Summary : Discover an all-new itinerary linking Australia, the great southern land also known as ‘the island continent’, and the Philippines, a string of islands where each white-sand beach is more beautiful than the next. Board your luxury vessel in Cairns, Australia and said northward to the Moluccas, their dormant volcanoes and coral sea-beds. A natural paradise awaits you in Banda Neira and the Kai Islands. Cruise to Malaysia—from Sandakan, you will be able to discover the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Located in the northwest of Borneo in the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Visit Coron Island, in the heart of the Philippines. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this island will reveal to you its tropical rainforest, romantic waterfalls and fine-sand beaches. Do not miss your chance to discover Kayangan Lake: legend has it that it is the purest in the Philippines.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
Inquire about special savings for honeymooners, wedding anniversaries, and groups of 6 or more.
$6,200 to $18,270
Nestled into the Coral Sea, the harbor town of Cairns is located on Australia's northeast coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Daintree Rainforest, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for its fauna and flora from the Gondwana era. Embark the vessel in the afternoon.
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located at the tip of northeastern Australia. The region has been described as the largest unspoiled wilderness in Australia. The relatively undisturbed eucalyptus wooded savannahs, tropical rainforests and other types of habitat are now recognized for their global environmental significance. At the tip of the peninsula lies Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian continent. Usually taking travelers 5-7 days over some of the planet’s toughest and remotest roads, you can expedite that and “stand on the tip” on this luxury voyage via a short zodiac ride directly onto the beach!
Occupying half the Island of New Guinea, Western New Guinea (once known as Irian Jaya) is one of the most remote and mysterious regions of the world. Even today, there are at least 44 tribes that have never had contact with the outside world. Nestled in the southwest corner of the island is the Asmat region where ancient traditions of ancestor worship have resisted the influence of Christian missionaries. Today’s expedition starts with a Zodiac transfer to the village of Syuru where you will be met by a multitude of Asmat warrior canoes. Once ashore a traditional ceremony will take place. In the afternoon guests can undertake a guided walking tour of Agats township.
The Kei Islands are a natural paradise with brightly colored coral reefs offering some of the best snorkeling sites in the world. You will have the opportunity to snorkel on the fringing reef. The islands are blessed with stunning, yet almost entirely empty, white-sand beaches and a deeply hospitable population. Local history holds that ancestors of contemporary Kei islanders came from Bali. Today mostly Christian, Kei culture is fascinatingly distinctive.
From age-old traditional cultures and ancient vestiges to coral reefs and lush green jungle, the attractions of the remote Banda archipelago seem endless. Better known as the legendary “Spice Islands” of the Ancient World, these small volcanic landmasses were the fabled prize of colonial powers for more than four centuries. Every colonial power of significance fought for control of these ten small islands that today have become largely forgotten. Walking the streets of Banda Neira is a surreal experience as your eyes are drawn to the eclectic mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture, the remnants of a rich and tumultuous history. It is without a doubt the most historically significant and interesting of all the Spice Islands.
Established in 1991, Bunaken Marine Park was among the first of Indonesia's marine parks. The park is globally renowned for its rich ecosystems, comprising fringing and barrier reefs. There are seven times more types of coral than in Hawaiian waters, and more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific. Enjoy swimming and snorkeling on one of the many islands within the marine park.
During lunch your ship will relocate to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, home to at least 127 mammal, 233 bird and 104 reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy a guided walk through the rainforest in search of the Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, and the Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
The Saronde islands are located in the northern Gulf of Kwandang, part of the North Gorontalo regency. These small uninhabited islands are surrounded by clear waters and beautiful coral reef systems. Pulau Saronde boasts a white sand beach providing easy access to the fringing coral reef. After a short Zodiac ride to the beach, enjoy a day of swimming and snorkeling or just relax in the shade and absorb the idyllic tropical atmosphere.
Home to the oldest tropical rainforests on our planet, the island of Borneo is a kaleidoscope of flora and fauna, including the famous orangutan, whose name translates as “man of the forest” from Malay. The only Asian representative of the great apes, they are easily recognizable by their long arms and wispy, vibrant orange hair. The Kabili–Sepilok Forest Reserve and Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuaries contain some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife and are considered the best areas for viewing wildlife in Malaysia. Sightings of proboscis monkeys are common in the late afternoon, and long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques frequent the trees.
To the far north of Palawan Island, El Nido is famous for its black rock cliffs where the nests of salanganes, a kind of sea lark, are harvested and eaten as a delicacy. This village opens its doors onto the magnificent Bacuit Archipelago, a drawcard for marine adventurers. Among the most beautiful spots for snorkeling in the Philippines are the deep blue lagoons from which vast, steep rocks rise. Postcard-perfect beaches and deserted bays ring the island.
Disembark the vessel after breakfast.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Meals on board the ship; snorkeling gear (except wetsuits); Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; coffee, juice, soft drinks and open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); port taxes; gratuities; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying on Deck 6. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; any ground services before and/or after the cruise; passport and visa fees; travel and medical insurances; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, internet, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: Zodiac and ship © Eva Robert, beach © Nathalie Michel