SAMPLE CRUISE ITINERARY "ALOR-KOMODO"
14 Day/13 Night Labuanbajo-Maumere Cruise
Day 1 Embarkation in Labuanbajo
Day 2, 3, 4 Loh Liang or Loh Buaya (walk with dragons)/Komodo-Flores ChannelLoh Liang or Loh Buaya (walk with dragons)
Your day begins with an exciting visit to Komodo National Park, as you take a stroll with the famous dragons! As you walk along the paths, local guides will point out wild deer, boar and bird life, but keep a careful lookout for the giant lizards which have made this region their home. Don’t forget your camera, as there are usually good opportunities for close-up shots when you get to the ranger station.Takat Makassar
An exhilarating drift dive along the shallow flat bottom interspersed with patches of coral reef teeming with life. There are chances to see manta rays, turtles, eagle rays and white tip and black tip reef sharks.Batu Bolong
Underwater this rock is covered in a huge amount of soft and hard corals and full of fish life. In the shallows, watch the busy anemonefish and look out for turtles munching on the corals. Giant trevally, white tip reef sharks, snappers and emperorfish tend to congregate here. This site offers particularly good opportunities for both macro and wide-angle photography.Tatawa Kecil
The west side of this small rocky outcrop presents a fantastic underwater terrain with enormous slabs of rock that have been worn down to form channels, canyons, caves and swim-throughs. On the north plateau crocodilefish lie on the scenic reef among a whole host of reef fish and schooling fusiliers.Tatawa Besar
This is a thrilling drift dive, starting at the north-western tip of Tatawa and continuing down the western side, reaching about 15 to 20 meters of depth. The fish life here is abundant and you will see an endless field of stunning orange soft corals as you glide along. Swim past coral heads inhabited by schools of sweetlips and batfish, and look out for turtles feeding on the reef. Mantas have been encountered here as well.Wainilo
This night dive is situated off the north of Rinca Island. In the shallows, the hard coral reef is home to many different critters, including juvenile harlequin sweetlips and batfish. Away from the reef, the sandy slope is scattered with pulsing soft corals which hide demon stingers and starry night octopus, plus a moray eel which has not yet been classified by scientists and is only found here in Wainilo.
Day 3 Gili Lawa Laut
Two celebrated dive sites await you, just north of Gili Lawa Laut Island. Crystal Rock and Castle Rock are both incredible locations, boasting the key elements for any impressive dive site: a wide variety of healthy corals covering the reef, plus tons of fish - both big and small and all sizes in between! There are two more exhilarating dives in this area, El Toro and Gili Lawa Laut Lighthouse, along with good night dives on healthy hard coral reefs.Crystal Rock
The rock jutting out of the surrounding crystal clear waters explains how this site got its name. What makes this an unforgettable dive, however, are the large swarms of fusiliers and anthias flitting over the gorgeous soft corals and impressive table corals. In the deep blue, look out for large tuna and mackerel, plus fish schooling around a small mound to the northwest.Castle Rock
Castle Rock is another submerged mound situated a kilometre further north of Crystal Rock. Its exposed location can mean strong currents, but experienced divers will love the thrill of this dive. In fact, the main action comes from watching the staggering amount of fish life whipping past, such as groupers, midnight snappers and impressive schools. Of course, divers aren’t the only ones interested in the huge numbers of fish here, so expect to see giant trevally, whitetips, blacktips and grey reef sharks hunting around for their next meal.
Day 4 Gili Lawa Laut / Sabolan
One early morning dive at Gili Lawa Laut then our final dive in Komodo at Sabolan Island before travelling to Pamana. At Sabolan we can find big sea fans with pygmies and a resident school of bumphead parrotfish. The shallow coral garden is impressive with huge leather corals and hard corals decorated with anthias.
Day 5 PamanaGosong Boni
This dive is off the west part of Pamana Besar. Gosong Boni is a sand bank with an old lighthouse surrounded by walls. The wall is covered with soft corals and big gorgonian sea fans which are home to Denise pygmy seahorses.Pamana Besar
Most of the dive sites around Pamana Island are characterized by walls and slopes. They have very nice coral growth, sponges, branches of soft corals and fans that act as shelters for little reef fish, as well as tinier critters such as nudibranchs. It is quite common to see reef sharks and eagle rays patrolling here, as well as groupers, sweetlips, scorpionfish, lobsters and much more.Pamana Kecil
This site is home to a wonderful drop-off, with caves and caverns sheltering baby sharks at the bottom. Lots of trevally, rays, groupers, sweetlips, batfish, nudibranchs and the usual reef inhabitants also swarm over this site.
Days 6 Serbete Reef / Adonara IslandSerbete Reef
In the morning we visit the waters east of Tanjung Gedong, where we dive Serbete Reef - a site with shallow reefs and sandbars. The island itself can be distinguished by its small lighthouse. In addition to the exquisite coral gardens in the shallower areas, there are also fantastic walls which make for some nice, varied diving.Adonara Island
The afternoon dives are on the south-west corner of Adonara Island, east of Flores. There is a very healthy reef in the shallows, where juvenile harlequin sweetlips and barramundi wiggle in between the hard corals. Ribbon eels and numerous nudibranchs can be found between the reef and the slope, which slowly drops down to around 25 metres/75 feet. At the far west end of the dive site there are ledges extending along the sea floor, with blue spotted stingrays, white tip reef sharks and sweetlips sheltering underneath. The eastern part is home to the ‘holy grail’ of fish, the rhinopias. We’ve been able to find both the weedy and the paddle-flap scorpionfish here.
Day 7 Kawula Island
In the south-west of Kawula Island there is a bay with a world class muck diving site.Tanjung Waiwowan
This dive site is a mixture of reef and white sandy slope, and it’s teeming with amazing critters. Here we have another chance to see the allusive rhinopias camouflaged in the coral slope. This is a perfect environment for all different kinds of ghost pipefish, including the very rare halemeda ghost pipefish. Even the elusive wonderpuss and blue ring octopus have been spotted at this site. During the night dive, brown banded bamboo sharks, helmut flying gurnards and frogfish are seen crawling around the darkened site. We can easily spend a full day here, investigating the hiding spots of all these wonderful creatures.
Day 8 Suangi / LamaleraSuangi Island
Suangi is a small island off the south west tip of Kawula Island. Here the Indian Ocean stretches out south as far as the eye can see so this little island can provide shelter for different types of sharks, eagle rays and big schools of fish. Ridges, deep pinnacles and shallow coral gardens provides for exciting diving.Lamalera
The village of Lamalera is perched on the rocky slopes of an active volcano, on the southern coast of the island of Lembata, which is situated in Nusa Tenggara Timur in eastern Indonesia.
The scenery all across the island is breath-taking and reminiscent of bygone era. Palm-fringed bays, lush greenery and the impressive volcano create an imposing backdrop for the village’s colourful, bustling local markets.
The diving here rivals the panoramic topside, with a series of underwater seamounts full of cracks and crevices to be explored. The area presents a healthy balanced ecosystem with highways of fish, patrolled by others higher up the food chain. Expect schools of surgeonfish, as well as numerous bumphead parrotfish and turtles. If you’re interested in macro, then get ready for many different species of nudibranchs. Often ornate and robust ghost pipefish are found here as well.
The island of Lembata has many cultural traditions, dating back hundreds of years, which are still respected today. Splendid and colourful Ikat weavings are made right here on the island, from local cotton which is spun and dyed by weavers. These cloths form an important part of the villagers’ social customs as they are exchanged by families for ivory tusks during weddings. Another centuries-old tradition is the hunting of whales using traditional tools, boats and methods for the local population’s subsistence. Many rituals surround this practice which, given that it is undertaken in a sustainable manner with no part of the catch being wasted, presents a conundrum to the outside world that monitors such activities.
Day 9 Pantar Island
This beach, in front of a tiny village nestled inside a calm bay on the south of Pantar Island, provides a whole day of great diving. Plus, in between dives, take a walk in the village and visit the hot springs right on the beach.Beang Abang
The whole beachfront here is great muck diving. The black sand hides a whole host of critters including rhinopias, frogfish, ghost pipefish, seahorses and a variety of nudibranchs. You can also see many different types of octopus here, including wonderpuss, coconut, starry night and white V.Tanjung Kanang
Outside the bay, on the right hand side Kanang Corner, there is a fantastic wall dive with impressive coral heads out in the deep. Look out into the blue for tunas and mackerels passing by, but remember to look along the wall to see beautiful corals blooming in the currents. In the shallows, between the hard corals, ribbon eels and crocodilefish can be spotted hiding in the sand.
Days 10, 11 Alor / Pantar Strait
Diving here promises a variety of thrills, as the sites present a wide array of exciting possibilities. The Strait can also be a good place to see passing whales or Mola Molas sunbathing at the surface. Therefore we will combine the diving with some tender rides to try to snorkel with these pelagics.Pura Island
The topography ranges from dramatic drop-offs, to spurs jutting out from the shore, to giant pinnacles and shallow reefs where the light brings out the full colour of the dazzling corals. The most famous dive site here is Anemone City where there is the largest field of sea anemones in the oceans anywhere. The rocks are no longer visible because all of them, as far as one can see in the usually crystal clear water, are covered with anemones.
Everywhere there is an abundance of fish life, bursting with colourful anthias and damselfish, but this is also famous as a great spot to encounter the many sharks and other pelagics that pass through. However, fans of macro will also get their fill, with several sites offering rare, weird and wonderful critters. Some examples are mandarin fish, all sorts of nudibranchs, snake eels, yellow, blue and black ribbon eels, groups of seamoths and many other remarkable creatures. The only way you are likely to see stranger creatures, is if you night dive here to witness even more unusual critters emerging from their holes.
Also see the famous Pura Island villagers splash out of their wooden dugout canoes and dive underwater with home-made goggles fashioned from wood and glass bottles.
Day 12 Bacatan / Pulau Komba
Tanjung Bacatan is a dive site situated at a sharp point (tanjung meaning corner) on the north shore of Kawula Island, within view of the Lembata and Komba volcanoes.
The dive site consists of a wall covered in crevices and ledges, decorated in soft corals, with hard coral gardens in the shallows. At one end the wall turns into a white sandy slope, hosting many varieties of reef fish and triggerfish. A resident school of barracuda can be seen here, as well as tuna and large trevallies passing by.Visit to Pulau Komba, the volcanic island
We also stop off at Komba Island, the volcano known locally as the “fire-breathing monster” living in the middle of the ocean. It actually erupts every 5-20 minutes which means that you are sure to see the awe-inspiring sight of molten lava creeping down the mountainside and flowing into the sea. Like a mythical dragon, you will also hear periodic thunderous booms as clouds of dust are blasted out from deep inside the island.
Day 13 Pulau BabiPulau Babi
Beyond Pulau Besar lies Pulau Babi. It is mostly uninhabited, following an earthquake which ruined the buildings here, except for a few fishermen who sporadically use the few remaining makeshift bamboo huts. Below the surface, the reefs remain well-preserved and the variety of different species is impressive.
After the dive we will travel closer to Maumere and spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach or take a kayak around the calm waters of the bay.