Summary : On your 13-day crossing of the Malay Archipelago, you will experience a wide variety of unique destinations, discover ancient tribes, explore the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on earth, and look for orangutans in their natural habitat. Visit historical locations that changed the face of history forever. Join your expert expedition team, selected for their knowledge and experience, along with local guides to explore these unique destinations by foot, Zodiac or local transport. Featuring an astonishing diversity of cultures, landscapes, flora and fauna across the Malay Archipelago, from the lush rainforests of Borneo to the sun-kissed islands of the Moluccas, board the luxurious L’Austral for the trip of a lifetime.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$4,580 to $11,240
Embark the vessel in the afternoon.
Anchored off the extreme north of Palawan in the heart of the Philippines' Calamian Islands, the little island of Coron is an emerald gem adorned with lakes. Among the many activities here, you can explore the shores of Lake Kayangan in a bangka, a traditional outrigger canoe, or swim in the fresh, warm waters of Lake Barracuda. Famous for its limestone cliffs pierced with caves, the island also has an extraordinary cultural heritage. A stopover in Coron offers an excellent opportunity for meeting the indigenous Tagbanua tribe, a fishing and hunting people who ensure their island remains unspoiled to retain its natural wonders.
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.
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.
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.
If you are traveling the world in search for the most beautiful snorkeling spots, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Indonesian Raja Ampat islands. Off Sorong. Ideally located in the heart of the illustrious Coral Triangle, the 1,500 or so islets that make up the archipelago are the ideal place for admiring some outstandingly diverse coral reefs. At the junction of the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Raja Ampat islands, covered with lush jungle, are also extraordinary lands for hiking. Between multi-colored lagoons, immaculate beaches and green landscapes, the Raja Ampat islands offer you a breathtaking palette of colors.
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.
Disembark the vessel after breakfast.
Arrive in Darwin and 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.
Photo Credit: © Eva Robert, © Nathalie Michel, © Lorraine Turci, © Ponant