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Dive Review of Seven Seas in

Seven Seas, Nov, 2010,

by Linda Rutherford & Ron Welf, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 17 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 5841.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was an unusual, 23-day exploratory trip beginning in Maumere and ending in Ambon after a 1000-mile cruise via the "Forgotten Islands" in the east Banda Sea. Some islands were seldom visited by divers because they are far from airports and sources of resupply for dive boats.

The diving was spectacular and every one of the fourteen passengers agreed that the entire trip was a delight.

For the two of us, the boat initially seemed less than expected because there was no camera room and the cabins were modest with limited storage. However, as we settled in and experienced one spectacular day of diving after another, these factors no longer seemed important.

Why was this trip so fabulous? 1) Expert selection of dive sites, 2) sunny weather and mirror-like seas, 3) clear underwater visibility, 4) village visits and 5) a bit of luck.

Mark, one of the owners of the boat and the trip planner, served as Cruise Director. He wanted to explore places off the beaten path where he suspected there’d be good diving. Diving worldwide since he was a teenager, Mark has acquired the ability to read an environment for its diving possibilities. His knowledge as professional boat captain also helped pick dive sites.

Mark would say something like "Well, the prevailing winds come from here, and the current will be coming from there, so I think this point near the deep water will have good possibilities..." He would reconnoiter in a skiff, and come back with a dive plan. He was sometimes like a kid in a candy shop at the thought of what he might discover.

We dove on colorful walls where pelagics cruised: schools of jacks, trevally, barracuda and large rainbow runners, small tuna, large tuna, Spanish mackerel, wahoo, amberjack, a few sharks, a few turtles, and an eight-meter whale shark. Plus bump-head parrots, giant wrasse and a wide variety of tropical fish. Add to that our viewings from the deck of a hundred spinner dolphins, hundreds of regular dolphins, an erupting volcano called Kamba, a crocodile swimming in our dive waters, a manta circling the ship on the surface, and many dramatic sunsets.

The boat travels smoothly at a good speed, typically over seven knots. Our cabin #7 was quiet and had good reading lights. The under-bed storage contained boat equipment, so don’t count on using it. As a couple, we had three drawers and two open shelves for our belongings, plus a shelf that worked as a desk. Pack light and have laundry done.

The main salon has good cross ventilation. While cabins were small, there was a large deck with shaded seating in front of the wheel-house and another comfortable area for reading or snoozing aft. Most guests were scattered about these common areas, and rarely in their cabins. We enjoyed dinner out on the upper deck when not under way.

There were two dive guides aboard and they were expected to do each of the 70+ dives the group did. If you are slower, you might not be able to keep up with them because they felt obliged to keep an eye on divers that raced ahead to get the first wide angle shots. The photographers in our group were independent and widely dispersed.

The cruise price usually includes only diving. Other things such as laundry, beer, Nitrox, etc. was added to our bill. Our bill as a couple for Nitrox was over $1000.

On one village visit, islanders told us that no divers or “white” people had ever come to the island. They explained that a giant marlin had pierced the island and created many islands. Consequently, this was the mother island, where people on surrounding islands had originally come from. One young man who learned English from watching TV was an enterprising businessman in the “live fish” trade. He served as our translator. The people were cheerful and friendly. They farmed seaweed and exported it from the island.

Traveling with Mark was a lot of fun. Hopefully, he will incorporate a few of the new sites into future itineraries.
Websites Seven Seas   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving various worldwide
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 79-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 25-150 Ft/ 8-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions It was suggested we limit diving to 60 minutes. We obtained permission to increase that to 65 minutes. There are dry lockers on skiffs for keeping hats. So if you tend to come up early, bring a hat to protect from sun, because you'll need to wait for others.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Instead of a camera room, we had a large outdoor table for camera storage and an indoor charging station in an alcove off the main dining area. Though all of us had camera systems -- some extensive -- the facilities were adequate. To avoid the crowd, we chose to keep our cameras and battery chargers in our cabin.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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