; a large school of black snappers, rainbow runners, and two Napolen wrasses of enormous size (and probably age, too) caught our attention during the intervals when the jacks disappeared in the depth.

13-June: Sahaong
This morning we enjoyed a stellar dive at Sahaong; with only a gentle current running, the red and yellow tubbastrea covering almost every bit of rock face were all in full bloom, rendering superb color to the magnificient underwater topography of this dive site. Schools of fusiliers were patrolling the reef up and down, and during our safety stop, a friendly dugong caught up with us.