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Spices and teas

The Spice Islands & Raja Ampat

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Coral Adventurer
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Combining scenery of outstanding natural beauty, diverse wildlife and storied histories, this Raja Ampat and Spice Islands expedition is a unique journey of discovery and adventure like no other. Embark Coral Adventurer in Darwin, at the commencement of your 12-days voyage to Biak, West Papua. Become one of the very first to have experienced these rarely-visited islands, where villagers have remained shielded from the outside world and communities are only now emerging into the 21st century.

*Itinerary operates in reverse on select departures.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Darwin, Australia | Embark
Day 2 : Cross the Timor Sea
Day 3 : Bandaneira, Spice Islands
Day 4 : Hatta Island, Spice Islands
Day 5 : Molana Island & Saparua Island, Spice Islands
Day 6 : Sawai, Spice Islands
Day 7 : Misool & the Stone Gardens of Misool, Raja Ampat
Day 8 : Kofiau Island, Raja Ampat
Day 9 : Wayag Island, Raja Ampat
Day 10 : At Sea
Day 11 : Roon or Auri Island
Day 12 : Cenderawasih Bay & Kwatisore Village
Day 13 : Biak, West Papua | Disembark

Highlights

  • Snorkel and dive in the excellent coral garden at Wagmab Island
  • Discover Wayag’s ‘gumdrop’ islands & be rewarded by the stunning view
  • Swim with the unforgettable whale sharks at Cenderawasih Bay
  • Experience the local culture of the West Papuan people

Ship

Coral Adventurer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Rock formations along the coast of Kimberly Spices and teas Beautiful wild coast of Raja Ampat, Indonesia Sealife at Manuar Island, Raja Ampat, Indonesia Nutmeg Harvest (Myristica fragans)
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Day 1 Darwin, Australia | Embark

This afternoon board Coral Adventurer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf, where there is time to settle in before your evening departure. Join your fellow travelers, the Captain and his crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks in anticipation of what promises to be a remarkable journey discovering Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands.

Day 2 Cross the Timor Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day at leisure as you cross the Timor Sea towards Bandaneira. Join your Expedition Staff in the ship’s lounge for an interesting introduction to your journey, and the many experiences you can share over the coming eleven days.

Day 3 Bandaneira, Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the middle of the Banda Sea, lies an enchanted fragment of history, the center of the Spice Island trade. Originally the world’s sole source of nutmeg and mace, these nine tiny islands have attracted traders since at least 2,000 years ago. In the 16th century, European explorers discovered entire continents in their quest for these islands. On your approach to Banda Island the outline of Gunung Api volcano, with its thin plume of smoke drifting from the summit,  are clearly visible. See Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action, with up to 38 oarsmen aboard they are a sight to behold as they glide across the water. Enjoy lunch aboard before departing for a snorkel or dive on the nearby Lava flow reef system or you may like to enjoy local tea and coffee along with delicious snacks at the waterfront. Later in the afternoon, there is time to explore Fort Belgica, built by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1611, the fort is extremely well preserved and provides an interesting insight into Dutch colonization. The locals entertain you with a traditional dance and music performance before we enjoy a glass of champagne watching the sunset over the fort.

Day 4 Hatta Island, Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself with local guides in the colors and aromas of the Spice Islands. Travel through the streets of Banda Neira, past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour. See the museum, the former VOC Governor’s Mansion visit the old church, enjoy water activities and finish with traditional dancing and tastings of local treats on the waterfront. There is the option to go snorkeling and diving in clear turquoise water over the nearby unique submerged lava flow.

After lunch, bid farewell Banda Neira and head for a neighboring island within the Banda Archipelago – Hatta Island. Famous for exceptional snorkeling and diving at the edge of the reef just 5m off the shoreline. Admire vibrant corals and sea creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors home to turtles, dolphins, sea horses, great coral gardens and plenty of fish. Later there is the opportunity for a guided walk through the village, to visit school children, and then to explore a local plantation of Pepper Trees and Nutmeg Trees.

Day 5 Molana Island & Saparua Island, Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day arriving early at Molana Island (Also referred to as Mamala Island). This uninhabited private island is home to 85 species of trees, Pacific Monitor Lizards (Varanus Indicus), Moluccan Scrubfowl (Megapodius Reinwardtii) and Coconut Crabs. Molana Island has been known since the Portuguese colonial era. The island still contains the ruins of a hospital built by the Dutch, whose construction was interrupted by the Japanese occupation in World War II. Residing on a large reef cluster that emerges to the surface makes for rich marine life surrounding the island. Snorkelers can take advantage of the shallow corals and clear water with easy viewing of unique corals and plentiful fishes. Experienced lucky divers keep your eyes out for the underwater cave that connected to a well in the center of the island.

Head East to Saparua Island where you are welcomed by merrily singing school children. The area holds an important spot in history books which we learn at Fort Duurstede, a 17th-century Dutch fort with a complicated backstory that spans centuries. Here men and boys give you their war dance with shields, swords and cultural adornment. This is a location of cultural immersion and learning.

Day 6 Sawai, Spice Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sawai is a little slice of paradise located on the Central Northern side of Seram Island, Maluku. Sawai village is one of the oldest villages in Maluku, with houses that extend out over the water. Spend the day exploring the beautiful clear waters and reefs along with grand cliffs and Manusela valleys of Manusela National Park. Not far from the location of the reef, there is a big gap and height that can be entered and a beautiful spot for bird spotting.

Bid farewell the Spice Islands as you make your way to Raja Ampat.

Day 7 Misool & the Stone Gardens of Misool, Raja Ampat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Raja Ampat’s literal meaning ‘The Four Kings’ is because this archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals are surrounding four main islands: Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool. Today, visit Folley on the top East side of Misool.  Here you'll take in the picturesque beauty that is Balbulol, where five high cone-shaped cliffs rise from the turquoise waters in a line like emerald Christmas Trees. Enjoy swimming and kayaking water activities here.
There are more than 1000 ancient rock paintings have been discovered in Misool in over 60 sites. Red-coloured rock paintings on several cliffs a show form women’s hand with long tapering fingers. There are also paintings of marine fauna such as sharks, tuna, dolphins, several sticks, canoes, overlapping abstract images, line and symbol of fertility.

After lunch, visit Yapap, the best natural pool in the world. This huge primordial pool is adorned with impressive karst formations which look more like chess pieces than rocks. Its turquoise seawater is so clear that the sand and coral reefs on its shallow ocean floor are clearly visible from the surface. Swimming and diving here is incredible. You'll also visit Dafalen Love Lake. It is an excellent place for lovers, friends and family to swim together in this symbolic lake of love. You can optionally climb up into the summit of the rock to see the heart-shaped lake from above.

Day 8 Kofiau Island, Raja Ampat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make your way to Kofiau Island, another island of the Raja Ampat region. Be welcomed by local village dancers on a “flatform boat” as they lead you ashore to Kampung Deer. Local guides lead you through as you explore the village. A local long-boat transfer takes you to the next village Kampung Awat where you enjoy an Opening Sasi ceremony and beach BBQ. Spend the afternoon snorkeling, bird watching and exploring other villages.

Day 9 Wayag Island, Raja Ampat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover the lagoon’s white sand beaches and maze of limestone karst ‘gumdrop’ islands as we explore in zodiacs and aboard Xplorer. After lunch, those keen on an energetic climb up famous Pindito Peak will be rewarded by breathtaking views over the island and its spectacular lagoon. Alternatively choose to relax with a swim, snorkel, guided glass bottom boat tour or kayak paddle.

Day 10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A relaxing day at sea,  join the Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers in the lounge for an informative introduction to Cenderawasih Bay and your activities over the last two days of your expedition.

Day 11 Roon or Auri Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depending on the weather and conditions, today enjoy either Roon Island or Auri Island. Cenderawasih Bay (translates to Bird of Paradise Bay), hosts an incredible array of marine biodiversity. The largest marine park in Indonesia, Teluk Cenderawasih National Park protects a rich marine ecosystem, and covers an area of more than 14,500 square kilometers and is home to whale sharks, dugongs, dolphins as well as over 200 known species of fish and 150 species of coral. One of the highlights of Roon Island is the wreckage of a Japanese Zero fighter plane lying in shallow water and is visible to snorkellers when the weather co-operates. The wreck has become a marine habitat and sports large corals, gorgonian fans as well as large populations of lionfish, surgeonfish and turtles amongst other marine life.

To reach Auri Island, navigate through picturesque island scenery before enjoying beach activities, swimming and snorkeling in this striking location. There is also a visit to a local village where you will enjoy a traditional dance and music performance. Villagers turn out adorned with body paint and dressed in colorful costumes with grass skirts, shells and beads along with elaborate headdresses.

Day 12 Cenderawasih Bay & Kwatisore Village

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The biodiversity hotspot of Cenderawasih Marine Park attracts a significant population of whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea. Cenderawasih Bay is one of the few places worldwide where it’s possible to swim with this endangered species. There is no guarantee that whale sharks will materialize on cue – if they do, you may have the chance to snorkel amongst them. Eyeballing these enormous fish, which are completely harmless and can grow to the length of a bus, is an experience you won’t forget!

Later, visit Kwatisore village with local guides and learn about West Papuan customs, cultures and the traditional lifestyles of the people. You will notice the difference in dancing, adornment and musical instruments of the West Papuan people in comparison to customs and culture of earlier islands visited in Raja Ampat and Spice Islands.

Day 13 Biak, West Papua | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After an early morning arrival into Biak, visit Binsari Caves before your noon charter flight back to Darwin (additional costs apply).
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Coral Adventurer

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Deals

Flexible New Booking Policy
For all new bookings made until September 30, 2020, in the event that you are unable to travel on the cruise originally booked due to Covid-19 related restrictions, you will be able to transfer your deposit to another future cruise at no additional fee. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for more details.
Applies to 2020 departures

Flexible Deposit Policy
New bookings are assured, with 30 days to finalize deposit payment. Some restrictions may apply. Policy does not apply to Kimberley routes Darwin - Broome or reverse. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures up to Dec 31, 2020

Per person starting at
$7,185
Coral Adventurer
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Identical to the Promenade Deck Staterooms except for their location one deck below. These staterooms have twin portholes rather than picture windows.
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located below the Explorer deck and furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
Comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
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Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk, and armchair are included.
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar, and personal coffee machine. They have special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles.

Notes

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates

Note: Visits to Raja Ampat are subject to access approvals to protected marine parks. These access approvals may alter over time. If access to some areas is not possible, alternatives will be introduced to this itinerary.

Rates Include:
  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals featuring locally sourced produce
  • Selected beers and showcase wines during lunch and dinner service
  • 24-hour tea, barista-style coffee, and selected soft drinks
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine, and national parks
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of an expert expedition team and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by authorities
  • Post-cruise transfer to hotel or airport
Rates Exclude: 
  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges, and souvenir purchases
  • Costs associated with SCUBA diving - please inquire for details
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf
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