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This exciting cruise follows in the footsteps of British naturalist and explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait between the islands of Bali and Lombok, and Borneo and Sulawesi, led to his proposing the zoo-geographical boundary now known as The Wallace line. In 1858, Wallace conceived the theory of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin. It was published, along with a description of Darwin’s own theory, in the same year. In the company of our guest expert, Alexander Reeuwijk, we will explore some of the areas that Wallace found so fascinating: remote mountainous islands with forested coastlines, idyllic white sand beaches and jungle waterfalls. We will go bird watching in the beautiful Manusela National Park, snorkel through Raja Ampat’s marine wonderland, swim through a mysterious cave, and cruise through a maze of karst islets. Hopefully, we will also experience the magic of seeing the red bird of paradise performing its extraordinary courtship dance within the treetops of its natural habitat. This SeaTrek adventure visits many of the exact locations that Wallace described in his book, ‘The Malay Archipelago’, several copies of which can be found in the ship’s library.
The Expert's Advice
Being a Dutchman and a keen naturalist, Alex has a strong affinity and understanding of both the colonial history of the former East Indies, and the rich diversity of its ecology. Along the way, Alex will be leading each day’s shore programmes by sharing his knowledge and observations of the areas we visit, while in the evenings his lectures can’t help but leave everyone hungry for more. His lecture topics include:
- The Moluccas and the Dutch. A Bloody History
- The Natural History of Ambon and Seram
- The Discovery and Mapping of Papua
- Indonesia, biogeography and Alfred Russel Wallace (two talks)
- The Age of Descent: the History of the Theory of Evolution
- Sexual Selection and Beyond: Darwin vs Wallace
- All Things Birds of Paradise
- The Bountiful Birds of Raja Ampat
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, 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.