Undeveloped, distant from populated areas and off the beaten track, these “Forgotten Islands” have been largely isolated from the rest of Indonesia and the world. Calico Jack has a number of routes that, include some of these islands, in combination with Raja Ampat.
These remote islands being – because of their exposure to waves and vagues- accessible to diving liveaboards only during calm intermonsoon periods, divers are rare and many sites are still waiting to be discovered.
Liveaboard Cruises in The Maluku
Maluku, in the Forgotten Islands offers some of the best diving in Indonesian waters and are for true explorers and adventure divers and snorkelers seeking out something unique and special. You can expect to find plenty of rare and unusual critters and stunning corals, but also fantastic opportunities for pelagic sightings and schools of larger fish such as barracuda and mackerel, as well as the chance to meet an elusive whale shark and large numbers of hammerhead sharks.
The Banda Islands, Malucca and the Spice Islands – names of the most enigmatic and romantic past, evoking mystery, daring and fortunes made and lost. Here the world was shaped and the great powers fought over small Islands for the fortunes found within in the form of spices, then unique to this small archipelago. These days you can explore, discover and dive aboard the Calico Jack charter diving boat, this unspoilt beautiful and remote part of Indonesia.
Maluccas Diving Adventures
The greater region comprising many diverse Islands and dive sites is known collectively as the ‘Maluccas’ with Ambon as the defacto capital and main Airport. Lying South East off the much larger Seram Island is the historical centre- the Bands Islands, a relatively small and unassuming collection of beautiful dive sites and Islands considering the trouble they once caused.
Banda harbour is a stunning Anchorage situated beneath a picture perfect Volcano on one side and overlooked by the ancient fort and colonial ruins on the other, don’t miss a chance to explore these old wharves, houses and forts to allow your imagination to be captured with sites and smells of the Spice Trade.
Covering a large area but relatively under populated the reefs and natural marine life has survived the ravages and overfishing sadly seen elsewhere. This is a blessing for divers searching pristine and healthy corals populated my myriad species of fish in huge numbers. You will encounter numbers of Pelagic, varied muck diving and explore healthy and vibrant reef systems underwater, whilst on land you will move amongst the ruins of a colonial era that time forgot. The History is as vivid as the diving indeed it was to these waters and Islands that Christopher Columbus hoped to find a westerly route when he stumbled on the Americas !
Exploration in Indonesia
Calico Jack cruises vary amongst this wide and diverse region, in September/October we leave Alor and head slowly North East through numerous Islands heading to the Hammerhead schooling regions around Sumlaki, imagine diving amongst schools of Hammerhead Sharks for this once in a year congregation of these beautiful Sharks. Then in October we cruise north through to the Banda Islands and Ambon. In May we return through these waters carrying you from Raja Ampat down through East Seram, the Banda Isles and then into Ambon. This is remote wild and amazing cruising and this really was why we built Calico Jack to allow us to all explore those places regular tours cannot imagine reaching.
Ambon is often the drop off point for our Cruises here – this amazing ancient natural harbour has attracted the worlds rogues and fortune seekers for centuries. Today it is on most divers wish list – just within the bay you can find the amazing psychedelic frogfish, critters of all sorts, mimic octopus, zebra crabs and innumerable Nudibranch species and so many colours of Scorpionfish unique to Ambon. Also within this bay is a vibrant shipwreck the SS Aquila, this 134m long wreck is still in great condition lying 15-35m deep and is now a vibrant home to many colours of soft corals and attracted schools of fish to its bridge and holds.
Calico Jack cruising through this remote seascape takes you diving at the best sites of the region – Nusa Laut protected these days to such positive effect by the local villagers provides pristine reefs and is a firm favourite for many diving here.
Then the extraordinary Hukurila Cave – consisting of 2 submerged stone arches visible form the surface. Here you drop into a dive following through winding passages and cavernous swim throughs teaming with marine life.
Then there are remote Islands home to thousands of nesting seabirds at Manuk Island – below however this sight is overshadowed by the myriad of Sea Snakes teaming and passing underwater ! The Volcanic vents and resulting warm thermoclines here are the attraction to these cold blooded snakes allowing large numbers to thrive.
Booking Your Holiday Online
Please check our Schedule to see the cruises through this amazing region each year and where we start and end, most cruises are 11nights in duration allowing some serious exploration and varied dives to provide the most incredible liveaboard dive boat experience and the memory of a lifetime.
We are happy to help with your domestic flights and the logistics of reaching the point of departure, we work with a very experienced flight booking agent ‘VIFA Tours and Travel’ based in Makassar- with a long experience dealing predominantly with divers for Indonesia.