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This special cruise in association with ASA Culture Tours (Australians Studying Abroad) and led by Jeffrey Mellefont will take guests on a journey of wonder through some of the greatest marine landscapes on the planet - from Raja Ampat to the Spice Islands. The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates of Ternate and Tidore – in those days each of the four larger islands in the group, Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool, used to bow to an independent ‘raja.’ Today, Raja Ampat is world famous as one of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, on a par with the Great Barrier Reef and the Galápagos. Aboard our beautiful boat, The Ombak Putih, we will follow in the wake of 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. We will revisit some of the areas that Wallace found so fascinating, and we will hopefully experience the magic of seeing the red bird of paradise in its full glory within its natural habitat. What a great way to start the New Year!
The Expert's Advice
Richly illustrated by photography taken during research into Indonesia over the past 30 years, Jeffrey’s lectures and talks will cover a wide array of topics covering culture, history, and the traditions and navigational techniques of the maritime world of the Indies. In addition, there will also be possible opportunities to go aboard local boats, with a chance to sail, meet and engage with the crews, with Jeffrey translating as we go.
- Silk, Spice and Gunpowder
- Tanah Air Kita – Indonesia’s Land of Water
- Mighty Maritime Empires
- A Tapestry of Seafarers
- Celebes Ships: History Behind the SeaTrek Fleet
- Renown Europeans and the Prahus of Indonesia.
- Bahasa: the Unifying Utility of the Indonesian Tongue
Note: The price of this cruise does not include any domestic airfares to and from our start and end points, however, our reservations specialists in Bali are more than happy to help arrange domestic flights on your behalf and advise on scheduling. We book hundreds of flights each year on behalf of our guests and we know the best routes to take to ensure you arrive on time. We only book with IATA-approved airlines that have met with international standards of safety and dependability. Except for Bali, transfers to and from local airports to the boat are also included. If you are booking flights by yourself, please do not book any flights before checking with us first. Our first and last day programmes rely on strict time scheduling, so please confirm with us to ensure that you arrive and depart at your destination with plenty of time to spare and to avoid disruption to other guests' schedules.