13 Day cruises EX Biak, West Papua or in reverse | Aboard: Oceanic Discoverer
Departures: 1st and 13th October 2015
Prices: 12 night cruise per person twin share from $10,990
●● A five day exploration of Raja Ampat area with over 75% of the world’s total coral and fish species
●● Snorkel the Tomorol Cave on Misool, Island, one of the famed ‘Four Kings’ of Raja Ampat.
●● Search for the iconic Red Bird of Paradise on Palau Gam
●● Visit the Spice island of Banda Neira where once the world’s entire supply of nutmeg was grown
●● Swim in Cenderawasih Bay, home to one of the world’s largest schools of Whale Shark
●● See Tanimbar island’s master carvers at work in their traditional villages and purchase one of their beautiful ebony wood carvings as a keepsake.
Day 1: Biak | Short town tour then embark with Captain’s Welcome Drinks in the evening.
Day 2: Cenderawasih Bay | 80 square kilometres of pristine coral reef and a chance to swim, snorkel or scuba dive with the beautiful Whale Shark. Look out for dugongs, dolphins, blue whales and four species of turtle.
Day 3-4: Manokwari, Mansinan & Amsterdam Islands | Go ashore on the island of Manokwari, home to twenty four different tribal groups, each with unique languages, music, dances and customs and visit one of the traditional villages. Afternoon glass bottom boat tours, snorkelling and SCUBA diving over the Cross Wreck and the famed Shinwa Maru, a Japanese freighter sunk by Allied forces in 1943. Next day a guided tour ashore on Amsterdam island looking for the world’s largest sea turtles. Later diving or snorkelling over the reefs of the ‘Junkyard’ to explore more World War II wrecks.
Day 5: Wayag Island | Early morning hike up Pindito Peak then to the islands lagoons with their white sandy beaches and magical maze of limestone karst ‘gumdrop’ islands.
Day 6: The Dampier Straits/Raja Ampat | Cruise the Dampier Straits with a visit ashore on Pulau Gam with a local Papuan guide around Sawingrai village searching for the ethereal Red Bird of Paradise. The afternoon to explore the natural beauty of Raja Ampat where, on Arborek Island, there will be an opportunity to swim with giant Manta rays and later an Xplorer excursion to nearby Kri Island for the best snorkelling anywhere.
Day 7: Misool Islands and Raja Ampat | The Misool Islands with towering limestone pinnacles and palm tree adorned white sandy beaches. Search for pygmy seahorse among the most splendid of soft coral jungles in vibrant shades.
Day 8: Pulau Gorong | A day exploring the enchanting saltwater lagoon with guided snorkelling , SCUBA diving and glass bottom boat tours.
Day 9: Banda and Spice Islands | Originally the world’s sole source of nutmeg and mace. Look out for the Gunung Api volcano then stroll the wide tree-lined streets of Banda Neira past the remnants of Dutch colonial mansions visiting the museum in the former VOC Governor’s palace, the old church, Fort Belgica and nutmeg gardens.
Day 10: Kai Islands | Explore the many small islands and communities located between Pulau Kaimeer and Pulau Kur, recognised as having the best beaches in the Indonesian Archipelago.
Day 11: Tanimbar Islands | We land at Saumlaki, the main town in the Tanimbar Islands where the island’s master carvers produce magnificent queen ebony wood carvings. View a traditional ceremony and learn how headhunting was practiced here until well into the 20th century.
Day 12: At Sea | We cross the Timor Sea en route for Darwin and in the evening the Captains Farewell Drinks.
Day 13: Arrive Darwin | Your cruise ends on disembarkation after breakfast.
●● All meals
●● Captains welcome and farewell drinks
●● Guided tours by expedition vessel/zodiacs
●● Presentations/briefings by Expedition staff.
●● Access to islands, marine and national parks.
●● Port taxes and government charges
●● Pre and post cruise flights, hotel & transfers
●● Optional Biak charter flight
●● Gratuities and all personal expenses
●● Fuel surcharge if applicable
Price per person twin share | Based on lead in cabin rising in price according to cabin level and season