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Orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia

An Equatorial adventure across North Borneo

Manila - Singapore - Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
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Embark on a cruise through the landscapes and cultural wonders of Borneo, a land of lush jungles, pristine beaches, and vibrant traditions. Begin your adventure in Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest peak. Explore the Philippines' enchanting destinations, Culion Island's historical heritage, and pristine beaches at Johnson Island and head to Puerto Princesa's Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Black-capped KingfisherExploring the dense jungle of Bako National ParkRelax in the beautiful PhilippinesSunset over the town of Kuching, Sarawak, MalaysiaSingapore skylineOrangutans in Borneo, Indonesia
  • Visit Iban longhouses deep in the jungles of Brunei
  • Dive and snorkel at the geographical center of the Coral Triangle
  • Orangutan Encounter at Semenggoh
  • Spot Wildlife and Proboscis Monkeys in Bako National Park
  • Join a cultural feast event at the Mari Mari Cultural Village
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Manila, Philippines | Embark

Board Coral Geographer at 4:00pm and settle into the stateroom to relax as the ship sets sail across the South China Sea. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet the crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Day 2: Verde Island | Silonay Island, Philippines

Nestled in the Philippine archipelago that forms part of the Coral Triangle, this morning arrives at Verde Island, known as the ‘Centre of Marine Biodiversity of the World’ and ‘the Amazon of the Oceans.’ With the highest concentration of marine species in the world, swim, snorkel, and dive, exploring this underwater wonderland. There will also be an opportunity to explore the local village, home to a vibrant fishing community, markets, and friendly locals.

Enjoy lunch onboard before the afternoon expedition to Silonay Mangrove Ecopark. The community here plants mangrove seedlings around the villages, knowing that these trees form a strong protective barrier between them and storm surges. Enjoy a short boardwalk stroll into the heart of the mangrove forest as we learn more about the importance of these mangroves and the direct impacts they have on the livelihoods of the local villagers.

Day 3: Boac, Marinduque Island, Philippines

The province of Marinduque is a heart-shaped island that lies between Tayabas Bay and Sibuyan Sea and is considered the geodetic center of the Philippines. Marinduque has an interesting and eclectic past as a site of the first American concentration camp during the Philippine-American War, and it boasts an array of architecturally diverse heritage houses and places of worship.

Upon arrival this morning, experience a local ‘Putungan Welcome,’ a tradition in Marinduque where guests are serenaded with songs, pictures, flowers, and coins. Following this, explore the cultural town, visiting the century-old Boac Cathedral, ancestral houses, the Marinduque National Museum, and Boac Central Market.

In the afternoon, travel to a nearby village to learn about the most iconic event in Marinduque, the Mariones Festival. Learn about the skilled Marione (mask) craftsman before visiting a Kalutang (tuned percussion sticks) making village. Browse traditional handicrafts at the islands’ central market. Participants in the festival wear a Morione mask, made of wood elaborately adorned with colorful shells, tassels, and crepe papers, as well as a colored vest, cape, and wooden shield. They also carry a pair of softwood bars called Kalutang, banging or beating them as they roam around the town streets to draw attention.

Day 4: Culion Island, Philippines

Culion Island is surrounded by 41 minor islands, forming the Calamian group of islands. It was a former Leprosarium, starting in 1906 under the American colonial regime until the American Commonwealth of the Philippines era. Although leprosy on the island-town was abolished in the 1980s, in 2006 it was officially declared a leprosy-free area by the World Health Organization. In 2017, the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO began its initiative to prepare the dossier of Culion’s Leprosy documentary heritage. In 2018, the Culion Leprosy Archives were officially inscribed to the Memory of the World Register. 

Take a guided tour of the island and explore the heritage of Culion, with significant amounts of 1900’s and earlier architecture remaining intact on the island. Visit the Culion Museum, Archives, and Church, the maintained structures the leper colony had built. The structures, the research, and the story of the people remain. 

After lunch onboard, spend the afternoon at Lusong Island, snorkel and dive the Gunboat Wreck and Lusong Coral Garden.

Day 5: Purao & Johnson Island, Philippines

This morning is the last opportunity to enjoy the remote beaches of the Philippines before heading to Malaysia. Spend the morning swimming or snorkeling off the sandbar at Johnson Island, home to stingray, dugong, coral, and seagrass meadows.

After the morning expedition, spend a relaxing afternoon onboard as the journey continues to Puerto Princesa.

Day 6: Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Today, travel inland to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and voted as a New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012. St. Paul’s Underground River Cave is more than 24 kilometers long, featuring a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. Today, travel across the peninsula by landside transfer to experience this rare natural phenomenon as you join small paddleboats by torchlight to travel upstream and explore this underground system. Enjoy the peninsula’s vast wide-open skies and blue waters as we bid farewell to the Philippines.

Day 7: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo - Signature Dinner

Today is a day at sea as the journey continues to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Following the afternoon arrival into the Port of Kota Kinabalu, take a local transfer to the Mari Mari Cultural Village for tonight’s cultural feast event. Set amongst the exotic jungle, dine in a traditional longhouse, and experience the cultural traditions of five ethnic groups in Sabah – Rungus, Bajau, Murut, Dusun, and Lundayeh. Witness cultural performances, market-style interactions, traditional dress, and interact with locals in each of these ethnic groups as they showcase their traditions, including bamboo fire starting, making of rice wine and tree bark clothing, fire of blowpipes, henna tribal tattoos, and tinkling (also known as bamboo dance).

Day 8: Kota Kinabalu & Pulau Tiga Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

Awake this morning and join the Chef for a waterfront market experience in Kota Kinabalu, at the Pasar Besar (Central Market). Explore over free-time the old-world charm of the narrow, quaint lanes that are filled with handicrafts, people, colors, food, and so much more.

Return to Coral Geographer for a locally inspired lunch onboard as the ship repositions to the afternoon location at Pulau Tiga, which translates to ‘three islands’ in Malay. These islands were formed in 1897 when an earthquake on Mindanao caused a volcanic eruption near Borneo. Here, there will be a range of activities to choose from, including easy island walks, swimming, or snorkeling from the beach, and volcanic mud bathing.

Depending on the tide, this evening will be a transfer to nearby Kalampunian Island to enjoy the incredible Sabah sunset with sundowners and canapés.

Day 9-10: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

In Brunei's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, the ruling family has maintained power for over six centuries. The Sultanate of Brunei reached its peak influence in the 15th to 17th centuries, controlling coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate. It had the chance to join Malaysia in 1963 but declined due to a dispute over oil income distribution. Brunei finally gained independence in 1984.

On the first day in Brunei, explore the city with a guided tour that includes visits to Kampung Ayer, a coastal water village, the Royal Ceremonial Hall, Parliament House, Sultan Bolkiah's tomb, Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the Brunei Museum, Royal Regalia Museum, the Water Village, and the Sultan’s Palace (Istana Nurul Iman).

On the second day, discover Brunei's pristine jungle, which remains largely intact due to the country's oil wealth. The jungle is inhabited by the Iban people, who migrated from Sarawak before World War II. Although not officially recognized as one of the seven indigenous ethnic groups in Brunei, they face challenges in integrating into the sultanate.

Travel to Kampung to experience the Iban Longhouses on the fringes of Labi Forest Reserve. Here, you'll witness traditional weaving and dances, learn about regional environmental knowledge on foraging walks, enjoy a bamboo lunch, and participate in conservation activities. If time allows, you may also visit a nearby waterfall for a refreshing swim.

Day 11: Miri, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Miri is a coastal city in north-eastern Sarawak, Malaysia, located near the border of Brunei, on the island of Borneo. It was founded in 1910 when the first oil well was drilled by Royal Dutch Shell and quickly flourished to become the administrative center of the northern region of Sarawak by 1929. Miri was the first landing point of Japanese troops in Borneo, and the subsequent Japanese occupation led to it becoming a target of allied air raids, resulting in the destruction of the oil refinery facilities.

Today, there are three expedition options:

Lambir Hills National Park: Located around 30km from Miri, Lambir Hills National Park is a chain of steep sandstone hills bound by rugged cliffs. It's known for its complex and diverse forest ecosystem, with wildlife such as the Borneo gibbon, bearded pig, and barking deer. The park is home to more than a hundred bird species, and a 40-meter tree tower provides excellent viewing of the dipterocarp forest and bird watching.

Niah Caves: Once home to the Penan tribe, the original inhabitants of the area, the Niah Caves have a history dating back over 60,000 years. They are also considered a sacred natural site by the surrounding indigenous communities.

Reef Diving at Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park: This national park offers interesting wreck dives with minimal current and warm water temperatures. Snorkel, dive, and explore a variety of corals and marine life on the reefs, which are said to rival the best in the region and have been compared to those in Papua New Guinea and the Maldives. The reefs are home to over 800 species of hard and soft corals, as well as Gorgonians, sea-whips, anemones, sponges, and crinoids.

Day 12: Day at sea

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today is a relaxing day at sea as the journey continues to Kuching. Join the guest lecturers for presentations on the ethnic cultures of Sarawak, palm oil and conservation, and how Borneo became Malaysian.

Day 13: Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During World War II, Kuching was occupied by Japanese forces from 1942 to 1945. After the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Kuching retained its status as the state capital and was granted city status in 1988. Kuching is now a major food destination and a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network under the field of gastronomy. 

Today, the ship docks in Kuching, and it's time to explore this vibrant city. Join a morning expedition to Semenggoh Nature Reserve, where there will be a lookout for orangutans. Orangutans at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre have either been saved from the illegal pet industry, are orphaned because their mothers were killed, or injured in the wild and are unable to survive on their own. Enjoy an easy walk along forest paths (with slightly uneven ground) to meet rangers at feeding platforms and watch as the orangutans enjoy a variety of food, including fruit, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, coconut, and hardboiled eggs.

Return to Coral Geographer for lunch before having free time to explore Kuching city in the afternoon. Kuching is a culturally and architecturally rich city that is easily walkable and has a very atmospheric vibe. Discover the waterfront shopping area, where English is widely spoken, and handicrafts are readily available. Kuching also has some fantastic museums, such as the Islamic Heritage Museum and the newly completed Borneo Cultures Museum.

Day 14: Bako National Park, Santubong, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bako is Sarawak’s oldest national park, covering an area of 2,742 hectares at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula. It is home to seven different ecosystems and a variety of wildlife, including 264 species of bird, wild boars, snakes, and monkeys. It is one of the smallest national parks in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting, as it contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. A well-maintained network of trails – from easy forest strolls to longer treks – allows for a range of fitness levels to get the most out of this unique environment.

Day 15: Kuching Wetlands, Santubong, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the last morning in Malaysian Borneo with a cruise through the Kuching Wetlands. Located just 15km from Kuching, Malaysia designated the park as a RAMSAR site, a wetland of international importance. Most of the park is a saline mangrove system that includes an extensive network of marine waterways and tidal creeks interconnecting the two major rivers on its borders. Enjoy morning tea while hoping to spot a wide diversity of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, long-tailed macaque monkeys, silver-leaf monkeys, monitor lizards, estuarine crocodiles, and a range of birdlife, including kingfishers, white-bellied sea eagles, and shorebirds.

After the morning expedition, Coral Geographer will steam towards the final destination of Singapore.

Day 16: Day at sea

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax and spend time reflecting on the epic voyage as the journey prepares to disembark in Singapore. Enjoy the hospitality onboard with Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

Day 17: Singapore | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Singapore ready to disembark Coral Geographer at 8:00am. Bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master, and crew.


Coral Geographer

Coral Geographer
Coral Geographer Deck

Dates & Prices

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Save AUD$2,500 24255
Save AUD$2,500 per person on selected Island of Indonesia cruises. Offer subject to availability for new bookings and cannot be combined with other discounts. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Nov 7, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$10,005 2-3 travelers
Coral Deck Stateroom
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Located on the Coral Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Twin porthole windows give you views of the world outside.
Promenade Deck Stateroom
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located on the Promenade Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside.
Coral Geographer
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
These 21.4 Sq m staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck.
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 sq m private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two.


Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates
  • 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • RM10 per room per night mandatory Tourism Tax in Malaysia collected by cash upon check-in.
  • Laundry Service
  • Entry visas/Travel permits
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet 
  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)
  • Scuba Diving 


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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