The Ambai is a well-constructed wooden vessel offering comfortable and lavish living conditions for all those who choose to journey with her through the Banda Sea, Komodo and Raja Ampat.
Diving on the Ambai
The Ambai travels to 3 different areas at different times of the year. Itineraries include areas in Raja Ampat, the Banda Sea and Komodo and start from short 5 night trips to incredible 14 night trips which allow you to get an impressive number of dives in. The Ambai does not present a rule for a set number of dives per day as each itinerary is different and of course is dependent on conditions at the time of sailing. For the most part, divers will have the chance to get into the water for a dive 3 times a day, including some night dives. Depending on how far the boat has to travel, guests may be able to get up to 4 dives in, or if the liveaboard has to travel a considerable distance there might only be time for 2 dives. Each itinerary takes Indonesia’s monsoon seasons into account, ensuring that divers get the most out of their experience no matter when they choose to visit.
Designed with divers in mind, the Ambai is perfectly suited for easy, carefree diving. There is a spacious diving deck equipped with fresh hot water showers and storage areas for gear. The diving deck features a long platform that makes for easy transfer to one of the three diving tenders, allowing divers to be delivered right above the many fantastic dive spots.
Diving Equipment Aboard the Ambai
There are always a number of 12-litre and 15-litre tanks available for divers to use depending on their preference. For those divers using Nitrox, they may do so at no additional charge and DIN adaptors are easily accessible for divers that require them. Divers don’t even need to worry about bringing their own gear as the Ambai has plenty of high quality, serviced gear that guests can rent on a weekly basis.
Underwater photographers are well catered for aboard the Ambai. There is a dedicated camera room perfect for charging, preparing and maintaining all your photography equipment whilst the comfortable lounge features a big screen for photographers to share their captured moments.
Routes Traveled on the Ambai
In the first part of the year, from December to the beginning of April, the Ambai travels in the region of Raja Ampat. Departing from Sorong, guests aboard these trips will visit spots with the highest recorded marine biodiversity on the planet. Divers can expect to see a host of new, strange-looking species as well as regular favourites such as manta rays. The area is known for its volcanic activity, making the underwater landscapes widely varied and very interesting.
The Ambai visits Komodo in the months between May and October, travelling between Bima and Labuan Bajo. Aside from the phenomenal diving, the foremost thing on most visitors’ minds will be the island’s namesake, the Komodo Dragons. These prehistoric creatures can be seen roaming the islands and can often be seen as the Ambai cruises past, although some itineraries include an exciting guided walk in Komodo National Park to see these magnificent and fierce-looking creatures up close. The underwater encounters in Komodo are equally exciting, with sharks and thrilling drift dives just some of the experiences available to you.
In April and November, the Ambai transitions between itineraries and passes through the stunning Banda Sea. Although this area isn’t one of the ship’s main focus areas, it is no less appealing and is certainly worth a visit. Lembeh Strait is known around the world as one of the ultimate muck diving destinations, and this is just one stop on the Banda Sea route. Other sites include the chance to dive with masses of sea snakes or search for the rare and difficult-to-spot frogfish.
Detailed Boat Description
The Ambai was built in 2012, taking careful consideration of divers’ needs and making comfort and convenience a top priority. As the newest team member of the Wallacea Dive Cruise Fleet, the 32 metre beauty is made in traditional Indonesian style and is able to withstand the sometimes harsh conditions of the area.
Guests can enjoy the ‘unplugged’ feeling aboard the Ambai as Internet is not currently available on-board. Guests will be spoilt for choice when it comes to relaxation areas and common spaces to lounge, however. There is a restaurant, outdoor lounge with comfortable seating, an indoor air-conditioned lounge and an expansive sun deck with comfortable deckchairs and loungers.
Food and Drinks
With a dedicated professional chef on-board, guests are guaranteed to be well-fed and suitably hydrated with a variety of options. Three buffet-style meals are served per day together with snacks and refreshments outside of the regular meal times. The types of food served vary between French, Indonesian, Italian and Western varieties. Meals are served in the restaurant although some guests choose to enjoy their meals al-fresco in the open-air lounge. Should you have certain dietary requirements, please inform the Ambai crew beforehand so that provisions can be made.
Meals, snacks, soft drinks and hot drinks are included in the price of your trip, with beer an optional extra that will incur a fee.
Entertainment Aboard the Ambai
Guests aboard the Ambai are unlikely to get bored with so many different relaxation areas and entertainment options on-board. The indoor lounge features a TV with DVD collection and a mini library where guests can exchange books. There is also an extensive collection of diving magazines and books to assist with fish identification. For those looking for some extra adventure, there are a number of kayaks on board that may be used during the day.
Ambai guests will have the chance to visit a number of different islands whilst travelling in these remote and strikingly beautiful regions. There are excursions that focus on Komodo Dragon encounters while others will present the chance to explore mangroves or hike up a mountain for the best sunset you are ever likely to see. The helpful crew is always available to assist with activities and excursions and point you in the right direction of the best deserted beaches for tanning. Village visits to culturally significant areas are also an enjoyable aspect of travelling on the Ambai.
Cabins are serviced and cleaned each day. Although there is no dress code on-board, some of the local villages may require females especially to wear modest clothing.