Indonesian Explorer:

Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea

Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea

DAYS 18 / SHIP Heritage Adventurer

DEPARTURES 7 Oct 2023

PLACES VISITED Papua New Guinea

PRICES FROM $11,295 USD (More Rates)

Discover paradise on an authentic expedition through Indonesia’s remote and little known tropical islands. Swim with the Whale Sharks in Kwatisore Bay, visit Komodo National Park, home to the famed Komodo Dragon, discover Jacques Cousteau’s “underwater nirvana” Wakatobi National Park and explore the turquoise waters and rainbow corals of Raja Ampat as we traverse powdery white sand beaches and untamed jungles. During our voyage from Bali to Madang we have the opportunity to see up to 13 species of Bird-of-paradise and many more endemic species, World War II relics and visit remote tribes.

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 us and 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 Southeast 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.

Discover paradise on an authentic expedition through Indonesia’s remote and little known tropical islands. Swim with the Whale Sharks in Kwatisore Bay, visit Komodo National Park, home to the famed Komodo Dragon, discover Jacques Cousteau’s “underwater nirvana” Wakatobi National Park and explore the turquoise waters and rainbow corals of Raja Ampat as we traverse powdery white sand beaches and untamed jungles. During our voyage from Bali to Madang we have the opportunity to see up to 13 species of Bird-of-paradise and many more endemic species, World War II relics and visit remote tribes.

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 us and 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 Southeast 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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Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea
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Day 1: Denpasar, Bali
For centuries Bali has captivated the imagination of artists, writers, and travellers with its landscapes of emerald terraced rice fields back-dropped by the sacred volcano of Mt. Agung. Transfer to your hotel where our group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Denpasar
Enjoy breakfast followed by time to explore the cultural and historical delights of Bali’s capital. Board your ship this afternoon and settle into your cabin, join the captain and your expedition guides in the bridge as we set sail.

Day 3: Sumbawa Island
East of its more famous sibling Lombok, mountainous Sambawa Island blends laid back island life with spectacular volcanic ridges, terraced rice fields, tangled jungles and beautiful sandy beaches replete with stunning coral reefs and remote bays awaiting exploration. Historically divided between east (Bimanese speakers) and west (Sumbawanese speakers) this isolated island that time almost forgot juxtaposes luxurious mansions alongside old wooden huts, remote wilderness and traditional Adat law and lore. Today we will experience a number of time-honoured traditions and cultural encounters including meeting the creators of the famed intricate hand-woven ikat fabric, observing martial arts displays and ancient tribal rites for a truly authentic immersion in the local culture.

Day 4: Komodo National Park
A sanctuary for the giant monitor lizard, the Komodo Dragon, walk along a forested pathway to a viewing area for a closer look at these prehistoric reptiles which can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds. The surrounding forest is home to Timor Deer, the favourite prey of the dragons, as well as elegant Yellow-crested Cockatoos. Enjoy the first snorkelling excursion off splendid Pink Beach, with world-class experience often described as “swimming in an aquarium”.

Day 5: Kodia Island
This morning we are welcomed by the stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters of coral reef fringed Kodia Island. While excellent snorkelling and beachcombing are a given, hikers, photographers and birders will want to explore the dry forests home to an impressive number of birds and wildlife. Today is an authentic expedition day.

Day 6: Wakatobi National Park
Famously described by legendary underwater explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau as an “underwater nirvana”, Wakatobi is a cetacean highway and home to breathtaking coral walls and gardens. Today’s snorkel excursions reveal an incredible array of marine reef inhabitants; underwater photographers will appreciate a bizarre macro world among corals as shallow as 20 feet. Highlights include colourful frogfish, octopus, marbled snake eels, cockatoo wasp fish, flying gurnards, multitudes of crab species, and dazzling anemones.

Day 7: Buru Island
Fascinating and seldom visited, Buru Island is located at the boundary between the biogeographic zones of Australia and Asia. A high proportion of the species of birds and mammals that occur here are found nowhere else with 10 endemic bird species and 4 endemic mammals as well as a number of near-endemic species. This morning we will explore these remote shores together with our expert naturalists and guides. Enjoy opportunities to explore the forests in search of wildlife and many of the endemic species including the Blue-fronted Lorikeet and enjoy the hospitality of local communities during village visits.

Day 8: Seram Island
One of Indonesia’s relatively undiscovered gems, Seram Island seamlessly blends stunning tropical island aesthetics with biologically rich and rare flora and fauna of the Wallacea region at the crossroads of Asia and Australasia. In addition to having Indonesia’s deepest cave, Hatu Saka, and the world’s longest underground river, Sapalewa; 6 of Seram Island’s 28 mammals and 33 of its more than 213 bird species are endemic or near endemic. Our explorations here could include venturing into the jungle to look for Seram Masked Owl, Thrush, Oriole, Honeyeater, Myzomela and Friarbird, Moluccan Cockatoo and Scops Owl, and visiting an interior stilt house village where life continues unchanged. Though headhunting is no longer practised, traditional weapons including bow and arrow are still used for hunting.

Day 9: Misool Island
Part of the Sultanate of Tidore during the spice trade wars, Misool Island is the second largest island in the aquatic wonderland that is Raja Ampat (aka Four Kings Islands, named after its four main islands) and our introduction to this stunning marine environment. Rich in heritage, it was colonised by the Dutch, however still maintains its cultural essence and traditional ways of life with indigenous constructions, folk dance and respect for nature prevailing. On land, discover caves hidden among verdant forests featuring rock art dating back more than 5,000 years, while under its protected waters Dugong, Bumphead Parrotfish, Clownfish, Manta Rays, Ghost Pipefish, Harlequin Shrimp, Pygmy Seahorse and more can be found among spectacular coral gardens and sea-cave cemeteries. Over the course of the day we aim to explore the labyrinth of caves and passages, and hike up to the viewing platforms to enjoy the spectacular vistas and heart-shaped lagoon of Karawapop.

Days 10-11: 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 beachcombing, visiting villages and engaging in cultural exchanges with locals and forest walks.

Day 12: 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. Alternatively enjoy a sleep in and explore the fascinating town of Manokwari, home to more than 24 different tribal groups

Day 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: Madang - Port Moresby
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 flight to Port Moresby will conclude your voyage, OR continue the adventure with us on Discover the Secrets of Melanesia. 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: Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the 'Grande Dame of Polar Exploration' due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purposebuilt for adventure in 1991 at Finland's Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration. Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (f...

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Pricing

Indonesian Explorer - 7 Oct 2023 to 24 Oct 2023 - Heritage Adventurer

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $11,295 Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $12,250 Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 4 Superior image Deck 4 Superior $13,495 Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 5 Superior image Deck 5 Superior $14,250 Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Main Deck Single image Main Deck Single $18,250 Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $18,625 Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Superior Single image Superior Single $18,625 Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $24,995 Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table and chairs and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Additional fees

Local Payment: $500.00pp

Includes:

Discovery fund, pre cruise transfer, post cruise flight Madang to Port Moresby, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/ breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals, house beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and all shore excursions and activities. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists. Pricing per person in US$.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights unless specified above, 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 Jun 2022
Australian based Suzanne Noakes has been travelling to Melanesia for over a quarter of a century. Leading over 100 expeditions to Papua New ...READ MORE
01 Jun 2021
Pioneering New Zealand-based expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is proud to announce it will be operating the world-renowned Polar ex...READ MORE
03 Nov 2020
As BBC and National Geographic wildlife filmmakers, we've made a life and career from adventure and a ceaseless passion for nature. Through our d...READ MORE
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