Banda Sea Diving - Diving Ambon, Banda, Misool - Raja Ampat Liveaboards

Banda Sea Diving - Ambon - Banda - Raja Ampat

~5 Star Dive Reviews ~
Two divers from our trips created reports on Undercurrent.
If you would like a copy of their comments, please send us an email so we can
tell you how to find them. Both gave our trips 5 stars in all appropriate categories.

New!2015 Schedule for Raja Ampat & Banda Sea Special Liveaboard Charters

Raja Ampat Reef and Rainforest

Underwater Photography Trips
2015 Banda Sea Trip
April 20 - May 4, 2015
Sorong - Ambon, 14 days
$6095 pp + fees
2015 Banda Sea / Raja Ampat Trip
Banda Sea

14 nights/14 days. Sorong to Ambon

current Banda trips available - Raja Ampat trips

2015 Banda Sea Diving
WHAT: Liveaboard Dive Trip limited to 12 guest divers.
WHERE: Begin in Sorong, Cruise through the Raja Ampat Islands and the Banda Sea to Ambon.
HOW: Indonesian liveaboard "SMY Ondina" with extra dives, services, menu, and special itinerary
WHY: This one-way dive trip visits some of the best areas for diving in Indonesia, including Raja Ampat's Dampier Strait, Misool, Koon, the Bandas and Ambon.
COST: $6095 per person, boat only. Inquire for guaranteed single cabin, and air flights. more info
email us about
Banda Sea Liveaboard trips
Images & Photo Galleries
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Pictures
2015 Raja Ampat / Banda Sea / Ambon

April 20 - May 4, 2015
See Indonesia Liveaboard trips

This trip starts in Sorong and finishes in Ambon

Banda Sea Dive Trip, Sorong to Ambon
Fly Bali or Jakarta to Sorong, Liveaboard from Sorong through Raja Ampat, Koon, Banda Islands and end in Ambon Bay.

Banda Sea liveaboard tripLike our Raja Ampat trips, this trip will offer extra diving and special services and will we will organize and accompany the trip to ensure things go smoothly.

The trip ends in Ambon where we'll be spending a day at Ambon's Twilight Zone (Laha).  That's one of the best muck diving spots in the world.  Highly concentrated critters.  It and Lembeh Resort were on the top of the list, then there were problems in Ambon and divers stopped going there... but the critters the same, possibly better.  On our last trip, Cockatoo Waspfish, Ghost Pipefish, Commerson's frogfishes, hairy frogfishes, Spanish Dancers, loads of eels, purple Rhinopius, Wonderpus, stargazer, seahorses, many nudibranchs, cuttlefish, .. way too many critters to name and not enough time to fully explore the site.. 

We'll spend two days on this cruise in the Ambon area diving the wrecks and beautiful reefs. The tough decision will be whether to dive the north of south side of Ambon.

Banda Sea, Koon Island Manta and Sea Whips, liveaboard tripIslands & Reefs of the Banda Sea - history, volcanos, mandarian fish and sites off the coast of Ceram and Ambon. Spend a day at Koon Island (aka "Too Many Fish") after leaving the magnificent Raja Ampat Islands.

The trip will then do a one way cruise through Raja Ampat starting in Sorong. We'll go first to the Dampier Straits and the top-notch fishy sites there. Next, South Misool and visiting some of our favorite sites. The trip ends in Ambon. See the Raja Ampat Trip page for details on diving in Raja Ampat.

After the liveaboard trip, there are opportunities to join in with other divers for a diving in Lembeh, Ambon or Bali.

If you are interested please email us about the Banda Sea Adventure trip so that we can inform you of the exact details and answer any questions.

We'll be adding a photo gallery shortly from our two previous trips in these areas.


A few comments from Raja Ampat groups:

Undercurrent: Two divers from our trips created reports on Undercurrent. If you would like a copy of their comments, please send us an email so we can tell you how to find them. Both gave our trips 5 stars in all appropriate categories.

"I just wanted to thank you for a really great trip - one of the very best I have ever done and from a photographic viewpoint, the most productive ever!"  
Don, expert uw photographer from Australia

"I've been on two of Deb's trips - one to St. Vincent and one the past few weeks with her in Raja Ampat. I organize charters myself, and the reason I've gone with her (and expect to again in the future) is that she simply constructs and runs outstanding uw photo trips. She goes out of her way to think of every detail, and directs the dive operators she uses so as to maximize photo opportunities for her groups. For example, I saw far more critters in St. Vincent in a week with her than I did in more than two weeks on a private charter I did in that area with my own group. Likewise, I had far more and better photo opp's in Raja Ampat on this trip last week than on a charter of the same length there that I organized earlier this year. I realize that this makes it sound like the trips I organize are crappy, and that's really not the case; it's just that Deb's trips are really a cut above.

BTW, Deb is not only a great organizer, she has a great photographic eye and is an extremely accomplished uw photographer in her own right. Unless you are a troublemaker who doesn't play well with others (in which case Deb reserves the right to send you home), I wholeheartedly recommend her trips. You'll get more than your money's worth."
Bruce, Intermediate uw photographer from USA

"I like Deb's trips because she doesn't have to be nice to anybody."
Hal, uw photographer from USA
(Deb says "I take his meaning that there are no favorites, cliques or "sensitive" personalities that are catered to on these trips." )

"I have only good things to say about the trip you organised. The diving was even better than expected. The crew and the boat were excellent, the food was a joy. I had a lot of laughs with Ricard, David and Co. I'd go back any day. I would have liked to stay longer in Misool, maybe an extra day, but that's a personal preference, I had never seen coral like this before (even after 5 trips to the Maldives, and the Maldives is great believe me). I am very suprised we didn't see more sharks, you never said sharks was not on the menu <joke>"
Jerome, expert uw photographer from Ireland



While we do not offer instruction (except for beginners and some assistance with intermediate composition, lighting, etc.) we do offer a well-organized trip with all the details worked out.

We strive to include only compatible divers & photographers on our trips so that everyone has a great time as well as brings home great photos.

Over the past 20 years of arranging dive trips for groups to Indonesia, the Caribbean and the Philippines, we've learned a great deal about what most photographers want from a dive trip... i.e. great diving, freedom to get that perfect shot, good tasty food, comfortable accommodations, stable electrical supplies and a congenial group to share the big finds and photo conversations.

We do screen our guests, and require they behave themselves while on our trip... so if you are grumpy, want to hog photo subjects found by the guides and your desire is to be unhappy and let others know, .. please find another trip.

We receive heaps of praise for our organized trips. References readily available from previous trip members!


Wayag photos, Raja Empat, Diving SorongAbout Banda Sea Diving:

Water Temp : The water temperature will be variable. Ranging from a possible 78°F in the south, to 86°F. A 3mm suit is recommended with layering (vest) and hood suggested. 1mm can be worn by most divers in Raja Ampat.

Liveaboard Travel: Will be variable. Some islands are far apart, others very close together. Some days we will stay at anchor overnight, and a few nights will involve a long 10-12 hour cruise.

Conditions: This trip covers long distances. For at least 2 nights we will be traveling overnight in open seas. Expect some rolling except in Raja Ampat where most all the passages are very short in protected waters. The season should be relatively dry and calm.

Wide Angle Photography: While not as prolific with wide angle photo ops as Raja Ampat, the Ambon/Banda portion of this trip offers some unusual opportunities not found on other trips. The muck dives & wreck at Ambon and the dives with "too many fish" and mantas at Koon Island are among some of the ops to be anticipated.

Macro Photography: This trip includes a variety of places for macro photography. From the first to the last day of the trip we'll find weird critters at the dock in Ambon, fish filled dives, some (if not THE) best coral reefs in the world.

Current: While there is a lot of current on certain sites, we do NOT want or plan to drift and try to take photos. We do NOT want guests to be struggling with camera gear in strong currents.

About the Liveaboard:


SMY Ondina Indonesia LIveaboardNitrox available on SMY Ondina

SMY Ondina is an Indonesian traditional Pinisi ship specifically designed and outfitted exclusively for diving.

(BTW the sail color is traditional.. not dirty.)

The liveaboard is scheduled for an overhaul in January 2007, so it will be "as new" for this May trip.

We have separate webpages with medium size photos, boat specs and amenities.. be sure to look at the photo gallery and read the captions.

SMY Ondina - Banda Sea Liveaboard Details & Pictures


Availability & Cost:


2015: 14 night / 14 day Banda Sea Trip

Ask about guaranteed single cabins (limited availabilty).

April 20 - May 4, 2015
These are dates aboard the ship. Please arrive in Sorong on April 19 so that the group can board the ship at 9AM April 20.

The price of $6095 per person includes:

  • 3-4+ dives per day (except possibly first and last days)
  • 4 meals per day + afternoon snack, 24 hr. free snacks, tea, coffee & bottled water
  • accommodations on the ship in private cabin with ensuite bath
  • transfers between the airport and ship in Sorong and Ambon
  • ship fees and taxes
  • your choice of aluminum or steel tank, air fills, weights & weight belt
Two guaranteed single cabins are available on this cruise at a reasonable extra charge. Please enquire for availability and price.

Not included:

  • air travel
  • any additional fuel surcharge necessary due to major price increase
  • individual tourist fees
  • crew tips
  • massage
  • dive gear rental
  • alcoholic beverages & extra soft drinks other than those provided at meals


Please note that due to the doubling of fuel prices in Indonesia Oct. 2005 most liveaboards and dive operations in Indonesia have increased trip prices or are adding a surcharge to cover the increase. Read the fine print, conditions and change pages to find these costs which are covered as fuel surcharges, port fees, etc. (our's too! See above)

more about the Indonesia liveaboard ship


How to Get to Indonesia and the Banda Sea trip


This trip departs from Sorong and ends in Ambon. There are easy connections (daily) from Bali or Jakarta to both these places including non-stop flights.

International flights to Bali or Jakarta Indonesia connect through Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries. Often it will require an overnight in Bali or Jakarta before going on to Sorong to meet the ship.

From the USA, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Continental, Korean Air, EVA air, and many other airlines offer flights to Indonesia. Too many to list them all here.

The return from Ambon can take you back to Bali, Jakarta, Manado or other areas of Indonesia if you want to extend your trip.

We will help you to choose flights, book any hotel overnights you require and arrange for you to be met at the airport in Bali and transferred to and from your hotel. Since people come from all over the world for our trips, we are not all traveling together but do tend to meet in Singapore, Bali, LAX, JFK, etc. on the inbound trip. It is normal for single travelers to meet others, share a room or a side trip before or after the liveaboard trip.

You will be met at the airport in Sorong and escorted directly to the SMY Ondina. In Ambon, you will be transferred to the airport and helped to check in for your flight. These transfers are included in the trip price. Note any hotel overnights and air travel is not included in the trip price.

We are not travel agents but will assist you organize your travel which you will purchase online, directly from an airline wholesaler, or an agent in Indonesia.

You can use frequent flyer miles to Bali (or other destinations) to decrease the cost of your dive trip. However we do not recommend using frequent flier miles unless you can get all the way to Indonesia on them.



Please read our terms & conditions page prior to sending a deposit.


call us in Texas at 817-626-0636 for information or

email us about Banda Sea Liveaboard trips


If you are interested in this trip we REALLY must speak with you about it to determine whether this trip will be suitable for you. So, please call or schedule for us to call you.



Deb Fugitt

Images & Info from Many of the Areas We Will Visit:
2004 Raja Ampat Trip Galleries
Raja Ampat Underwater Pictures, Irian Jaya Gallery 1
Raja Ampat Diving West Papau Gallery 2
Scuba Globe feature article on Raja Ampat Diving
Scuba Globe Raja Ampat Photography Portfolio
Indonesia Liveaboard Pictures & Info



raja ampat diving raja ampat liveaboards irian diving trips pygmy seahorse pictures underwater photography trips underwater photography sorong indonesia