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Colourful children of Papua New Guinea

West Papua: Spice Islands and Raja Ampat

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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Embark the Coral Discoverer in Biak, West Papua, for a 12-day small ship cruise visiting the rarely-visited Spice Islands and Raja Ampat. The centerpiece of the expedition is a four-day exploration through the nature lover’s paradise that is Raja Ampat. Harboring over 75% of the world’s total coral and fish species, Raja Ampat’s pristine and brightly-colored reef systems offer perhaps the very best snorkeling and diving in the world today.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Biak, West Papua
Day 2 : Cenderawasih Bay
Day 3 : Day at Sea
Day 4 : Raja Ampat | Wayag
Day 5 : Raja Ampat | Weigeo & Gam Island
Day 6 : Raja Ampat | Gam Island Hidden Bay & The Wallace Passage
Day 7 : Raja Ampat | Yensawah & Penemu
Day 8 : Misool Island Group | Wagmab | Mesemta
Day 9 : Banda Neira | Spice Islands
Day 10 : Banda Neira
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : Darwin | Disembark


  • Visit Cenderawasih Bay and look for an encounter with whale sharks
  • Explore Wayag Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Be welcomed by a local Papuan band in Yenwanpnour Village
  • Snorkel, paddle, and kayak through Wagmab's coral gardens


Coral Discoverer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Colourful children of Papua New Guinea Access the shore aboard the specially designed expedition vessel Xplorer A day ashore remote islands Locals greeting the zodiac Diving in Papua New Guinea

Day 1 Embark in Biak, West Papua

This morning board a chartered private jet for your flight from Darwin to Biak (additional expense). Enjoy a short tour of the town before boarding Coral Discoverer, where there is time to settle in and enjoy the onboard facilities before your departure. In the evening, join your fellow travelers, the Captain, and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks in anticipation of what promises to be a remarkable journey discovering Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands.

Day 2 Cenderawasih Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enter the marine life haven that is Cenderawasih Marine Park and go in search of an encounter with the biggest fish in the sea, the beautiful whale shark. This region is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to swim with these majestic animals, and with luck, you may have a chance to snorkel amongst them. Spend the afternoon with the local West Papuans at Kwatisore Village, being welcomed into their community and learning about their traditional lifestyle and culture. Enjoy a walk through their village garden, with time to shop at the vibrant market stalls.

Day 3 Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day at leisure as the ship makes its crossing towards Wayag Island. Join the Expedition Staff in the ship’s lounge for an interesting introduction to your journey, and the many wonderful experiences undertaken over the coming days in Raja Ampat.

Day 4 Raja Ampat | Wayag

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning cruise to Wayag Island, which is currently being considered for UNESCO World Heritage listing. Discover the lagoon’s white-sand beaches and maze of limestone karst ‘gumdrop’ islands. Explore the lagoons in Zodiacs and aboard Xplorer with time for a swim in the aqua-blue water. For those keen on an energetic climb, after lunch you can trek up famous Pindito Peak, where the reward is breathtaking views over the surrounding islands and spectacular lagoon. You may choose to relax with a swim, snorkel, enjoy a kayak paddle, or cruise in the glass bottom boat.

Day 5 Raja Ampat | Weigeo & Gam Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the equator, enjoy the morning at beautiful Aljui Bay for a high-quality snorkel and dive on one of the best reef sites in the area. Others may enjoy a cruise in this spectacular channel in a Zodiac. Set sail for Yenwapnour Village for a friendly welcome by the local Papuan band, with cultural dances. A variety of traditionally cooked food is on offer for tasting. Meet the locals on a guided stroll through the village area before returning to the ship for pre-dinner drinks.

Day 6 Raja Ampat | Gam Island Hidden Bay & The Wallace Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an early morning adventure seeking out the elusive red bird of paradise at an exclusive local vantage point (40 min uphill hike, good fitness required). If conditions are favorable, take part on an early morning snorkel. At the mid-morning navigate the narrow entrance to discover Hidden Bay. The narrow entrance to the bay is easy to overlook and visits from cruise ships are rare. Pass through the famous Wallace passage, aboard Xplorer and Zodiacs, where history abounds and the stunning surroundings keeps your cameras in action.

After lunch, enjoy snorkeling and diving on the nearby reef. The glass bottom boat is available to view the reef with a naturalist on board, or you can head off on a relaxing kayak tour around the nearby limestone karst rocks.

Day 7 Raja Ampat | Yensawah & Penemu

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awaken and enjoy the scenery as the ship cruises to a beautiful anchorage near the secret mangrove entrance for a Zodiac cruise. Meander through the mangrove system, which takes you to a jetty landing and an easy 300m walk through the tropical rainforest to a cascading waterfall known to the locals as “The Widows Water”. Local guides join the expedition as you enjoy the rainforest. Board Xplorer and cruise into the village of Yensawah and be greeted by the locals and then guided through the village. Visit the local school and see the children in full song before visiting the local market on the water front. Experience the friendliness of the locals. This afternoon, arrive at the Fam group of islands. Enjoy the opportunity for a climb up a boardwalk for spectacular views of Penemu. Otherwise, choose to relax with a swim and a snorkel in the clear waters before a well-deserved pre-dinner drink.

Day 8 Misool Island Group | Wagmab | Mesemta

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today the ship enters the Misool Archipelago and anchors at beautiful Wagmab, where excellent coral gardens and steep walls allow you to snorkel and dive to your heart's content. If conditions allow, a naturalist has the glass bottom boat in action over the reef systems, before you depart for your afternoon destination.
Cruise up a stunning passage and arrive into Mesemta Bay. Enjoy snorkeling and viewing from the glass bottom boat, or paddle at your leisure through these amazing karst islands on kayaks. Finish the day with the famous BBQ on the top deck and take in the sunset looking over this spectacular backdrop.

Day 9 Banda Neira | Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the middle of the Banda Sea lies an enchanted fragment of history, the center of the Spice Island trade. Originally the world’s sole source of nutmeg and mace, these nine tiny islands have attracted traders since at least 2,000 years ago. In the 16th century, European explorers discovered entire continents in their quest for these islands. On the approach to Banda Island the outline of Gunung Api Volcano, with its thin plume of smoke drifting from the summit, is clearly visible. See Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action - with up to 38 oarsmen aboard they are a sight to behold as they glide across the water. Later in the afternoon there is time to explore Fort Belgica. Built by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1611, the fort is extremely well preserved and provides an interesting insight into Dutch colonization. Join the locals for a traditional dance and music performance before enjoying a glass of champagne as the sun sets over the fort.

Day 10 Banda Neira

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself in the colors and aromas of the Spice Islands. Travel through the wide, tree-lined streets and past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour. See the museum, the former VOC Governor’s Mansion, the old church, and a cultural presentation. Explore a nutmeg plantation and learn of its importance in Banda’s historical past. Sample local treats and watch a cultural performance on the waterfront before leaving your new-found friends.

Day 12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today say farewell to the Spice Islands and cruise towards Darwin. Spend the day on board to relax and enjoy, reminiscing over the highlights of Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands as the ship sets sail for your return journey to Australia.

Day 13 Darwin | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning at 8:00am, arrive at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf, marking the end of your great adventure discovering Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands.

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
Coral Discoverer Main Category B Stateroom
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Main Deck B
Main Deck, 17.5-18.5 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Main Deck Category A.
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Main Deck A
Main Deck, 18 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category B.
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Promenade Deck B
Promenade Deck, 14-16 sqm, junior king bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category A.
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Promenade Deck A
Promenade Deck, 16-17.5 sqm, junior king bedding.
Coral Discoverer Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
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Bridge Deck
Bridge Deck, 17-18 sqm, junior king or twin bedding.


Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Discoverer will attempt to match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If not possible, enjoy the sole use of the cabin at the twin share price.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian or New Zealand Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations hoped to visit and activities on offer. While every effort will be made to follow this itinerary, the Coral Discoverer reserves the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

Cruise fare 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 soft drinks, 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
• SCUBA diving charges 
• 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


  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
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