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Loboc river in the rainforest Philippines, Bohol

Asian Island Odyssey: Cruising the Remote Islands of the Philippines & Indonesia, Taipei to Darwin

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
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Embark on a 19-day Asian Island Odyssey, cruising the remote islands of the Philippines & Indonesia, Taipei to Darwin aboard Heritage Adventurer. Crossing both the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, the adventure begins in Taiwan’s bustling capital Taipei. Then, explore islands with blue waters, pristine coral gardens, and intriguing wildlife. These biodiverse regions are also rich in history, heritage, and culture.

Highlights include Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark and Taroko National Park, swimming with Whale Sharks on Bohol Island, and exploring the Spice Islands at Banda Neira. Witness thousands of stingless jellyfish at Tojoman Lagoon, spot the critically endangered Crested Black Macaque, and encounter the world’s smallest primate, the saucer-eyed Tarsier at Bitung.
The unique landscape of the Chocolate Hillsworld’s smallest primate the saucer-eyed Tarsier at BitungRock formations along the coast of KimberlyNightcliff Jetty, Darwin, AustraliaLoboc river in the rainforest Philippines, Bohol
Highlights
  • Visit Yehliu Geopark and Taroko National Park
  • Marvel at Tojoman Lagoon and observe thousands of stingless jellyfish
  • Explore the iconic five-sided Fort Belgica
  • Swimming with Whale Sharks on Bohol Island
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.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Taipei, Taiwan | Embark

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive at Taipei, Taiwan’s capital which is surrounded by mountains and proudly presided over by Taipei 101 – the 1,600-foot-high skyscraper and former Taipei World Financial Center styled on a bamboo stalk, and transfer to your hotel where the group spends the first night of the expedition. This evening meet your fellow voyagers and expedition guides over dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Keelung

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you head out to explore this exciting city. Rightly famous for its prevalent street food, be sure to sample its variety of xiaochi (little snacks) while exploring top attractions including the Chinese-influenced Martyrs’ Shrine; Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, commemorating Taiwan’s former president; and the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. For those looking for a nature fix, head to Yehliu Geopark with its world-famous surreal landscape of honeycomb and mushroom eroded rock formations and the Japanese-era mining complex turned tourist attraction Gold Ecological Park where hillside walkways connect 1930s offices, workshops, and dormitories for an insight into early mining history. This afternoon board Heritage Adventurer, moored in Keelung, settle into your accommodation, and familiarise yourself with the ship, then join the expedition team in the Bridge, Observation Lounge, or on the Observation Deck as you set sail for Hualien.

Day 3: Hualien

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Taiwan’s second-largest city Hualien, located on its mountainous east coast, is the gateway to the world-famous 19-kilometre-long canyon of Taroko National Park and its namesake Marble Gorge. The spectacular marble walls here soar to more than 300 feet high and are surrounded by verdant green bamboo forests promising an unforgettable experience. Comprising some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to towering more than 12,000 feet high at Mt Nanhu, the park’s dramatic landscape provides a diverse array of vegetation and habitats which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, the rare Nanhu Salamander and more than 140 resident bird species.

Day 4: Calayan Island, Philippines

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the most remote, and hardest-to-reach islands in the Philippines, Calayan Island is a pristine paradise awaiting discovery. Part of Babuyan Islands and nestled between Batanes province and mainland Luzon, Calayan Island’s unrestrained, rugged beauty offers unforgettable adventures both above and below the water with stunning white sand beaches, iconic lookouts from Nagudungan and Bangaan Hills, sprawling coral gardens, majestic waterfalls and plenty of rarely-visited coves and caves making it an ideal destination for expedition cruising. On land look for the endemic Calayan Rail, at sea share waters frequented by whales and dolphins on this authentic expedition day.

Day 5: Divilacan Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Widely considered among the Philippine's most beautiful destinations, Divilacan Bay in the province of Isabela (recently dubbed the Queen Province of the North) combines lush forests and incredible snorkeling opportunities with the locally-famous heart-shaped Honeymoon Island and conservation initiatives working to save the critically endangered endemic Philippine Crocodile. Opportunities here could include exploring forests for wildlife, snorkeling the offshore reefs, and Zodiac cruising mangroves to observe the results of the Mabuwaya Foundation’s crocodile program in action.

Day 6: Polilo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Expect to make history today as the first expedition ship to visit this remote tropical outpost. Snorkeling, waterfalls, and wildlife are all good options today as you explore the largest of the Polillo Island group’s 24 islands and islets. Rebounding following large-scale logging operations lowland forests are now protected in two reserves, reflecting their importance for some significant wildlife including the Philippine Cockatoo and endemic Philippine Brown Deer, Warty Pig, and Large Rufous Horseshoe Bat. The island is also home to the Gray’s Monitor/Butaan Lizard – a tree-dwelling relative of the Komodo Dragon, while Dugong are known to frequent its waters.

Day 7: Caramoan Peninsula National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This coveted tropical dream destination, made relatively famous by television’s Survivor, Caramoan Peninsula National Park is one of the highlights of this voyage. With jungle-capped towering limestone karst formations, white sand beaches, impossibly clear blue waters offering some of the best snorkeling, deep gorges, snaking rivers, forest trails, an islet lake, and underground river are all waiting to be explored – you'll be spoilt for choice during the time here.

Day 8: Samar Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Largely unknown and unexplored, there’s a good reason why Samar Island Natural Park is considered the ultimate frontier. Combining all the remote paradise trappings of stunning cave formations, powder-fine sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters with the Philippines's largest tract of lowland rainforest and connecting karst formation, the park is home to a staggering 38 species of mammals, 215 bird species including the Philippine Eagle, 51 species of reptiles and more than 1,000 species of plants, of which more than half are endemic. Samar Island promises an extraordinary expedition day.

Day 9: Bohol Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An early rise with cameras at the ready is recommended this morning as the sun rises over Bohol Island’s famed Chocolate Hills. Often dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ during the dry season the grass covering the more than 1,200 conical karst hills scattered across an area of 50 square kilometers turns a chocolatey brown creating this incredible phenomenon best enjoyed from a viewing station of some 200 steps up, but absolutely worth the effort. During your time here you may explore the lush countryside and famed cacao farms. Other highlights include a visit to a Tarsier Sanctuary to see the world’s second smallest primate the tiny Philippine Tarsier, the threatened species are protected in the Philippines but their numbers are declining due to logging, mining, and the illegal pet trade, the coral stone Baclayon Church and National Cultural Treasure, and sampling The Pastry Capital of Bohol’s Fingers. This afternoon unwind on the pristine white sand beaches of Balicasag Island. Ringed by a reef and marine sanctuary enjoy an incredible underwater experience snorkeling impressive coral gardens and underwater cliffs teeming with colorful marine life including, if you are lucky, sea turtles.

Day 10: Bucas Grande Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Emerging from the shadow of its popular neighbor surfing hot spot Siargao Island, Bucas Grande Island combines stunning white sand beaches, with waterfalls, emerald green waters, mangroves, expansive limestone cave systems, iron wood forests, inland lakes, elaborate coral gardens, exotic wildlife and rightly famous 60-kilometer Sohoton Cove and National Park. Look for Rufous Hornbill as you explore this pristine tropical island paradise Zodiac cruising the coastline where quiet coves and beaches await discovery. Highlights here include Tojoman Lagoon/Sohoton Jellyfish Sanctuary where thousands of stingless jellyfish thrive, the iconic Blue Lagoon with its labyrinthine waterways comprised of numerous limestone islets, and incredible snorkeling and swimming opportunities. At nearby Cinnamon Island, named after its abundance of cinnamon trees, a cup of the local delicacy, cinnamon tea, has become the traditional welcome.

Day 11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax on board after your recent adventures, join a lecture or the naturalists on deck, update your photos/journal, or watch the world go by in the Observation Lounge.

Day 12: Bitung, Indonesia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Berthing at the busy, cosmopolitan harbor of Bitung, Manado city, you head for the nearby wildlife-filled jungles of Tangkoko Nature Reserve one of Indonesia’s oldest reserves. Spanning some 8,800 hectares from beaches to the peak of Tangkoko Mountain the reserve is a haven for endemic flora and fauna. Exploring the lowland tropical rainforest with local guides, you’ll be looking for the critically endangered Crested Black Macaque, known for their distinctive pink rumps and jet-black mohawks, a symbol of Bitung and the smallest primate in the world the saucer-eyed Tarsier and Sulawesi Bear Cuscus. For birders there are the Knobbed Hornbills, Kingfishers, Sulawesi Myna, Lorikeets and Maleo birds, other flying highlights include the brightly-colored Forester Moth and the Draco Flying Lizard or Sulawesi Lined Gliding Lizard.

Day 13: Gorontalo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sitting on the Equator, Sulawesi’s culture capital and hidden paradise, Gorontalo combines rich history, the mountainous landscape is dotted with 500-year-old Portuguese forts, with pristine white sand beaches, is a diving hot spot and has a reputation for being one of Indonesia’s best places to swim with Whale Sharks. At Botubarani, a small seaside village, the plan is to enjoy the unforgettable experience of swimming and snorkeling with these gentle giants which are known to grow more than 12 meters in length. Joining local boats and guides you'll venture into Gorontalo Bay where plankton and small fish attract the world’s largest fish. This afternoon has been left free for exploration.

Day 14: Seho & Taliabu Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning the plan is to explore the unspoiled paradise of remote and rarely visited Seho Island where beautiful sandy beaches and stunning coral reefs meet forested, wildlife-filled hills and jungles. Explore the island with options for jungle hikes searching for birds and wildlife, beachcombing, and snorkeling among an amazing carpet of multicolored soft corals. This afternoon visit the township of Bobong on Taliabu Island before making your way to the local markets, and spice plantations and experiencing the rich culture of this tropical outpost.

Day 15: Buru Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fascinating and seldom visited, Buru Island is located at the boundary between the biogeographic zones of Australia and Asia. A high proportion of the species of birds and mammals here are found nowhere else with 10 endemic bird species and 4 endemic mammals as well as a number of near-endemic species. This morning you'll explore these remote shores together with your expert naturalists and guides. Enjoy opportunities to explore the forests in search of wildlife and experience the heartwarming hospitality of local communities during village visits.

Day 16: Banda Neira

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Under consideration as a World Heritage Site due to its fascinating history as the center of the Spice Islands trade and incredible biodiversity, Banda Neira is the main island in the archipelago of 10 tiny volcanic Banda Islands. Once the world’s sole source of nutmeg due to the islands’ native Myristica trees, the principal town of Banda Neira offers a glimpse into bygone days with its charming 17th-century European relics including the five-sided Fort Belgica overlooking the harbor. Built in 1611 by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies and refurbished in the 90s it was designed to guard against sea threats and to protect the colonialists from any uprising locals. Across a narrow strait lies the 640-metre cone of active volcano Gunung Banda Api which sits on its own island and is home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Below the sparkling sapphire water, the island’s location near the center of the Coral Triangle is evident with sprawling coral fields where myriad fish species including Scorpion, Ghost Pipefish, Napoleon Wrasse, Mandarin Fish, Hammerhead Sharks and more can be observed. Village visits and cultural immersion round out your time here including observing Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action.

Day 17: Kei Kecil Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you explore Indonesia’s secret paradise – Kei Kecil Island, the crowning tropical jewel in the Kei Archipelago in the southeastern chain of the Maluku Islands. Located on the edge of the Coral Triangle’ Kei Kecil is home to some of Indonesia’s finest beaches where powdery white sands meet gin-clear turquoise waters, stunning coral reefs, and palm-fringed tropical jungles. Most famous is Ngurbloat Beach, known locally as ‘Pasir Panjang’ the insta-worthy combination of flour-soft white sand luxuriously stretches some 5-kilometres flanked between thousands of coconut trees and a glassy calm ocean. Located among some of the world’s most biologically rich waters snorkeling the extensive fringing and barrier reefs is exceptional and rewards with numerous colorful reef fish, Nudibranches, cephalopods, Dogtooth Tuna, Eagle and Manta Rays that make up the mesmerizing marine life.

Day 18: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take the time to relax and reflect on an amazing experience as you recap the highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 19: Darwin, Australia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning you arrive in Darwin, Australia’s ‘northern gateway’ famous for its glittering harbor, World War II history, and enviable tropical outdoor lifestyle. After breakfast, there is a complimentary coach to a central hotel or to Darwin International Airport. To allow time for disembarkation procedures and travel from Darwin, it is not recommended to book flights departing before 1300 hours.

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$14,550
Superior Triple
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Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 4 Superior
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Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 5 Superior
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Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
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Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Worseley Suite
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Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Suite
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Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.

Notes

- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Year Built: 1991
Shipyard: Rauma, Finland
Classification: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
Accommodation: 140 guests
Length: 124 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Draft: 4.97 metres
Gross Tonnage : 8,378gt
Engines: 3,940 horsepower (x2)
Maximum Speed: 15 knots
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 8,600 nautical miles
Zodiacs: 14
Included
  • 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners
  • 18 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Landing fees
  • Post cruise transfers
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Required Visas if applicable
  • Laundry 
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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