12 Days Natural Highlights: Ambon to Sorong

Our inclusive 12-day tour works its way through the very centre of the Eastern Indonesian Archipelago. We will journey from the white-sand dotted islands of the Moluccan and Banda Seas – where we will trek on land to view the red bird of paradise as well as other wildlife – to the astonishing region of Raja Ampat, which has arguably the greatest marine biodiversity in the world. We will stop at the scarcely populated and seldom visited island of Seram where we will spend two days trekking and bird-watching in the national park. The combination of seeing this tremendous world from our graceful phinisi, the KM Bidadari, the unique tour stops, the unbeatable excursions on land, snorkelling and swimming the pristine waters makes this a not-to-be-missed tour of a lifetime. This is an exceptional opportunity to delve deeply into Eastern Indonesia.

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Itinerary

 

Day 1
After your arrival in the port town of Ambon we will meet you and ensure your smooth transfer to  the harbour where your home for the next few days, KM Bidadari will be waiting at anchor. Once settled into your cabin, you will have time to meet our tour guide and he will then brief you about the trip. The afternoon will allow time for you to relax, get to know the boat and your fellow adventurers. We will make time for a refreshing swim as we start our journey. In the evening we will enjoy dinner while watching the sun set on our first day at sea.

Day 2
During the night we have cruised at a steady pace and arrived at the island of Manipa. Some say this island holds magical powers because the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Japanese never occupied this island despite occupying all the surrounding islands. Today is low key and relaxing, allowing you time to swim, snorkel and enjoy the wonderful beaches this island has to offer. We will have time to explore some of the small villages, make sure you take your camera! One of the unique features of this island is the distilleries that produce the famous “kayu putih” oil. This is seen as a universal panacea that no Indonesian household is without, used for all the aches and pains, colds and stomach upsets. We will see the oil produced in the villages we visit and you might take some home as a unique gift. Back on the boat we will head off early evening for a leisurely sail through the night.

Day 3
Morning will see us at Boano Island and have time to explore the beaches and if you are energetic, climb the 403 peak that is the highest point on the islands. After lunch we will slowly travel along the coast with plenty of time to explore and relax. Late afternoon we will move on towards Seram island, the largest and main island of the Maluku province.

Days 4 and 5
Seram (sometimes known as Ceram) is a characterised by its central mountain range and Mount Binaiya the highest peak. This area is known for the 117 bird species that inhabit the inland areas. We will move along the coast and have plenty of time to explore the hilly jungle, which is rarely visited by outsiders. We will visit the village of Sawai, an idea place to see the bird life this island has to offer. Over the 2 days we will make sure you have plenty of time to see the stunning northern coast and Manusela National Park. This island is noted for its magnificent coral reefs and we will make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy these sights. Sadly we have to leave as we continue our trek towards the famous Raja Ampat Archipelago.

Day 6
Morning will see us anchored in Tomolol Bay on Misool Island. Misool is one of the four major islands that make up Raja Ampat. It was home to a major Japanese naval base during WWII. We will make the most of the fact that very few people visit this area and enjoy deserted beaches and the magnificent underwater environment. With all the limestone around there are many caves to explore, if the tide is right we will go through Tomolol cave, a  mysterious dome-topped cave which is undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. This cave is a sacred site for the local people with a Muslim shrine at its entrance. We will spend the afternoon exploring and enjoying this remote land.

Day 7
Today we will continue to explore the many islands that make up the Misool archipelago. We will “go with the flow” and take our time to enjoy both the land and sea attractions. Our sea kayaks will allow us to get closer to the  rocky outcrops, or you might want to see the sago production in the small village of Biga.

Day 8
Today is full of history as we explore the areas around the ‘Wallace’s Channel’ where explorer Wallace emerged after his very challenging sail from Seram. Today we will move slowly around this area allowing you time to swim, snorkel and photograph the amazing limestone cliffs. The afternoon will give us time to explore on land and you will be amazed with the small villages and if we are lucky see some of the bird life that inhabits the natural vegetation in this area.

Day 9
An early morning start will allow time to visit Sawinggarai village. We start early in the hope that we can see then remarkable red bird of paradise. The red bird of paradise is the special icon of this village and draws visitors from around the world. There is no hurry here and for the rest of the day we have plenty of time to explore, swim in the clear turquoise water and relax. You will take lots of photos here guaranteed!

Day 10
During the night we have made the short trip to Waigeo, the biggest of the Raja Ampat islands. Our base will be Mayalibit Bay.This bay, which almost splits the island in two, is entered via a narrow fjord-like channel that meets the ocean just east of Waisai on Waigeo’s south coast. When the tide is running, the huge volumes of water flowing into or out of Mayalibit make the channel look like a swift and powerful river. Relax, our captain has done this many times but it is a memorable experience. After breakfast, we will explore the many villages and have time to look at the caves that abound amongst the limestone “karsts”. If you are interested we could make time to visit the pearl farm which has been operating since 1997.

Day 11
Our last of the Raja Ampat islands is Batanta, the smallest of the 4 islands. The island is made up of rugged mountains covered with dense rainforest. Those of you who are keen can trek into the island’s interior. Despite being close to Sorong many of the Batanta’s villages have retained their traditional architecture and we will have time to explore these during the day. Late in the afternoon we will find a deserted spot to swim, snorkel and enjoy a farewell dinner with the captain and crew.

Day 12
In the morning, we will find ourselves at anchor in the harbour of Sorong. After a final, hearty breakfast, we will say goodbye to the KM Bidadari and her crew. Our tenders will take you ashore for your transfer to the airport for your onward travel.

Do not to forget to plan your next trip with Bidadari!

Please visit our departures. Cruise 2017

Fares:  This trip is charter only. Please contact us for further information.

Fares inclusive of:
Full board meals & snacks , English speaking guide service, free flow coffee and tea, use of our water activities equipment (snorkel, fins, goggles).

Fares exclusive of:
Personal expenses, Alcoholic drinks consumed from boat bar during the cruise, domestic airfares (unless mentioned included), travel insurance, accommodation pre and post cruise.

Special Note:
If you wish to dive (subject to weather conditions), this trip include 2 – 4 dives a day except first day and last day. Diving price US$100/day/personWe need a minimum of 6 divers per trip

We’ve been advised that the park fees is increasing significantly, please allow US$55 per person per day to cover this. The fees will be collected by our crew on board the ship.

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