- 24 Breakfasts, 24 Lunches, 24 Dinners
Apo Reef is considered as the second largest atoll-like reef in the Philippines comprising of two isolated coral reefs that are disconnected by a 30-meter deep channel. The clear blue waters of the channel are teeming with almost 300 species of colorful marine life, including tropical aquarium fish, snappers and the crevice-dwelling moray eel. It is one best dive spots in the world, attracting divers year-round. The soft white sand and patches of fine corals, clearly visible through the crystal blue waters is an entrancing sight. Although most of the areas of the Reef are submerged, three beautiful islands: Apo Island, Apo Menor and Cayos del Bajo mark it on the surface.
North Sibuyan and Cresta de Gallo
Today we will go ashore to explore the Jurassic-like environment of the island, and visit the Cataja and Lambingan waterfalls, deep in the lush forest. In the afternoon, arrive at beautiful Cresta de Gallo for a late afternoon snorkel in the beautiful warm water before relaxing on the beach as the sun sets for champagne and canapes.
Famous for clear blue waters, soft white sands and long stretching sandbars along both sides of the island, enjoy the relaxing surrounds of uninhabited Kalanggaman Island that stretches only 753m across. This is the perfect location to snorkel, dive and kayak on the calm waters. Venture onto the island where only a small number of huts are available for accommodation and there is a cap of 500 visitors per day to preserve the isolated unspoiled beauty of the remote location. Relax on the sand and savour a remote island experience.
Limasawa Island, Leyte
Limasawa harbours a significant religious history and abounds with fascinating marine life. The island is located south of Leyte in the east-central region of the Philippines, where Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan made contact with the people of the Philippines in 1521. As a result, the Philippines remains one of the only two Christian countries in South East Asia. Here we will climb up the 450 steps to see Magellan’s cross and admire the panoramic view from atop the hill.
Bucas Grande and Dako Island
Here we will visit Sohoton Cove, a diverse natural landscape with valleys, hilltops, soft-sandy beaches, lush forests and mountains. This location is best explored by pump boat, which will allow you to discover limestone pool caves within the cove and the forest that envelops it. Float through famed Blue Lagoon which is an intricate channel of limestone atolls. Swim with harmless jellyfish in Jelly Fish Lake and snorkel or dive at a quintessential tropical island beach destination at Dako Island. Relax under a shady hut among the palm trees and powdery pristine sands.
Koror is the main state and island of the Republic of Palau. The Rock Islands are a UNESCO world heritage site and are one of the most coveted destinations of Koror. The land mass of Koror is not large, with hundreds of islands and islets of volcanic and limestone reef construction that present a stunning vista of craggy forested islands surrounded by emerald seas.
Snorkelling and diving at Neco or Carp Island will reveal the underwater wonders to be discovered here and a visit to the Belau National Museum or Etpison Museum with uncover fascinating historical insights. There may be an opportunity to visit Milky Way, a channel known for its therapeutic clay, for a swim and natural spa experience.
Yap state is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. The main island of Yap is famous for its stone currency – limestone discs (Rai) spanning in size from 4m to 4cm in diameter and can be seen embedded in the earth or standing in rows near villages. The Yapese are skilled builders, which can be seen in the elegant tribal buildings on the island. We will also learn about their canoe building culture and ability to navigate through the many islands of Micronesia. Be welcomed with traditional dancing, visit one of the villages to learn about their stone currency and stroll through Colonia’s Yap Living Museum.
Ifalik Atoll, Yap State
One of the most traditional villages in Micronesia, Ifalik is determined to maintain a cultural integrity that we are privileged to experience. Witness traditional dances and demonstrations of skills integral to the local lifestyle such as rope making, pandanus fibre making, basket weaving and carving. After a wonderful morning learning about the people who make this remote atoll their home, there are opportunities to enjoy another spectacular dive or snorkel as well as bird watching.
Lamotrek Atoll, Yap State
Subject permission of the locals, visit the villages of Lamotrek Atoll where the residents are known for their navigation skills and construction of elegant long canoes constructed from breadfruit wood. Here, we may see demonstrations of weaving and the creation of traditional foods, as well as exploring the beaches and snorkelling over the fringing reef. Enjoy conversations with the residents to learn about life in this remote atoll and relax on the beach together. Making these connections provides such a wonderful experience of shared culture that it is difficult for us to depart.
Pulowat Island, Chuuk State
At Puluwat Atoll, we may visit an abandoned lighthouse or see WWII wreckage at Alei Island.
Continuing to Chuuk, the main atoll of Chuuk State, we explore the spectacular coral-fringed lagoon, which shelters the mountainous volcanic islands. The sweeping views of lush rainforest and cascading waterfalls contrast with deserted beaches, small, thatched villages and tiny islets swarming with bird life.
Once a major military site for the Japanese, many of the Imperial Navy vessels sheltered here until 1944, when American bombers sunk 60 vessels and aircraft in the lagoon. Known as the ‘ghost fleet’, the lagoon contains a vast museum-like collection of unparalleled mystery – ship after ship leaning into the ocean floor, and aircraft with wings tilted are revealed on an otherworldly dive.
Truuk, Chuuk State
This spectacular and vast coral fringed lagoon shelters 15 high reaching volcanic islands. The dramatic scenery ranges from lush rainforests and waterfalls to deserted beaches and small villages laced in World War II history. Divers can explore the eerie underwater ‘ghost fleet’ and birders can search the islets for plentiful seabirds. Enjoy a nature walk and visit historical sites.
ANT Atoll, Pohnpei State
We may have the opportunity to go ashore at Ant Atoll, a stunning coral reef atoll that is recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve. Home to some of the largest colonies of terns, boobies, black noddies and frigatebirds in the Pacific, the lagoon also has a thriving population of grey reef sharks. There is only one small settlement on this island, so we may snorkel, dive, or spend the afternoon strolling in search of endemic bird species.
Kosrein Island, Micronesia
The mountainous island of Kosrae is known as the ‘island of the sleeping lady’ and is the easternmost state in the Federated States of Micronesia. We explore the enigmatic Lelu Ruins site, once an impressive city covering 20 hectares with an extensive canal system, social structure and pyramidal tombs. In the afternoon, enjoy snorkelling and diving, explore the island by bushwalking and hiking, visit the Giant Clam Farm or spend time conversing with the local people including a traditional performance.
Kapingamarangi, Pohnpei State
Kapingamarangi is the most southerly point of Micronesia and a Polynesian outlier, located some 740km from the main island, the state of Pohnpei. Here we will visit the charming village where islanders are well-known for their wooden carvings. The population of the village is about 500 and main industry is fishing and farming of coconuts, breadfruit, pandanus fruit and taro. There is an opportunity to purchase handmade souvenirs and snorkel in the pristine azure waters on our visit.
Relax on deck as we spend a day at sea, with onboard presentations from our Guest Lecturers, workshops, and demonstrations. This voyage includes eight full sea days and five half sea days.