Tailor-Made Tours

Wallace Trails & Sails

Ambon I Seram, Moluccas I Raja Ampat I Misool I Waigeo, West Papua

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Highlights

From this unforgettable cruise, we will travel to remote and exotic Indonesian islands in the wake of the legendary British naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection. In 1854, Wallace set off on a voyage to the Malay Archipelago (now Indonesia and Malaysia), where he spent eight years, collecting more than 125,000 specimens. His book “The Malay Archipelago” is the region’s most famous travelogue; it has been in print for nearly 150 years. 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.

Like Wallace, we will go in search of the Birds of Paradise, which he regarded as “one of the most beautiful and most wonderful of living things.” Our journey on-board the Ombak Putih will visit some of the places that most fascinated Wallace, including Ambon, Seram, and the Raja Ampat Islands with their pristine and incredibly diverse coral reefs and glorious Birds of Paradise. The Ship’s Naturalist will be Dr. George Beccaloni, a knowledgeable naturalist and a world expert on Wallace. George is the Director of the Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP), which aims to locate, digitize, transcribe, and interpret all of Wallace’s surviving letters and other manuscripts. The project’s online digital archive and publications will be an invaluable resource for all those interested in the life and work of this great man.

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

TOUR SCHEDULE: FEBRUARY 2020
22 February - 4 March 2020

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

Itinerary
DAY 1
ARRIVAL AMBON - BANDA ISLAND

Your flight arrives in the port town of Ambon, the gateway to the Moluccas. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the harbour where the Ombak Putih will be waiting at anchor. Once settled into your cabin, you will have time to meet your tour leader, who will then brief you about the trip. We will take an (optional) short tour of the surrounding area. We will start with visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery, where many Allied troops from World war II are buried. We will then head to the north of the island and visit Hitu Lama, the ancient port of the Spice Trade that was in use for centuries before Europeans made it to the Indies. We will visit the market and see a traditional Balieo house. Also on our tour will be the Waipauwe Mosque (1414), the Immanuel Church (1512) and finally to Fort Amsterdam (1514) one of the first European forts built in Maluku. After this we will return to the boat for lunch before heading out and on our way to the Banda Islands. Meals Included: lunch & dinner

DAY 2
BANDA ISLAND

This morning will be spent on the island of Manipa, said to have magical powers because the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Japanese never set foot on it despite occupying the surrounding islands. The village we will explore is simple but bright with tropical blooms, while the surrounding gardens, groves and forests yield produce such as cashew nuts and the sago palm. We will visit a distillery for the locality’s famous ‘kayu putih’ oil – a universal panacea that no Indonesian household is without, for all the aches and pains, colds and stomach upsets that afflict us. It is distilled from vats full of the crushed leaves of melaleuca trees. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 3
BANDA ISLAND

Today we will wake up in front of Boano Island, which is famous for its towering cliffs, karst formations and white-sand beaches. We’ll use the tenders to explore this beautiful coastline. During lunch we will move to a nearby string of uninhabited islands for some spectacular snorkelling. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 4
SERAM ISLAND

Seram (formerly Ceram) is a remote place of hilly jungle, which is rarely visited by outsiders, yet our vessel will allow us access to this most fascinating and mysterious island. Our destination is the village of Sawai, an oasis in itself, but also a perfect land base for us to make the most of Seram’s stunning northern coast and Manusela National Park. We will spend two days trekking, exploring and bird-watching in the area before we continue on our course for the famous Raja Ampat Archipelago. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 6
RAJA AMPAT

Today we will try our best to see not one, but two beautiful birds of paradise in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. We will rise around 4am and have a quick breakfast go ashore at Kapatcol, where local guides will be waiting for us to take us through the forest to hopefully see the Lesser and possibly the King birds of paradise as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ trees. We can make no guarantees, however, as we do not have them on a leash. We will have time for a look around the village and possibly a visit to the school and to learn about the way Nature Conservency is working with the village to empower with local women with a fishing practice called sasi. Later that afternoon we will head off to the eastern part of Misool island and the amazing Tomolol Bay. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch, & dinner

DAY 7
MISOOL

Today we will find ourselves anchored in Tomolol Bay on Misool Island. 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 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. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 8
PENEMU ISLAND

In the morning, the boat will be moored in front of the island of Penemu. The heart of the island is home to the famous ‘Hidden Bay’. We will take a short hike here to experience one of the most famous views that Raja Ampat has to offer. The rest of the day we will spend exploring, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling in the surrounding areas. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 9
WAIGEO

Today the Ombak Putih will make its way through the Dampier strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. With a bit of luck, we hope to snorkel with some of the larger marine life attracted to the strait’s nutrient- rich currents. We will end our day in front Arborek Village, where we can easily circumnavigate the tiny island by foot and get a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept alive by the villagers living on this tiny isolated island. Arborek is also home to a local manta conservation project where volunteers will happily show us around and explain their efforts and programmes in more detail. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 10
BATANTA ISLAND

This morning we wake up on the north coast of the jungle-clad island of Batanta. The jungle-clad island of Batanta offers us a chance to stretch our legs on a trek into the island’s interior. We will anchor at the foot of Arefi Village, nestled on the north coast of the island, where we will find local guides to escort us through the mangrove waters to the start point of our hike. A short walk along the riverbed brings us to the first of two jungle waterfalls complete with a refreshing pool for cooling off. The fit and adventurous may choose to continue the uphill climb along the rocks to where a second, larger cascade awaits. After leaving the wilderness behind us, we will find a nearby spot to swim and snorkel. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 11
WAIGEO

We will wake offshore of Sawinggarai Village. It will be an early morning start as the dinghy takes us in the dark over to the village and a local guide will take us on a 20-minute walk into the forest. As dawn breaks in the forest canopy, we should get good views of the bright ‘Cendrawasih Merah’ or Red Bird of Paradise. Back in the village there will be time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. We will be back on the boat by mid-morning and if time permits we’ll travel over to Pef Island to snorkel and motor around the convoluted coast, while learning the myth about the prehistoric hand print still visible high on a limestone cliff. In the afternoon we’ll head towards Sorong and should have time for a snorkel before dinner. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner

DAY 12
DEPARTURE

After breakfast we will say goodbye to the the crew and our sea-based home, the Ombak Putih. We will take the tenders ashore where you will be transferred to the airport for your onward travel. Meals Included : breakfast

Include
  • Eleven (11) night accommodation in luxury phinisi Ombak Putih - 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 $6,990/Person

(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).

MEET THE EXPERTS - Dr. GEORGE BECCALONI
Dr George Beccaloni is an zoologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science, who worked at London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) for more than 20 years on butterflies and other insects. He enjoys natural history photography and travel, and has visited Indonesia five times, twice as a speaker on tours. George has studied Wallace’s life and work for c. 16 years and is the founder and Director of the Wallace Correspondence Project. In 1999 he set up the Wallace Memorial Fund, which restored Wallace’s grave in Dorset and paid for several memorials to him, including a bronze statue now in the NHM. George has published a number of articles about Wallace and co-edited the book Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace. He was the Historical Consultant for Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero, an award winning two-part BBC series about Wallace, and he recently helped the Folio Society produce the first ‘deluxe’ edition of Wallace’s famous travelogue The Malay Archipelago.

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:

  • Twelve-days liveaboard experience, cruising from Ambon, Moluccas to Raja Ampat, West Papua by the luxury phinisi vessel, Ombak Putih.
  • Witness to catch a rare Red Bird of Paradise and visit some of the places that most fascinated Wallace by cruise led expert - Dr. George Beccaloni.
  • Strolling through the ancient port of spice trade, Hitu Lama and visiting first European fortresses built in Moluccas, Fort Amsterdam.
  • Swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave and snorkel the most diverse living library for world's coral reef and underwater biota.
  • Breathtaking views at every turn, find pristine beaches and the iconic karst islands scattered beautifully across the crystal blue ocean.
  • Up-close and personal with the isolated island local peoples in village of Sawai, Arborek Village, and Sawinggarai Village.

TRIP OVERVIEW

Ambon I Seram, Moluccas I Raja Ampat I Misool I Waigeo, West Papua

Cruise - Live on Board

12 Days

from $7,250 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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