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Aurora

AURORA; GREAT YACHT, GREAT CREW, GREAT DIVING.

In 2010 this majestic 40-meter vessel started scuba cruises to the most remote and idyllic locations in Indonesia. Aurora is a spacious, double masted, teak motor-sail yacht. It was built in Sulawesi according to the traditional phinsi style and designed for a discerning international dive clientele. Guests will experience modern comfort combined with traditional allure. 7 till 14-day trips are scheduled year-round to the best diving sites in Komodo, Raja Ampat, Maluku, Banda Sea and Alor.

SCHEDULE

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Included: VAT, Accommodation, Transfers/pickups from airport, Tanks, Weights, Belts, Dive master services, All meals, Towels Provided

Excluded: Nitrox tanks, diving and snorkelling gear, beer, wine, spirits and expresso coffee, PADI courses (subject to instructor availability, upon request). National Park Fees and Contributions to villages: Raja Ampat 130US$/person, Komodo 20US$/person, North Maluku 130US$/person, Banda Sea 90 US$/person (not including Banda Neira fee: 100 US$ extra/person) and Alor 95 US$/person. Note: Park fees are subject to change without prior notice *Fuel surcharge and port/marina fees per pax: 200 USD per person if the Harbour of deparure/arrival is Bali, Maumere, Sorong, Ambon. For Komodo cruises, no fuel surcharge applies if the port of arrival/departure is Labuan Bajo. We retain the right to adjust fuel surcharges any time when necessary.

ACCOMMODATION

The Aurora has 8 comfortable cabins for a maximum of 16 guests. Every 9 sqm cabin has a private bathroom and individually controlled AC and portholes. Some cabins offer twin accommodation and other cabins have a king size bed. Some also have an extra single bed for a possible third occupant.

COMFORT

Our professional level of service and assistance might well be the highest to be found. Next to our team of deckhands, engineers, stewards, chefs and dive guides, our crew includes a marine biologist and an underwater photo and video-expert. English is our lingua franca. The overall ambience on our yacht is one of great warmth and luxury. The indoor lounge has a huge central table for festive dining and gathering. At the stern of the ship is a covered seating area with tables for al fresco dining and relaxation. The top deck is furnished with cushioned loungers, ideal for sun lovers and stargazers. The ship also features a boutique and a laundry service.

CATERING

Experience the delicious Asian cuisine or enjoy western gourmet food on our liveaboard cruises. We serve our meals 3 times a day as delightful buffets. Our chefs will satisfy everyone’s taste and surprise you with delicious entremets. Fresh vegetables and fruits are part of every day’s menu. If you have special alimentary requests, please inform us at the time of your booking. We can serve vegetarian, halal and gluten-free menus.

DIVING

Gear up on our dive deck with rinse tanks, showers and drying facilities. One of our 3 dive tenders will bring you and your guide to the most pristine sites. The Indonesian seas contain so much natural beauty that you won’t believe your eyes and can’t stop clicking your camera. If you want to enjoy a longer bottom time, nitrox is available. We provide courses if you are not a certified enriched air diver. We manage a rental service for all your diving gear.

ITINERARIESThese are example itineraries to give you an indication of the liveaboard cruises. The final cruise might be different due to weather, sea conditions and/or guest experience. The final call is always with the boat manager and the captain of the liveaboard. This to ensure your safety as well as to give you a dive holiday never to forget.

Raja Ampat
  • Departure Port: Sorong
  • Return Port: Sorong
  • Length: 12 Days / 11 Nights (Approximately 33 dives in total)
  • Experience level: Advanced Open Water – 50 minimum logged dives required.

Day 1: SORONG

Aurora Crew will pick you up from Sorong airport; usually, flights arrive in the morning via Manado or Makassar. As soon as all the guests are onboard, Aurora will lift the anchor and start to cruise toward Misool.

Day 2: FARONDI

We will wake up in Misool National Park, a region with thousands of islands. Here you will be able to see the richest variations of fish, soft and hard corals, all kind of macro, wobbegong sharks and epaulette sharks. Misool is also one of the rare places with the most breath keeping landscape. Around Farondi we will do our 3-day dives and of course our first-night dive.

Days 3. – 7. Day: MISOOL NATIONAL PARK

So many Islands to visit and so many different dives spots. We will cruise around JILLIET, FIABAJET, WALIB, WAJIL, JEF PELE, MESENTA, BOO etc. and Aurora Crew will assure you as many dives as possible to fully enjoy this wonderful and beautiful area. We will offer you a day excursion with the speedboat around the incredible island labyrinth of Misool. We will visit caves, have a delicious pick-nick and snorkel inside some incredible caves. However, if some guests decide to remain onboard of Aurora 3 day dives will be on schedule.

Day 8: FARONDI

We will cruise back to Farondi to dive in different and fantastic places or we can decide to cruise further up north until WAIGEO, SEL PELE where we can have the chance to visit a pearl farm.

Day 9: JEF FAM

Diving around the Island of Jef Fam will surprise you with huge Hard Tables Corals and Clams Shells, not to mention wobbegong sharks and the breathtaking landscape.

Day 10: MANSUAR

Around the Island of Mansuar, we will have the chance to see manta rays and much more!

Day 11: KRI

On our way back to Sorong Harbor, we will make our last 2 dives in front of Kri Island. We end our diving cruise with superlatives!

Day 12: SORONG

Aurora will organize the transfer from the boat to Sorong airport, depending on the flight schedule of our guests.

Marine Life:

A striking characteristic in the Raja Ampat biology is the tight relationship between different ecosystems. The tropical rainforest conquers the sea by pushing itself out through a complex system of small islands. Looking towards the top from the border of the reef, you can see the dark green of the forest, in a symbolic sight.

Raja Ampat is in absolute the diving site with the highest biodiversity, regarding both the number of species of fish and invertebrates. An incredible amount of fish crowds the areas near the hard corals. The diversity of the settings is simply spectacular, all due to the geography of the site.

North Maluku
  • Departure Port: Sorong
  • Return Port: Ambon
  • Length: 12 Days / 11 Nights (Approximately 27 dives in total)
  • Experience level: Advanced Open Water – 50 minimum logged dives required.

DAY 1:

Departure from Sorong The guests will be met by the crew of Aurora at Sorong airport, usually in the morning/midday. From there it is a 45-minute transfer to Aurora. Once everyone is on board, we will lift the anchor and get underway. After lunch, we have the boat briefing.

Below a few dive areas we will dive and visit.:

NUSA LAUT AND SAPARUA

The morning of our first-day diving takes us to Nusa Laut. The village of Ahmed is one of the places where we stop. Nusa Laut has spectacular reefs and wonderful coral gardens. Schools of surgeonfish, big eye trevally, and plenty of reef fish are found here. For the night dive, we will be critter hunting under a pier.

The island of Saparua is a great alternative in case the weather conditions are not fine. Then overnight cruise to Banda Neira outer reefs.

BANDA NEIRA OUTER REEFS

We will start the dive day on the outer reefs of Banda Neira. The reefs here are full of marine fauna of all colours and shapes. Schooling fish gather and the macro life is rich.

The dive site Lava Flow is not to be missed. 20 years ago the lava poured into the ocean and in the short time since a hard coral garden grew which is unrivalled in the world. Table corals over 5 metres in width, staghorn corals as far as the eye can see and even endemic species found nowhere else is just a sample of what you can see here.

The small island of Koon has a vertical wall and a slope where the current curls, pushing schools of jacks, batfish, and barracuda in. Reef sharks are common, but the stars of the show are the giant groupers, the largest of which reaches a size of 3m! Quite exciting dives!

So many Islands to visit and so many different dive spots. We will cruise around JILLIET, FIABAJET, WALIB, WAJIL, JEF PELE, MESENTA, BOO etc… and Aurora Crew will assure you as many dives as possible to completely appreciate this wonderful and beautiful area.

We will wake up in Misool National Park a region with thousands of islands. Here you will be able to see the richest variations of fish, soft and hard corals, all kind of macro, wobbegong and epaulette sharks. Misool is also one of the rare places with the most breathtaking landscape. Don’t miss the show offered by mobulas feeding on a huge school of silversides!

Melissa’s Garden

Melissa’s Garden is our next dive site in the morning. A huge reef with wonderful corals and spectacular fish life. Wobbegongs are one of the highlights here. Sea snakes, pygmy seahorses and enormous tricadna clams can be seen in the shallows. On “Fam Wall” for the night dive we can see Harlequin shrimp, frogfish and many species of nudibranchs.

We end the trip with superlatives – a manta cleaning station. A whole day admiring these wonderful creatures and other ‘big fish’.

Last day:

Unfortunately, our trip arrived at an end and we have to say goodbye, but we hope to see you again soon!

Marine Life:

On the north side of Maluku, the sea narrows and hosts many islands and their number even increases while proceeding towards Papua. The accurate observation of sedentary animals (such as clownfish, sea-squirts) allows us to notice the changes from one island to another and to understand the role of marine currents. In the Ambon bay, we enjoy memorable muck dives (dives on muddy bottoms) which are not very attractive but extremely rich.

The Maluku reefs are a mosaic of different species, which are all living side by side and do not leave a single square centimetre of space free.

Komodo
  • Departure Port: Labuan Bajo
  • Return Port: Bali
  • Length: 10 Days / 9 Nights (Approximately 25 dives in total)
  • Experience level: Open Water – 30 minimum logged dives required.

The reefs on the northern side of Komodo and Rinca and the Lesser Sunda Islands belong to the most versatile reefs in the whole archipelago. Magnificently conserved, rich in big formation of Acropora (table corals). Uncountable reef fish and invertebrates make this underwater landscape very interesting.

The reefs around Komodo are mainly fringing reefs, with a rather narrow reef platform close to the shore while the outer reef descends quite steeply. In the deeper water prevail by fan corals, along with black corals and big sponges.

Day 1:Labuan Bajo, arrival and boarding. Head to Sebayur Island

Day 2 & 3:Rinca Nord/Loh Buaya. Komodo Channel

Day 4 & 5:Rinca

Day 6:Padar

Day 7:Komodo National Park & Trekking. Pantai Merah

Day 8 & 9:Gili Lawa Laut Gili Lawa Darat

Day 10: Bali: Unfortunately our trip arrived at an end and we have to say goodbye but we hope to see you again soon! You will be served breakfast and afterwards transferred to Bali airport and checked in by Aurora’s staff.

Alor
  • Departure Port: Maumere
  • Return Port: Maumere
  • Length: 10 Days / 9 Nights (Approximately 27 dives in total)
  • Experience level: Advanced Open Water – 50 minimum logged dives required.

Day 1:

Aurora Crew will pick you up from Maumere airport. As soon as all the guests are on board, Aurora will lift the anchor and start to cruise toward Kawula.

Day 2:

Kawula – In the western part of Kawula lies a huge bay, partially covered with mangroves. World class “muck dives” with lots of macro, ghost pipefish, frogfish and flying gurnard. The night dives are not to be missed, abundant wildlife with numerous shrimps, crabs and Spanish dancers.

Day 3:

South Pantar Pantar Strait – You will arrive on the island of Pantar. The famous site Alcatraz will enchant you. Immerse yourself in a giant soft red coral forest and observe the different species, reef fish, moray eels, octopus and giant puffers. Between the dives, we can go for a walk and visit the hot springs on the beach.

Beang Abang: another highlight for macro lovers. Look for seahorses, nudibranchs, Rhinopias and several types of octopus-like the wonderpus in the black sand.

Day 4-6:

Alor Strait Kalabahi Bay – Majestic drop-offs, coral reefs and abundant marine lives. Something for everyone! As currents here tend to be very fast, encounters of any kind can happen, from pelagics to Mola Molas. Sightings of whales and dolphins on the surface are quite common. In the Bay of Kalabahi, beautiful muck night dives are to be expected.

Day 7:

Komba – We will dive around Komba, an active volcano. The sandy slopes are home to various fish species. On the rocks, nudibranchs and shells. After the dives, a guaranteed thrill with a tour close to the volcano. Eruptions occur every 20 to 30 minutes!

Days 8 & 9:

East Flores – Several great dive sites in this area. The choice will be based on our schedule. Serbete: shallows and sandbars with exquisite coral gardens and magnificent walls here and there. Pygmy seahorses, turtles, napoleon wrasses and reef sharks in one place. Tanjung Gedong: northeast Flores. The reef slopes down into a sandy area with large coral heads. The beautiful deep sections are decorated with soft corals and large table corals. Reef sharks, groupers and other encounters are to be expected.

We will cruise to Maumere in the afternoon.

Day 10:

Maumere – After a nice breakfast on board, our Aurora crew will organize, according to your flight schedules, your transfer to the airport of Maumere.

Unfortunately, our trip will arrive at an end and we have to say goodbye but we hope to see you again on board.

Marine Life:

Swarms of anthias, schools of Fusiliers, surgeons and snappers, rays and patrolling grey reef sharks, barracudas, snake eels, mantis shrimps, octopus, bobbit worms, flying gurnard, lionfish and rhinopias

Banda Sea
  • Departure Port: Maumere
  • Return Port: Ambon
  • Length: 13 Days / 12 Nights (Approximately 27 dives in total)
  • Experience level: 50 minimum logged dives required.

DAY 1:

MAUMERE Guest will be welcoming onboard of Aurora. You will be shown around the boat to start to feel to cruise to Komba Island.

DAY 2:

KOMBA After cruising all night we will arrive at Komba where we will do 2-3 dives around the Volcanic Island to enjoy the black sand and colourful corals contrast.

DAY 3:

REONG AND WETAR We will arrive in the morning to Reong Island. After 2 dives we will move to Wetar Island where we will enjoy an afternoon and night dive. Aurora will start a long night cruise to arrive in the morning to Gunung Api.

DAY 4:

GUNUNG API This Volcanic Island will surprise you. You will be diving with hundreds of snakes and a lot of fishes. After the 3 dives, we will have to cruise one more night.

DAY 5:

LUCI PARA This 7 Island have beautiful beaches and incredible walls to dive. After the afternoon dive, Aurora will start to move toward the Ancient Banda Neira, The Island of Spices.

DAY 6 TO 7:

BANDA NEIRA OUTER REEFS We will start the dive day on the outer reefs of Banda Neira. The reefs here are full of marine fauna of all colours and shapes. Schooling fish gather and the macro life is rich. The dive site Lava Flow is not to be missed. 20 years ago the lava poured into the ocean and in the short time since a hard coral garden grew which is unrivalled in the world. Table corals over 5 meters in width, staghorn corals as far as the eye can see and even endemic species found nowhere else is just a sample of what you can see here. DAY 8 – SUANGGI Also Suanggi offer amazing dive sites like The Pinnacle and the East Corner.

DAY 9 to 10:

NUSA LAUT AND MOLANA We are moving north to Nusa Laut. The village of Ahmed is one of the places where we stop. Nusa Laut has spectacular reefs and wonderful coral gardens. Schools of surgeonfish, big eye trevally, and plenty of reef fish are found here. For the night dive, we will be critter hunting under a pier. Molana offers some large schools of pelagic fish among which tunas, jackfish and some sharks. The island of Saparua is a great alternative in case the weather conditions are not fine.

DAY 11:

AMBON the Spice Islands, that have become famous for their cloves, nutmeg and historical stories about pirates. From the intense blue Banda Sea, steep pinnacles pierce the surface, surrounding them surreal emerald-green lagoons and islands made from coral sand. These aptly named Coral Keys and are colonised by rich vegetation.

Around and in the middle of the Banda Sea, the crests of the submerged pinnacles are surrounded by a magnificent reef, at times very rich of hard corals.

North Maluka - Raja Ampat
  • Departure Port: Ambon
  • Return Port: Sorong
  • Length: 12 Days / 11 Nights (Approximately 27 dives in total)
  • Experience level: 50 minimum logged dives required.

Guests will be met by the crew of Aurora at Ambon airport, usually in the morning/midday. From there it is a 45-minute transfer to Aurora. Once everyone is on board, we will lift the anchor and get underway. After lunch, we have the boat briefing. / NUSA LAUT AND SAPARUA / The morning of our first-day diving takes us to Nusa Laut. The village of Ahmed is one of the places where we stop. Nusa Laut has spectacular reefs and wonderful coral gardens. Schools of surgeonfish, big eye trevally, and plenty of reef fish are found here. For the night dive, we will be critter hunting under a pier. The island of Saparua is a great alternative in case the weather conditions are not fine. Then overnight cruise to Banda Neira outer reefs. / BANDA NEIRA OUTER REEFS We will start the dive day on the outer reefs of Banda Neira. The reefs here are full of marine fauna of all colours and shapes. Schooling fish gather and the macro life is rich. / The dive site Lava Flow is not to be missed. 20 years ago the lava poured into the ocean and in the short time since a hard coral garden grew which is unrivalled in the world. Table corals over 5 metres in width, staghorn corals as far as the eye can see and even endemic species found nowhere else is just a sample of what you can see here. / The small island of Koon has a vertical wall and a slope where the current curls, pushing schools of jacks, batfish, and barracuda in. Reef sharks are common, but the stars of the show are the giant groupers, the largest of which reaches a size of 3m! Quite exciting dives! / So many Islands to visit and so many different dives spots. We will cruise around JILLIET, FIABAJET, WALIB, WAJIL, JEF PELE, MESENTA, BOO etc… and Aurora Crew will assure you as many dives as possible to completely appreciate this wonderful and beautiful area. / We will wake up in Misool National Park a region with thousands of islands. Here you will be able to see the richest variations of fish, soft and hard corals, all kind of macro, wobbegong and epaulette sharks. Misool is also one of the rare places with the most breath keeping landscape. Don’t miss the show offered by mobulas feeding on a huge school of silversides! / Melissa’s Garden is our next dive site in the morning. A huge reef with wonderful corals and spectacular fish life. Wobbegongs are one of the highlights here. Sea snakes, pygmy seahorses and enormous tricadna clams can be seen in the shallows. On “Fam Wall” for the night dive we can see Harlequin shrimp, frogfish and many species of nudibranchs. / We end the trip with superlatives – a manta cleaning station. A whole day admiring these wonderful creatures and other „big fish”. Last day Unfortunately our trip arrived at an end and we have to say goodbye, but we hope to see you again soon!

Marine Life:

On the north side of Maluku, the sea narrows and hosts many islands and their number even increases while proceeding towards Papua. The accurate observation of sedentary animals (such as clownfish, sea-squirts) allows us to notice the changes from one island to another and to understand the role of marine currents. In the Ambon bay, we enjoy memorable muck dives (dives on muddy bottoms) which are not very attractive but extremely rich. The Maluku reefs are a mosaic of different species, which are all living side by side and do not leave a single square centimetre of space free.

Forgotten Islands
  • Departure Port: Ambon
  • Return Port: Saumlaki
  • Length: 12 Days / 11 Nights (Approximately 32 dives in total)
  • Experience level: Advanced Open Water – 50 minimum logged dives required.

Starting with muck dives, crossing the Banda Sea, and tracing the perimeter of islands. Let our experienced crew show you those almost untouched locations with wonderful reefs and stunning drop-offs. Marine life is in abundance from critters, sea snakes, manta rays, sharks and much more. Frequently, whales might be spotted from the surface.

Day 1 & 2: Ambon

Our staff will pick you up at the airport for immediate boarding. Depending on the arrival time, we might do the check dive around Laha or Tulehu Bay and maybe even a night dive.

Laha or Tuleu Bay: an area known for its fabulous muck dives, probably among the best in the world for macro diving: only the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia can compete.

Day 3: Nusa Laut & Molana

South of Seram, fantastic diving experiences on the reefs of Molana and Nusa Laut. These rather picturesque islands of Maluku are popular dive destinations due to their diversity of reef fish species, ghost pipefish, frogfish and a variety of well-preserved hard corals.

Flash News: we have seen sperm whales in the area on previous trips, so keep your eyes wide open.

Day 4: Pulau Suanggi

You will now arrive at the northern end of the outer reefs of the Banda Sea: Pulau Suanggi. The waters here are full of fish, reef sharks and tuna. As a small bonus for bird lovers, many species can be observed around the island: brown boobies, red-footed boobies and frigate birds.

Pulau Hatta / Karang Hatta: We will dive both sloping reefs and vertical walls. The current attracts many fish: fusiliers, dogtooth tuna, eagle rays, barracudas and sometimes sharks. On the reef: soft corals, leather corals, bigeye trevallies and turtles.

Day 5 & 6: Banda Neira

On the fifth day, you will arrive on Banda Neira, famous for its nutmeg plantation. You will also have the chance to visit the Maritime Museum and the historic forts the island holds.

Of course, this location also offers beautiful dive spots, including Lava Flow: after a volcano eruption in 1988, the existing coral got destroyed, but after 10 years new coral regrows and created this now beautiful dive spot.

Day 7: Manuk, Snake Island

Manuk, the ‘Snake Island’, a volcanic island with lower interest on land. It takes its nickname from a large number of sea snakes found there. You will surely see a lot! The drop-offs here are amazing and sharks, mackerels, tunas and barracudas are often observed.

Day 8: Serua, Nil Desperandum, Nila

Nil Desperandum (‘no despair’) takes its name from a ship, stranded on the reef. This atoll is sometimes called ‘the forgotten islands’. You may be lucky enough to come across an amazing school of hammerhead sharks.

Day 9: Damar

Terbang Utara / Terbang Selatan, two small islands located south of Damar. Usually, we can expect easy but very fast drifts along marvellous coral drop-offs.

Nuss Leur: several pinnacles with all the colourful life of coral reefs.

Day 10: Nyata

Nyata, northeast of Romang Island, offers stunning landscapes.

Crystal clear waters and reefs on different levels, like in a theatre, with hard and soft coral gardens. Keep your eyes open: pelagic encounters are to be expected!

Day 11: Sermata

Sermata offers coral reefs with deep laying coral walls which are amazing to explore. On the west side of the island, you can find a reef.

Day 12: Saumlaki

After a nice breakfast on board, our Aurora crew will organize, according to your flight schedules, your transfer to the airport of Saumlaki.

Unfortunately, our trip will come to an end and we have to say goodbye but we hope to see you again on board.

In addition, we want to emphasise that this route, because of its great distance, is more than the others depending on weather conditions. In this area, the weather is rather uncertain and it may happen that there are big waves and a strong wind.

The Landscape and Marine Life

Starting with muck dives, crossing the Banda Sea, and tracing the perimeter of islands. Let our experienced crew show you those almost untouched locations with wonderful reefs and stunning drop-offs. Marine life is in abundance from critters, sea snakes, manta rays, sharks and school of hammerhead and much more. Frequently, whales might be spotted from the surface. You will also be able to spot the rare Mandarin Fish around Banda Neira, performing their mating ritual at night.

The landscape and coral islands alternate with rock formation covered with a green layer, giving our passage from Asia to Oceania an almost unreal magic. We refer here to biological borders that sometimes are quite different from geographical borders. The dry season starts in this region in September and goes until the end of March; however, rainfall can be expected throughout the year.

Fees: Please note a fee of 155USD applies to this cruise because we will visit the island of Banda Neira.

  • Year built: 2007
  • Year Renovated: 2010
  • Length: 42 m
  • Beam: 9 m
  • Top speed: 8 knots
  • Cruising speed: 6-7 knots
  • Engines: Nissan 420 HP marinized
  • Max guests: 16
  • Number of cabins: 8
  • Number of bathrooms: 9
  • Tenders: 3 x RIB 465m – Yamaha 40hp
  • Water capacity: 12000 litres
  • Fuel capacity: 12000 litres
  • Freshwater maker: 6000 litres/day
  • Radar
  • Depth Sounder
  • GPS
  • Radio VHF/DSC/SSB
  • E.P.I.R.B. Distress System
  • Emergency Rafts
  • Life Vests
  • Fire Alarm & Fire Extinguishers
  • Oxygen
  • First Aid Kits
  • Satellite & mobile phones
  • Crew trained in first aid
  • Emergency flares
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