Indonesian Explorer:

Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea

Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea

DAYS 16 / SHIP Spirit of Enderby

DEPARTURES 27 Sep 2021

PLACES VISITED Papua New Guinea

PRICES FROM $6,995 USD (More Rates)

A true expedition voyage in every sense, our journey will explore Indonesia's rarely visited and little known biodiverse-rich jungle-capped islands scattered across pristine pellucid waters well beyond traditional tourist routes. Join award-winning wildlife filmmakers Neil Nightingale and Karen Bass as we discover a true paradise where untouched dense jungles home to some of the rarest flora and fauna on the planet meet crystalline tropical waters teaming with exotic marine life and some of the world's best coral reefs all wrapped in a land steeped in history and rich in culture and tradition.

Comprised of some 18,000 islands, this South East Asian archipelago's fascinating human history dates back almost 2 million years. European arrival saw Portuguese spice traders chasing the fragrant bounty of nutmeg and cloves in the 16th Century, this was followed by Dutch colonisation then Japanese occupation during World War II before Indonesia regained its independence in 1949.

While still a heavy hitter on the spice trading scene, Indonesia is now attracting attention for having one of the richest concentrations of flora and fauna on the planet. One of the world's 17 mega diverse countries, Indonesia is home to 2 of the planet's 25 biodiversity hotspots, 18 of the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions and 24 of BirdLife International's Endemic Bird Areas. Its dense forests, jungles, oceans and waterways we will be exploring boast more than 25,000 species of flowering plants (40 per cent of which are endemic), 1,592 bird species (430 of which are endemic and 114 considered extremely threatened), 1,051 reptile and amphibian species, 515 species of mammal and half of the world's fish species. For botanists, birders and nature lovers alike, this expedition offers numerous opportunities to spot once-in-a-lifetime species and experience rare wildlife encounters on remote and unknown islands.

Sublime wildlife, incredible underwater encounters, exceptional birding and thrilling cultural exchanges await on 'Indonesian Explorer'.

A true expedition voyage in every sense, our journey will explore Indonesia's rarely visited and little known biodiverse-rich jungle-capped islands scattered across pristine pellucid waters well beyond traditional tourist routes. Join award-winning wildlife filmmakers Neil Nightingale and Karen Bass as we discover a true paradise where untouched dense jungles home to some of the rarest flora and fauna on the planet meet crystalline tropical waters teaming with exotic marine life and some of the world's best coral reefs all wrapped in a land steeped in history and rich in culture and tradition.

Comprised of some 18,000 islands, this South East Asian archipelago's fascinating human history dates back almost 2 million years. European arrival saw Portuguese spice traders chasing the fragrant bounty of nutmeg and cloves in the 16th Century, this was followed by Dutch colonisation then Japanese occupation during World War II before Indonesia regained its independence in 1949.

While still a heavy hitter on the spice trading scene, Indonesia is now attracting attention for having one of the richest concentrations of flora and fauna on the planet. One of the world's 17 mega diverse countries, Indonesia is home to 2 of the planet's 25 biodiversity hotspots, 18 of the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions and 24 of BirdLife International's Endemic Bird Areas. Its dense forests, jungles, oceans and waterways we will be exploring boast more than 25,000 species of flowering plants (40 per cent of which are endemic), 1,592 bird species (430 of which are endemic and 114 considered extremely threatened), 1,051 reptile and amphibian species, 515 species of mammal and half of the world's fish species. For botanists, birders and nature lovers alike, this expedition offers numerous opportunities to spot once-in-a-lifetime species and experience rare wildlife encounters on remote and unknown islands.

Sublime wildlife, incredible underwater encounters, exceptional birding and thrilling cultural exchanges await on 'Indonesian Explorer'.

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ITINERARY
Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea
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Day 1: Davao, Philippines
Arrive in the port city of Davao and transfer to your hotel for the first night. Meet your fellow voyagers and expedition staff for an informal get together over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Davao
Davao is the starting point of our expedition, home to impressive dormant stratovolcano Mount Apo and the gateway to Mindanao, one of the Philippines’ largest islands. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we head out to explore some of the local sights. Boarding the ship in time for lunch, settle into your cabin and join the captain and your expedition team in the bridge as we set sail.

Day 3: Karakelong Island, Indonesia
Sailing into Indonesian waters we will clear customs before enjoying an expedition day exploring little-known Karakelong Island, the largest of the Talaud Islands. With abundant and exotic wildlife and flora on land (new species are still being discovered), and a white sand beach fringed by a wide reef on its southern shore we will be looking for opportunities to explore the forests in search of endemic species and enjoy our first snorkel.

Day 4: Morotai Island
The northernmost tip of the North Maluku Province, Morotai and its surrounding tropical islands are framed by clear blue waters and boast white sandy beaches, tangled jungles and exceptional snorkelling due their colourful marine life, reefs with impressive coral gardens and cliffs, and wreckages of an extensive World War II legacy. Our morning exploring these remote paradise outposts might include exploring Morotai’s largest town Daruba’s famed Blue Beach where Allied Forces wrestled control of the island from the Japanese in September 1944 and celebrated at the Morotai “Museum” at nearby Kao Bay where the half submerged WWII Japanese Cargo Shipwreck Tosimaru can be seen from shore, or Dodola Island, actually two islands Large Dodola and Small Dodola connected by a white sand bridge revealed at low tide, famed for its myriad opportunities to swim, snorkel and explore.

Day 5: Weda
Surrounded by 24 islands, we have an early start on Weda where we will make our way to the ‘lekking trees’ of the Wallace Standardwing Bird-of-paradise where we hope to see their elaborate dancing displays and take the opportunity to look for other species known to the area including Red-cheeked Parrots, Dusky Megapode, Goliath Coucals, Sombre Kingfishers, Halmahera Cuckoo Shrikes, Blue-capped Fruit Doves, Halmahera Flycatchers, Rufous-bellied Trillers, Ivory-breasted Pitta and Invisible Rail. Afterwards we plan to explore Weda Bay’s fascinating underwater world recently highlighted by the discovery of the rare Walking Shark. This aquatic wonderland and snorkelling hotspot in the heart of the Coral Triangle is known for sightings of pygmy seahorses, reef sharks and more among its diverse marine life.

Days 6 - 7: Raja Ampat
Lapped by stunning turquoise waters, Raja Ampat’s collection of 1,500 tiny, jungle-cloaked islands are among Indonesia’s most beautiful. We plan to spend 2 days exploring the bounty of rainbow corals, shoals of multi-coloured fish, intriguing ocean-carved limestone formations and jungles of this tropical paradise of forgotten islands. Believed to contain the most biodiverse marine habitat on the planet, the waters surrounding Raja Ampat are home to 600 species of hard coral and 1,200 types of reef fish and make for exceptional snorkelling and Zodiac cruising. On land, spotting the brilliant Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise and Red Bird-of-paradise will be high on our agenda here, with early morning visits planned ensuring the very best opportunity for all to see these remarkable birds in their natural habitat and, hopefully, witness their rarely-seen mating dance around their ‘lekking’ trees. Other activities could include hiking up to viewing platforms to enjoy the spectacular vistas of scattered rock islands and heart-shaped lagoon of Karawapop.

Day 8: Amsterdam Island
Part of the Su Islands (Mios Su) or the Soe Island Group, a cluster of small islands off the northern coast of Western New Guinea, our visit to little-known and explored Amsterdam Island channels the true expedition nature of our voyage providing an opportunity to explore where very few have been before.

Day 9: Manokwari and Arfak Mountains
Located at the top of the Bird’s Head Peninsula and surrounded by lush rolling hills and impressive spine of the Arfak Mountains, Manokwari is the capital of West Papua. Here we plan to travel high into the Arfak Mountains to the Pegunungan Arfak Nature Reserve and enjoy the rare opportunity of exploring the higher elevations and misty tropical montane rainforests with their exceptional suite of endemic plants, animals and birds. During our journey we will be on the lookout for the Western Parotia and Vogelkop Bowerbird, and visit the viewing hides for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observer the Magnificent Bird-of-paradise, among the region’s 320 bird species.

Day 10: Cenderawasih Marine Park
Enjoy the unforgettable experience of swimming with the iconic Whale Sharks of Kwatisore Bay in Cenderawasih Marine Park. One of the best places in the world to snorkel with these gentle giants, we aim to visit the local fishermen’s Bagans (handmade floating platforms) where these mega-fish (known to grow more than 12-metres in length), hopeful of catching some of the smaller fish escaping fishermen’s nets, are known to congregate. This spectacular 15,000-square-kilometre marine park is also home to some of the finest coral reef examples in the world and 18 tropical islands, which we will explore, where 209 species of fish and 4 species of turtle can be seen. We also plan to visit a village where the locals live by a unique mix of traditional, Dutch and modern influences.

Day 11: Poronai River & Ahi Islands
Flanked by mangroves and tropical rainforest the remote Poronai River snakes through dense, unexplored and unspoiled terrain and sustains a plethora of wildlife including crocodiles, frogs, butterflies, endemic birds and hundreds of species of plants, as well as a number of traditional tribes who are largely cut off from the outside world. We plan to Zodiac cruise the river searching for wildlife and meet with villagers at Totoburi Village before snorkelling the coral gardens and Japanese war plane wrecks off Ahi Islands.

Day 12: Biak & Rusbasbedas Islands
The seldom-visited Biak Island in the Schouten Islands archipelago of Cenderawasih Bay boasts the highest endemic biodiversity in Papua including 17 endemic birds. Among the species we may encounter are the Long-tailed Honey-buzzard, Red-capped Flowerpecker, Yellow-bibbed Fruit-dove, Geelvink Imperial-pigeon, Biak Black Flycatcher and Numfor Paradise-kingfisher and Leaf Warbler. In the afternoon we plan to sail to the pristine and isolated Rusbasbedas Island with its white sand beaches, shear drop-offs and enormous corals teeming with brightly coloured fish make it paradise for snorkellers and beachcombers.

Day 13: Liki Island
Enjoy a warm and unique welcome at Liki Island, part of the Koemamba Islands in formerly Dutch New Guinea, where villagers share local customs and traditions along with some of the island’s culinary delights. Explore the forest looking for wildlife on a nature walk, or snorkel along the edge of the abundant coral reef on this charming and rarely visited island.

Day 14: Jayapura
The peaceful paradise of Lake Sentani, the glittering freshwater lake reflecting the steep, verdant mountains in the Cyclops Strict Nature Reserve of Papua’s capital Jayapura, is renowned for its famous artifacts, traditional motifs, pottery, woodworking and bark paintings, and is our destination following an early morning arrival. Taking local buses, we will journey to the lake’s edge before enlisting traditional longboats, passing stilt houses, as we navigate its many islands. Experience local culture in the form of dance and artists at work making bark paintings and bride money before returning to the ship for lunch and sailing towards Vanimo and Papua New Guinea for our International arrival into Papua New Guinea.

Day 15: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
We have allowed plenty of time to fully appreciate this remarkable river, its birds, animals and the people that call it home. The Sepik River, the longest in Papua New Guinea, flows from the highlands to the Bismarck Sea. It is a rich arterial river that has fostered great traditional artists. We plan to explore the river by Zodiac, following tributaries and channels in search of local wildlife. Enjoy a warm welcome at Kopar Village where we will experience village life and a traditional Dragon Dance unique to this region. The world-renowned artists of the Sepik region travel long distances to meet the ship and there is the opportunity to purchase unique carvings and more directly from them.

Day 16: Madang
The self appointed ‘Prettiest Town in the South Pacific’, Madang is bound by lush rainforest, calm blue waters studded with volcanic islands, Tupira’s supreme surf break, flourishing coral gardens and rich history. For those disembarking, a transfer to a central hotel, or the airport, will conclude your voyage, OR continue the adventure with us on ‘Melanesian Discoverer’. Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and/or opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

Our ship: Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in May 2019 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows o...

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Pricing

Indonesian Explorer - 27 Sep 2021 to 12 Oct 2021 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple $6,995 Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins. Limited
Main Deck $7,995 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Superior $8,995 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Limited
Superior Plus $9,700 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Mini Suite $10,700 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Waitlisted
Heritage Suite $11,500 Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed, single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers, and fridge. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows with great views. Available
Additional fees

Local Payment: $600.00pp

Includes:

Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation, meals and all expedition shore excursions.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas, extensions and travel insurance.

I can’t find enough words of praise to express the high opinion I have for your staff and organization. READ MORE
JILL
We would like to thank you most sincerely for making our voyage so comfortable and enjoyable. Without your thoughtful attention and hardwork this journey would not have been so memorable. READ MORE
ALAN
I learned so much about the history, fauna and flora of the islands. READ MORE
MARGARET
What a fantastic trip! Not only did we get to five islands way off the beaten track, never before visited by a commercial expedition boat, but the friendliness and welcome, culture, activities, birds and freedom to roam made every stop unforgettable. And the hospitality on board was superb, meeting new friends - even getting to suggest special dishes. Looking forward to travelling with you again. READ MORE
SUE
What an amazing trip! We visited remote communities that had rarely and in some cases never had visitors before. The welcomes were amazing and it was a real privilege being able to be part of such an experience. This was our 2nd trip with Heritage and it exceeded expectations. They are a true expedition company with great leaders and guides - we have no hesitation in recommending them. READ MORE
JOHN & ANNE SWINDELL
An amazing journey through an ocean of islands, as diverse as any in the world READ MORE
SHIRLEY
21 Oct 2020
Heritage Expeditions 2020-21 Southern Ocean season made the national news this week appearing in TVNZ 1 News piece. Check out the video below to ...READ MORE
28 Jan 2020
Pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is revealing some exciting announcements with the release of its 2020/21 bro...READ MORE
26 Dec 2019
Another year of exploration has come to an end – and what a year it's been!  Thank you for being a part of the Heritage Expeditions fam...READ MORE
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