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Spice Islands & West Papua

Wildlife & Warriors: West Papua - Darwin to Darwin, 10 Nights

Captain Gary’s Pick – Beauty and Mystery

Coral Expeditions cruise2019 is the 375th anniversary of the 2nd of Tasman’s great voyages. In that year our new vessel, Coral Adventurer, will make her maiden voyage through the same waters that Tasman did, and his great explorations will provide the theme for our own voyages to these remote, spectacular and historic regions.

Senior Master of the Coral Expeditions fleet, Captain Gary Wilson, has custom-designed this itinerary to retrace the voyages of the renowned 15th century explorer Abel Tasman and to explore the pristine nature and rich culture of these waters. A historian as well as a mariner, Captain Gary invites you to come aboard as he shares stories and traditional navigation skills.
Along the way, you will experience the megalithic constructions at Sangliat Dol, visit forgotten villages set in areas of pristine natural beauty in the Fakfak Regency and immerse yourself in the emerald waters of Triton Bay. The region is renowned for its spectacular diving, wildlife, and island formations. You will encounter the remarkable Asmat people of West Papua still living in isolated regions in the beautiful Lorentz National Park. These tribes are famed for their warriors, wood carvings and welcome you to share their cultural history.

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May 2019

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $13,490 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $11,690 n/a
Explorer Deck $11,390 $17,085
Promenade Deck $10,490 $15,735
Coral Deck $9,690 $14,535

*Limited sole use occupancy available.


the itinerary

Embarkation: Board at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 6:30am for 8:00am departure.
Disembarkation: Arrive and disembark at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 11:30am – 12pm.

west papua

Day 1: Darwin

This morning at 06:30am board Coral Adventurer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf, where there is time to settle in before our 08:00am departure.  Our Expedition Team present an introduction to our journey, and the many experiences you will enjoy.
This afternoon, attend your first presentation by Historian and Captain Gary Wilson “The 375th Anniversary of Tasman’s 1664 Voyage”.
This evening join your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2: Saumlaki / Sangliat Dol

This morning our expedition team share insights into the region before our arrival and clearances into one of the ‘Forgotten Islands’, Pulau Jamdena.
This afternoon we embark on our first expedition to the small village of Sangliat Dol. This is a remarkable place, with ancient megalithic sites. A flight of stairs leads up from the beach to reach the ceremonial area were the giant ancient stone boat remains. A ritual ceremony begins our visit, followed by cultural events including traditional dances, demonstrations of local handicrafts and traditional ways of cooking. Browse the village to observe an interesting insight into the daily life of the village, visit to the church, school and ancient stone boat wells, or mingle with the villagers.

Day 3: At Sea - Possible snorkel stop at Aru Islands

Spend a day aboard Coral Adventurer as we steam towards West Papua. If time permits, enjoy a snorkel stop at the Aru Islands. This was a stop for Tasman and all early explorers.

Day 4: Agats

A welcome by an armada of about 40 or more war-canoes, rowed powerfully towards the ship by the Asmat warriors in traditional costume.
Disembarking by Xplorer we are accompanied by the Asmat tribe’s warrior war-canoes to Syuru village where we are greeted by a welcome dance set and performance by the Asmat women.  After the ceremony we are invited deep into the “Men’s House” to experience wonderful items of traditional wooden arts and sculpture, which are offered for sale.

Day 5: Agats

We spend two days visiting the UNESCO world heritage Lorentz National Park The 2.35 million hectare Lorentz National Park is the largest protected area in SE Asia and the only one in the world to incorporate a continuous tract of unspoilt ecosystems from snow-capped, glaciated uplands to tropical marine environment, including a vast swathe of lowland wetlands. The park is regarded as having the highest level of biodiversity in the region. 630 species of bird and 123 mammalian species have been recorded in the park but given that much of Lorentz remains unmapped and unexplored, there may be more yet to be found.

Day 6: Triton Bay

Triton Bay lies within the heart of the Coral Triangle, a global centre of marine bio-diversity. We depart for a zodiac cruise among the islands in the channel between the mainland and Mauwara Island. Exceptionally picturesque, Triton Bay offers outstanding Zodiac cruising through dazzling tropical waters and scenery of spellbinding natural beauty. Mushroom-shaped eroded limestone formations rise from the emerald water, covered with lush pandanus and betel palm vegetation, and a profusion of wild orchids. Thought the area is uninhabited, small pile of shells and the occasional fishnet attest to human presence. Wildlife flourishes in this undisturbed habitat, including colorful bird species such as hornbills, rainbow lorikeets, helmeted friarbirds, egrets and black-palm cockatoos.

Day 7: Triton Bay

This morning, enjoy swimming and snorkeling from the beach at the best locations Triton Bay has to offer.

Triton Bay is one of the three regions that together with Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay comprise the Bird’s Head shape of West Papua. This still relatively unknown destination is full of beautiful corals, massive schools of fish and migrating whale sharks, where you are certain to enjoy a very private, privileged experience in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the Coral Triangle.

Day 8: Fakfak

Join our expedition team and local experts to explore the charming village of Arguni, Andamata, and Kokas where we will have a welcome ceremony and a chance to walk around the village.  This is followed by a zodiac cruise to see the Rock Art at Kokas, a prosperous fishing community that is home to about 4000 residents and the unique ancient blood paintings location on the steep rock cliffs walls at Andamata.

Day 9: Kei Island

Kei islands were visited by early explorers including Tasman in 1644.
We start today’s experience with the stunning, soft white sandy beaches of Kei with a traditional welcome dance by the local villagers. We are again enthralled by cultural attractions including Kipas-Kipas, Cakalele and Yerik Dances. Witness a demonstration of Enbal processing (a local food staple) and a Sasi, a ritual ceremony known to protect natural resources. Enjoy fresh young coconut or tastings of local food. Gain an interesting insight into the daily tribe/ fishermen family life of the village folk or stroll the stunning beach. Opportunities to purchase some of the local handicrafts are on display.
Travel with Zodiacs to visit an ancient rock art site that includes at least 400 images.

Day 10: At Sea

Enjoy the onboard facilities as we cross the Timor Sea. Join our Expedition Staff in the ship’s lounge for a recap of the expedition. This evening, join your fellow travellers, the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Farewell Drinks before the last of many spectacular dinners.

Day 11: Darwin

This morning at 10:30am we arrive at Darwin’s Fort Hill wharf for disembarkation at 12:00pm.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of this wildlife on the day.

May 2019

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
13 May 2019 13 May 2019 23 May 2019 23 May 2019 $9,690 to $11,690 $9,690 to $11,690 Coral Adventurer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals
  • House beer and wine during lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour tea and barista-style coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

Tipping not required:

Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Adventurer, our crew has no other agenda than your delight.

Now that you’ve chosen your cruise, our reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

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Contact our reservations specialists during business hours on freecall 1800 079 545 (within Australia),  or email

Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.


Hilton Darwin

Overlooking Darwin Harbour, Hilton Darwin offers fabulous Esplanade views and an ideal location in the heart of the city. Enjoy contemporary features, great location and a welcoming service every time you stay. The elegant rooms and suites are loaded with thoughtful amenities and many have stunning Harbour views. We also offers Mitchell’s Grill restaurant with innovative Australian cuisine, high-floor outdoor pool, gym, flexible meeting space and more.

Darwin Central Hotel

The Darwin Central Hotel is located on a prime position in the heart of Darwin’s Central Business District on the corner of Smith and Knuckey Streets, opposite the Smith Street Shopping Mall.

The hotel enjoys a very stylish theme with artwork and furnishings throughout the hotel, making every floor a walk through gallery. The hotel has been decorated with a diverse selection of lounges and artworks with each piece individually selected to create the boutique feel with contemporary class and style. The hotel is owned by a local Darwin Company and is proud to be a long standing Northern Territory Business.

Adina Apartment Hotel

Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront is located in the heart of the Darwin Waterfront precinct with close proximity to the CBD and overlooking the Darwin Waterfront Recreational Lagoon and man-made Wave Lagoon.

Adina is the perfect choice for discerning travellers with central locations across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Offering a range of spacious accommodation for guests including: studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments.


Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. It should also include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.

We recommend Travel Insurance by SureSave.

SureSave, is an Australian company who specialise in travel insurance designed for travellers. SureSave provides world assistance through a customer support team, a claims team and an in-house 24/7 Emergency Assistance division. Underwritten by Lloyds of London, you get peace of mind knowing your security is guaranteed. When you need help, you’ll get it in a familiar accent from someone who understands and is there to help.

Please note: SureSave Travel Insurance policies may only be purchased by Australian residents. For international travellers, please discuss your policy requirements with your local insurance provider.