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Exotic and richly biodiverse. Retrace ancient trade routes as you sail on the Coral Adventurer for a remarkable voyage combining history, nature and culture. In the early sixteenth century, pioneering Portuguese explorers ventured east to the ‘Indies’ in search of highly desirable spices. They soon established a monopoly in the region around the Spice Islands of Indonesia which had an abundance of pepper, nutmeg, ginger, mace and cinnamon. This presence drove the lucrative spice trade and eventually attracted competition in the form of the Dutch who followed them into the region towards the latter part of the century. The spice trade was at the time, the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and led to the discovery of new continents. Some would say it helped lay the foundation for the modern world. Vestiges of this period in history, when the world spotlight shone on a small corner of Indonesia, can be seen on our annual voyages through the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat.
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Board Coral Adventurer for a cruise that combines extraordinary natural beauty and rare wildlife encounters with Indonesian culture and colonial history. Explore remote archipelagos and follow the routes of Spice Island traders and 17th century explorers. Be welcomed into ancient kingdoms and colourful villages on unforgettable Spice Islands and Raja Ampat adventure cruises.
> Scheduled for March 2023
The centre-piece of this expedition onboard Coral Adventurer is a 3-day exploration through the nature lover’s paradise that is Raja Ampat. Harbouring over 75% of the world’s total coral and fish species, Raja Ampat’s pristine and brightly coloured reef systems offer perhaps the very best snorkelling and diving in the world today.
> Scheduled for April 2023
Our expedition tracks northwards from Australia to explore the Spice Islands of the renowned Coral Triangle and Raja Ampat, through the Republic of Palau and the remote and little-visited small islands of Micronesia. Be touched by genuinely warm welcomes as we experience cultural traditions and performance shaped by the rich cultural history of Melanesian and Micronesian customs.
> Scheduled for August 2023
“We arrived at Roon Island, in the ‘neck’ of the Bird’s Head. Here we were able to snorkel along coastal reefs and view the amazing life in the warm, tropical waters, surrounded by high mountain rainforests. Some of the bird-calls were so loud we could hear them underwater.”
Guest Lecturer, Ian Morris
The opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive over spectacular coral gardens and WWII wrecks, and come face to face with brightly coloured tropical fi sh is a highlight of these cruises. Beginners can join guided snorkelling tours or introductory and resort-style dives, while more challenging dives are available to experienced divers. Our Dive Instructor accompanies you every step of the way. Snorkelling equipment is assigned to each guest at the start of your cruise. Scuba diving is subject to medical clearance and medical certificate. Learn More >
A combination of extraordinary natural beauty, inimitable coral reefs, and communities alive with history, these voyages are adventures like no other. Retrace the ancient trade routes of spice merchants trading Chinese silks for cloves, Indian cottons for nutmeg and Arabian coffee for pepper. Soak up the heady aromas and vibrant characters at village markets on rarely-visited islands. Be welcomed into West Papuan villages and learn about cultural traditions through energetic dance
performances. Explore some of the 1,500 remote islands of Raja Ampat where the turquoise ocean harbours over 75% of the world’s coral and fi sh species. Swim with the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay, snorkel over vibrant coral reefs and look for bird life in the forest canopy. Raja Ampat & The Spice Islands is an unforgettable voyage where nature takes centre stage and cultural adventures abound.
Embark at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 11:00am.
No two Raja Ampat & Spice Islands expeditions will be the same, and some variation may occur to your itinerary. Below are the key destinations we visit.
On our approach, paddlers in Kora Kora canoes escort us into Banda Neira. Ashore, immerse yourself in the aromas, sights and sounds of the Spice Islands. Later, explore 17th century Fort Belgica and enjoy dinner and a dance performance as the sun sets.
At Hatta Island, snorkel and dive amongst vibrant coral gardens and abundant fi sh species just a few metres from the beach. Enjoy a guided walk through the village to meet school children, and to explore a nutmeg and pepper plantation.
Molana Island’s powder-like white sand beach is a picturesque base for swimming and snorkelling activities where shallow coral gardens and prolific marine life abound. At Saparua, we are welcomed by the harmonious school choir and a war dance at Fort Duurstede.
Sawai is one of the oldest villages in the Maluku Islands, with homes built on stilts over the ocean. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and explore the grand valleys of Manusela National Park, home to 118 species of birds such as electus parrots, purple-naped lory and salmon-crested cockatoo, all endemic to Seram Island.
Our introduction to spectacular Raja Ampat is at Misool, one of the four largest islands. Visit Balbulol Lagoon and Yapap, where dramatic limestone formations rise from clear turquoise waters. Swim and kayak amongst the islands, or climb for a view over the heart-shaped Dafalen Love Lake.
Be welcomed by dancers on traditional boats before going ashore at Kampung Deer to explore the village with local guides. Experience a traditional Sasi Ceremony, which is conducted to preserve the ecosystem. This afternoon, enjoy water activities and keep an eye out for the spectacular red bird-of-paradise.
More Raja Ampat treasures await as we explore by Zodiac, swim in the crystal water and stroll white-sand beaches. An energetic hike up to famed Pindito Peak rewards with panoramic views of Wayag’s spectacular lagoon.
Depending on the weather and conditions, enjoy either Roon or Auri Island. At Roon, a Japanese Zero plane wreck has become a marine habitat, with snorkellers able to see the plane where it rests in shallow water. At Auri Island, we navigate through picturesque island scenery before enjoying beach activities and visiting a local village for traditional dance performances.
Enter Cenderawasih Marine Park in search of the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark. We may have the chance for an early morning snorkel amongst them – the experience of a lifetime. Later, visit a local village and learn about West Papuan customs, culture and the traditional lifestyle of the people.
Disembark at 7:30am to join our charter fl ight.