Northern Forgotten Islands

Untouched pristine reefs, schooling pelagics and remote villages.

Diving in the Forgotten Islands you can expect to find plenty of rare and unusual critters and stunning corals, but you will also have fantastic opportunities for pelagic sightings and schools of larger fish such as barracuda and mackerel, as well as the chance to meet schooling hammerhead sharks. Dive sites in the Forgotten Islands are in the Banda Sea and are particularly noticeable for the crystal clear blue sea, deep walls and huge sponges. The stunning walls of the Banda Sea are beautiful and healthy due to the isolation of these areas. The sunlight in the shallows of the dive sites light up the dancing anthias that really look like someone is throwing up ‘confetti fish’!

Dawera Island is a definite stop on our Forgotten Islands itinerary. As well as the diving we can visit the isolated tropical island village nestled on a beautiful white sand beach and sheltered by a line of palm trees and a bamboo forest. There is a seamount off this isolated island, which in our eyes counts as one of the best dive sites in the world! The local villages don’t even fish here because they can catch all that they need from the surrounding area. It has hardly been dived either, hence an immaculate, untouched reef so full of fish you don’t know where to look. On the current side the entire reef is covered with pyramid butterfly fish and when they mix in with the hundreds of neon fusiliers and surgeon fish the colourful effect is striking. There’s a resident school of thousands of big-eyed trevallies that zoom back and forth across the dive site. A big school of batfish also make this pinnacle their home. White tip reef sharks, eagle rays, grey reef sharks and, most excitingly, silver tip reef sharks can be spotted here.

The Forgotten Islands are fast becoming famous for the schooling and individual hammerhead sharks that can be seen there. There are several areas where the sharks have been seen – at Dusborgh, Nil Desparandum, Manuk and in the Banda Islands. Dusborgh and Nil Desparadum are sea mounts far from any islands and are surrounded by very deep water. Manuk is the most eastern volcano in Indonesia. Here sea snakes are abundant and very curious. Diving here you will soon got used to the snakes coming at you from all directions to take a sniff at your fins or even your face. Manuk attracts frigates and brown and red footed boobies so surface intervals can be spent watching these birds souring above the volcano.

Always a very popular land excursion with our guests is the tour of Banda Neira in the Spice Islands. You will visit the Banda Islands during the North Forgotten Islands cruise. Disembarking by the old colonial balustrades of the seafront hotel you feel that you have stepped back in time. The clean, quiet streets of Banda Neira are a pleasure to stroll around. The quaint little museum is the first stop on the tour and an old diving helmet is one of the other artifacts on show there. A short stroll up the hill takes you to the old Dutch fort with wonderful views over the harbour and to the neighbouring volcano. The town is so peaceful and undeveloped that it feels like the view really hasn’t changed in centuries. Back down the hill on the other side and through a nutmeg plantation your guide will demonstrate how to pick the ripe nutmegs. With the glove and cinnamon trees, the fresh smell of spices assails your nose.

Explore the breath taking Banda Sea and the unique remote villages of the Northern Forgotten Islands on the most luxurious liveaboard in Indonesia.


You will enjoy the beauty of the Northern Forgotten Islands on Indonesia's most ornate and luxurious liveaboard

The Arenui is a traditional and magnificent Phinisi – a classic Indonesian wooden sailing vessel – set to explore the majestic underwater world of the Indonesian archipelago.

If you’ve dreamed of setting sail aboard an old-fashioned pirate ship (but with all mod-cons) then this is for you. If you want to experience the culture and style of the country, as you sail through its beautiful islands, then this if for you. Unlike modern-style vessels, we offer you the chance to step aboard a truly Indonesian experience, to enhance your time in this special destination.

Our main objective, in creating the Arenui, was to provide something unique and special for our guests, which promoted all the very best elements of Indonesia’s rich heritage and traditions. This is reflected in both the design and decor of the boat, from the local craftsmanship to the use of antique pieces and original wooden panels. In addition, we wanted to reflect our connection to our environment, since this industry will only survive if we care for the world and ocean around us. With this in mind, we used as much recycled and reclaimed material as possible. We applied long-term vision to the layout and features, to ensure that the boat remains in good working condition for many years to come.

One of the key features of the Arenui is our expansive restaurant and lounge area, which takes up the central space on the main deck and reaches across the full width of the vessel. The design is not only practical – to offer the most relaxing environment for our guests, but also decorative – in keeping with the traditional Indonesian theme of the boat.

At one end we have a large counter for our buffets and snack items, as well as tea and coffee facilities. Below this you’ll find well-stocked wine fridges, as well as cold soft drinks and juices. Above the counter are 2 LCD screens for showing movies, slideshows and also displaying dive briefings. Make sure you look behind the counter to say hello to our hard-working chefs in the gallery, as they prepare your next delicious meal.


The dive deck is in front of the restaurant, on the main deck. As wide as the boat, this area has plenty of space for guests to kit-up together for a dive and also store personal dive equipment. Along the two edges are wooden counters for camera equipment, with drawers below for all other essential items, plus 2 rinse tanks. In the centre we have a comfortable sofa bench, which makes the wetsuit dance considerably easier. There is a large area for hanging items to dry – although crew members will wash and hang your wetsuit or rash-guard for you, after every dive. There is also a canopy for shade.


The sky restaurant, on the upper deck above the indoor restaurant, is a perfect place for al fresco meals and watching the changing landscapes. We have 2 large tables in the centre; at the front we have 2 special, “double” sun-beds – space enough for 4 guests to sun bathe or just relax in the evening. We have a telescope for those keen on a session of star-gazing, and don’t forget our 2 large antique spotlights which were salvaged in Jakarta from an old, sunken French ship. The area has a moveable canopy for shade.


Behind the sky restaurant is the sky lounge – a favourite spot. In addition to an outdoor shower for cooling off and a wooden bar for drinks, the area features day-beds and benches all fitted with high-quality, thick mattresses (20+ cm) for ultimate comfort. Relax up here with a book or some music, chat with fellow guests or get an outdoor massage. There are spaces open to the elements for the sun-lovers among you but also a large canopy for shade.


Cabins are double occupancy with the option of twin beds or a double bed for couples.

The following is included in this incredible trip you will never forget!

We are excited about all our trip to the Northern Forgotten Islands has to offer

  • 13 days 12 nights on the Arenui with daily housekeeping
  • 3-4 dives per day including night dives, drifts, shark dives, swim throughs, wall dives
  • All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are included (alcoholic beverages are available for purchase)
  • Two trip leaders from Scuba Getaway to ensure you have the best experience possible

A liveaboard trip is an investment for an experience of a lifetime and we want to make it as easy as possible on your pocketbook!

To talk more about this incredible trip, please contact Gillian at 1-416-792-3483 or email gillian@scubagetaway.com

The following is our basic deposit structure for our Northern Forgotten Islands 2023.

Due upon booking: $1,000 USD

Due September 1, 2022: $2,500 USD

Due  February 1, 2023: $2,500 USD

Remaining amount June 1, 2023

(If deposit dates have already passed, please email gillian@scubagetaway.com to discuss alternate payment options for the trip.)

What currency are trips priced in?

All currency for this trip is in USD.

What are your terms and conditions?

Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully. It includes all the information you need to know about booking with Scuba Getaway. You will have the option to agree to these Terms and Conditions when you make your first trip deposit.

Do you provide trip insurance?

We highly recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Do you provide dive insurance?

It’s required by Scuba Getaway and the Arenui that all divers have dive insurance. We will request proof of current dive insurance before the trip. If you need to purchase insurance, we recommend DAN (Diver’s Alert Network).

Do I have to pay everything at once?

We offer a deposit schedule for each trip so that it’s easy on your pocket book.

How does roommate selection work?

One of the benefits to booking with Scuba Getaway is that we find great divers and roommates for you, if you aren’t traveling with a friend or significant other. We don’t pair co-ed roommates and we are happy to introduce you to your roommate before the trip.

What level of certification do I need for this trip?

For our liveaboards you are required to be advanced certified. If you are in the Greater Toronto Area our sister company Toronto Scuba Centre can help with certification, practice sessions and dive gear.

I don’t have all my own gear. Can I rent gear?

The Arenui does provide gear rentals, as does Toronto Scuba Centre. You can also purchase new gear with Toronto Scuba Centre as well.

Are you able to accommodate food allergies and/or restrictions?

The Arenui is happy to provide guests with a wide variety of options and has lots of experience dealing with food allergies.

I have never been on a liveaboard before and don’t know what to expect.

If diving is a new found passion of yours or you are an experienced diver that hasn’t yet made the giant stride onto a liveaboard, we can assure you that this type of trip is the best way to see the greatest dive sites in the world. There are always two representatives from Scuba Getaway on every trip that guide you and help you with all your diving needs. Our representatives are experienced divers and act on your behalf when dealing with all aspects of your trip from diving to accommodation to socializing we have your back and we are there to ensure you have the greatest trip possible. We only book premium liveaboards with the best crew in areas we are very familiar with.