The Crossing

Expedition

Research Liveaboard Expeditions I Exclusively available for IOP Graduates

About the Crossing Expedition

Ready to join an exploration trip, deploying BRUV’s, conducting fish and benthic surveys, and exploring the most remote regions of Indonesia? Indo Ocean Project is partnering up again with the pirates at Scuba Republic to run an exciting expedition to Indonesia’s most remote destinations.

Our Expeditions are designed exclusively for our community of Dive Master and Research internship graduates to take part in action packed/science filled liveaboard adventures.

Nerds on tour!

This program is split into two parts with the option to join the trip for one of the two sections or the complete 23 day itinerary.

Starting in Alor, travelling across The Ring of Fire and finishing in Raja Ampat (Waisai), this unique itinerary has been developed to bring our research projects to uncharted locations, creating some of the regions first ecological monitoring assessments. We will be making stops in Alor, Forgotten Islands, Banda Neira, Ambon, Misool, and Central Raja Ampat over 23 days, onboard a traditional Indonesian wooden sailing vessle. 

We will be travelling over 1,100 nautical miles

This expedition is an adventure trip, the itinerary will be flexible depending on weather conditions. Some days we will do up to 4 dives per day, while there will be at least 1 full day of crossing (no diving). Expect to do 2-3 dives per day including sunrise and night diving.

Mission & Goals

  • To engage our community of highly trained ocean professionals to conduct rapid ecological monitoring assessments in remote regions of Indoneisa
  • To widen our research areas through liveaboard expeditions
  • To provide budget friendly expeditions for our community to continue to apply their field training and explore Indonesia

HIGHLIGHTS

√ Adventure expediton through Indonesia’s more wild destinations

√ Conduct IOP’s research projects on the go including BRUV deployments, benthic and roving surveys

√ Explore Alor’s incredble megafauna in peak season

√ Muck diving in Ambon

√ Try our luck with schooling hammerheads in the Banda Sea

√ Explore Misool National Park and Central Raja Ampat

√ Meet fellow Indo Ocean Project graduates and take part in our exclusive community expedition

Dive Master & Research Diver Training Program

Our expeditions are only available for those who have graduated from our dive master and research diver internship.

Click the link below to learn all about our internship program and how to get involved.

Expedition Fees

We have done our best to offer this expedition at a budgeted rate exclusively for our community of trained graduates and dive professionals. You have options to join the full 23 day trip, or jump on or off in Ambon for a half trip (10 days). We will be stopping in Ambon to resupply the boat before continuing on to our final destination in Raja Ampat.

Below you will see the itinerary options available. All prices are in Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

01

Alor to Ambon (First Half)

Meeting: September 17th 2023 at Alor Airport (Nusa Tenggara Timur)

Droping: September 27th 2023 at Ambon (Maluku)

Length: 11 days / 10 nights

TRIP FEES: 34,850,000 IDR

Itinerary

*Itinerary is subject to change! 

An exact day-to-day itinerary is impossible to make for this trip as it is very weather dependent. But we know our route and main spots we will hit! 

Starting our trip in Alor we will spend up to 2-3 days exploring the incredible reefs and megafauna of Alor’s national marine park. Highlights here include thresher sharks, whales, and other large pelagics. Temperatures can be cold (dropping down to the low 20’s) with crystal clear water.

Next we head North East and enter the Ring of Fire. This will be the most travel time and will take 1-1.5 days of cruising (and stopping for an exploratory dive when we can) through the Forgotten and Spice Islands. Prepare for overnight cruising and a full dry day as we cross large stretches of open ocean. 

On day 5 or 6 we will arrive in the middle of the Banda Sea with dives on the infamous schooling hammerhead sites Nils Despirandum. A full day is scheduled around this site for sunrise to afternoons dives for best chance at encountering the mating ritual (fingers crossed!).

The last 4 days will be spent exploring the dives around Banda Niera, with a land tour to the old fort and capitol of the spice trade. 

End the trip in the city of Ambon. Join for an additional day of muck diving on a hunt for the psychedelic frogfish with Laha Dive Packers before your domestic flight back to Bali or Jakarta. 

What's included

Included:

  • Around 20-24 research and fun dives (weather dependent)
  • Shared accommodation with IOP graduates
  • 3 local Indoneisan meals per day
  • Drinking water, coffee and tea
  • Aiport pick up in Alor

Not Included:

  • Equipment rental (available through Scuba Republic)
  • Alor, Banda Marine Park fees (TBC around 3,000,000 IDR)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Canned soft drinks (available for purchase on the boat)
  • Travel and dive insurance
  • Interntional or domestic flights
  • Airport tax
  • Crew grituity (recomended 10%)
  • Optional muck diving day in Ambon (paid directly to Laha Divepackers)
02

Ambon to Raja Ampat (Second Half)

Meeting: September 29th 2023 at Ambon Airport (Meluku)

Droping: October 9th 2023 at Waisai (West Papua)

Length: 11 days / 10 nights

TRIP FEES: 34,850,000 IDR

Itinerary

*Itinerary is subject to change!

An exact day-to-day itinerary is impossible to make for this trip as it is very weather dependent. But we know our route and main spots we will hit!

Arrive one day earlier and join our optional land based dive trip with Laha Divepackers to discover Ambon’s world famous muck diving sites. Hunt for the infamous psychedelic frogfish and paddleflap (Ambon) scorpionfish. This is half way through our full expedition and the boat crew will spend the day supplying and cleaning to boat while we will we will head over for 3 macro dives. 

Boarding in the busy port city of Ambon in West Meluku, we will journey to Banda Neira and spend 2 days discovering the sites above and below. With a land based excursion to Banda Neira and an option spice trail tour. We will spend a day exploring Suanggi Island which is known as the area’s best chance to see schooling hammerhead sharks.

Then we will begin the long journey along the south side of Meluku and north towards Misool National Park. This trip will take 2-3 days with some exciting stops in unexplored sites along the way. 

When arriving in Misool National Park we will dive into the areas famous sites like Magic Mountain and 3 Kings while exploring some land activities. 

The last few days will be spent travelling to central Raja Ampat and diving in at sites like Arborek and Blue Magic before heading into our final port of Waisai on the island of Waigeo. 

What's included

Included:

  • Around 20-24 research and fun dives (weather dependent)
  • Shared accommodation with IOP graduates
  • 3 local Indoneisan meals per day
  • Drinking water, coffee and tea
  • Aiport pick up in Alor

Not Included:

  • Equipment rental (available through Scuba Republic)
  • Banda and Raja Ampat Marine Park fees (TBC around 3,500,000 IDR)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Canned soft drinks (available for purchase on the boat)
  • Travel and dive insurance
  • Interntional or domestic flights
  • Airport tax
  • Crew grituity (recomended 10%)
  • Optional muck diving day in Ambon (paid directly to Laha Divepackers)
03

Alor to Raja Ampat (Full Trip)

Meeting: September 17th 2023 at Alor Airport (Nusa Tenggara Timur)

Droping: October 9th 2023 at Waisai (West Papua)

Length: 23 days / 22 nights

TRIP FEES: 61,500,000 IDR

Itinerary

*Itinerary is subject to change!

An exact day-to-day itinerary is impossible to make for this trip as it is very weather dependent. But we know our route and main spots we will hit!

This is the complete trip 23 day / 22 night. We hope you have your sea legs because by the end of this expedition you will have completed what only a hand full of people in the world have done.

Starting our trip in Alor we will spend up to 2-3 days exploring the incredible reefs and megafauna of Alor’s national marine park. Highlights here include thresher sharks, whales, and other large pelagics. Temperatures can be cold (dropping down to the low 20’s) with crystal clear water.

Next we head North East and enter the Ring of Fire. This will be the most travel time and will take 1-1.5 days of cruising (and stopping for an exploratory dive when we can) through the Forgotten and Spice Islands. Prepare for overnight cruising and a full dry day as we cross large stretches of open ocean. 

On day 5 or 6 we will arrive in the middle of the Banda Sea with dives on the infamous schooling hammerhead site of Nils Despirandum. A full day is scheduled around this site for sunrise to afternoons dives for best chance at encountering the mating ritual of scalloped and great hammerhead sharks (fingers crossed!).

The next 4 days will be spent exploring the dives around Banda Niera, with a land tour to the old fort and capitol of the spice trade. 

We are half way through the trip when we arrive at the busy port city of Ambon in West Maluku. Here the boat will refuel and restock. We will spend 2 nights and 1 full day in port. You have the option of hanging out on the boat or jumping off for a land excursion to explore the area.

We are arranging an optional 3-dive day with Laha Divepackers to jump in for world-class muck diving and critter hunting (if you like small stuff DO NOT MISS THIS). This is home to the rare psychedelic frogfish and paddleflap (or Ambon) scorpion fish. This trip is optional and dive rates can be paid directly to the dive operators. Otherwise you can rent a car or some motorbikes and explore the regions waterfalls and nature trails, or run into the city for some comfort food.

With the boat stocked up we jump aboard, we will journey back towards Banda Neira and spend 2 more days discovering new sites above and below. With an optional second trip to Banda Niera for a highly recommended local spice tour. We will spend a day exploring Suanggi Island which is known as the area’s best chance to see schooling hammerhead sharks.

Then we will begin the long journey along the south side of Meluku and north towards Misool National Park. This trip will take 2-3 days with some exciting stops in unexplored sites along the way. 

When arriving in Misool National Park we will dive into the areas famous sites like Magic Mountain and 3 Kings while exploring some land activities like jellyfish lake or sunrise birds of paradise hike. 

The last few days will be spent travelling to central Raja Ampat and diving in at sites like Arborek and Blue Magic before heading into our final port of Waisai on the island of Waigeo. 

What's included

Included:

  • Around 40-48 research and fun dives (weather dependent)
  • Shared accommodation with IOP graduates
  • 3 local Indoneisan meals per day
  • Drinking water, coffee and tea
  • Aiport pick up in Alor

Not Included:

  • Equipment rental (available through Scuba Republic)
  • Alor, Banda and Raja Ampat Marine Park fees (TBC around 4,500,000 IDR)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Canned soft drinks (available for purchase on the boat)
  • Travel and dive insurance
  • Interntional or domestic flights
  • Airport tax
  • Crew grituity (recomended 10%)
  • Optional muck diving day in Ambon (paid directly to Laha Divepackers)

Diving Expectations

We will be covering A LOT of different regions so expect varying dive conditions. With temperatures in Alor and Forgotten Islands dropping to the low 20’s with thermoclines, and Maluku and Raja Ampat with high 20’s. This is peak season for most of these regions so should be great visibility. 

The full moon is on September 29th so expect some strong currents around the time we are in Banda (which usually means more fish!). But all IOP alumni have the training and experience to handle to worst current’s we could expect. 

In terms of marine animal sightings expect ANYTHING. We will be crossing the Banda Sea during peak scalloped hammerhead mater season with multiple sites targeted throughout the trip. Alor is known for its thresh sharks and marine mammals. Whale watching (especially during the longer crossings) will be a must. Humpback, orca’s, and even blue whales have been known to be spotted during this time of the year. Thriving coral reefs throughout the entire trip is a given, along with all the tropical creatures Indonesia has to offer. 

A must try is to join us on the optional dive day with Laha Divepackers in Ambon for some world-class muck diving and home to the rare psychedelic frogfish. 

… But then again, maybe we see nothing ;) One way to find out!

What to expect…

It is important for all potential researchers to know exactly what you are getting yourself into by joining Indo Ocean Project’s Expeditions. Please read the following information carefully. 

Limited places are available and places will be selected based on first come first serve and available to IOP graduates only. You will need to complete an online fish ID training and re-pass your fish ID test on you arrival to take part in our research activities. 

ABOUT THE BOAT

You’re floating home away from home will be onboard Scuba Republic’s newly renovated boat Aboya.

Built in 2015, Aboya is a 24 meter traditional Indonesian phinisi boat and houses 6 crew members and 8 guests. It is undergoing renovations in the rooms, bathroom, and deck area in June 2023 before venturing for Komodo’s season in July and August of this year.

Shared air conditioned rooms with fresh water showers, relaxing areas on deck and communal dining area. Living conditions will be in IOP style, with researchers bunking together.

The boat is run with roof top solar panels with generator in case of emergencies. Electricity is available all day. Fresh water is available but limited, so conserving water by bringing eco shampoo and soap products and showering in the ocean before a short fresh water rinse.

 

THE FOOD

Local Indonesian meals will be served three times per day with fresh fruit and snacks. Rice based meals with chicken, fish, tempeh and veggies are the typical meals, with tasty sambal on the side.

Fresh drinking water, coffee and tea will always be found in the dining area. Cans of soda and beer are available for purchase.

You are encouraged to stock up on some non-perishable snacks for the trip.

GETTING THERE

To Alor

Alor is located on the far east side of the province Nusa Tenggara Timur. Daily flights from Jakarta transiting through the city of Kupang. Expect a travel time of 5-7 hours from Jakarta with at least one lay over.

To Ambon

Ambon is located on the far west side of the island Maluku. It’s airport has several flights per day from all over Indonesia. The most common route is connected through the city of Makasar. Expect a travel time of 4-6 hours from Jakarta or Bali with a layover in Makasar (UPG) airport.

 

Ready to Apply?

Join our Crossing Expedition as a research diver.

Contact lauren@indooceanproject.org to reserve your spot. 

Project News

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