Frequently Asked Questions
What shall I take with me to a SMY ONDINA Cruise?
- €100/€150 (Komodo cruises) or €200 (Maluku/Papua cruises) cash to pay for the cruise fees. These fees include touristic taxes, harbour fees, police or diving permits, unexpected fuel price increases, etc
- Passport valid for a minimum period of 6 months.
- Since 2015, the Indonesian authorities extended its Free Visa programme to all countries except 6 (Cameroon, Guinea, Montenegro, North Korea, Pakistan and Somalia). Therefore, if you are a citizen of any other country, you will need no visa for stays within the country of less than 30 days. If you plan to stay in Indonesia longer, make sure you have the appropiate visa or you might have trouble to get in at arrival. Check out the conditions.
- Your diving equipment and all spare parts you may need. We have limited number of equipments for rent and plenty of spare parts onboard but ….you never know.
- Photography equipment and plenty of memory cards for your digital camera.
- Mosquito repelent, just in case we need it in any land excursion (never on board)
- Any specific medicine you may be taking (No need for Malaria treatment unless you are extending your stay in a malaria endemic area!). We have a complete First Aid Kit on board for light accidents.
- Your personal toiletries
- Light and comfortable clothing (shorts & Tshirts) and any kind of shoes you can soak for coming in and out of the dinghies when going ashore.
- Your favourite alcoholic drink from the Duty Free shop at the airport. We only have softdrinks and beer onboard. Beer and soft drinks from outside the boat will not be permitted. In case of asking to bring your own, we will charge a “corkage” fee.
- They are usually very strict with overweight when checking for the domestic flights. You may have to pay a variable fee per kilo if you exceed the 20Kg allowed, so bring the minimum with you.
- Electricity on board is 220v (24hours) and all sockets and plugs are two round pins Eu std. Please bring your own adaptors if needed.
What is the water temperature? What wetsuit do I bring?
The average water temperature is around 28ºC but in some areas, like south Komodo, the temperature can drop to 22-24ºC. Normally a 3 or 5 mm wetsuit will be sufficient. Bring a warm lycra just in case.
Why only 3 dives per day?
Many days we dive 4 times, some others only 2, this makes an average of 3 dives/day. The reasons for this are:
SMY Ondina sails an average of 200-300 miles in every charter (except for the Exploratory ones where we sail a longer distance) to take you to the best diving places, this forces us to sail from 2 to 4 nights every cruise.
We normally go ashore every 2 or 3 days to visit spectacular places. Those are our popular land excursions. These days we can only dive 3 times.
Moreover, in such a long cruise, with so many dives and having to fly the same day when disembarking or the day after, it is not convenient at all to saturate so much for safety reasons. Embarking and disembarking days we can only dive 2 times.
The rest of the days we normally dive 4 times unless weather conditions or any unexpected. So in a 10 nights cruise you would expect to dive 30 times unless weather conditions or “force major”.
Embarking and disembarking time to be applied to all our cruises:
The Ondina departs on the first date of the schedule after all the guests have been picked up and transferred to the boat from the airport or hotel. Depending on the flight schedule and origin, (Jakarta, Dempasar, Makassar, Manado…etc.), the arrival time to the embarking port may vary and therefore there is no fix time for departure on the first date. All our guests must take flights arriving before midday (12:00) to the embarking port so that the cruise can start earlier and therefore we can dive more times on the first day.
On the last scheduled date guests must leave the boat in the morning, latest 12:00, so that we can start the logistics to get the boat ready for the next cruise. The Ondina “sleeps” in the disembarking port the night before disembarking therefore her guests can take the earliest flight out they want as we will arrange the transfer to the airport accordingly. The only thing to consider by our guests is that we follow the 24 hours safety stop (no diving before flying) therefore depending on their flight schedule on the disembarking date they will dive accordingly the day before.
Why there are no day by day itineraries for all the routes?
SMY Ondina do not provide detailed itineraries because we feel that is to play future-telling and after so many years operating in this part of the world, we feel we shouldn’t. Let me explain:
You can find general info of the routes in our web site but the final itinerary depends on too many things to consider so that we are able to provide the best possible cruise to our guests:
1.- Weather conditions
2.- Divers skills
3.- Latest reports
Those three things are not finally known until the very last moment. What we guarantee is that our guests are going to dive the best divesites of the area, we know them well, given so that the weather conditions and the divers skills are suitable to dive and enjoy them and that we have not received any negative report on a certain dive site from our previous cruises or other operators.
And again, this will depend on the captain and the cruise director taking care of the safety of the boat and the guests every single moment.
Are all dives Drift Dives?
This is the black story about diving in Indonesia. The country is too big to generalize and our routes cover a very big area. Most important, our Dive Masters knowing the divers’ skills and interests in every cruise, specially when there are uw photographers onboard, will plan the most suitable dives to satisfy the whole group.
In every route you will find drift dives, a maximum of 50%, but only 10%-15% will be with strong currents and in these cases, don’t worry because our dinghies crew are prepared for them.You will also enjoy shallow dives, muckdiving, seagrass meadows, coral gardens, walls and hangouts….diversity guaranteed.
What, where and when about money to bring.
Euros and Dollars are widely accepted in Indonesia. You only have to be cautious with bringing brand new paper money, not a single scratch or ink mark, or you will have problems to have them accepted. The best exchange rates are in Bali but take care with some “money changers”, count your change twice before leaving the shop.
In the boat we accept cash in rupiahs, euros and dollars, (Sorry no credit cards yet) and apart from that you will only need some small money for handicrafts when visiting some villages….most reccomended!