Banda Sea, Sulawesi & Halmahera Liveaboard Cruises MV Ambai

Tour information

    • Additional Dives
    • Airport Pick Up
    • Boat Cabin Accommodation
    • Daily Scheduled Dives
    • Dive Guide
    • ENOS
    • Full Board
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
    • Hotel/Airport to Boat Transfer
    • Land Excursions
    • Meals
    • NITROX
    • Port and/or National Park Entrance Fees
    • Soft Drinks
    • Tour Guide
    • Welcome Drink
    From 4.850,00$
    Tour Map

    Banda Sea, Sulawesi & Halmahera Liveaboard Cruises MV Ambai


    Banda Sea, Sulawesi & Halmahera

    Liveaboard Cruises with MV AMBAI


    MV Ambai Boat Details       All Cruise Itineraries 2022       All Cruise Itineraries 2023


    Cruise Duration & Rates start from:

    12 Days/11 Nights – 4.490 € / 33 Dives      From: Bitung  Disembark: Ambon

    Please Note: MV AMBAI Liveaboard is charging it’s liveaboard cruise rates in Euro!
    Published prices in US$ are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuations.


    Request MV AMBAI Cruises for 2022  


    Request MV AMBAI Cruises for 2023 


    The Bitung-Ambon cruise crosses West to East about a quarter of Indonesia. Leaving from Bitung, we will dive in the Lembeh Strait first before crossing over to the west coast of Halmahera, a few days of diving west and South of Halmahera, with a mix of sites for macro and some other more fishy, stop on some small islands in the middle of Molluca sea Halmahera. The cruise will end in Ambon, after some dives in Banda Neira Islands.



    If people probably heard about the Galapagos Islands, Malpeo, or Layang Layang for their shoals of Great hammerhead sharks, the Banda Sea and its Ring of Fire is a rare fortune to dive with hammerhead sharks and other pelagic in the hot waters of Indonesia. On the top 5 areas to encounter Squat-headed and Scalloped Hammerheads, our cruises will take you to remote spots for an unforgettable diving experience.

    Whales also frequently pass through the strait. Walls, drop-offs, boomies, and pinnacles so colorful and so healthy! 


    hammerhead shark banda sea


    Main points: the Banda Sea is characterized by very good visibility. Warm waters. Some exceptional dive sites as “Too Many fish” in Koon, a great wall with incredible fish life, Manuk with so many sea snakes, Nil Desperendum and its Hammerhead sharks, and many more that we prefer to keep secret. Walls on the islands around Banda Neira.

    First, this pristine diving destination is only reachable with Liveaboards. Second, like most of the Asian countries, Indonesia is subject to monsoons. Southeast monsoon and upwelling primarily on the eastern side make the Banda Sea practicable with safety during the Inter monsoons only.



    Banda Sea liveaboard on our boats brings you across the Ring of Fire and the forgotten islands, steeped in history and blessed with some of the finest diving in the country, with an immense variety and volumes of both large and small species. We visit many different islands and a great variety of dive sites. To make the experience unique, our itineraries mostly combine the Banda Sea with another great destination  Raja Ampat  Alor  Triton Bay  Ambon, to always offer a precious mix of wide-angle and macro subjects. The Banda Sea is, even more, a synonym for biodiversity.

    The very clear and nutrient-rich upwelling waters bring in hammerhead sharks schooling and pelagic such as sunfish (mola mola), dogtooth tuna, reef shark and sailfish. Whales also frequently pass through the strait. Walls, drop-offs, boomies, and pinnacles so colorful and so healthy! – one dive site has a bottom literally covered with anemones –  In Alor critters can be encountered in a colorful reef environment and in the black sand bays of Kalabahi and Biang.

    banda sea liveaboard seahorse

    Some of the species you will encounter

    Great Hammerhead sharks, Squat-headed and Scalloped Hammerheads, whale sharks, Barracudas, surgeonfishes, Bumphead parrotfishes, Trevallies and giant trevallies, spadefish. Napoleon wrasse, sunfish (mola-mola), dogtooth tunas, reef sharks, sailfishes, bonitos, waow, manta rays, mobulas, Seahorse, frogfish, leaf fish, scorpionfish. Black corals forests, gorgonian fields & soft corals.


    banda sulawesi cruise dive sites


    Land-based excursions during your trip

    You will discover the incredible landscapes of this area; during our cruise, we will propose you to visit at least one village, a short trek and many short trips with the dinghies to explore the beaches and lagoons. 



     Accommodation in a shared twin or double cabin
     All meals & snacks. Drinking water, soft drinks and hot drinks, espresso.
     All guided dives (1 guide /4 divers maximum)
     Aluminum tanks (12 lts), weights and belts
     Airport-boat transfers from/to the closest airport (departure and arrival)


     Park, Port, and distance fees: 250 €/pax (paid onboard)
     International and domestic flights
     Alcoholic beverages (you can BYOB)
     Diving equipment rental (see pricing below)
     100 cf (15 litre) tanks : 65 € / cruise
     Crew gratuities


    Request MV AMBAI Cruises for 2022  


    Request MV AMBAI Cruises for 2023 



    Sample itinerary: 12 Days/11 Nights  

    Banda Sea, Sulawesi & Halmahera Liveaboard Cruise

    Cruise Route: Bitung – Sulawesi – Banda Sea – Halmahera – Ambon

    This itinerary is just an example of what this cruise can be. Neither the number of dives and the dive locations are terms of the contract. According to the sea conditions, the visibility, the new discoveries we can do, and the wishes of the guests, the itinerary, and dives performed during your cruise can be slightly different from what is presented here.


    Day 1: Bitung

    Reception at Manado airport. Transfer to the boat. Welcome drink, briefing. Check dive in Lembeh.

    • airport near Bitung, Bitung City, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
    • Boarding, 0 Dives

    Day 2: Lembeh Strait

    World-class muck dives and wreck diving Mawali wreck). 4 dives out of the 100s collection of the strait. Hairball, TK3, Air Bajo 3, Bianca (mandarin fish), Nudi falls, Coral garden etc…

    • Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
    • Daily 3-4 Dives

    Day 3-4: Tidore/Ternate

    Tanjung Tifore: Nice and easy morning check dive. Beautiful hard coral with some reef fish, 1 leaf fish. The general color is all shade of brown violet and green. Lot of coral sticks. Small swinging by wave motion Barracuda point: strong current. School of bumphead and a lot of tunas. A huge school of barracudas. The current is not strong so we can follow them for a while. Big napoleons and schools of yellow snappers too. Fantastic dive Barracuda point 2: the other side of the rock. Big murray eels, yellow leaf fish, sea snakes, boxer crabs In North Ternate, we dive at Hiri Island, at this site we can find large population of barracuda schooling, dugong, dolphins, reef sharks, turtles, and wall with exceptional visibility of 30-40 m. However Hiri Island has a relatively strong current. For those who do not enjoy dive in current can dive in black sand-Sulamadaha and Jikomalamo with white sand, has a dense coral garden, soft coral, turtles, bumphead schooling, and other pelagic fish. Diving the Km Pari Wreck: one of the shipwrecks on the depth of 12-20m, also 3 buses that serve as a fish house. At night you can see the endemic fish of Walking Shark (walking Shark / Hemiscyllium Halmahera). More south: a very unique bottom structured with some big pinacles, and mini cave found in depth of ± 27 m and exit at 30 m. Also wall filled with colorful small fish, and sharks, stingrays, nudibranchs are also often can be found in here. In Tidore, we dive on Failonga Island which takes about 40 minutes from Ternate, which is located between Tidore Island and Halmahera Island. It has a diverse large sea fans and snapper fish hordes, fusiliers, sweetlips, and sharks. Dives on Maitara Island and Tanjung Rum, which has a solid and very hard coral cover with colorful reef fish such as butterfly, damsel, anthias, wrasse and many more.

    • Pulau Tidore, Tidore Kepulauan City, North Maluku, Indonesia
    • Daily 3-4 Dives

    Day 5-6: Patinti Strait

    Selat Proco: Blacktips, grey reef sharks, tasars, dog tooth tuna, mini canyons and overhangs… Saleh Besar, drifting in the channel with a succession of mini canyons and rock blocks… Less big pelagics but very fishy. Jabu, vibrant coral reefs, inhabited by numerous smalls and others bigger. The South/South East point is certainly the most spectacular.
    Kusu: very nice garden coral, millions of glassfish, nice coral, Pygmy, leaf fish, school of sweetlips under a small rock, bamboo shark, and hundreds of reef fish Pulau Pokal, high rock right in the middle of the channel, long plateau at approximately 30 meters. Then diving in the East of a succession of pinnacles and overhangs. Giant trevallies, grey reef or black tips sharks, tunas, tasars, school of fusiliers and surgeons. Spectacular.
    Saleh Kecil: splendid corals, tortured topography and big fish for this dive!
    Pulau Nanas: very nice spot beautiful and colorful coral. Glass fish schools, various nudis, blue hairy crab, lobster, scorpion fish, crocodile fish.

    • Stretto di Patinti, Indonesia
    • Daily 3-4 Dives

    Day 7-10: Bacan/Goraichi Islands

    Batu Tajam: black tip, napoleon, big sweetlips. Ecuador: black tip, big red scorpionfishes, nudis, crabs, nice and quiet reef. Lilai jetty: hectic current, black manta passing by near the jetty, bamboo sharks. Pipe fish, crabs Pulau Goweba, small group of islands in West of Pulau Siko.
    In North, pinnacles, rocks and splendid wall that go straight to the outside of the reef then go down to 50 meters. Some napoleons as well as jack fish and bumphead parrot fish. A tunnel waits for us at 10 meters. Pintu Manis, the best dive in Goriachi. Extended rock from West to East that owns a superb coral. Black tips, napoleons, tasars, sweetlips, etc… Pulau Laigoma, nice drifting in shallow water, perfect for a first dive of the day. Black tips, bumphead parrots, tasars and beautiful hard corals in the 5 meters.

    • Pulau Bacan, South Halmahera Regency, North Maluku, Indonesia
    • Daily 3-4 Dives

    Day 11: Manado

    Breakfast, Check-out according to guests flight schedule. Transfer to Manado airport, check-in assistance. If you plan to extend your journey in a Resort in strait, we arrange your transfer directly with the resort by speed boat.

    • Manado, Manado City, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
    • Disembarkation - 0 Dives

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