THE BEST WAY TO THE MALUKU ISLANDS, INDONESIA
From LAX, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Virgin AustraIia, Malaysia Airlines, China Airlines and EVA offer connecting service (change of planes) to Denpasar International Airport on Bali. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $950, including fees and taxes.
I recommend going a few days early to explore Bali before the official trip begins. The Seven Seas will arrange domestic flights from Bali to Flores to meet the ship, as well as the return, and will include hotel layovers at an additional cost. For safety reasons, on the return it is necessary to spend at least 24 hours after the last dive before flying.
To enter Indonesia, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival and have proof of return or onward ticketing. Most tourists can obtain a Visa on Arrival (VOA) for $25 for a 30-day stay or $10 for a seven-day stay. Payment is in cash at the immigration desk upon arrival at the Bali or Jakarta airports.
WHAT TO DO
The Seven Seas, http://www.thesevenseas.net, offers a range of dive trips to Indonesia, both charter and for individuals. Expeditions to the Forgotten Islands, as the Malukus are also called, will be offered in November and December 2014; there are many other itineraries in Indonesia aboard the Seven Seas. Prices depend on the length of trip and destination. Domestic and international airfare is not included.
Groups: Group size is limited to 16 people. Limited experience is fine. (People with no experience are placed in a small, separate group; see below.) In our group, experience ranged from newly certified divers to occasional divers to master divers and marine biologists.
Beginners: Beginners are in good hands. Each group of three to six had an experienced dive master ensuring a high degree of individual attention. High-quality, well-maintained scuba gear is available for rent. Many divers bring their own mask, snorkel, fins and buoyancy compensator vest, and rent the rest of their gear.
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