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Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific

West Papua: Spice Islands and Raja Ampat

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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Experience Raja Ampat and the magical lands of the Spice Islands in this 12-day small ship cruise exploring the cultures and scenic beauty of Papua New Guinea. Snorkel, kayak, swim, and dive in Raja Ampat's brightly-colored reef systems and join locals for a guided walk through Pulau Gam's rainforest. Enjoy local traditional music performances at Kwatisore Village and learn about the local community and culture through traditional custom dances and games.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Darwin
Day 2 : Crossing the Timor Sea
Day 3 : Bandaneira | Spice Islands
Day 4 : Spice Islands
Day 5 : Raja Ampat | Wagmab & Mesmeta Islands
Day 6 : Hidden Bay | The Wallace Passage | Yenwaupnor Village
Day 7 : South Gam Island | Aljui Bay
Day 8 : Wayag Island
Day 9 : At Sea
Day 10 : Cenderawasih Bay | Kwatisore Village
Day 11 : Cenderawasih Bay | Mamboor Island
Day 12 : Disembark in Biak | Fly to Darwin

Highlights

  • See Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes as they glide across the water
  • Travel through the streets of Bandaneira and explore a nutmeg plantation
  • Snorkel, dive and kayak Hidden Bay's reefs and limestone karsts
  • Land on Wayag Island's white-sand beaches and swim, snorkel, kayak or hike

Ship

Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific Access the shore aboard the specially designed expedition vessel Xplorer Colourful children of Papua New Guinea A day ashore remote islands Access the shore aboard the the Zodiac

Day 1 Embark in Darwin

This afternoon at 4:00pm board Coral Discoverer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf, where there is time to settle in before your 5:00pm 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 Crossing the Timor Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day at leisure as the ship crosses the Timor Sea towards Bandaneira. Join your Expedition Staff in the ship’s lounge for an interesting introduction to your journey, and the many experiences that can come over the next days.

Day 3 Bandaneira | 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 4 Spice Islands

  • 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 streets of Bandaneira, past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour. See the museum, the former VOC Governor’s Mansion, visit the old church, explore a nutmeg plantation, and finish with traditional dancing and tastings of local treats on the waterfront. This afternoon farewell the Spice Islands and set sail towards Raja Ampat, enjoying informative presentations from a Guest Lecturer ahead of your arrival tomorrow.

Day 5 Raja Ampat | Wagmab & Mesmeta Islands

  • 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 6 Hidden Bay | The Wallace Passage | Yenwaupnor Village

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning navigate 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 keep 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.

Over lunch, travel to South Gam and head ashore in the late afternoon for a village visit at Yenwapnour. The local Papuans welcome you with their string band and traditional songs. Local underground oven foods are prepared for you to try and then the local guides take you through the village before you return to the ship for drinks.

Day 7 South Gam Island | Aljui Bay

  • 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), or choose to take the opportunity for an early morning snorkel. Set sail for the beautiful Aljui Bay on the Island of Weigeo for a relaxing afternoon, snorkeling and diving on one of the best reef sites in the area. Explore this spectacular channel in a zodiac with your expedition team. After a busy day relax with a drink in the top lounge.

Day 8 Wayag Island

  • 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 9 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea, and join the Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers in the lounge for an informative introduction to Cenderawasih Bay and your activities over the last days of your expedition.

Day 10 Cenderawasih Bay | Kwatisore Village

  • 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 11 Cenderawasih Bay | Mamboor Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake for an early morning snorkel with the magnificent whale sharks before you depart for Mamboor Island set deep in the heart of Cenderawasih Bay. Head ashore with your expediton team and local guides to see a real local village and learn about the interesting customs and traditional lifestyles of the West Papuan people. Afterwards, enjoy a swim off the nearby beach before you join your fellow travelers, the Captain, and crew for the Captain’s Farewell Drinks and reminisce over what has been an unforgettable adventure exploring the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat.

Day 12 Disembark in Biak | Fly to Darwin

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning join a private jet for your flight from Biak to Darwin (additional expense). Enjoy a short tour of Biak town before departing for Darwin.

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
$7,160
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.

Notes

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

Included

  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jessica L

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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