Micronesia: A Cultural and Wildlife Journey

Micronesia Cruise

  • Silver Discoverer
  • Expedition Ship
  • 120 Capacity
  • 17 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $999,999,999

Summary : Explore Micronesia including Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines on a cultural and wildlife journey. See the famed Komodo dragon in its natural habitat. Visit diverse tribal villages and view their unique cultures and customs. Explore a variety of natural terrains including beaches, caves, mountains, gorges, valleys, rainforests, and waterfalls. Travel in the company of experts including an ecologist, marine biologist and wildlife photographer. Enjoy water adventures such as snorkeling, diving, canoe rides and Zodiac expeditions. Experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come "face to face" with orangutans. Man's smartest relative is native to Borneo and—other than Sumatra—live in the wild nowhere else on earth.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Snorkeling

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Itinerary
Day 1
Benoa, Bali, Indonesia

Embark the Silver Discoverer for this stunning expedition. Meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet some of your fellow travelers.

Day 2
Komodo, Indonesia

Discover Komodo, one of the 17,508 islands that comprise the Republic of Indonesia. Be on the lookout for whales cruising the straits—a perfect introduction to what is sure to be a day of witnessing wonderful wildlife in their natural habitats. Walk along forested pathways to discover the island’s reptilian inhabitant—the Komodo dragon—the largest lizard on earth, weighing up to 300 pounds. But don’t forget to look up, too! The surrounding forest is also home to elegant Sulphur-Crested cockatoos, Friar birds, and rare Megapode birds—shy, chicken-sized birds who lay their eggs in the sand and leave them in the sun to incubate.

Day 3
At Sea

Enjoy a leisurely day at sea to exchange notes with fellow travelers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Help our birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds. Take in a lecture or just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie.

Day 4
Palopo, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

After an early departure from the ship at the Polopo Harbor, drive 1-½ hours to Toraja where you’ll spend a full day exploring Torajaland. Start at Palawa, an ancient village inhabited by residents who adorn their homes with the horns of buffalo killed in funeral ceremonies. Continue to Bori—“the Stonehenge of Indonesia”—to see an ancient field, or rante (the field of the funeral ceremony), where 102 tall menhir stones soar up several meters above land. From here, it’s onto Lemo to visit the hanging graves and the traditional village of Kete Kesu, to see an array of ancient relics. Finally, visit Nanggala, to observe original rice barns that belonged to the area’s royal family, before heading to a local hotel to overnight. This day’s itinerary is subject to change depending if there is a funeral ceremony.

Day 5 – 6
At Sea

After an early breakfast, drive south to Pare Pare to rejoin the Silver Discoverer by mid-morning. Depart for Borneo enjoying some leisurely time at sea.

Day 7
Sipadan Island, Sabah, Malaysia

After a technical stop at Tawau early this morning, we clear into Malaysia for a full day of water activities at the stunningly beautiful Sipadan Island. Only 12 hectares in size, it is Malaysia’s only oceanic island, separate from the continental shelf of Borneo.
The teeming marine life of Sabah’s undisturbed coral reefs, especially around the island of Sipadan offers interesting snorkel and scuba dive opportunities. The island is like the head of a mushroom, sitting on the stem of coral almost 600 meters above the ocean floor. Divers and snorkelers alike will have ample opportunity to explore, and have encounters with sea turtles, schooling barracuda, white tip sharks and other denizens of the deep, with the backdrop of multi-coloured hard and soft corals.
Alternatively, experience this unique world from the Silver Discoverer’s glass bottom boat.

Day 8
Lahud Datum, Borneo, Malaysia

Explore one of nature’s jewels: the Danum Valley Conservation Area. In this lush preserved space, you will see over 200 species of trees and a vast range of Sabah’s lowland fauna. Recognized as one of the world’s most complex ecosystems, this forest serves as a natural home for endangered wildlife species including Sumatran rhinos, bantengs (Bali cattle), Asian elephants, clouded leopards, orangutans, and proboscis monkeys.

Day 9
Kinabatangan River

The Kinabatangan, Sabah’s longest river, is one of the most exciting and easily accessible places to explore the rich biodiversity of Sabah. Set off by Zodiac in search of a large range of wildlife including Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, otters and countless rare and beautiful birds. With a full day to explore, highlights may include Malaysia’s largest mangrove wetlands, a local village visit, and/ or an early-morning or after-dusk birding Zodiac cruise.

Day 10
Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia

Situated on the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve (one of the few remaining virgin jungles in Sabah) is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC). The famous sanctuary was founded in 1964 to rescue orphaned and injured orangutans and rehabilitate them for living in the forest. From a rainforest platform, you will witness the feeding of orangutans in their natural habitat.

Visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Sanctuary, where you will see the endemic Proboscis Monkey during its feeding time. You may also see native animals such as Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, and Hornbills.

Day 11
Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippines

Experience the Philippines’ Puerto Princessa Subterranean River with its surrounding limestone and marble cliffs by motorized outrigger boats and hand-paddled canoes. The dome-shaped cathedral-like caverns stretch underneath the cliffs, and house stalagmites that rise out from the water and bats perched overhead.

Day 12
Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Coron Island has several Japanese World War II shipwrecks of its shores, and is home to the indigenous Tagbanwa people. Today you have various options. Enjoy a varied, daylong eco-trip that will include a tour, a minor hiking activity to Kayangan Lake, and swimming and snorkeling at Twin Peaks Reef. Another great snorkeling experience can be had at Calachuchi Coral Eden. This tour unveils Hidden Lagoon with tranquil waters surrounded by limestone formations and participants can enjoy a seafood picnic lunch on a white-sand beach at Isla Bulungan. Alternatively join the Wrecks and Reefs Experience, which will have you exploring the aforementioned shipwrecks and the coral reefs that have grown amongst them.

Day 13
At Sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Join the lectures and hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. The knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields such as marine biology and ecology.

Day 14
Aparri, Philippines

Explore the Caves in Penablanca with their natural skylights, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. As part of a 300-cave system, Callao Cave offers infinite possibilities for exploration, although, to date, only a few of them have been explored. The natural cathedral is the most popular chamber in the cave and was converted into a chapel by the local people.

Day 15
At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea. Perhaps you’ll join a lecture, reflect on your travels thus far, or meet with new friends and share your stories.

Day 16
Hualien, Taiwan

Arrive in Taiwan and depart on a full day tour to explore the high mountains, numerous waterfalls and natural gorges of Taroko National Park. Highlights here include Yanzikou (Swallow Grotto), the Liwu River, Taroko Gorge and the Shakadang Trail (or Mysterious Valley Trail). Tung tree flowers are in bloom making the trail a beautiful hallway of flowers.

In the afternoon, travel to the Pine Garden, in the MeiLun District at the northeastern corner of HuaLien City. Natural ecology and artistic features are the garden’s unique highlights. You can also see Taiwan’s best-preserved Japanese military structure while visiting.

Day 17
Taipei, Taiwan

Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Scuba Diving Program: Dives are dependent upon the conditions and included in the cruise price. Divers must be advanced with full certification which will need to be provided before embarking the vessel. Dive medical travel insurance is required. Divers must bring their own gear such as BCD and regulator.  Weight belts and tanks will be provided. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for further details.

Included:
Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; snorkeling gear; diving; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee).

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; park entrance fees; government fees and taxes; passport expenses; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.