The destination is really unique: we will operate in South Halmahera, discovering an unspoiled area with 399 islands! Already the names of the neighbor areas promise outstanding dives, as Halmahera is surrounded by Sulawesi in the West, Raja Ampat in the East and the Moluccas in the South! World class diving is guaranteed!
Safari Tour into the Heart of the Coral Triangle!
It doesn‘t get more diverse than the famous „Coral Triangle“ which lies between Borneo and Sulawesi in the west, Bali, Flores and Lombok in the south and the Moluccas and Papua in the east; exhibiting more than 1,000 species of coral and approx. 4,000 species of fish! And right in the middle of this area is South Halmahera, a so far touristically completely unexplored territory with 399 islands and vast opportunities for sensational dives! From macro to big fish, the varied creatures of the underwater world are fully represented! The regions a critter-paradise, but captivates especially with its breathtaking vegetated cliffs and overhangs! The size and splendour of the coral is an indication that we find ourselves in a completely undived area which needs to be conquered! We already have many world class dives on the agenda, but want to explore more places. These exploration dives at unknown locations will not be easily forgotten! Don‘t be surprised if unknown creatures take the spotlight, because even the rare „walking sharks“ have already been seen!
Popular pygmy seahorses, blue-ringed octopuses, sea slugs in all colours and shapes, or harlequin shrimp: the little ones“ know exactly how to inspire; huge schools of batfish, eagle rays, and even hammerhead sharks and manta rays are common „flight attendants“. It is an intoxication of colours, shapes and creatures, which pulls every diver completely under its spell!
Day 1: Join the ship in Bitung
You will meet your fellow divers at Bitung and boarding is at 15:00
Day 2-10: Diving the South Halmahera Islands (B,L,D)
This is really an unspoiled area! We have already a general tour plan but we want to go ahead with the search of unique dive spots in that area! Manta point, giant drop off walls, enormous amount of fish and a complete critter life are fundamental of the dives; we will add much more in the near future! Thanks to the protection through the islands we are able to offer the trips all year round, another advantage of South Halmahera! We have enough protected anchor and dive sites even for rougher weather conditions. Some of the dives are still true exploration dives. In this area there are breathtaking cliffs and overhangs that are overgrown terrific. The character of the dive sites will vary nearly every day. From small to big staff you will see Reef slope diving, wall diving and you will explore amazing under water landscapes might it be a pinnacle or huge under water rock formation.
Nudibranchs in all color variations, pipefish and other critters waiting for your exploration.
But don't forget to mention the enormous amount of big staff waiting for you nearly every dive like reef sharks, Napoleon wrasse schools of butterfly fish, bat fish, surgeonfish, longfin bannerfish, hump head parrot fish families passing by and from time to time nice visits from eagle rays, mobulas and - with a little luck on your site - Manta rays. We also have minimum two spots where you have a fair chance to spot a huge school of adult and healthy barracudas.
We discovered a few month ago a dive site which we called 'Manta Bay'. If you dove in Southeast-Asia already, you maybe get bored of all the Manta- and Sharkpoints they offer. Of course, we cannot guarantee that you will see them but 8 out of ten trips we spot them. Best season for these amazing creatures is September / October. With luck, you can encounter the rare Epaulette shark, which was formally known to live only in Raja Ampat during our night dives.
Dream IslandsDay 11: Cruise end in Ternate (F)
In total there are 76 islands, 19 islands have no name. Almost, every island has its beautiful panorama. The small islands with white sand beaches, beautiful sea gardens and amazing fish life are now being compared to Raja Ampat by some competing for the crown of most bio diverse dive spot on the planet. If that were not enough, the flora and fauna, culture and historical sites from World War II offer something extra. This island lies to the east of Ternate, separated only by a narrow strait. It is a mountainous island, still largely covered with forests. The coastlines are made up of white sand beaches and healthy coral reefs are found in its waters. Offering a beautiful spectacle, Mount Mamuya (930 m) spews burning lava from time to time, adding to the allure of this island.
The World's Richest Biodiversity!
Well-preserved, beautiful nature, both over- and underwater, makes Halmahera really enticing. Those who have dived here often say that it was the best diving they have ever had! The dive sites of Halmahera are still uncrowded and relatively unexplored. The islands also possesses of high biodiversity. Research by Conservation International indicates that northern Indonesia, from Sulawesi to West Papua, has perhaps the highest marine biodiversity in the World.
Researchers have recorded 450 species of coral, more than half (56%) of the World's coral species, just around Halmahera! Researchers have also recorded 686 species of fish, including 2 newly discovered species, in this region. This is 12% of all the fish species in the World, and 31% of those species have been recorded in the seas around Halmahera. Not only are fish and coral life diverse here, so is the geology. This translates into a great diversity of dive sites, too.
Diving in North Halmahera, the centre of the Coral Triangle, will surely be an unforgettable, unique experience!
Other travel information
Price: is based on 1/2-twin share cabin. Surcharge for other cabin categories and single cabin (see above)
Surcharges: Single cabin EUR300 / Upgrade to Master Cabin EUR100 per person or to Premium Cabin EUR300 per person. Park & Harbour fees EURE200
Creditcards: NB extras cannot be paid by creditcards so make sure that you bring enough cash in either IDR / EUR or USD (a beer costs approx EUR3,40 and soft drinks around EUR1,70 to give you an idea.
About the diving: You should have a minimum of 50 dives and you should be prepared that we have strong currents. Check the moon calendar but if you do a two week trip you will have new moon or full moon phases and strong currents will occur - and the big stuff is coming out.
Best time for this destination: spring, autumn Feb-June, Sept-Nov) some rain in winter, can be windy in July (but the ship is always protected by the islands)
Weather: Hot & humid
Water temperature: 25-30ºC so a 3mm neoprene is sufficient for most divers
Visibility: plankton at the manta point, vis 15-20m, the rest is clear water, vis normally 25-40m
Destination known for: Halmahera is situated exactly between Lembeh Strait and the Raja Ampat islands, located right in the centre of the Coral Triangle and those that dive here think it is their best diving ever! With easy diving along steep drop offs to lovely shallow coral gardens, dive the untouched reefs of Halmahera, and you will see everything from pygmy seahorses, turtles, giant groupers, sharks to schooling fish; caverns and schools of fish, coral covered slopes, perfect shallow reef tops, bays with seahorses and other critters, pinnacles, reefs, and uninhabited islands! The coral experts have already recorded 450 species, which is more than half of the corals in the world (56 percent) and 75 percent of all the corals ever recorded around Halmahera alone! And this was done in a brief survey, not an extensive one. The fish experts have also recorded almost 700 species (686 including two new species), which is 12 percent of the world’s total and 31 percent of the number ever recorded.
Dive Operations: Thanks to the highly seaworthy vessel and experienced crew, longer routes are travelled at night. This way, there is enough daytime for an extended dive program. We offer 3-4 dives per day, night diving as well. The large filling station ensures sufficient supply of air and nitrox, and thanks to the ship‘s boats, the dive sites are approached with meter accuracy. The experienced crew provides for a smooth operation, while in the kitchen an excellent buffet meal is prepared. nd when the tour takes us into unknown territory, we use the ship‘s boats as „collecting taxis“ after the dives, thus experienced divers can embark on tours of discovery and are subsequently collected on the surface. The carrying of a signal buoy is therefore mandatory for all divers. Several Guides provide for special insights, as they are known for their eagle eyes.The reefs are untouched, completely covered, and exceptional. Due to the biodiversity, it is useless to itemize a long list; best way to get to know this unknown region is to look and marvel!
The tours vary in length and essentially 10-12 nights are offered, but the ship is available for trips up to 3 weeks! The routes are a mix of well-known and new places, therefore, pioneer spirit and a sense of adventure is asked. Currents need to be expected, sufficient dive experience helps in dealing with them.
About the ship: MV Liburan Paradise was built in Bintung in 2011. It is a steel vessel, 35m long and 8m wide.
4 standard cabins and 2 single cabins with upper bunk bed are found in the lower deck.
2 Master Cabins are placed at the middle deck, the premium cabin is located at the sun deck.
This gives us space for 16 guests (or 18 for full charter bookings, using the upper bunk beds in the single cabins, with limited space in these cabins). All cabins include a bathroom with hot water and a toilet. Of course the cabins are air conditioned.Dive deck, salon and relax area on the sun deck are spacious and give best conditions for a relaxed stay. Divers find 12 ltr. Alu tanks, DIN and INT valves. A huge compressor and nitrox station refills tanks fast and without noise. 2 GFK boats carry the divers directly to the drop zone above the dive sites. Experienced staff is always helpfully taking care for divers´ safety! Dives guides are always in the water and support divers search for the unusual marine life.
Accommodation: There are 7 double and 2 single cabins, all with bathroom and a/c. On the lower deck there are 4 double and 2 single cabins with bunk beds, which can be occupied by 2 people on request. Two master cabins on the upper deck and a premium cabin on the sundeck, has the capacity for 16 guests, 18 max. Ample space for all is found both in the preparation for diving as well as during meal and relaxation time. It is not a luxury ship, but well designed to meet the wishes of the divers and very cozy. Thanks to the steel hull, the „Liburan Paradise“ is stable in the water and also provides agreeable comfort when there are swells.
See the deck plan of the vessel - click here
See our destination video for this trip:
Ved skriftlig aksept av vårt tilbud bekrefter du/dere at våre betingelser er både lest og forstått og at evt kansellerings gebyrer kan tilkomme ved en evt. avbestilling av reisen.