Small Islands Of Raja Ampat & Micronesia (Coral Adventurer)

Small Islands Of Raja Ampat & Micronesia (Coral Adventurer)

From AUD $12,450

Description

Our expedition tracks northwards from Australia to explore the Spice Islands of the renowned Coral Triangle and Raja Ampat, through the Republic of Palau and the remote and little-visited small islands of Micronesia. Be touched by genuinely warm welcomes as we experience cultural traditions and performance shaped by the rich cultural history of Melanesian and Micronesian customs. Amidst striking natural landscapes and seascapes boasting vibrant marine biodiversity, learn about centuries-old navigational practices from seafaring islanders who still navigate by the stars in simple craft much as their ancestors did. Follow the spice trail to Banda Neira which was once the centre of the nutmeg trade, to be greeted by a fleet of Kora Kora canoes paddled by warriors in traditional dress. Wander through local markets and hear stories related to the centuries-old spice trade while enjoying sunset drinks amongst the ancient remnants of 16th century Fort Belgica.

Trip Name
Small Islands Of Raja Ampat & Micronesia (Coral Adventurer)
Days
17
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Length: 93.4 meters Passenger Capacity: 120 (60 staterooms) Built: 2019 Designed and built to be the most modern tropical expedition ship afloat, Coral Adventurer debuted in April 2019. She features comfortable Australian interiors, Xplorer tender mechanism, intimate guest experience, and personalized service. EXPEDITION CAPABILITIES > Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers for shore excursions > Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration > Lecture lounge with multimedia for daily expedition briefings and presentations > Small on-board Library > Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems MARINE IMMERSION > Navigator lounge in the bridge giving a vantage point of ship operations > Over 1000 sq m of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views > Engine room tours and high level of crew interaction with guests > Barralong Room for hosting scientific research or exhibitions FOOD AND WINE FEATURES > Communal ‘wine table’ > Galley viewing window > Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the Vista Deck > Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds. GUEST COMFORT > All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; majority have private balcony > Active stabilisers > Gym > Passenger elevator > Wi-Fi available in all guest areas

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1: Depart Darwin
Board the Coral Adventurer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 8:00am for a 9:30am departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail across the Arafura Sea. This evening, join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.
Day 2 - Days 2 - 16: Expedition Cruising
These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximise guest experience. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.Banda NeiraThe Banda archipelago is the historic heart of the spice trade and was once the world’s only source of nutmeg until the mid-19th century as Portuguese, Dutch and English fought for control over the spice trade. The ten volcanic islands have attracted traders and merchants for at least 2,000 years as highly sought-after goods such as cloves, textiles, batik and rice were moved through Banda.The Banda Islands are lushly vegetated with tropical flora including the Myristica Tree (nutmeg) while the Banda Sea’s underwater lava flow reefs are popular for scuba diving and snorkelling.On our approach to Banda Neira, witness the outline of Gunung Api volcano with its thin plume of smoke often rising from the summit. Admire the photo-worthy spectacle of Moluccan paddlers propelling Kora Kora canoes with their elaborately carved figureheads.Snorkel and dive over the nearby lava flow reef system or explore ashore and enjoy local tea and snacks on the waterfront.We spend two days at Banda Neira with time to explore Fort Belgica, built by the first Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1611. The pentagonal shaped fort is extremely well preserved and provides an interesting insight into Dutch colonisation. Join the locals for a traditional dance and music performance before enjoying a glass of champagne as the sun sets over the fort.Sebakor BayThis morning, we discover the beautiful remote coast of Sebakor Bay. The aquarium-like waters are home to exceptional marine life and coral reefs, and snorkellers and divers will have the opportunity to explore. There will be time to kayak, or simply relax and look for Papuan birdlife along the shoreline. Later, enjoy the chance to swim under the Mommon Waterfall, where cool freshwater flows out of the lush jungle and falls into the ocean.Raja AmpatRaja Ampat means the ‘Four Kings’ which refers to four main islands: Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool, in an archipelago comprising over 1,500 smaller islands.MISOOLOur introduction to the beautiful natural playground of Raja Ampat is at Misool, one of the four largest islands. More than 1,000 prehistoric petroglyphs estimated up to 5,000 years old have been discovered at Misool. These ochre rock paintings, which depict human figures, canoes, sharks and dolphins as well as abstract images thought to symbolise fertility. At Misool we visit Balbulol Lagoon, an almost landlocked inlet populated with conical-shaped islets undercut at sea level that rise from turquoise waters like Christmas Trees. There is time to swim and kayak amongst the islands in this beautiful lagoon.We visit another similarly spectacular waterway at Yapap, considered one of the best natural pools in the world. This vast primordial pool is dotted with dramatic limestone formations which look more like chess pieces than rocks. The turquoise Yapap sea has such clarity that grains of sand and coral reefs on the seabed are visible from the surface. We also visit heart-shaped Dafalen Love Lake which can be viewed from up high with a climb to the summit of nearby cliffs. Swimming and diving in these pristine waters is an undisputed highlight of our Raja Ampat adventures.WAYAGMore Raja Ampat treasures await today as we explore the magnificent waterways and lagoons of the scattered karst ‘beehives’ of the Wayag Islands by Xplorer and Zodiacs. Swim in the crystal clear waters and walk upon white-sand beaches amongst the many islands. The coral reefs here provide exceptional diving and snorkelling, with many vibrant corals and tropical fish species to discover. Alternatively, enjoy guided glass-bottom boat tours to enjoy views of the underwater world without getting wet. After lunch, there is an opportunity for an energetic hike up to famed Pindito Peak, with hikers rewarded by panoramic views over the island and its spectacular lagoon.WAISAI / SORONGStill in Raja Ampat, we take a guided tour of Yenwaupnor village, look for the famed birds-of-paradise family with its many varieties of colourful birds along with opportunities to snorkel, kayak and swim in crystal clear waters.TobiToday, we enjoy an unusual expedition stop at the small island of Tobi, home to around 30 people who live a traditional lifestyle. Meet the local people, who speak their own language of Tobian, and enjoy snorkelling and swimming from the beach.SonsorolIsolated Sonsorol Island is one of the 16 States of Pulau and is home to a population of around 30 Palaun people who are culturally and linguistically related to the Yap and Caroline Islands. Learn about their subsistence lifestyle disconnected from the modern world and dive and snorkel the fringing reef and coral gardens.YapLearn about Micronesian Yap Island’s ancient monetary system of stone money, where limestone discs were quarried and carved into ‘coins’ known as Rai, which can be as large as 4m or as small as 4cm in diameter. Ownership relies upon oral history so that purchasing an item with a Rai too large to move involves a verbal agreement that ownership has changed. Visit the Yap Living History Museum to learn about Micronesian people and their time-honoured customs and culture and snorkel and dive the lagoon with its coral reefs and abundant marine life.UlithiSnorkel and dive from some of Koror’s palm-fringed beaches and swim amongst thousands of harmless golden jellyfish, a unique subspecies only found in the particular body of water at Ongeim’l Tketau Jellyfish Lake. Ulithi Atoll, in the Caroline Islands, with its 40 or so coral islets dotted around an elongated lagoon, is Micronesia’s best kept secret with pristine beaches, plentiful snorkelling and diving opportunities on coral reefs and WWII wrecks. Ulithi’s small population is a complex blend of Polynesian and Micronesian heritage who speak Ulithian, an Austronesian language.
Day 3 - Day 17: Arrive Guam
Our voyage ends in the US island territory of Guam with its significant WWII sites, cultural traditions of Indigenous Chamorro people that blend with the island’s Spanish colonial heritage.Disembark Coral Adventurer at 8:00 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew.
Day 4 - Please Note:
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of this wildlife on the day.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $12,450CORAL DECK STATEROOM
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $14,650PROMENADE DECK STATEROOM
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $17,590EXPLORER DECK BALCONY STATEROOM
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $18,675CORAL DECK STATEROOM SOLE
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $18,990BRIDGE DECK BALCONY STATEROOM
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $21,975PROMENADE DECK STATEROOM SOLE
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $23,990BRIDGE DECK BALCONY SUITE
17-09-202103-10-2021AUD $25,385EXPLORER DECK BALCONY STATEROOM SOLE

Inclusions

    • Be welcomed by the ancient warrior tradition of the Kora Kora canoes in Banda Niera
    • Discover the limestone karst islands of Raja Ampat and hike to the summit of Pindito Peak
    • Snorkel and dive the coral reefs, lava flows and WWII wrecks of the Coral Triangle including Ulithi Atoll, Sonsorol, Banda Neira and the marine playground of Raja Ampat
    • Join in traditional dance and singing performance and experience ancient Melanesian and Micronesian traditions passed down through history
    • See the historic WWII site where Enola Gay departed from with its atomic bomb payload bound for Hiroshima
    • Learn about Yap’s stone money with ‘coins’ carved from limestone which can be as large as 4m in diameter
    • Meet the people of Sonsorol Island who are linguistically and culturally different from their Caroline Islands neighbours
    • Discover the breathtaking landscape of Palau and swim with harmless Medusa jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake

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