Tailor-Made Tours

Papua's Whale Sharks & Birds of Paradise

Raja Ampat I Waigeo I Misool I Trition Bay I Kaimana, Papua

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Highlights

Cruising Raja Ampat must rate as one of life's most beautiful experiences in the world. This exciting expert-led cruise follows in the footsteps of British naturalist and explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait between the islands of Bali and Lombok, as well as Borneo and Sulawesi, led to his proposing the zoogeographical boundary now known as The Wallace line. In 1858, Wallace conceived the theory of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin. It was published, along with a description of Darwin’s own theory, in the same year. We will explore some of the areas that Wallace found so fascinating: remote mountainous islands with forested coastlines, idyllic white sand beaches, and jungle waterfalls. We will go bird watching, snorkel through Raja Ampat’s marine wonderland, swim through a mysterious cave, and cruise through a maze of karst islets. Hopefully, we will experience the magic of seeing the birds of paradise performing their extraordinary courtship dances within their natural habitat. If we get fortunate – and there are no promises – we may even have the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks in Triton Bay. 

Activities: cruise - live on board, sight-seeing, culture, nature, leisure & adventure.

TOUR SCHEDULE: DECEMBER 2019 - DECEMBER 2020
11 - 20 December 2019  I  24 December 2019 - 2 January 2020  I  28 October - 6 November 2020  I  9 - 18 November 2020  I  21 - 30 November 2020  I  3 - 12 December 2020

This is a cruise group tour, with a fixed itinerary and scheduled start dates.

Itinerary
DAY 1
ARRIVAL SORONG - WAIGEO

Your flight will arrive in the West Papuan port town of Sorong, the gateway to Raja Ampat. From the airport we will transfer you to the harbour where the Ombak Putih or Katharina will be waiting at anchor. Once settled into your cabin, your cruise director will familiarise you with the vessel’s facilities and safety procedures. Ready to start our adventure, we will weigh anchor, leave the harbour behind, and enter the marine protected area of Raja Ampat, home to unique birdlife and the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. We will cruise towards the island of Waigeo, stopping for a refreshing swim along the way before watching the sun set on our first day at sea. Meals Included : lunch & dinner

DAY 2
WAIGEO

While it is still dark, our tenders will ferry those of us who are feeling fit and adventurous to the village of Sapokren, where a local guide will take us on a challenging trek into the forest in the hope of seeing the Wilson’s bird of paradise. The male is red and black with a yellow mantle on his neck, light green mouth, rich blue feet and two violet tail feathers. The featherless crown is turquoise, ornamented with double black crosses. If we are lucky, we may be able to observe the male dancing from a distance of just five metres. Before the dance, he will clear the ground from any leaves or other obstacles that may disrupt his performance. On our way back to the boat, accompanied by the sounds of the jungle coming to life, we will be sure to spot a number of bird species along the way. We will spend the remainder of the day resting from the morning’s activities and enjoying the waters and reefs of Raja Ampat. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 3
WAIGEO

Today will present another opportunity for keen birdwatchers, as we rise early and walk into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable red bird of paradise, one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect. With a little luck and the help of our knowledgeable guides, we might catch sight of this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. After returning to the ship, we will turn our attention from the sky to the sea as the Ombak Putih makes her way through the Dampier strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. If the currents are in our favour, we might see some of the area’s larger specimens of marine life, which are attracted to the strait’s nutrient-rich waters. We will end the day by mooring off Pulau Arborek in front Arborek Village. Here, we can easily circumnavigate the tiny island by foot and gain a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept alive by the villagers living in this isolated place. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4
WAIGEO - MISOOL

A swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave is undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After an early breakfast, our tenders will take us into the heart of the bay to see this partially submerged cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with astonishing stalactites. The more adventurous can swim or paddle through the dark waters to the other mouth of the cave. After returning to the ship, we will use our tenders to explore more of this impressive maze of karst islands, both above and below the surface, complete with mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries, and prehistoric ‘petroglyph’ cave paintings, estimated to be anything from 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human palms, fish, flowers and plants, tools and vessels. We will then spend a quiet night at anchor. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 5
MISOOL

This morning we will wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the Misool archipelago. The topography is typical of ‘karst dissolution,’ featuring a great number of tiny islets whose bases have been eroded over time by the relentless motion of the tides. We will spend the day maximising everything that this fascinating area has to offer by marvelling at both the marine wonderland under the water and the magnificent landscape above the surface. We can test out our paddling skills in the sea kayaks, watch for birds perched on the rocks, or just sit back and take in the glorious scenery. After a full day of island hopping, the Ombak Putih or Katharina will begin her overnight journey. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6
MISOOL

This morning we will explore the Pisang Islands. These tiny gems isolated in the vast waters of the Ceram Sea offer us a chance to relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches, clear waters, and vibrant reefs before making our way to the shores of West Papua. Here we will follow the shoreline until we reach the village of Sipitnanam. After visiting the village and meeting the residents, who spend their days fishing the nearby waters and tending their nutmeg plantations, we will continue south along the coastline through the night. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 7
MISOOL - TRITON BAY

Today we will wake up to the beautiful sight of Kitikiti waterfall. Here, in the wilderness, a roaring river cascades down the jungle-clad mountains and crashes into the sea below. We can swim under the waterfall and explore the extraordinary reefs nearby before rounding Cape Papisol to the Karawawi region, where we will stop to refresh ourselves before journeying on to Triton Bay. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8
TRITON BAY

Triton Bay is a place of unsurpassed natural splendour, where time and tides have sliced the limestone landscape into tall cliffs and numerous islands separated by lagoons and narrow channels. It is also home to fishermen who keep masses of baitfish in nets that attract a migratory group of whale sharks, which we may have the chance to swim and snorkel with. We can’t make any promises, as we don’t have these wild animals on a leash, but fingers crossed we will. We will also spend our time swimming from secluded beaches, snorkelling the vibrant turquoise waters and kayaking amongst the rocky outcrops. We can also enjoy watching the birdlife from the comfort of our tenders as we explore this extraordinary maze of karst islands, before visiting the village of Lobo, which is a friendly place at the foot of a 1000-metre-high cliff. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9
TRITON BAY

We will make the most of our last morning in Triton Bay by cruising through the undisturbed coves, caves, and lagoons before heading north through the Namatote Passage. Namatote’s cliffs are also well known as a gallery of prehistoric art, boasting an impressive collection of cave paintings, glyphs and pictorial signs left by ancient nomads high upon the rock walls. We will spend our final evening on the ship resting at anchor and enjoying a farewell dinner with our captain and crew. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10
DEPARTURE

In the morning, we will find ourselves at anchor in the harbour of Kaimana. After a final, hearty breakfast, we will say goodbye to the Ombak Putih or Katharina and her crew. Our tenders will take you ashore for your transfer to the airport for your onward travel. Meals Included : breakfast

Include
  • Nine (9) night accommodation in luxury phinisi Ombak Putih or Katharina - based on twin bed sharing (notes : For the single traveller who wants to secure their own cabin we do charge a 75% supplement. If you are a single traveller and don't mind sharing a twin cabin with another person of the same gender, then this fee will not apply).
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time, snacks & soft drinks) as mentioned in the itinerary, except alcoholic drinks.
  • Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited.
  • Professional english speaking guides.
Exclude
  • Domestic & international airfares to and from our start and end points + departure taxes if applicable (notes : The price of this cruise does not include any domestic airfares to and from our start and end points, however, our reservations specialists are more than happy to help arrange domestic flights on your behalf and advise on scheduling. We book hundreds of flights each year on behalf of our guests and we know the best routes to take to ensure you arrive on time. We only book with IATA-approved airlines that have met with international standards of safety and dependability. Except for Bali, transfers to and from local airports to the boat are also included. If you are booking flights by yourself, do not book any flights before checking with us first. Our first and last day programmes rely on strict time scheduling, so please confirm with us to ensure that you arrive and depart at your destination with plenty of time to spare and to avoid disruption to other guests' schedules).
  • Additional tour or activity if available (optional).
  • Personal expenses (mini bar, laundry, room services, additional food & drink at hotel/restaurant, etc).
  • Personal travel insurance & visa fees.
  • Tipping to captain & crew (notes : on your final night on board, you will have an opportunity to discretely contribute to a collective ‘captain and crew’ tip fund, which will be distributed equally among the crew members. We believe that between US$ 5-10 per cruising day is an appropriate amount (i.e. seven-day cruise = $35 to $70 total, not per crew member). However, this is just a suggestion and remains entirely up to the judgment and discretion of the guests. We do ask that you please refrain from offering tips to crew members at any time, except during cases of exceptional service, when it should be arranged through the office. Tipping of your tour leader for their hard work is also welcome, and is at your discretion. There will be an envelope provided for both crew and tour leaders in the cruise bag in your cabin).
Price & Additional Information
Age Accommodation Room Type Price/Person
Adult Ombak Putih Twin Bed Sharing $5,750/Person
Adult Katharina Twin Bed Sharing $5,750/Person


MEET THE EXPERTS - ALEXANDER REEUWIJK

Alexander Reeuwijk is an expert in the field of the history of evolutionary theory, together with Redmon O’Hanlon’s he wrote the book “Darwin, Wallace and others’ in which the contributions of Darwin and Wallace on evolution are compared. Alexander has traveled extensively through the ‘interior’ of Indonesia, He visited Sumatra, Sulawesi the Moluccas and spend one month in Aru where he studied the Greater Bird of Paradise.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Clothing - The tropical climate means you can safely leave all of your warm weather gear at home. Bring cool cottons, T-shirts and shorts. We cruise during the dry season in each of the regions that we visit but rain is always a possibility so bring a lightweight waterproof jacket; it can sometimes be a bit windy on the boat and this will also help keep you warm. Likewise, a lightweight fleece could be useful for pre-dawn trekking or if there is a cool wind on the boat – even if you don’t need it onboard, it will be useful for the plane. Adventure Archipelago is respectful of the local cultures and customs; bring clothes that cover your shoulders and knees for village visits. Finally, you might want to bring at least one smart-casual outfit for sunset cocktails and evening meals on the boat. Ladies: beach throw-overs, kaftans and sarongs are always useful; choose fabrics that dry easily. Also, bring a lightweight sundress or two – the boat offers a great setting for a photo shoot, live it up
  • Bags - A day backpack is essential on day hikes to carry things such as your water bottle, camera, binoculars, and rain jacket. Ombak Putih or Katharina provides each guest with a metal water bottle, which can re-filled as often as required, and makes a nice souvenir to take home. A waterproof wet/dry bag is a good idea for your phone, camera etc.
  • Footwear - Pack comfortable trainers, trekking sandals, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots for hikes and walks. Bring socks to wear inside your walking shoes to avoid getting blisters. Many travellers appreciate the added stability of a walking stick or hiking pole; lightweight telescopic poles are easy to pack. You might also want waterproof sandals or reef shoes for wet landings and water activities. Flip-flops are great for the beach. Note: Standard practice is to go barefoot on the boat.
  • Sun Protection - You’ll be spending plenty of time out in the scorching tropical sun, so be sure to pack sunscreen with a high enough SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, which are stronger in the water, and some sun-protective clothing as well. Cover-ups, sarongs, sun shirts, and other such clothing will ensure that you come back from your trip with just happy memories and photographs – and not sunburn. A good hat is essential; a wide brimmed hat or cap will keep the strong equatorial sun off your face and neck. Sunglasses keep your eyes protected and add a little glam to your photos. A strap to hold your glasses can be a good idea on more active adventures. Just in case you fail to avoid getting sunburnt, bring an aloe-based lotion to soothe burned skin.
  • Swimwear - Don’t forget your swimsuit/bikini/shorts/trunks/Speedos —and preferably more than just one swimsuit, so that one or two can be drying while you are wearing another. Luckily, swimsuits and/or swim trunks don’t take up too much space in your luggage. The water is warm but a rash guard (or a wetsuit) will protect you from the sun, abrasions and stings.
  • Skin & Hair Protection - Ladies, it’s important that you take good care of your skin and hair. The sun, seawater and salty air may be beautiful to experience but it can be tough on your body and will wreak havoc on your locks. Bring moisturising lotion to soothe skin parched by the sun and the saltwater; bring a leave-in conditioner to de-tangle your hair with ease because the water, mask, and hair-ties will leave it in knots. Also consider bringing a scarf or headband to hold back unruly hair, or hair-ties/pins to keep your hair off your face and therefore prevent water seeping into your mask. Note: Your cabin is outfitted with towels, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash.
  • Camera Equipment - If you are photo enthusiast bring all of the camera and video equipment that you will use as you can expect exceptional opportunities for photography. If you prefer the ease of a point & shoot, bring that. If you want to take underwater photos you might want to invest in a waterproof camera/GoPro or waterproof housing to capture photos of the incredible marine life.  It’s a good idea to bring a spare memory card; our cruises explore remote regions where memory cards cannot be purchased.

Unforgettable experiences you’ll get:

  • Ten-days liveaboard experience, cruising to Raja Ampat & Misool archipelago by the luxury phinisi vessel, Ombak Putih or Katharina.
  • Witness to catch a rare Red Bird of Paradise and snorkel the most diverse living library for world's coral reef and underwater biota.
  • Challenging trek into the forest to see Wilson’s bird of paradise, swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave, and cruise through a maze of karst islets.
  • Have the chance to swim and snorkel with group of whale sharks in Triton Bay, kayaking amongst the rocky outcrops, swim under the waterfall and explore the extraordinary reefs in Kitikiti Waterfall.
  • Up-close and personal with the isolated island local peoples and gain a sense of the Asai culture in Arborek Village.

TRIP OVERVIEW

Raja Ampat I Waigeo I Misool I Trition Bay I Kaimana, Papua

Cruise - Live on Board

10 Days

from $5,900 per person

Each of our itineraries is here to inspire you. We use them as a foundation for your bespoke trip or design your trip completely from scratch based on your requirements. Contact us with your holiday's ideas, no matter how big or small, our travel specialists will start planning a unique and personalized trip just for you.

Adventure Archipelago Team

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