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Secrets of the Savu Sea and Alor Archipelago

Join us for this luxurious liveaboard snorkeling trip to some of the most spectacular and untouched reefs in Indonesia.

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  • Explore some of the more remote and “fishiest” areas of the Coral Triangle in waters adjacent to Raja Ampat.
  • Enjoy up to 6 hours of snorkeling per day, plus afternoons looking for cetaceans (including blue whales) with marine biologist Benjamin Kahn.
  • Visit traditional villages on the volcanic islands of the Alor Archipelago.
  • Our trip coincides with the annual migration of blue whales through the area.
  • Enjoy top-notch service and comfort aboard the prestigious Damai II.

Departing from Maumere Bay on the northern coast of Flores Island aboard the luxurious Damai II liveaboard, our itinerary takes us eastward as we weave through narrow channels and along the volcanic islands of the Savu Sea and Alor Archipelago.

We’ll enjoy multiple opportunities to snorkel each day, with highlights including the walls at Babi, critter-rich Adonara, the extremely “fishy” reefs along the south coast of Flores Island, some of the best snorkeling sites in Indonesia near Rusa, the current-rich Pantar Straits and Pulau Pura, and several areas known for pelagic species including manta rays, Mola mola, pilot whales, dolphins, and even blue whales.

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit local villages in the Alor Archipelago, and will enjoy expert-assisted cetacean surveys led by Benjamin Kahn.

Trip Dates & Cost

2019: Dates and pricing to be announced soon!

* Trip prices do not include international airfare. Limited single supplements are available. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.


Benjamin Kahn is a cetacean researcher and director of the Coral Triangle Oceanic Cetacean Program for APEX Environmental. He is an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Centre of Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Benjamin first worked with Oceanic Society in 2015 aboard our Raja Ampat: Snorkeling and Whale Watching expedition.


Our itinerary and routing will be flexible to account for weather conditions and ensure the best possible guest experience. The following is a sample itinerary, and is subject to change.

Day 1: Arrival into Maumere
Arrive in Maumere on eastern Flores Island, Indonesia and board the Damai II, our home for the duration of the trip. The first day of snorkeling will be inside Maumere Bay on the islands of Pomana and Babi, where there are abundant sea fans and sponges.

Day 2: Serbete & Adonara
Our day will begin at the craggy rock called Serbete, where we will snorkel along a wall and sand slope. We'll then travel on to the west side of the island of Adonara for the afternoon and night snorkels. Get your eyes in tune for hunting out critters and macro life.

Days 3–4: Solor
In the south of Solor we will explore some uncharted reefs where fishermen have advised us that encounters with manta rays may be possible, and will look for whales.

Days 5–6: Rusa / Kambing
On these days we will visit some of the best snorkel sites in the whole of Indonesia, near Rusa. Upwellings of cold water bring nutrients to the surface and the reefs are absolutely full of life: hard corals, soft corals, sea fans, schooling surgeonfish, rainbow runners, emperor angel fish, occasional Mola molas, and in the horizon the chance to see whales and dolphins. This is as good as it gets!

Days 7–8: Pantar Straits
Entering the Pantar Straits from the north, we'll first snorkel off of the islands of Ternate and Reta. These areas are home to beautiful coral walls filled with both macro and wide angle subjects. Then we'll head south to Pura Island and the famous "Valley of the Clowns," a unique experience where giant anemones carpet the seafloor and colorful reef fish school above.

Our day will end in north Pura Island at Pak Jan’s village. On this day, you will have the chance to buy traditional woven cloths, called Ikat, from the village women who will come out to our boat at both Ternate and Pura. This is truly authentic souvenir shopping with the opportunity to buy beautiful weavings from the very hands that make them.

Day 9: Beangabang and Terbang
On the southeast of Pantar Island, Beanabang Bay offers great reef snorkeling of the highest quality. Here we have the chance to search for octopus, ghost pipefish, unusual shrimp, colorful nudibranchs and lots of juvenile fish. You will also have the opportunity to go ashore and explore this very isolated village and meet the local children.

We will also travel near Terbang Island, where we have enjoyed regular encounters with pilot whales as well as dolphins.

Day 10: Lamelera and Soanggi
Soanggi is a rocky island on the south of the island of Lembata. This is a beautiful area for snorkeling, decorated with soft corals and sea fans, and is ideal for spotting passing cetaceans which might include sperm whales or even a massive blue whales. This leads nicely to the final snorkels on the reefs off the village of Lamelera. This village is known for its long history of subsistence whaling and its inhabitants are still permitted to take two animals each year by traditional methods. A walk along the village streets reveals this history with doors framed by massive whale jaw bones and seats fashioned from huge whale vertebrae!

Day 11: Departure from Kupang
On our final day, guests will be escorted to the airport in Kupang and assisted with check in procedures, no doubt full of talk about their amazing adventures exploring Alor.


Our expedition takes place aboard the Damai II, a boutique Indonesian liveaboard ship with seven comfortable guest cabins on three decks. Damai II was constructed in Tanjung Bira, South Sulawesi in 2011 by Pak Hadji Baso, one of the most respected master boat builders in the traditional Indonesian boat building community of Bira. Damai II has a deck length of 40 meters and a beam of 9 meters at its widest point. It has been built to an uncompromising standard and fitted out with all the latest snorkeling and diving, navigation, and safety equipment to ensure an extremely high level of service.

The ship features three large outside deck areas with an outside dining facility, a massage and spa treatment area, and plenty of extra lounging and sunbathing space. The below deck accommodation has been designed to accommodate single or twin occupants in a level of luxury not seen on another vessel in Indonesia. Each cabin boasts a private shower and head with a queen-size bed and a separate day bed. The cabins measure approximately 20 sq. m (225 sq. ft) each and have been finished with the highest quality furnishings. The stern staterooms are over 400 sq. ft each and boast their own private deck with loungers, a super-king-size bed, day beds, two desks and en suite shower and separate head. There is a 4 snorkeler to 1 guide ratio and the ship carries two custom-designed high speed tender boats.

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