This special cruise in association with ASA and led by Jeffrey Mellefont will take guests on a journey of wonder through some of the greatest marine landscapes on the planet.
The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates of Ternate and Tidore – in those days each of the four larger islands in the group, Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool, used to bow to an independent ‘raja.’ Today, Raja Ampat is world famous as one of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, on a par with the Great Barrier Reef and the Galápagos.
Aboard our beautiful boat, The Ombak Putih, we will follow in the wake of Alfred Russel Wallace, the prominent scientist who was one of the first who dared to raise concerns over the environmental impact of human activity some 150 years ago. We will revisit some of the areas that Wallace found so fascinating, and we will hopefully experience the magic of seeing the red bird of paradise in its full glory within its natural habitat. What a great way to start the New Year!
Note: Guests will meet the Ombak Putih in Sorong, West Papua. As we would like to make a punctual start, we recommend that you to fly to Makassar (Sulawesi) one day in advance of the start date, and then take an early morning flight from Makassar to Sorong. Please note that airfares to Sorong and from Ternate are not included in the tour package.