Advanced Banda Hammerhead expedition
Join us on an exciting expedition in the Banda Sea in this ultimate eco trip!
Departure date: October 5th 2022
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Prerequisites: Graduate of our dive master or research diver internship
Price: 35,400,000 IDR
Banda consists of 10 volcanic islands in the Banda Sea part of the province of Maluku in Eastern Indonesia with a population of just over 20,000. It is extremely remote and seasonally exposed to large weather fronts making exploring this region limited to September – December. Banda and the Forgotten Islands are only accessible by liveaboard.
This small remote archipelago is rich in history as the center of the spice trade and were the only suppliers of nutmeg and mace until the mid-1800’s. For centuries, Indonesia was the main supplier of spices to the rest of the world and the high value of this resource ultimately lead the arrival of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization in what is modernly known as The Spice Trail. This resource rich land is a treasure of Indonesia and is ideal destination for both adventures and history buffs.
It is positioned between the Pacific and Indian ocean flow throughs with deep trench’s, reaching up to 7000m deep, lying directly east. This flow of nutrient rich waters inevitably attracts large pelagic fish and is one of the only known locations in South East Asia to have seasonal shoals of scalloped hammerheads (Sphryna leqini) with numbers in the hundreds or thousands close to the surface. Exactly why they congregate in this region is still under researched, but you have the best chance of seeing this phenomenon between mid-September to mid-November when the Southeast monsoon causes upwellings and thermoclines.
Of course, we can never guarantee wild animal sightings, but we can guarantee that these trips are coordinated by knowledgeable professionals to give us the best chances of encountering them.
About The Expedition
Banda and the Forgotten Islands are only accessibly by liveaboard, so we have partnered up with the experienced team at Akomo Isseki to host our expeditions.
What's included/not included
- Full crew with planned itinerary
- Harbor clearance
- Full board accommodation
- Drinking water, tea & coffee
- Three freshly cooked meals per day and interval snacks & treats
- SCUBA Diving activities as per the itinerary
- Full rental equipment
- One cruise director
- Shore excursions & land expeditions
- The use of on board snorkeling, kayak, and other water spot equipment
- On board emergency & medical supplies
- Local Airport & hotel transfer (Banda Neira)
- Bathroom towels and hand soap
What’s NOT included
- National Park entrance fees (approx. 2,500,000 IDR) and Immigration clearance
- Alcoholic beverages (available for purchase on boat)
- Canned & bottled soft drinks (available for purchase on boat)
- Crew gratuity (10% is suggested)
- Travel & dive insurance
- International & domestic flights
- Airport tax
- Beach towels, toiletries
Pass Indo Ocean Project’s Level III Fish Identification online exam within 1 month of arriving with a 95% pass rate to step into a research role immediately on arrival.
Our research dives will focus on megafauna sighting frequency and marine ecology baseline assessments
- Fun dives/Marine megafauna surveys
- Photographic and sighting frequency survey (Unite Project)
- BRUV deployment and assessment
- Roving survey dives
- Coral coverage and biodiversity mapping (transect surveys)
Our marine biologist will conduct relevant workshops in the evenings to expand your knowledge and learn more about what exactly is going on down there.
- Introduction to Indo Ocean Project in Banda
- Hammerhead sharks
- Marine conservation hot topics
- Brief history of the Spice Islands
- Indonesia MPA’s and policy: success, challenges, how you can help
- Nightly ocean documentaries and discussions
The Boat - Akomo Isseki
Akomo Isseki hosts up to 8 guests in 4 twin cabins and 3 full bathrooms. The trip includes full room and board with 3 meals and snack offered per day, 3-4 dives per day, and daily room cleaning. Cruise the Spice Islands and Banda Neira in comfort, and enjoy spacious interiors and a 360-degree panoramic saloon and sun deck to watch the incredible sunsets.
Onboard chef making 3 western and Indonesian meals per day, freshly baked bread, and home cooked snacks for between the dives. Unlimited coffee, tea and water is available on board and a stocked bar available for purchase.
Comfortable sun lounging on upper deck with bean bags and hammocks, custom diving deck.
Ultimate Eco Trip
Akomo Isseki is unique in that it offers guests an ultimate eco experience with their solar powered roof generating all the power we need. This mean quick nights sleeping without the sound of the generator!
An opportunity to be part of an expedition that goes even further off the beaten track… Diving the Spice Island Trail (The Banda Islands). This trip is focused on hammerhead sightings with an extra day spent in the Northern Forgotten Islands and 1 day less in Banda Neira.
Read Akomo Isseki’s traditional itinerary.
*Please note this itinerary can change depending on weather and hammerhead conditions
Want To Join The Team?
Join one of our expeditions or our dive master research diver internship. We work on a first come first serve basis after acceptance is confirmed and a 50% deposit is required to secure your spot.
You can apply online or contact us for more information.
Work hard play hard! An exciting few months at the Bira Project during the areas PEAK season. Read on to find out more from the team…
Discover the resident megafauna captured from over 200 BRUV’s (Baited Remote Underwater Video) deployed and assessed by Indo Ocean Project.
Read what Jeffri, Elise, Qinthan and all the Bira Project interns have been up to in this bimonthly report from Sulawesi’s southern peninsula.