ALOR & MAUMERE
The entire archipelago harbours a population of 200,000, of which roughly 60,000 people reside on the main island of Alor. Dutch settlers fixed local rajas in the coastal areas after 1908 but were unable to penetrate the interior with its notorious fierce head-hunters up until as late as the 1950s.
This area, with its striking volcano-pocked landscapes, remains known for its enduring indigenous animist traditions and the highland villages with their Moko kettledrums, where visitors are warmly welcomed.
These waters are known for powerful currents, particularly in the narrow straits between Pantar, Alor and Lembata, attracting pelagics such as hammerhead sharks from the deep. From fascinating macro diving to colourful reefs and schooling pelagic fish, Alor has plenty to offer. Conditions here are also excellent for fishing for the likes of Spanish mackerel, dogtooth and yellow fin tuna among other deepsea game fish.
DAY 1: MAUMERE
You will be met at Maumere airport by the yacht’s crew and transferred to the harbour. Once you have settled in onboard, the yacht will depart Maumere. You can spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the beaches of Maumere Bay and getting your first taste of Alor’s underwater vistas with a check dive or snorkel before you watch the sun go down with a cocktail.
DAY 2: PALOE
Today we will approach the small volcanic island of Paloe. There’s a fascinating village built on the volcanic slope, as though the smoking crater above was no real threat, and you can head ashore to see the traditional ikat weave textiles in the making. After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon snorkelling and diving in crystal clear waters. The yacht will depart early this evening for the overnight crossing to Kawula.
DAY 3: KAWULA & KOMBA
This morning offers the chance to dive the north coast of Kawula, where schools of reef fish cluster around tiers of hard coral in the shadow of Ile Ape volcano. You can also head ashore to Ionata village to see the 30m skeletal remains of a blue whale, which remains a sacred icon to the villagers. Subject to weather, we may make the crossing to Komba, where one of the active volcano can be seen spewing smoke into the skies.
DAY 4:TAKPALA & MOMBANG
Today, you will head ashore to Takala and Mombang, traditional Abui tribe villages located on a hill with spectacular views of the Flores Sea. The villagers here inhabit stilted fala huts, built from timber and bamboo thatching, and you may have a chance to see the lego-lego dance, used to mark first harvest, marriage, death and war, and watch the local women crafting clothing from tree bark using traditional methods.
DAY 5: PURA
Pura Island is home to a small isolated village in the middle of the Alor Strait, which is also a perfect point from which to reach some of the area’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling sites, such as Clown Valley, Sharks Galore, Mandarin House and The Boardroom. Spend the day exploring some of these sensational underwater landscapes.
DAY 6: PANTAR STRAIT
A day of exhilarating underwater pursuits awaits in the Pantar Strait, one of the few gaps between Suatra and Timor, where Pacific waters flow south to the Indian Ocean. The currents attract prolific marine life and large pelagics. In the evening, the yacht will anchor in the entrance to the bay at Kalabahi, home to Mucky Mosque, one of the best critter night dives in the region
DAY 7: BEANGABANG
In the very south of the Pantar Strait lies the remote village of Beangabang, set on a beautiful bay that curves gracefully between two out flung headlands. A large lava flow on one side shows the islands fiery past, and parts of the beach are so hot that they are painful to walk on and the black sand of the beach is steaming. Even by local standards, this is a very simple village with the most welcoming of people, and a wonderful place to get a sense of local culture.
DAY 8: ALOR
This morning, the yacht will approach Alor port. After a final decadent breakfast on deck, your crew will assist you in disembarking the yacht and transfer you back to the airport to catch your flight home.