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Various dates available

Raja Ampat: Marine biology tour with Joe Mueller

From £4731 Per person

Deposit Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Join marine biologist Joe Mueller as we explore the underworld of Raja Ampat
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Individuals, Groups
Difficulty
No previous experience required
Nights onboard
9
Vessel type
Traditional Indonesian Pinisi Schooners made from Ironwood
Vessel length
Katharina – 40 metres Ombak Putih – 42 metres
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Katharina – 14 guests in 6 cabins Ombak Putih – 24 guests in 12 cabins
Insurance Required
Yes

Explore and learn about the tropical underworld of Indonesia with expert guidance from marine biologist Joe Mueller

9 nights: December 2020 & January 2021

Fr $5,900/ £4,731 per person*

*Trips are priced in the operator’s local currency. The sterling amount shown is a guide only and the amount you pay in sterling will change with currency fluctuations.

The Raja Ampat Archipelago straddles the equator off the extreme northwest tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Otherwise known as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth’, it is home to 70 percent of the known coral species on the planet. Many of the fish, corals and crustaceans that live in these waters are found nowhere else on Earth. Explore the living kaleidoscope below the surface with the guidance and knowledge from Marine Biologist Joe Mueller. Explore with us on board this traditional Ironwood Indonesian Pinisi.

Join: Sorong, West Papuan, Indonesia.

Leave: Sorong, West Papuan, Indonesia.

Day 1

– You will be greeted by your tour leader at the airport in the morning and taken to the boat, and after settling into your new home for the next ten days we will set course for the southernmost islands, part of the Raja Ampat National Park.

– After an alfresco lunch, we will stop off for our first swim and snorkel of the voyage on a coral reef, before continuing on our way south. Pre-dinner cocktails will be served on the back deck as the sun goes down and brings an end to our first day as we cruise on through the night.

Day 2

– Today we wake up at the eastern end of the Misool archipelago, a picturesque chain of jungle-covered limestone islets with spectacular corals reefs offering some fantastic snorkelling.

– We will spend the day exploring the many inlets and bays and beaches with some trekking, swimming and snorkelling. We will also break out the kayaks and paddleboards for some seaborne adventuring.

– After our full day of island-hopping, we will spend a quiet night at anchor under the stars.

Day 3

– After an early breakfast, our day starts with a swim and a snorkel through a giant dome-roofed sea cave filled with massive stalagmites and stalactites, undoubtedly one of the areas most memorable experiences.

– We will then move on to the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world where these amazing creatures exist and swim amongst the many thousands of stingless animals.

– Using our tenders, we will visit some mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries, and prehistoric cave paintings, estimated to be anything between 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human hands, fish and flowers.

Day 4

– Today, the island of Batanta offers us a change of scenery and a chance to stretch our legs with an adventurous jungle trek filled with birds, butterflies and insects.

– Starting at a local village, our guides will lead us through the forest on a short walk to the first of two waterfalls, where we can swim and cool off. The fitter of the group can keep heading upriver where a second, larger cascade awaits.

– After getting back to the boat and having lunch, we will go snorkelling and get the paddleboards and kayaks in the water, before heading north later in the afternoon and overnight cruise to a beautiful group of uninhabited islands north of the equator.

Day 5

– Today you will awake in one of the most beautiful groups of islands in the whole of Indonesia. The beauty of the forest-covered limestone islets is matched only by the brilliant colours and vibrancy of the reefs and the marine life that flourishes below.

Day 6

– We will snorkel, swim, trek and explore the many lagoons, coves, white sandy beaches and snorkel on the magnificent coral reefs, and for those who dare, there are some spectacular but nearly vertical climbs that are rewarded with magnificent panoramas.

– We will spend a quiet night here at anchor and head south at around noon.

Day 7

– South of the Equator we will spend the morning snorkelling and kayaking amongst three small islands linked together by some pristine coral reefs, or you can simply choose to relax on the beach.

– After lunch, we will visit a pearl farm tucked away in a protected, deep water cove and tour the facilities to learn how this precious commodity is produced and harvested. Pearling is an important industry and provides employment for many people in the local area.

Day 8

– This morning will explore a small group of limestone islands filled with coves and beautiful reefs. After breakfast, we will go ashore for a short climb to a vantage point where we can survey our beautiful surroundings, before heading out to snorkel on the beautiful reefs.

– During lunch, we will head to a small island to visit with the local community of Asai People. We will take a tour through the village and then be treated cultural performance of traditional song and dance by the local children.

– After this, we will head out to snorkel on a nearby reef, where we might just have the chance of seeing manta rays, who sometimes come in to feed.

Day 9

– Today sees a super early start as we head off into the forest in search of the incredible Red Bird of Paradise. The walk takes about 40 minutes, and as we arrive at the bird site at dawn, if we are lucky, we will see the incredible mating displays of these birds in the canopy of the rainforest. This is a David Attenborough moment if ever there was one.

– We will then walk through a colourful local village and meet the people who call this wonderful corner of paradise home and see how they live their daily lives.

– Back on the boat, we will head off for some more great snorkelling and the chance to visit a small local island which has been set up as a sanctuary for giant coconut crabs by a local man, who wants to protect these increasingly endangered animals.

– Tonight, as our cruise draws to a close, we will have a farewell beach BBQ and party with the crew under the stars.

Day 10

– This morning we will wake up off a small island near to our final destination and have a final swim and snorkel on a healthy local reef.

– After this we will cruise into port, where we will say goodbye to our captain and crew before moving to the airport for our onward travel in the afternoon.

  • Professional cruise directors
  • Professional marine biologist
  • Outdoor sleeping facilities
  • Complimentary snorkelling equipment and two sea canoes (add SUP)
  • Free tea, soft drinks, juices, coffee and mineral water
  • Excellent food and snacks (vegetarian and special menus on request)
  • Television, DVD and music centre in lounge
  • Dining in spacious air-conditioned lounge
  • Teak wooden furniture in lounge, cabins and on deck
  • Spacious sun and semi-covered decks
  • Mooring fees
  • Visits to restaurants, museums, galleries etc during the trip
  • Fine selection of wines, beer and spirits for sale
  • Travel to and from the vessel
  • Open to beginner sailors.
  • Open to families.
  • Open to solo travellers.

Guests will meet the vessel in Sorong, West Papua, Indonesia. 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, then take an early morning flight from Makassar to Sorong.

Fly back from Sorong to Makassar for your onward travels.

Join: Sorong, West Papuan, Indonesia.

Leave: Sorong, West Papuan, Indonesia.

Day 1

– You will be greeted by your tour leader at the airport in the morning and taken to the boat, and after settling into your new home for the next ten days we will set course for the southernmost islands, part of the Raja Ampat National Park.

– After an alfresco lunch, we will stop off for our first swim and snorkel of the voyage on a coral reef, before continuing on our way south. Pre-dinner cocktails will be served on the back deck as the sun goes down and brings an end to our first day as we cruise on through the night.

Day 2

– Today we wake up at the eastern end of the Misool archipelago, a picturesque chain of jungle-covered limestone islets with spectacular corals reefs offering some fantastic snorkelling.

– We will spend the day exploring the many inlets and bays and beaches with some trekking, swimming and snorkelling. We will also break out the kayaks and paddleboards for some seaborne adventuring.

– After our full day of island-hopping, we will spend a quiet night at anchor under the stars.

Day 3

– After an early breakfast, our day starts with a swim and a snorkel through a giant dome-roofed sea cave filled with massive stalagmites and stalactites, undoubtedly one of the areas most memorable experiences.

– We will then move on to the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world where these amazing creatures exist and swim amongst the many thousands of stingless animals.

– Using our tenders, we will visit some mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries, and prehistoric cave paintings, estimated to be anything between 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human hands, fish and flowers.

Day 4

– Today, the island of Batanta offers us a change of scenery and a chance to stretch our legs with an adventurous jungle trek filled with birds, butterflies and insects.

– Starting at a local village, our guides will lead us through the forest on a short walk to the first of two waterfalls, where we can swim and cool off. The fitter of the group can keep heading upriver where a second, larger cascade awaits.

– After getting back to the boat and having lunch, we will go snorkelling and get the paddleboards and kayaks in the water, before heading north later in the afternoon and overnight cruise to a beautiful group of uninhabited islands north of the equator.

Day 5

– Today you will awake in one of the most beautiful groups of islands in the whole of Indonesia. The beauty of the forest-covered limestone islets is matched only by the brilliant colours and vibrancy of the reefs and the marine life that flourishes below.

Day 6

– We will snorkel, swim, trek and explore the many lagoons, coves, white sandy beaches and snorkel on the magnificent coral reefs, and for those who dare, there are some spectacular but nearly vertical climbs that are rewarded with magnificent panoramas.

– We will spend a quiet night here at anchor and head south at around noon.

Day 7

– South of the Equator we will spend the morning snorkelling and kayaking amongst three small islands linked together by some pristine coral reefs, or you can simply choose to relax on the beach.

– After lunch, we will visit a pearl farm tucked away in a protected, deep water cove and tour the facilities to learn how this precious commodity is produced and harvested. Pearling is an important industry and provides employment for many people in the local area.

Day 8

– This morning will explore a small group of limestone islands filled with coves and beautiful reefs. After breakfast, we will go ashore for a short climb to a vantage point where we can survey our beautiful surroundings, before heading out to snorkel on the beautiful reefs.

– During lunch, we will head to a small island to visit with the local community of Asai People. We will take a tour through the village and then be treated cultural performance of traditional song and dance by the local children.

– After this, we will head out to snorkel on a nearby reef, where we might just have the chance of seeing manta rays, who sometimes come in to feed.

Day 9

– Today sees a super early start as we head off into the forest in search of the incredible Red Bird of Paradise. The walk takes about 40 minutes, and as we arrive at the bird site at dawn, if we are lucky, we will see the incredible mating displays of these birds in the canopy of the rainforest. This is a David Attenborough moment if ever there was one.

– We will then walk through a colourful local village and meet the people who call this wonderful corner of paradise home and see how they live their daily lives.

– Back on the boat, we will head off for some more great snorkelling and the chance to visit a small local island which has been set up as a sanctuary for giant coconut crabs by a local man, who wants to protect these increasingly endangered animals.

– Tonight, as our cruise draws to a close, we will have a farewell beach BBQ and party with the crew under the stars.

Day 10

– This morning we will wake up off a small island near to our final destination and have a final swim and snorkel on a healthy local reef.

– After this we will cruise into port, where we will say goodbye to our captain and crew before moving to the airport for our onward travel in the afternoon.

Temperature in this sailing area varies little (27° to 33° Celsius year-round) with mostly blue skies and light winds. We suggest you bring the following:

Light cotton/ linen clothes, including a pair of long trousers for visits in the villages

Water shoes (boots or plastic shoes)

Hiking shoes

Camera

A plastic / waterproof bag for your camera when disembarking

High protection suntan lotion

A hat

Insect repellent

Dive/ snorkelling equipment if you have your own (there is plenty on board)

A sweater for cool evenings