Summary : From the ‘Island of Gods’, head to mysterious Komodo, a small wild island whose national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the famous Komodo dragons, gigantic monitor lizards that you will be able to see in their natural environment. Then follow in the footsteps of the traders who used to take the Spice Route in the past, to the Maluku Islands. These small tropical islands get very few visitors and offer fine possibilities for swimming, and historic colonial buildings for history afficiandos. Further east, you will visit villages of thatched houses in the Asmat region, one of the most isolated in the world, with deeply-rooted traditions and ancestor worship that is still very much alive. Le Laperouse will finally reach Australia via the legendary Cape York, to finish on a high note exploring Lizard Island, an island with exceptional marine life, from multicolored coral to giant clams.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Embark the vessel in the afternoon.
Pulau Banta is an uninhabited Island located in the northern region of Komodo National Park. Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia and has been identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. Originally designed to provide refuge for the infamous Komodo Dragon the park now protects one of the richest marine ecosystems. This has resulted in an abundance of world class snorkeling and diving locations available to the traveler. Head ashore in a Zodiac to enjoy this remote paradise. Snorkel over the fringing coral reef and marvel at the myriad of colors, or simply relax and take in the tranquil surroundings of this uninhabited paradise.
Rinca (pronounced Rincha) is part of Indonesia's Komodo National Park and has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. The island is almost completely undeveloped with only one small fishing village. With one of the lowest rainfalls in Indonesia its climate provides the perfect habitat for the exotic wildlife of Wallacea. Dense Monsoon forest in the protected gullies gives way to open grassland savannas, studded with prickly Ziziphus trees protecting a few scattered watering holes where the infamous Komodo dragons can be spotted. Join members of the expedition team and the local park rangers for a guided walk in search of dragons and other unique flora and fauna.
The unique culture of the Alorese continues among the Takpala indigenous group who have preserved their traditional architecture and ceremonies. The island of Alor is also known as the island of a Thousand Moko’s. The Moko is a small bronze kettledrum which is believed to have originated from the Dong Son culture of Vietnam. However, it remains a mystery as to how these prehistoric Dong Son drums arrived in Alor. Local legend says that the Moko’s were discovered buried in the ground, and indeed mokos are still being uncovered today. Join the expedition team and local guides for a tour by local transport to Takpala village, the Museum of a Thousand Mokos and the thriving main market of Kalabahi.
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”.
The Kei Islands are a natural paradise with brightly colored coral reefs offering some of the best diving sites in the world. You will have the opportunity to snorkel on the fringing reef from the fleet of Zodiacs. 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.
Triton Bay is one of three regions in Indonesia’s West Papua province that comprise the Bird’s Head Seascape (the other two are Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay), which is now considered by marine biologists to be the epicenter of the Coral Triangle. It contains more fish and coral species than anywhere else on the planet. Its unparalleled marine biodiversity, and relatively intact nature of its ecosystems are unique. Join your expedition team for a Zodiac voyage, and later in the day enjoy the opportunity to explore the richness of the underwater realm.
Located at Australia's northernmost tip, Thursday Island is one of more than a hundred islands in the Torres Strait between Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea. The historic military fort of Green Hill offers magnificent views and you can discover more about the region and its pearling history at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.
Lizard Island is the northernmost resort Island on the Great Barrier Reef and boasts 24 powdery white sand beaches. Dominated by grasslands, the rugged beauty of Lizard Island, contrasts sharply with the sparkling blue waters and rich fringing coral reefs surrounding the island. Lizard Island is known as Dyiigurra to the Dingaal Aboriginal people and is regarded as a sacred place. It was used for the initiation of young males and for the harvesting of shellfish, turtles, dugongs, and fish. The Dingaal believe that the Lizard group of islands had been created in the Dreamtime. After a short Zodiac ride to the beach at Watson’s Bay, guests can join a guided walk, relax on the beach, or snorkel in the warm clear waters and view the “clam gardens”.
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.
This ship is NEW for the 2019 season! As with any new vessel, we strongly suggest selecting a departure date at least six weeks after launch. Please ask for details.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Meals on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; luggage transfer between pier and ship; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals, afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands - list available upon request); port and safety taxes; crew gratuities; 24-hour room service; butler service for guests staying in Suites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned; spa charges; beverages other than those mentioned; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Nathalie Michel; © Lorraine Turci, © Ponant