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Cruising Adventures! Wilson's Bird of Paradise

Papua & Birds of Paradise: Sorong to Kaimana

with Dr. Tony Whitten - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Ombak Putih
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Join a special 10-day sailing expedition honoring Alfred Russel Wallace, the prominent scientist who was one of the first who dared to raise concerns over the environmental impact of human activity some 150 years ago. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait in the archipelago led to his proposing the faunal boundary line, now known as the Wallace Line, which separates the eco zones of Asia and Australia. In collaboration with Dr. Tony Whitten and Fauna & Flora International, 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. You may even get to snorkel with whale sharks in Triton Bay.  

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Sorong | Embark
Day 2 : Sapokren, Waigeo Island
Day 3 : Pulau Arborek
Day 4 : Tomolol
Day 5 : Misool
Day 6 : Pisang Islands
Day 7 : Kitikiti waterfall
Day 8 : Triton Bay
Day 9 : Triton Bay
Day 10 : Kaimana | Disembark

Highlights

  • Swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave
  • Admire the fantastic sun rise over the picturesque Misool archipelago
  • Relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches of West Papua
  • Discover the beautiful sight of the incredible Kitikiti waterfall

Ship

Ombak Putih

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

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Day 1 Sorong | Embark

Arrive in the West Papuan port town of Sorong, the gateway to Raja Ampat. From the airport be transferred to the harbor where the Ombak Putih is waiting at anchor. Once settled into your cabin, your cruise director familiarizes you with the vessel’s facilities and safety procedures. Ready to start your adventure, weigh anchor, leave the harbor behind, and enter the marine protected area of Raja Ampat, home to unique birdlife and the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. Cruise towards the island of Waigeo, stopping for a refreshing swim along the way before watching the sun set on your first day at sea.

Day 2 Sapokren, Waigeo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While it is still dark, the tenders ferry those of you who are feeling fit and adventurous to the village of Sapokren, where a local guide takes you on a challenging trek into the forest in the hope of seeing the Wilson’s bird of paradise. The male is red and black with a yellow mantle on his neck, light green mouth, rich blue feet and two violet tail feathers. The featherless crown is turquoise, ornamented with double black crosses. If you are lucky, be able to observe the male dancing from a distance of just five meters. Before the dance, he clears the ground of any leaves or other obstacles that may disrupt his performance. On your way back to the boat, accompanied by the sounds of the jungle coming to life, be sure to spot a number of bird species along the way. Spend the remainder of the day resting from the morning’s activities and enjoying the waters and reefs of Raja Ampat.

Day 3 Pulau Arborek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today presents another opportunity for keen birdwatchers, as you 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 might catch sight of 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. End the day by mooring off Pulau Arborek in front Arborek Village. Here, you can easily circumnavigate the tiny island by foot and gain a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept alive by the villagers living in this isolated place.

Day 4 Tomolol

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave is undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After an early breakfast, the tenders 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. 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 ‘petroglyph’ cave paintings, estimated to be anything from 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human palms, fish, flowers and plants, tools and vessels. 

Day 5 Misool

  • 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 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. Spend the day maximizing everything that this fascinating area has to offer by marveling at both the marine wonderland under the water and the magnificent landscape above the surface. Test out your paddling skills in the sea kayaks, watch for birds perched on the rocks, or just sit back and take in the glorious scenery. After a full day of island hopping, the Ombak Putih begins her overnight journey.

Day 6 Pisang Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning explore the Pisang Islands. These tiny gems isolated in the vast waters of the Ceram Sea offer you a chance to relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches, clear waters, and vibrant reefs before making your way to the shores of West Papua. Here follow the shoreline until you reach the village of Sipitnanam. After visiting the village and meeting the residents, who spend their days fishing the nearby waters and tending their nutmeg plantations, continue south along the coastline through the night.

Day 7 Kitikiti waterfall

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today wake up to the beautiful sight of Kitikiti waterfall. Here, in the wilderness, a roaring river cascades down the jungle-clad mountains and crashes into the sea below. Swim under the waterfall and explore the extraordinary reefs nearby before rounding Cape Papisol to the Karawawi region, where you can stop to refresh before journeying on to Triton Bay.

Day 8 Triton Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Triton Bay is a place of unsurpassed natural splendor, where time and tides have sliced the limestone landscape into tall cliffs and numerous islands separated by lagoons and narrow channels. It is also home to fishermen who keep masses of baitfish in nets that attract a migratory group of whale sharks, which you may have the chance to swim and snorkel with. Also spend your time swimming from secluded beaches, snorkeling the vibrant turquoise waters, and kayaking amongst the rocky outcrops. Enjoy watching the birdlife from the comfort of tenders as you explore this extraordinary maze of karst islands, before visiting the village of Lobo, which is a friendly place at the foot of a 1000-meter-high cliff.

Day 9 Triton Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make the most of your last morning in Triton Bay by cruising through the undisturbed coves, caves, and lagoons before heading north through the Namatote Passage. Namatote’s cliffs are also well known as a gallery of prehistoric art, boasting an impressive collection of cave paintings, glyphs, and pictorial signs left by ancient nomads high upon the rock walls. Spend your final evening on the ship resting at anchor and enjoying a farewell dinner with the captain and crew.

Day 10 Kaimana | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning, anchor in the harbor of Kaimana. After a final, hearty breakfast, say goodbye to the Ombak Putih and her crew. The tenders take you ashore for your transfer to the airport for your onward travel.

Ombak Putih

Per person starting at
$5,900
Cabin, 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.

Notes

- 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: Airfare is not included in the tour package. 

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 
Rates Exclude:
  • Domestic airfares
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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