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Secrets of the Savu Sea and Alor Archipelago

Join us for this luxurious liveaboard snorkeling trip to some of the most spectacular and untouched reefs in Indonesia.

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Overview

  • Explore some of the more remote and “fishiest” areas of the Coral Triangle in waters adjacent to Raja Ampat.
  • The Solor-Alor island region as one of the most important habitats for oceanic cetaceans in the Indonesian Seas with relatively high abundance of blue whales
  • Our trip coincides with the annual migration of blue whales through the area.
  • Enjoy top-notch service and comfort aboard the prestigious Damai II.

Departing from Kupang aboard the luxurious Damai II liveaboard, our itinerary takes us westward as we weave through narrow channels and along the volcanic islands of the Alor Archipelago en route to Komodo Island.

We’ll enjoy multiple opportunities to snorkel each day, with highlights including critter-rich Adonara, the extremely “fishy” reefs along the south coast of Flores Island, some of the best snorkeling sites in Indonesia near Rusa, the current-rich Pantar Straits, and several areas known for pelagic species including manta rays, Mola mola, pilot whales, dolphins, and even blue whales.

Near the end of our expedition, we'll explore Komodo National Park, a World Heritage Site that is home to the endemic Komodo dragon, beautiful scenery, and spectacular reefs.

Trip Dates & Cost

2019: June 8–19. From $7,400 / person in double occupancy standard cabins (4 available); $8,600 / person in double-occupancy master cabin (sold out). Note: there is only one double-occupancy cabin remaining.

* Trip prices do not include international or in-country airfare (we will help arrange your in-country airfare). Limited single supplements are available. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.

Photos
Naturalist

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.

Pete Oxford works in some of the world’s most pristine and remote wildlife and cultural destinations as a full-time professional photographer. His images have appeared in major magazines including National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Photographer, and Smithsonian, and have been featured ten times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Pete and his wife Reneé also lead expeditions to some of the world’s richest cultures and most biodiverse areas of our planet.

Dalton Ambat is based in Bali and has helped guide Oceanic Society's Indonesia snorkel programs for the last 8 years. He is an experienced snorkel guide and a PADI certified master scuba dive trainer who has logged more than 10,000 dives and trained more than 1,000 students. Dalton has worked across the entire coral triangle region and is an expert naturalist with a keen eye for the macro critters. In 2016 he also participated in our marine debris sampling survey cruise from Bali to Komodo.

Itinerary

Our itinerary and routing will be flexible to account for weather conditions and ensure the best possible guest experience. The following is a sample itinerary, and is subject to change.

Day 1: Arrival into Kupang
Arrive in Kupang in Indonesian Timor. You will go directly to Damai and make yourselves comfortable. Damai will leave port and steam overnight north whlst you unpack and set up your dive gear and camera.

Day 2: Beangabang & Treweg
Waking in the morning you will find yourself in a picturesque bay with numerous children coming to the boat in small canoes to shout “hello” to their visitors. On the southeast of Pantar Island, Beanabang Bay offers great reef snorkeling of the highest quality. Here we have the chance to search for octopus, ghost pipefish, unusual shrimp, colorful nudibranchs and lots of juvenile fish. You will also have the opportunity to go ashore and explore this very isolated village and meet the local children.

Days 3–4: Pantar Straits
Entering the Pantar Straits from the north, we'll first snorkel off of the islands of Ternate and Reta. These areas are home to beautiful coral walls filled with both macro and wide angle subjects. Then we'll head south to Pura Island and the famous "Valley of the Clowns," a unique experience where giant anemones carpet the seafloor and colorful reef fish school above.

Our day will end in north Pura Island at Pak Jan’s village. On this day, you will have the chance to buy traditional woven cloths, called Ikat, from the village women who will come out to our boat at both Ternate and Pura. This is truly authentic souvenir shopping with the opportunity to buy beautiful weavings from the very hands that make them.

Day 5: Rusa / Kambing
On this day we will visit some of the best snorkel sites in the whole of Indonesia, near Rusa. Upwellings of cold water bring nutrients to the surface and the reefs are absolutely full of life: hard corals, soft corals, sea fans, schooling surgeonfish, rainbow runners, emperor angel fish, occasional Mola molas, and in the horizon the chance to see whales and dolphins. This is as good as it gets!

Day 6: Serbete & Adonara
Our day will begin at the craggy rock called Serbete, where we will snorkel along a wall and sand slope. We'll then travel on to the west side of the island of Adonara for the afternoon and night snorkels. Get your eyes in tune for hunting out critters and macro life.

Day 7: Waiwawong
Here we visit some excellent snorkel sites with possibility to see macro critters and more!

Day 8: Solor & Adonara
The passage between the islands of Solor and Flores has several rocks that reach up from the seabed providing some excellent snorkeling, the locals say that manta rays come to this area for cleaning. This is a beautiful area for diving decorated with soft corals and sea fans, whilst its location is ideal for spotting passing cetaceans which might include Sperm or even a massive blue whales.

Spend the afternoon on critter hunting on the sand slopes off the island of Adonara.

Day 9: Maumere Bay
Maumere Bay has several excellent walls with schools of bumphead parrotfish and sweetlips cruising the reefs. On the west side of the bay there is a ridge with beautiful white sand and scattered coral heads.

Then make yourself comfortable for the trip over the north coast of Flores towards Komodo National Park.

Day 10–11: Komodo National Park
The first stop in Komodo is on Sebolan Kecil with it’s beautiful outer patch reef covered in sea fans and reef fish. From here we will head into the national park to enjoy the highlights of Komodo

There will be time to snorkel in central Komodo in the current rich areas of Tatawa, the iconic sites of Batu Bolong, and the manta dive at Karang Makassar.

In the north we have the islands of Gili Lawa with some of the most “fishy" sites in the park.

For a macro experience, head to the small island of Wainilu on the north coast of Rinca. Snorkeling along the sand slope in front of the beach should prove an excellent opportunity for critter hunting and some unusual nudibranchs.

This is the gateway to enjoy a walk in the park to view the prehistoric Komodo dragon. You may also see monkeys, water buffalo and wild boar or just enjoy the panoramic views over the park.

Day 12: Departure from Labuan Bajo
On our final day, guests will be escorted to the airport in Labuan Bajo and assisted with check in procedures, no doubt full of talk about their amazing adventures exploring Alor.


Accommodations

Our expedition takes place aboard the Damai II, a boutique Indonesian liveaboard ship with seven comfortable guest cabins on three decks. Damai II was constructed in Tanjung Bira, South Sulawesi in 2011 by Pak Hadji Baso, one of the most respected master boat builders in the traditional Indonesian boat building community of Bira. Damai II has a deck length of 40 meters and a beam of 9 meters at its widest point. It has been built to an uncompromising standard and fitted out with all the latest snorkeling and diving, navigation, and safety equipment to ensure an extremely high level of service.

The ship features three large outside deck areas with an outside dining facility, a massage and spa treatment area, and plenty of extra lounging and sunbathing space. The below deck accommodation has been designed to accommodate single or twin occupants in a level of luxury not seen on another vessel in Indonesia. Each cabin boasts a private shower and head with a queen-size bed and a separate day bed. The cabins measure approximately 20 sq. m (225 sq. ft) each and have been finished with the highest quality furnishings. The stern staterooms are over 400 sq. ft each and boast their own private deck with loungers, a super-king-size bed, day beds, two desks and en suite shower and separate head. There is a 4 snorkeler to 1 guide ratio and the ship carries two custom-designed high speed tender boats.

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