Liveaboard Mermaid I – Biodiversity Super Special

This liveaboard trip from Maumere to Raja Ampat is a 12- to 16-day diving expedition that explores the spectacular biodiversity of Indonesia’s underwater world. Offered twice a year, this itinerary offers divers the chance to experience the rich coral reefs, colorful fish species, and unique marine life of the Coral Triangle, ideal for divers seeking the ultimate diving vacation.
Travel period
April, October, November
Starting at
19 days from €6465,- p.p

Biodiversity Super Special - Dive Holiday Indonesia

Of all the liveaboard itineraries out there, the Biodiversity Super Special itinerary, sailed by Mermaid Liveaboards, is perhaps the most special dive trip you can take. This itinerary takes you right through Indonesia for 16 days. You will make as many as 49 dives during this trip.

During this trip, you really see a lot. Big stuff, small stuff and everything in between. What can you expect to encounter: Dwarf seahorses, Rhinopias, Manatees, Manta rays, Hammerheads, Wobbegongs, Epaulette sharks, Cuttlefish, Coral Devils, tropical fish and gigantic and colorful coral.

This trip is also conducted very comfortably on a Mermaid’s liveaboard where you are provided with all the comforts. Beautiful cabins, delicious food ánd top notch service.

Best travel time for the Biodiversity Super Special route 

This route, of 16 days, is sailed 2 times a year. The first time is in spring, when you sail from Raja Ampat to Maumere. Are you going in the fall? Then you sail from Maumere right to Raja Ampat. 

Biodiversity routes in 2024:

April 28, 2024 Biodiversity Super Special: Raja Ampat – Banda Sea – Alor – Maumere (16 days). Price from €6465,- p.p.

September 30, 2024 Biodiversity Special Ring of Fire: Maumere – Alor – Banda Sea – Ambon (12 days). Price from €5265,- p.p.

Oct 12, 2024 Biodiversity Special Ring of Fire: Ambon – Banda Sea – Alor- Maumere (12 days). Price from €5265,- p.p.

Oct. 26, 2024 Biodiversity Super Special: Maumere – Alor – Banda Sea – Raja Ampat (16 days). Price from €6465,- p.p.

November 11, 2024 Biodiversity Special: Raja Ampat – Banda Sea – Forgotten Islands – Ambon (14 days). Price from €5865,- p.p.

Prices include the €225 Marine Park Fee & exclude flights. See the bottom of the page for what exactly is included in this liveaboard trip.

Please note that the trip we describe below is for the Biodiversity Super Special of 16 days. The 12 & 14 day trips sail only a part of the route.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Indonesia

For this route, our recommendation is a 3mm wetsuit.

What will you experience on this diving holiday?

View itinerary here

Day 1 & 2 | The journey to Maumere (or Sorong)

The start of your trip is either Maumere or Sorong. In this day description, we assume you start in Maumere (fall). But should you book the trip for spring you can read this day’s description exactly the other way around.

With Maumere on Flores as the destination, the most common route is via domestic flights from Bali or Jakarta. Indeed, because of time zone differences and flight schedules, you are often on the road for at least two days. If flights do not connect perfectly, an overnight stay in a city such as Jakarta or Bali may be necessary. This means that your itinerary should be flexible and include any rest days before and after the flight, to ensure the best experience of your diving adventure.

Day 3 & 4 | Aboard the Mermaid + Cape Bacatan & Lewaling Bay

Today you will board the mermaid liveaboard. You will be picked up at the airport or your hotel around noon. After everyone has settled in and their diving gear is ready, the ship sets sail for Kawula Island, 90 nautical miles away, where you will spend the night while you sail.

Day 4 is dedicated to diving at Cape Bacatan and Lewaling Bay on Kawula Island. You will make three dives along walls and ledges covered with sea fans and soft corals, where you have a chance to see pygmy seahorses and other small marine animals. Cape Bacatan is known for sightings of white tip sharks, black reef sharks and sometimes gray reef sharks, as well as eagle rays and Napoleon fish amid schools of fish. In the evening, a beautiful night dive is made in the muck diving area in front of a traditional fishing village. After this adventurous day, you will sail overnight to Alor, a journey of 70 nautical miles.

Day 5 | Diving around Alor

On this morning, you will wake up in Alor. Alor is a favorite dive destination for divers who return to Indonesia year after year because of the wide variety of dive sites it offers. Alor offers a unique mix of cold and warm waters, strong currents and protected areas, making it a dive site that truly has it all.

Did you know that dwarf blue whales visit Alor between May and July as well as between September and November? That means if you do this trip in the fall, there is a chance to spot these whales! In fact, sperm whales can be seen all year round, but between September and November the chances of an encounter are even greater! 

The muck diving sites in Alor are particularly rich in macro life, where divers can find small and fascinating creatures such as nudibranchs, small octopuses, and pygmy seahorses. The strong currents attract schools of pelagic fish, manta rays, and sometimes even sharks. 

After a day of diving in Alor, the cruise sets sail at night for Wetar, 95 nautical miles away. 

Day 6 | Diving around Wetar: Reong & Cape Nunukae

In Wetar, you dive at the small island of Pulau Reong and at Cape Nunukae.

Pulau Reong, located on the northwest coast of Wetar and separated by a narrow channel only 700 meters wide, offers dive sites with walls covered with soft corals in a wide range of colors. These walls teem with triggerfish in every imaginable species, making for a vibrant and colorful scene underwater.

Cape Nunukae, about 6 nautical miles southwest of Pulau Reong, is characterized by a large ridge with slopes on both sides. The shallow part of the ridge is covered with a hard coral reef, while the slopes in the deeper areas are dotted with soft corals. Strong currents can occur at the back end, where large schools of fish congregate.

After diving at Wetar, the cruise sets sail at night for the Damar Islands, 150 nautical miles away.

Day 7 | Diving around the Damar Islands

Today you will dive around several small islands – Neus Leur, Terbang Seletan and Terbang Utara. Damar Island and these three surrounding small islands offer spectacular diving opportunities. Like many dive sites in the Banda Sea, you will find crystal clear water and beautiful walls covered with massive sponges and brilliant soft corals.

The underwater landscapes around these islands are breathtaking. Divers can marvel at the vast coral formations and rich biodiversity. These walls and reefs are home not only to huge sponges and a variety of soft corals, but also to a colorful variety of marine life. From small macro life to larger pelagic fish, the diversity is impressive.

After these unforgettable dives, continue your journey to Nila Island, 90 nautical miles away.

Day 8 | Diving at Nila Island

Surrounding Nila Island are two atolls, Dusborgh and Nil Desperandum. It is at these two atolls that you have a good chance of seeing hammerhead sharks. These elegant predators, known for their distinctive head shape, are truly fantastic to encounter once underwater. They often appear in large schools at once.

But even without the hammerhead sharks, the reefs at Nila Island are fantastic, with healthy walls and large schools of fish. These healthy, vibrant coral walls are home to a variety of life, from colorful coral fish to impressive schools of pelagic fish.

Once all the dives are over, we sail on to Serua Island, just 20 nautical miles away.

Day 9 | Serua Island

Serua Island is probably one of the most iconic places in the Banda Sea to see schools of hammerhead sharks. In addition to hammerhead sharks, Serua also offers the chance to dive in the middle of huge schools of big eye trevallies and pinjalo snappers, creating an impressive spectacle as these fish swim through the water in perfect unison.

In the evening, sail on to Manuk, which is 55 nautical miles from Serua Island.

Day 10 | Manuk, the snake volcano

Manuk, better known as the Snake Volcano, is a unique dive site that offers a fascinating underwater world despite its somewhat intimidating nickname. The volcanic nutrients attract a diverse range of marine life.

The highlight of this dive site is, of course, the sea snakes!

The site offers dives on a black sand reef, rich in fish and dotted with beautiful hard and soft corals. The black sand creates a striking contrast to the colorful corals and vibrant marine life, creating a unique aesthetic experience.

At the end of the day, the cruise continues to the Banda Islands, 60 nautical miles away.

Day 11 & 12 | Diving around the Banda Islands

Over the next two days, the Banda Islands offer spectacular dives with walls, passages, sponges and sea fans – excellent for wide-angle photography, among other things.

The dive sites near the Banda Islands descend thousands of feet deep and offer spectacular walls and breathtaking reef tops, with visibility often in the 40-50-meter range.

The sunset dive takes place at the pier in front of an old colonial hotel. With black sand and volcanic rocks and an unusually large number of large and non-shy mandarin fish – also great for spotting small sea creatures.

On the second day, in addition to great diving, an onshore excursion is scheduled on the island of Banda Neira. You will visit the local museum, the Dutch fort, a nutmeg plantation and the local market. You’ll even have breakfast at the nutmeg plantation! After this cultural and historical exploration, sail overnight to Koon Island, 80 nautical miles away.

Day 13 | Diving at Pulau Koon

Pulau Koon, a small island southeast of Ceram, halfway between Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands, offers dives next to walls full of soft corals and on sandy slopes with hard coral bommies. The most striking thing about this island, however, is the large number of schooling fish and pelagic species, including barracuda, big eye trevallies, red snappers, pompano and dark giant groupers.

At the end of the day, the cruise sets sail for Misool, a journey of 100 nautical miles.

Day 14 & 15 | Diving around Misool - Raja Ampat

Spend the next two days around Misool Island in Raja Ampat, where literally hundreds of dive sites can be found. Misool is a wide-angle photographer’s paradise, with some of the most beautiful soft coral reefs in the world. In addition, there are several pinnacles surrounded by huge schools of fish, barracuda, horse mackerel and snappers.

You will also participate in some excursions by tenders through amazing lagoons, with fantastic scenery and wildlife. These tours offer a unique opportunity to experience Misool’s pristine natural beauty both under and above the water.

After two fantastic days of diving around Misool, the cruise sails overnight to the Dampier Strait, 90 nautical miles away.

Day 16 & 17 | Diving at the Dampier Strait - Raja Ampat

The Dampier Strait again offers much diversity, from giant manta rays to mangroves, beautiful reefs, many pinnacles and seamounts covered with schooling fish, groups of sweetlips, schools of barracuda, humphead parrotfish, fusiliers and numerous wobbegong sharks. It is also an excellent location for small marine animals and macro subjects, with several species of pygmy seahorses and a wide variety of nudibranchs.

There are also several jetties where you can do a fantastic night dive, seeing Raja epaulette shark, angler fish and crocodile fish.

The second day in the Dampier straight you will make 2 more dives after which you will sail to Sorong in about 5 to 6 hours.

Day 18 & 19 | End of this beautiful journey

The trip is over, after breakfast you will leave the boat. You will be transferred to the airport or a hotel in Sorong.

You basically have two choices now, you fly back home – which would be quite understandable after 49 dives spread over 16 days…. but…. you are in Raja Ampat now. You might consider spending a few more days “resting” from the beautiful trip at one of Raja Ampat ‘s wonderful resorts, in a water bungalow, of course.

Did you do the route the other way around? Then definitely consider an extension in Komodo, famous for its manta rays. Easily accessible from Maumere (same island). Ask us about all the possibilities.

The liveaboard

The ship and cabins

Liveaboard Mermaid I

The luxurious liveaboard Mermaid I, a 28-meter twin-engine steel motor yacht, was designed with the comfort of divers in mind. Thanks to her professionalism, reliability, great crew, experienced dive guides, and attention to detail in annual maintenance, Mermaid I has gained a renowned status as one of the world’s leading liveaboard vessels. With years of experience in meeting the expectations and needs of divers, Mermaid Liveaboards strives to take guests to the best dive sites in Indonesia, including Raja Ampat, Ambon, Banda Sea, Alor, Lembeh and more.

Her spacious dive deck and wide aft diving platform with two exit ladders and freshwater showers satisfy every diver’s dreams. The 6 camera sinks ensure that valuable equipment is well taken care of. Asian and Western meals are served in the “Sawasdee Restaurant,” and relaxation after dinner is possible in the lounge with multimedia entertainment center or in the extensive reading library. Mermaid I also features two outdoor decks, a shaded one with comfortable seating and a sun deck with sun beds, ideal for relaxation or a massage. NITROX is available at every cruise.

Travel costs

What is included

This diving holiday to Indonesia is available from €6465 per person based on two people in one lower deck cabin. Are you booking this trip alone? Then it is good to know that it is not guaranteed that you will share the cabin with someone of the same sex. The Mermaid does it’s best to facilitate this as much as possible, but offers no guarantees. Private use of a shared double cabin or a double bed cabin is available at an additional charge of +90% on the price.

There are also 3 single cabins on the boat, these sell out fairly quickly – but if you are traveling alone, inquire about this directly. This cabin costs €8265 including/excluding all costs as listed to the right.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about this diving vacation to Indonesia? Get in touch with us!

Included in this diving trip, from €6465, - p.p.

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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation

Diving on the Biodiversity Super Special route

Boat dives where muck diving, coral diving and drift diving are all covered.

You dive from tenders that often reach the dive site within minutes from the ship

You can make as many as 49 dives throughout the route. This is so divided:

Day 4: 4 dives
Day 5: 4 dives
Day 6: 3 dives
Day 7: 3 dives
Day 8: 4 dives
Day 9: 4 dives
Day 10: 4 dives
Day 11 & 12: 7 dives
Day 13: 3 dives
Day 14 & 15: 7 dives
Day 16: 4 dives
Day 17: 2 dives

Yes definitely, during this itinerary you will make a few night dives. Among other things, immediately on day 4 a muck dive in the dark and on day 11 the sunrise/night dive with mandarin fish.

Yes, you can take the courses below:

PADI Enriched Air Nitrox: Includes course materials and two dives on nitrox €175,- p.p.

PADI Advanced Open Water: Includes course materials €250,- p.p.

Speciality Courses

2 dives: Peak Performance Buoyancy, Drift Diver, Night Diver, Underwater Naturalist. €200 p.p.

4 dives: Deep Diver €325 p.p.

Diving equipment

Yes, and these are free but limited. Do you want a 15L? If so, please indicate that directly at the time of booking.

Yes you can and this costs €230,- p.p. for the entire 16 day trip.

Prices are per person per diving day.
A dive computer is mandatory.

Full Set* (Full Set – items marked*) €40
BCD* item €15
Regulator – with octopus and gauges* set €15
Wetsuit – shorty* item €10
Wetsuit – long* item €10
Mask/Snorkel* set €10
Full Foot Fins* item €10
Open Heel Fins plus Boots set €15
Compass item €5
Underwater Camera – per day excl.strobe €40
Dive Computer Item €10
Dive Torch Item Free
Weights/weight belt item Free
Surface Marker Buoy item Free
15 Litre tank – subject to availability item Free


Are you booking this trip alone? Then it is good to know that it is not guaranteed that you will share the cabin with someone of the same sex. The Mermaid does its best to facilitate this as much as possible, but offers no guarantees. Private use of a shared double cabin or a double bed cabin is available at an additional charge of +90% on the price.

There are also 3 singles cabin on the boat, these sell out fairly quickly – but if you are traveling alone, inquire about this directly. This cabin costs €8265, including/excluding all costs as listed in the cost summary.

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