Arrive in Darwin and embark L'Austral between 4 and 5 PM this evening. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
As your ship sails away from mainland Australia, continue to familiarize yourself with your new "home," and become acquainted with her amenities.
Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. It is located on the north side of the Banda Sea, part of a chain of volcanic islands. Wild areas of Ambon Island are covered by tropical rainforest, part of the Seram Rainforests ecoregion. Ambon Island consists of two territories: the main city and seaport is Ambon, which is also the capital of Maluku Province, and Maluku Tengah. In 1513, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land on Ambon. The Creole trade language Portugis was spoken well into the 19th century and many families still have Portuguese names. Cassava and sago are the chief crops, which also include breadfruit, sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, pepper, and cotton. In addition to these, hunting and fishing supplement the local diet. The Ambonese are of mixed Malay-Papuan origin. Choose from two optional excursions here that highlight the cultural and natural history of the island.
As your call on Ambon visits a community that is small and isolated, resources (transportation and guides) are scarce, resulting in higher prices. We kindly ask for your understanding on this matter as we do for the quality of transportation which does not match what we normally provide.
Continue on your voyage to another part of the Indonesian Archipelago. Spend time today on deck to watch for marine and bird-life that might be following in your ship's wake.
Stop in another area of the extensive Moluccas Island chain today. Details about your excursions in port are still being finalized.
Bitung is a city on the Northern coast of the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Sulawesi is the world’s eleventh-largest island, covering an area of 67,413 sq miles. The island is surrounded by Borneo to the west, the Philippines to the north, Maluku to the east, and Flores and Timor to the south. The first Europeans to visit the island were Portuguese sailors in 1525, sent from the Maluku Islands in search of gold, which the islands had the reputation of producing. The Dutch arrived in 1605, quickly followed by the English. In 1905 the entire island became part of the Dutch state colony of the Netherlands East Indies until Japanese occupation in World War II. Indonesia won its independence in 1945-49. Visit the Tangkoko Nature Reserve or the village of Sawangan where you can attend a traditional Maengket welcome dance.
Relax as your ship sails today and prepare for your next stop.
Welcome to Borneo. Today choose from two optional excursions. One tour offers you the unique opportunity to meet Borneo's famous resident orangutans at the Sepilok Orang Utan Center, a rehabilitation project for orphaned orangutans. The tour also brings you to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Alternatively, choose a full-day excursion that includes these stops as well as a boat cruise on the Lower Kinabatangan River Sanctuary. Start from the waters of the Sulu Sea of Sandakan Town through a magnificent scenery of the mangrove forest in search of primates, especially the endemic proboscis monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.
If you haven't already, use this day at sea to take advantage of your ship's many luxurious amenities.
From the port, embark your coach for an optional coach tour to the Chocolate Hills - the most famous tourist attraction in the area. From a distance they look like huge candy drops someone had placed here and there to lure the eyes and tempt the lips. They change in color with the season, but the name is more justified during the summer when the hill grasses finally turn to deep brown. Photo stops and a short walk are planned to appreciate this spectacular sight. Next, visit the Tarsier Conservation Center to look for the tarsier, a miniature creature with owl-like eyes, big ears, a long thin tail, and woolly fur endemic to the province. Next, make your way to the Loboc River for a Bohol-inspired lunch and cruise. On your way back to the ship, stop last at the Baclayon Church and Museum, a centuries-old stone church that houses a museum containing a collection of religious art, ecclesiastical vestments, and librettos of church music printed in Latin on animal skins.
Call in Borocay today and choose from two optional excursions to discover the area. You can choose to board outrigger canoes to go "island hopping" to discover beaches on the inner island, including Bolabog and Crystal Cove on Laurel Island. Another exciting and informative way to cruise around Boracay is by means of glass bottom boat, which allows you to see the diversity of the Philippines Sea flora and fauna as you pass from one island to the other.
As you make your way to your next port in the Philippines, take some time to finally open that book you brought, chat with fellow travelers, or simply enjoy the sea breeze.
Arrive in legendary Manila and choose from several optional excursions today. Join a guided tour of Corregidor Island - shaped like a tadpole, the island is located at the entrance to Manila Bay. Today it is a symbol of determined resistance of Filipino and American soldiers against Japanese invaders during World War II. "The Rock," as it is often referred to, is accessible by an hour's ferry ride from Manila. You can also choose to explore Manila City. Stop first at the Ayala Museum. Travel along the Ayala Avenue, known as the "Wall Street of the Philippines" on your way to the Ayala Museum, an art and history museum located in Makati City, Metro Manila. It is considered one of the most important private institutions of Philippines art and culture. Then stop at the San Agustin Church and Monastery and Fort Santiago on your way back to the ship.
On your last two days at sea, spend time reminiscing about all that you have seen and done on your Indonesian adventure. Relax and prepare for the last stop on your voyage.
Arrive in Hong Kong today. Choose from two excursions to learn more. Discover the Hong Kong lifestyle on a coach tour of the city, which brings you to the Taoist Tin Hau Temple, Wet Market, on a ride aboard the world's only double-decker tram, and to the historic Western District - the oldest Chinese settlement in Hong Kong. Alternatively, explore some of Hong Kong's most scenic and popular landmarks during a memorable orientation tour of the island. Depart the pier for Hong Kong Island via the Harbor Tunnel, and begin your tour with an ascent of Victoria Peak. Upon arrival, exit your coach to join the Peak Tram for the exciting ascent, then rejoin your coach at the top. Continue on to the southern side of the island to Aberdeen, an old fishing town, and conclude in Stanley Market.
Following breakfast on board, disembark in Hong Kong. Transfer to airport for your homeward journey.