29th December 2023 to 7th January 2024

Explore The Jewels Of Raja Ampat With Dr Joe Mueller

From $7100 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Joe Mueller shows you the real Jewels of Indonesia – the islands of Raja Ampat.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
9
Vessel type
Traditional Indonesian Pinisi made from Ironwood
Vessel length
44 to 50 foot.
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins, max 10.
Insurance Required
Yes

Joe Mueller shows you the real Jewels of Indonesia – the islands of Raja Ampat.

9 Nights: 29 December 2023 - 07 January 2024

From $7,100 per person*

The more you know the more you see. Imagine gliding through dreamy fairy tale landscapes of karst limestone spires, mysterious caves, ancient rock paintings, and endless secret coves filled with corals and fish of every color. This time the dreamlike landscape is painted with the fascinating stories of the forces that created these uplifts and perfect habitats for marine life.

How about floating in body-temperature water watching endless species of fish swim below over the backdrop of kaleidoscope corals, or rolling over and floating on your back when you hear the screech of a sulfur-crested cockatoo flying past highlighted against the backdrop of a lush green landscape? Because of our expert and his hosting, you will begin to understand why that cockatoo is there and what has created those endless species of fish that are willing to passively share their home with you as you hear the stories of symbiosis, and natural selection.

Think about the otherworldly experience of drifting among masses of rare stingless jellyfish while understanding that these elegant creatures are actively farming their own food. This sublime experience takes on another dimension when you understand you are afloat in a forest pool of evolution!

For a more terrestrial experience, think of an early morning cool and misty forest walk while considering the intrigue of the spectacular male dancers of the forest. You will learn how they work their entire lives to hone their bodies, build their performance space and tirelessly practice their seductive dance in an all-or-nothing effort to perpetuate their family line. This is the magic of seeing the secret and seductive dancing of the iconic birds of paradise.

*Trips are priced in the operator's local currency. The amount you pay in sterling will change with currency fluctuations.

D A Y 1

Upon arrival at Sorong airport are taken to the boat. After a welcome drink, an introduction to your ecological expert Joe Mueller and a brief safety orientation you begin to settle into your new home for the next ten days. You set a course for the southernmost islands of the Raja Ampat National Park.

After an alfresco lunch, and an introductory briefing on the underwater world you are about to enter into, you stop for your first swim and snorkel of the voyage on one of the many beautiful coral reefs. As you continue south through the night you have pre-dinner cocktails served on the back deck as the sun goes down followed by dinner, a briefing of the next days activities and socializing.

D A Y 2

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

You spend the day exploring the many inlets, bays, and beaches with some trekking, swimming, and of course snorkelling. Joe teaches you about the natural forces that have shaped this amazing place and the types of things to look for in the special environment. You break out the kayaks and standup paddleboards for some seaborne adventuring fun.

After a full day of island and water activities Joe and your tour leader give you the nightly briefing including a natural world presentation that will focus on the unique environments you will be visiting the next day. You spend a quiet night at anchor under the stars.

D A Y 3

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

You then move on to the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world, literally a pool of evolution where these amazing creatures exist. You carefully swim amongst the many beautiful and stingless animals.

– Using tenders, you 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, depicting various human figures and huge human hands, fish and flowers.

D A Y 4

You try your best to see the Lesser Birds of Paradise in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. Joe will explain their seductive dance. You rise early and walk through the forest to hopefully see the birds as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ trees performing as their life depends on it.

In the afternoon, an underwater exploration takes place as you snorkel around one of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs. Schools of fish hanging out in clear blue water and walls adorned with colourful sea fans. Test your improving spotting skill by finding surprising creatures in the shallower areas. Joe will reveal the amazing life stories of many of them.

Late in the afternoon, you watch the sunset while sailing north to Batanta island.

D A Y 5

You visit the island of Batanta, depending on the tides and luck, a potential chance to see mantas as well as a chance to see new scenery. You enjoy a chance to stretch your legs with an adventurous jungle trek where Joe will tell you about the many birds, butterflies and special insects found here.

You start the day with a slow cruise through a dense mangroves ecosystem followed by a short walk through the forest to the first of two waterfalls, where you swim and cool off. The more energetic of the group can keep heading upriver where a second, larger cascade awaits.

After returning to the boat and having lunch, you go snorkelling and get the paddle boards and kayaks in the water, before heading north later in the afternoon and overnight cruise to a beautiful group of islands.

D A Y 6

In the morning, you 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 area.

– You spend the afternoon snorkelling and kayaking amongst three small islands linked together by pristine coral reefs, or you can simply choose to relax on the beach.

D A Y 7

In the morning you explore a small group of limestone islands filled with coves and beautiful reefs.  After breakfast, you go ashore for a short climb to a vantage point where you survey your beautiful surroundings, before heading out to snorkel on the beautiful reefs.

During lunch you head to a small island located in between Gam and Mansuar where the currents bring rich nutrients to the coral reefs. The three famous jetties offer an abundance of underwater life scenery – schools of fish, the shy black tip reef sharks, the elegant spadefish and the magnificent giant clams.

D A Y 8

Central Raja Ampat stores many magical underwater gems. You explore some of them.

Starting with a visit to a local village in central Mansuar island which promotes sustainability through their education center, solar-powered street lights, and sustainable fishing practice through local community effort. Its house reef offers an abundance of marine life which is why you spend the rest of your morning snorkeling here and if lucky, see a wobbegong shark.

Another underwater adventure awaits in the afternoon as you make your way to the eastern point of Mansuar. Famous for its school of big fish, you can see humphead wrasse and school of giant trevally swimming next to each other, maybe greeted by the resident hawksbill turtle. You should be able to keep Joe very busy with questions after being in this amazing pool of life.

Tonight, you have a beach BBQ and party with the crew under the stars.

D A Y 9

Today sees an early start as you head off into the forest in search of the incredible Red Bird of Paradise. The walk takes about 40 minutes, and as you arrive at the bird site at dawn, if you are lucky, you 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.

You 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 you head off for some more great snorkelling in the famous wall on the east of Gam island where you can surely find something that will stump Joe’s amazing knowledge of the marine world. You then sail overnight to an island nearby Sorong.

D A Y 1 0

You wake up anchored in Sorong and have one last hearty breakfast on board before venturing on your very last adventure in Doom Island with traditional transportation called Becak. During the First World War, the island served as an administrative center of Dutch Empire administration in West Papua and continued to become the core of Sorong for some time before the city grew in mainland Papua. During the Second World War, Japanese forces occupied and fortified the island, building a network of tunnels and bunkers. The island was attacked by American and Australian aircraft throughout the war. Following the war, a fishing station was briefly established on the island before it was moved to Manokwari.

After the adventure, you bid farewell. The tenders take you ashore for your transfer to the airport.

  • Professional cruise directors
  • 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 the 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 (including internal/domestic airfares)
  • Open to beginner sailors.
  • Open to families.
  • Open to solo travellers.

Domine Eduard Osok Airport Sorong (SOQ)

Domine Eduard Osok Airport Sorong (SOQ)

D A Y 1

Upon arrival at Sorong airport are taken to the boat. After a welcome drink, an introduction to your ecological expert Joe Mueller and a brief safety orientation you begin to settle into your new home for the next ten days. You set a course for the southernmost islands of the Raja Ampat National Park.

After an alfresco lunch, and an introductory briefing on the underwater world you are about to enter into, you stop for your first swim and snorkel of the voyage on one of the many beautiful coral reefs. As you continue south through the night you have pre-dinner cocktails served on the back deck as the sun goes down followed by dinner, a briefing of the next days activities and socializing.

D A Y 2

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

You spend the day exploring the many inlets, bays, and beaches with some trekking, swimming, and of course snorkelling. Joe teaches you about the natural forces that have shaped this amazing place and the types of things to look for in the special environment. You break out the kayaks and standup paddleboards for some seaborne adventuring fun.

After a full day of island and water activities Joe and your tour leader give you the nightly briefing including a natural world presentation that will focus on the unique environments you will be visiting the next day. You spend a quiet night at anchor under the stars.

D A Y 3

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

You then move on to the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world, literally a pool of evolution where these amazing creatures exist. You carefully swim amongst the many beautiful and stingless animals.

– Using tenders, you 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, depicting various human figures and huge human hands, fish and flowers.

D A Y 4

You try your best to see the Lesser Birds of Paradise in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. Joe will explain their seductive dance. You rise early and walk through the forest to hopefully see the birds as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ trees performing as their life depends on it.

In the afternoon, an underwater exploration takes place as you snorkel around one of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs. Schools of fish hanging out in clear blue water and walls adorned with colourful sea fans. Test your improving spotting skill by finding surprising creatures in the shallower areas. Joe will reveal the amazing life stories of many of them.

Late in the afternoon, you watch the sunset while sailing north to Batanta island.

D A Y 5

You visit the island of Batanta, depending on the tides and luck, a potential chance to see mantas as well as a chance to see new scenery. You enjoy a chance to stretch your legs with an adventurous jungle trek where Joe will tell you about the many birds, butterflies and special insects found here.

You start the day with a slow cruise through a dense mangroves ecosystem followed by a short walk through the forest to the first of two waterfalls, where you swim and cool off. The more energetic of the group can keep heading upriver where a second, larger cascade awaits.

After returning to the boat and having lunch, you go snorkelling and get the paddle boards and kayaks in the water, before heading north later in the afternoon and overnight cruise to a beautiful group of islands.

D A Y 6

In the morning, you 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 area.

– You spend the afternoon snorkelling and kayaking amongst three small islands linked together by pristine coral reefs, or you can simply choose to relax on the beach.

D A Y 7

In the morning you explore a small group of limestone islands filled with coves and beautiful reefs.  After breakfast, you go ashore for a short climb to a vantage point where you survey your beautiful surroundings, before heading out to snorkel on the beautiful reefs.

During lunch you head to a small island located in between Gam and Mansuar where the currents bring rich nutrients to the coral reefs. The three famous jetties offer an abundance of underwater life scenery – schools of fish, the shy black tip reef sharks, the elegant spadefish and the magnificent giant clams.

D A Y 8

Central Raja Ampat stores many magical underwater gems. You explore some of them.

Starting with a visit to a local village in central Mansuar island which promotes sustainability through their education center, solar-powered street lights, and sustainable fishing practice through local community effort. Its house reef offers an abundance of marine life which is why you spend the rest of your morning snorkeling here and if lucky, see a wobbegong shark.

Another underwater adventure awaits in the afternoon as you make your way to the eastern point of Mansuar. Famous for its school of big fish, you can see humphead wrasse and school of giant trevally swimming next to each other, maybe greeted by the resident hawksbill turtle. You should be able to keep Joe very busy with questions after being in this amazing pool of life.

Tonight, you have a beach BBQ and party with the crew under the stars.

D A Y 9

Today sees an early start as you head off into the forest in search of the incredible Red Bird of Paradise. The walk takes about 40 minutes, and as you arrive at the bird site at dawn, if you are lucky, you 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.

You 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 you head off for some more great snorkelling in the famous wall on the east of Gam island where you can surely find something that will stump Joe’s amazing knowledge of the marine world. You then sail overnight to an island nearby Sorong.

D A Y 1 0

You wake up anchored in Sorong and have one last hearty breakfast on board before venturing on your very last adventure in Doom Island with traditional transportation called Becak. During the First World War, the island served as an administrative center of Dutch Empire administration in West Papua and continued to become the core of Sorong for some time before the city grew in mainland Papua. During the Second World War, Japanese forces occupied and fortified the island, building a network of tunnels and bunkers. The island was attacked by American and Australian aircraft throughout the war. Following the war, a fishing station was briefly established on the island before it was moved to Manokwari.

After the adventure, you bid farewell. The tenders take you ashore for your transfer to the airport.

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