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Cruising Adventures! Dutch Fort Ternate

Wallace Trails & Sails: Naturalist Expedition

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 : Makian Island
Day 3 : Maluku Islands
Day 4 : Bacan Island
Day 5 : Klaarbeck Island
Day 6 : Yar Island
Day 7 : Yar Island
Day 8 : Wallace’s Channel
Day 9 : Pef Island
Day 10 : Waigeo Island
Day 11 : Batanta Island
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


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
Arrive on the small island of Ternate, which is the capital of the North Maluku Province. Be transferred to the stately Ombak Putih, moored offshore of Ternate City. There is time for you to get settled into your room and have a quick safety briefing as you enjoy an alfresco lunch and meet the other passengers and crew. In the afternoon 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. A highlight is the visit to the old house, which is said to have been lived in by Wallace and used over a period of years as his base during his many specimen-gathering expeditions. There enjoy an opportunity to post your own version of Wallace’s renowned ‘Letter from Ternate’ on specially-prepared postcards. If there is time, go and see the ‘Afo’ – the clove tree that defied an empire. Afo is the oldest clove tree in the world, with estimates suggesting that it is between 350 and 400 years old. The story surrounding it is a fascinating history of intrigue, greed, and hope.

Day 2 Makian Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the early morning, anchor and cruise south with the beautiful chain of volcanic islands of Makian, Moti, Mare, Tidore, Ternate, and Hiri to the west. Find a good place to snorkel along the way, and in the afternoon moor off Beruba-ruba village on the west coast of Halmahera Island, where the villagers take you into the forest to see a lovely waterfall and to do a bit of Wallace-style foraging for beetles and other creepy-crawlies.

Day 3 Maluku Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise at 4:00 am, have coffee and cookies, and transfer to cars for a drive over the dividing range to Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort, which is a small eco-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 Standardwing bird of paradise, many other species of birds, and other wildlife. This was the only bird of paradise discovered by Wallace (or rather by his assistant, Ali, in 1858). 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 to have breakfast at a shelter before heading out for a morning of bird watching (hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots, and more). There might be a chance for a snorkel in Weda Bay before having lunch at the resort.

Day 4 Bacan Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up today to find yourself in the southern hemisphere, off Bacan Island. Venture ashore to explore the coastal area and adjacent forest edge. This is the island where Wallace discovered the golden birdwing butterfly and the eponymous Wallace’s giant bee. You are unlikely to see either – but be ever hopeful. Nevertheless, there are always plenty of interesting plants and animals to discover. Next head on south and stop at the Bajau village on Dowora Lamo Island to meet a community of people from an interesting ethnic group encountered by Wallace. You likely have an opportunity to visit the school. In the late afternoon aim to snorkel near Joronga and Damar Islands, off the extreme southernmost tip of Halmahera, before having dinner as you cruise west towards the Raja Ampat Islands.

Day 5 Klaarbeck Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Reach Klaarbeck Island by morning. This is where Wallace landed after having made his way with great difficulty from Seram Island, in the south, to Waigeo Island, which is the largest of the Raja Ampat Islands. A combination of unpredictable winds, fierce currents, difficult anchorages, and lack of water sources ended with him being unable to retrieve two crewmen who were stranded to the south on the small island of Kommerrust. Eventually, with a heavy heart and much fear for his stranded men, he was forced to abandon their rescue. Land on Klaarbeck and climb the hill that Wallace climbed in the vain hope of signaling to his stranded men. At the top of the hill your mission is to find one of the world’s most remote GeoCache sites.

Day 6 Yar Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today is spent on the water and by dusk you should be offshore of Yar Island to see a flock of large flying foxes emerge in a steady throng from the forest. Unlike their smaller cave-dwelling cousins, these large fruit bats hang out in camps high above the rainforest floor. They feed on a diet of fruit and nectar from night-opening flowers, playing an essential ecological role by pollinating the plants and dispersing their seeds. You may have an opportunity to snorkel or use the sea kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, while also looking for spots to set up for a exclusive beach barbeque, which is always a highlight. Wallace did not collect corals but he took great delight in seeing their beautiful shapes and colors.

Day 7 Yar Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend another day near Yar Island. After breakfast enjoy some time to snorkel before moving on to explore the land and reefs of the islands to the northeast.

Day 8 Wallace’s Channel

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Kabui Bay next to ‘Wallace’s Channel’ where Wallace emerged after his very challenging sail from Seram. After breakfast take dinghies through the narrow channel, examine the vegetation clinging to the limestone cliffs, and snorkel at a few contrasting sites. Then return to the ship and head out of the bay; with luck you might see some dolphins and even some small whales. Spend the afternoon in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months and (if the tides are right) visit a faithful replica of Wallace’s small hut, which was built by the villagers using plans from FFI (Flora & Fauna International). Perhaps make it to a display tree of the remarkable red bird of paradise, one of the species Wallace was most anxious to collect, in time to watch them dance. If the tides are against you, the schedule is revised accordingly, with a visit to Wallace’s Hut on Day 7, and Day 8 reserved for making up lost time.

Day 9 Pef Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today rise at 4:30 am off Sawinggarai village. Dinghies carry you across to the village in the dark and a local guide takes you on a 20-minute-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. 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 is time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Be back on the boat by mid-morning and if time permits travel over to Pef Island to snorkel and motor around the convoluted coast, while learning the myth about the prehistoric hand print still visible high on a limestone cliff. In the afternoon, head east and snorkel on the reefs of Mioskon Island before dinner. Tonight cruise towards Mayalibit Bay which almost separates the two halves of the island.

Day 10 Waigeo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in the south of Mayalibit Bay – the huge and wild bay at the heart of Waigeo, Raja Ampat’s biggest island. The bay, which almost splits the island in two, is entered via a narrow fjord-like channel that meets the ocean just east of Waisai on Waigeo’s south coast. When the tide is running, the huge volumes of water flowing into or out of Mayalibit make the channel look like a swift and powerful river. After breakfast, take the dinghies to a village at the north of the passage and meet with a local NGO leader to discuss illegal logging, community development, and (hopefully) what a new FFI project is doing in these areas. Then briefly visit Lopintol Village, from where one of the village elders takes you to two very dramatic and contrasting caves that highlight the fascinating underground formations of the karst landscape.

Day 11 Batanta Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive at Batanta Island and after breakfast go ashore. Have time to find one or two good places for water activities before you make your final sea trip to Sorong, the capital of West Papua Province. In Sorong, wander around the bustling market and in the evening have a farewell dinner with your captain and crew.

Day 12 Sorong | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After an early breakfast, say goodbye to Dr. Tony, the crew and your sea-based home, the Ombak Putih. Take the tenders ashore and 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. Airfares to Ternate and from Sorong are not included in the tour package. We recommend arriving 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 airfares
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Rae B

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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