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Cruising Adventures! Dutch Fort Ternate

In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures with Dr. George Beccaloni

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ombak Putih
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On this 12-day cruise, honor the legacy of Alfred Russel and the time he spent working on theories of evolution and natural selection. This area of Indonesia, referred to as The Coral Triangle, is home to arguably the most diverse marine life in the world. Revisit some of the areas that Wallace found so fascinating and hopefully experience the magic of seeing the bird of paradise in its full glory within its natural habitat. Trek through jungle terrain witnessing the wildlife as well as experiencing some remote local villages. Explore on land and underwater exactly what captivated Wallace and what continues to attract scientists and nature lovers from across the globe. The expert knowledge and inspiring energy of Dr. George Beccaloni leads this tour with a seasoned crew on the Ombak Putih. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ternate | Embark
Day 2 : Halmahera
Day 3 : Bastiong Village | Weda Reef
Day 4 : Bacan
Day 5 : Pisang Islands
Day 6 : Kapatcol
Day 7 : Misool Archipelago
Day 8 : Batanta
Day 9 : Penemu | Aborek
Day 10 : Dampier Strait
Day 11 : Saporkreni Village
Day 12 : Sorong | Disembark


  • Explore Ternate, the capital of the North Maluku Province
  • Admire the unique chain of volcanic islands including Makian and Ternate
  • Discover Bacan Island, well known for its incredible wildlife
  • Visit Yar Island to see a flock of flying foxes emerge from the forest


Ombak Putih

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Bacan Island
  • Halmahera
  • Maluku
  • Sorong
  • Ternate Island
  • West Papua


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Cruising Adventures! Dutch Fort Ternate Cruising Adventures! Cultural encounters Jewels of Raja Ampat cruise Cruising Adventures! Wallace Hut Sorong, Indonesia

Day 1 Ternate | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your flight arrives on the small island of Ternate, which is the capital of the North Maluku Province. Here, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the stately Ombak Putih, moored offshore of Ternate City. There will be time for you to get settled into your rooms and have a quick safety briefing as we enjoy an alfresco lunch and meet the other passengers and crew. In the afternoon we will venture into the city, which has retained its commercial and political importance as the administrative and trading center of North Maluku. Of the four historically powerful spice sultanates, Ternate is the only one where the institution of the sultanate has survived uninterrupted. Visit Fort Toluko built by the Portuguese, Fort Oranje built by the VOC (Dutch East India Company), and the ‘Kedaton,’ the palace of the Sultan of Ternate, with its rich collection of heirlooms. You will also see the impressive Fort Oranje built by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and the probable site of the house where Wallace was living when he posted his essay on natural selection to Charles Darwin in 1858. This has been described by the President of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences as "the most important science history heritage site in Indonesia." After our tour we will move back to the boat ready to start our journey. 

Day 2 Halmahera

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, wake up just across from Ternate off the coast of Halmahera, with the mighty peaks of Ternate and Tidore as your dawn backdrop, ready to head ashore to the village of Dodinga after breakfast. This is the very place where Alfred Russel Wallace was staying when, in a fit of malarial delirium, he came up with the idea for the mechanism for evolutionary change. When he recovered he promptly wrote to Charles Darwin and set in motion the publication of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort, and its importance in the history of science cannot be understated. After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then go off for an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation. Then head south later in the day ready for your first bird of paradise encounter the following morning.

Day 3 Bastiong Village | Weda Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early at 3.00am, have coffee and snacks, and transfer to cars at Bastiong Village, which will drive you over the dividing range to Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort. Together with the local community, the owners of the resort manage a foundation for education and conservation of the primary forest and its wildlife. They are proud to be able to protect 700 hectares of primary jungle, home of the Wallace’s Standard wing bird of paradise, many other species of birds, and other wildlife.  Start your walk into the rainforest so that by 6am, you will be quietly below the trees used for courtship display by Wallace’s Standard wing bird of paradise. The polygamous males gather and perform a spectacular aerial display, each ‘parachuting’ with its wings and its vivid-green breast shield spread, and the wing ‘standards’ fluttering above its back. Walk back to the road where you will have breakfast at a shelter before heading out for a morning of bird watching (hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots, and possibly the Paradise-crow, another less spectacular species of Bird of Paradise). There might be a chance for a snorkel in Weda Bay before having lunch at the resort. After lunch there is an optional field trip by car into the hills behind the resort to search for birds and insects, including one of Wallace's greatest discoveries, the Golden Birdwing butterfly, which he regarded as being “the finest butterfly in the world”. Those who would prefer a relaxing afternoon can stay at the resort until the others return, or go back to the boat.

Day 4 Bacan

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up off the north shore of Bacan, another seat of Indonesia’s historic spice sultanates. Go exploring ashore at the isolated village of Geti or its neighbour Goro-Goro, walking up a rainforest-clad river valley. Bacan is where Alfred Russel Wallace discovered the golden birdwing butterfly and the giant mason bee, Chalicodoma pluto. Keep a close watch for these and a host of species, some of them endemic, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus or a rare black macaque – the only monkey in Maluku. It’s the wrong side of the Wallace Line for monkeys; these ones were introduced from North Sulawesi.

Day 5 Pisang Islands

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning we make landfall at the Pisang Islands. These tiny gems isolated in the vast waters of the Ceram Sea offer us a chance to relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches, clear waters, and vibrant reefs before making our way to the shores of West Misool.

Day 6 Kapatcol

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, try your best to see the Lesser Birds of Paradise displaying in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. Rise around 4am and have a quick breakfast and go ashore at Kapatcol, where local guides will be waiting for you to take you through the forest to hopefully see the birds as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ (courtship display) trees. No guarantees, however, as they are not on a leash. You'll have time for a look around the village and possibly a visit to the school and to learn about their way of life. Mid-afternoon, set off to eastern side of Misool to Tomolol Bay.  

Day 7 Misool Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the eastern part of the Misool archipelago. The topography is typical of ‘karst dissolution,’ featuring a great number of tiny islets whose bases have been eroded over time by the relentless motion of the tides. After an early breakfast, your tenders will take you into the heart of the bay to see this partially submerged cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with astonishing stalactites. The more adventurous can swim or paddle through the dark waters to the other mouth of the cave. You will then move on to a mysterious jellyfish lake and swim amongst the many thousands of stingless animals: undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After returning to the ship, use your tenders to explore more of this impressive maze of karst islands, both above and below the surface, complete with mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries, and prehistoric cave paintings, estimated to be anything between 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human palms, fish, and plants, tools and vessels.

Day 8 Batanta

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After your days of marine exploration, the jungle-clad island of Batanta offers you a change of scenery and a chance to stretch your legs on an adventurous trek into the island’s interior. Anchor at the foot of Arefi Village, nestled on the north coast of the island, here you can visit the village and the school, and what the children’s performance.  For those who wish, IF THE TIDE IS RIGHT you will be able to take a short walk along the riverbed brings us to the first of two jungle waterfalls complete with a refreshing pool for cooling off. The fit and adventurous may choose to continue the uphill climb along the rocks to where a second, larger cascade awaits. After this, the boat will move to Dayang Island for another great snorkeling opportunity.  

Day 9 Penemu | Aborek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with a short hilltop climb to take in the amazing views. After some great snorkeling on the island’s reefs, set course for the tiny Aborek Island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances for us. You can also walk around the village and gain a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept very much alive by the villagers living in this isolated place. There's a chance that you may get to see some manta rays as you snorkel, but there are no guarantees.

Day 10 Dampier Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today will present another opportunity for keen naturalists, rise early and walk into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable Red Bird of Paradise, one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect. With a little luck and the help of your knowledgeable guides, you will see this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. After returning to the ship, turn your attention from the sky to the sea as the Ombak Putih makes her way through the Dampier strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. If the currents are in your favor, you might see some of the area’s larger specimens of marine life, which are attracted to the strait’s nutrient-rich waters. Spend the afternoon in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months and (if the tides are right) you’ll visit a faithful replica of Wallace’s small hut, which was built by the villagers using plans from FFI (Fauna & Flora International) and a grant from SeaTrek. You will also visit a nearby small island where a local man has set up a coconut crab 'sanctuary'. The island is home to a small number of these monsters (Birgus latro, the world's largest terrestrial arthropod), and you can get up close and personal with these magnificent yet docile beasts. Another late afternoon snorkel along a reef with some spectacular giant clams (the world's largest bivalve) will lead you into dinner at anchor on board, ready for an early morning venture for the Red Bird of Paradise.

Day 11 Saporkreni Village

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, rise early off Saporkren village. The dinghy will carry you across to the village in the dark and a local guide will take you on a short drive into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the gorgeous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. You can hope that the efforts of the early start will pay off, enabling you to catch a rare and privileged sight of the bird’s elaborate courtship dance as the day breaks over the forest canopy. Back in the village there will be time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Return to the boat by mid-morning and head to Yenbuba at Mansuar island for some snorkeling before lunch. This place known as the ‘fish bowl’ because the chance to see different types of fish around the bay. The boat will then move to Mioskon island for more snorkeling and the opportunity to watch a multitude of bats flying overhead just after sunset. Tonight enjoy your farewell party.

Day 12 Sorong | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Today is the end of your adventure, but there is still one last chance for a swim and a snorkel at a small offshore island before we cruise into the port. Once at anchor goodbye to your crew and your sea-based home, the Ombak Putih before taking the tenders ashore where you will be transferred to the airport for your onward travel.

Ombak Putih

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Cabin Deck
Cabin Deck. Spacious, air-conditioned twin-share cabins with twin bunks or double beds and private bathroom with toilet and hot shower.


- All rates are quoted in USD and represent cost per person, based on double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.75 times the published rate.

Note: This tour begins on the island of Ternate (Sorong for reverse itineraries). Airfares to Ternate and from Sorong are not included in the tour package. It is recommended ti arrive in Makassar (Sulawesi) one day early or take the earliest flight from Makassar to Ternate.

Rates Include:
  • Accommodation in air-conditioned cabins with private shower and toilet
  • Full board, tea and coffee, soft drinks, mineral water
  • Excursions
  • Use of towels
  • Use of snorkeling gear
  • Experienced tour leader
  • Transfer to and from the ship in all harbors with the exception of Serangan Harbor, Bali
Rates Exclude:
  • Domestic airfare
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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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