Blue Whales of the Banda Sea and Forgotten Islands
- Duration: 12 Days (approx.)
- Product code: PHNHTQ
There are few places in the world where Blue Whales congregate in big numbers and despite being the largest animal that ever lived on Earth, we still know surprisingly little about them.
As recently as 2014, scientists published the first satellite tracking of Blue Whales into the Banda Sea off Indonesia. These are the same Blue Whales that migrate along Australia’s west coast. The Swiss Captain of our vessel has seen many Blue Whales in his lifetime, in this area and in October, not only are there still good numbers of Blues around but the conditions are favourable, as the monsoon will have ended.
On this exclusive expedition, you will travel into the heart of one of the world’s most important Blue Whale areas, in the Banda Sea, off Indonesia.
- An expedition on board the famous Pindito, led by a highly experienced crew and swiss hospitality.
- Special focus on visiting areas where, in the last year, Pindito has encountered up to 20 Blue Whales a day, including mothers with newborn calves.
- Search for the chance to see a whole range of other cetaceans including possibility of Sperm Whales and Short-finned Pilot Whales.
- Discover remote islands and coastlines, snorkel, swim and walk on isolated beaches.
- Take time to relax and enjoy the comfort of spacious cabins or find yourself a place to relax on one of two decks with sun-loungers, while your guides spot wildlife.
The Pindito has been working in these regions for over 25 years. Despite being a wooden vessel, she provides a level of comfort and hospitality superior to many similar vessels. Her cabins are spacious and comfortable, each with private ensuite and air-conditioning. She is also very sea-worthy, fitted twin stabilisers and very quiet. She rarely raises sales (wind conditions aren’t sufficient) and the engines are quiet-enough to be hardly heard at all on deck. Vibration is minimal so use of telescopes and binoculars on deck is quite reasonable.
The crew are very experienced and accommodate both divers and non-divers equally. There are three rigid inflatable boats for excursions (including heading out to see whales) and plenty of in-water guides to look after any level of competency. Diving is absolutely not essential. Non-divers automatically get a 10% discount but there is the option to try a ‘discovery dive’ if that interests you.
The crew are extremely interested in wildlife. While other vessels may cruise on by, they will spend time with animals learning with you and dispensing all their knowledge.
The itineraries on these trips are not fixed. The vessel is a vehicle to explore and there are as many options as there are variations in wind direction and animal behaviour. Passenger comfort is the most important thing, so an itinerary will be sought that focuses on ensuring everyone has a pleasant journey. For the most part, sea conditions in the tropics are quite calm.
- All meals and drinks on board (excluding wine).
- Expert guides on hand 24/7
- Continual wildlife-watching and interpretation, plus zodiac excursions.
- Transfers from/to airport Ambon to/from the MV Pindito
- Accommodation in a double or twin bed cabin with en-suite shower bath, toilet and AC
- Full board including all soft and alcoholic drinks on board (excluding wine)
- Multilingual guides
- International flights
- All expenses of personal nature like laundry, telephone bills etc.
- Bank transfer charges (directly paid to your bank).
- Any pre/post tour accommodation and meals. Insurance of any kind.
- Any kind of beverages while in transit.
- Emergency rescue costs (local/international).
- Travel insurance
- Tips and gratuities
- Harbour fee ($US75)
- Surcharge for single cabin: 50%
- Non-diver reduction: 10%
- Child-reduction (6-16 years): for normal cruises 50% reduction, for family diving cruises 80% reduction, as long as the child shares the cabin with the parents.