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Forgotten Islands Photography – Bali to Australia

Southeast Asia Cruise

Summary : On this unique expedition, enhance your photographic skills in some of the world's most photogenic locations. This trip will be a floating masterclass with renowned professional photographer Nick Rains and cinematographer/photographer Pieter de Vries. Your route takes you from Bali along the trade routes of the early navigators and traders who opened up this new world of spices, gold and pearls. Every step of the way, you'll have the experience of these professional photographers to help you create stunning travel photography. Step back in prehistoric times when you explore Komodo, home of the fabulous dragons. The southwest corner of Maluku is virtually inaccessible, with pristine islands, fringing reefs and ancient cultures. Very few outsiders set foot here and a unique experience is guaranteed as you rediscover these forgotten islands. Voyage to Yamdena Island, the former Dutch trading colony, and the tiny island of Kisar with a heritage of 400 years of European history. Capture the images of these ancient cultures, colorful ceremonies and the unique flora and fauna with the guidance of tutorials including camera operation, travel photography tips, printing and processing methods. After exploring Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, sail on to Cairns in Queensland where you will leave the expedition with a personal collection of creative travel photography.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Snorkeling


Combine this voyage with Australia - Great Barrier Reef and save an additional 5% per person off each voyage.

Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1

The Indonesian island of Bali represents an oxymoron. The city center of Denpasar is crammed with hotels and tourist activity. It is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music. The countryside is picturesque incorporating rice paddies flooding the hillsides and volcanoes reaching to the skies. The rainforests are lush and tropical, and the beaches are washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority.

Day 2 – 3

Loh Liang is the entry point to the world renowned Komodo National Park. The national park was established in 1980 to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and its habitat. These prehistoric creatures are among the world's largest reptiles, growing to over 3 meters long and weighing over 70kg.

After landing on the beach, you will be met by local Park Rangers and after a short briefing, head off in search of the dragons. Pink Beach, just a short distance away from Loh Liang and still part of Komodo National Park, is so named because of the red organ pipe coral (Tubipora musica) that contributes to the sand on this spectacular beach. Swimming, snorkeling, sea kayaking or just relaxing on the beach are all options available for you today; make the most of your time on this world famous beach.

Day 4
Day 5
Kisar, Maluku

The Maluku region, probably more familiar to most as "the Moluccas" (as the area was previously known) is truly a collection of forgotten islands located just north of Australia. Sitting between New Guinea and Timor, it is part of Wallacea, the legendary deep water area that separates the Australian and Asian continental plates.

The south west corner of Maluku, part of the predominately Christian area of Indonesia, is virtually inaccessible but is home to numerous stunning islands with fringing reefs and ancient cultures. Very few outsiders have ever set foot on these islands and a unique experience is guaranteed asyou discover the "Forgotten Islands" of Maluku.

Your visit will be to the tiny island of Kisar, which serves as your official entry point into the archipelago. Kisar has over 400 years of European history and despite being only a few hundred miles off the coast of Australia, its European history is virtually unknown. Explore the island's history including visits to remnant architecture from the Dutch period which includes a stone church and a stone fort both over 400 years old. In addition, visit the Oirata village where cultural performances and displays will welcome and entertain you.

Day 6
Sangliat Dol, Yamdena Island

This traditional village in the Tanimbar Islands of Maluku is the center of the ancient "boat" culture of Maluku. In the center of the village is a stone boat. Not a boat that was ever meant to float, but a boat built to symbolize the arrival from the sea of the original inhabitants of Maluku. Most villages simply abandoned their giant stone boats and the culture that was attached when they were moved to the coast. The village of Sangliat Dol was not required to move during the colonial period and the giant stone boat and the culture associated with it remains intact today. A giant stone stair case leads from the beach to the hill top ceremonial area.

The village structure still follows the organization of a boat today. The village head is seen as the Captain or Master "steering" the direction of the village. Many other positions of the village basically translate as "helmsman", "harpooner", "bailer boy" and other boat related names. There are two further figures in the structure; the "herald" or "speaker" who is the father of the village and speaks for the village (traditionally basically in times of war) and the "sacrificer" or mother of the village. The mother and father of the village represent the cooperation as in a marriage to ensure the continuing existence of the village. For your visit and for other important events a massive ritual takes place surrounding the stone boat. Traditionally, all village decisions would revolve around such a ceremony.

Host families will take their adopted guests on a mini-tour of the village, including seeing the host family’s housing and cooking areas, an ikat weaving display, and a market area selling ikat weavings, wooden carvings very similar to those found in new Guinea and possibly even old Dutch artifacts such as plates and coins. At the end of the morning, finish at the markets and return to the beach, the zodiacs, and the ship for lunch.

Day 7 – 8
Day 9
Thursday Island, Torres Strait

Thursday Island (traditionally known as Waiben) is recognized as one of the last frontiers in Australia, as it holds great Australian history. At the Torres Strait Museum, learn about the feared Russian invasion of 1898. Had it been enacted, the invaders would have been greeted with a salvo from the 6-inch guns which still peer out over the ocean approach from Green Hill Fort, now home of the museum. Wander through pearlers cemeteries where stories of this once dangerous occupation are revealed. Or take in brilliant panoramic vistas of the surrounding islands and tropical seas from Lions Lookout.

The Gab Titui (Star of our Journey) Cultural Center provides the opportunity to discover the rich diversity of the Torres Strait Islander people. It is the region's first public keeping place for historical and cultural artifacts and tools, as well as both modern and traditional art.

Day 10
Orion Reef

This officially unnamed section of reef, which has been christened Orion Reef, is one of the most diverse and interesting snorkeling areas on the Great Barrier Reef. It is home to a profusion of marine life in the turquoise waters ranging from starfish and anemones to multicolored tropical fish, reef sharks and turtles.

Set in the far northern section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and on the true outer Reef, Orion Reef lies far from the potentially damaging effects of population or agricultural run-off. The naturally clean and clear water in this part of the Marine Park provides ideal conditions for a healthy reef environment.

This morning, your vessel will take position at Orion Reef affording a unique and spectacular opportunity for swimming and snorkeling over this pristine and seldom visited section of the Reef, alive with corals and teeming with tropical fish.

Day 11
Cairns, Australia

The Cairns region is internationally recognized for world class attractions, superb natural features and friendly north Queensland hospitality. It is the focal point for the magnificent World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and is surrounded by tropical rainforests. Visitors enjoy browsing indigenous art galleries, shopping at the night markets, and dining out on multicultural cuisine in the many restaurants along the esplanade.


Ports of call may be subject to weather and tidal conditions, and are subject to change.

Accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programs, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port & handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers, access to the ship's library, Government Fees & Taxes. Fares also include the services of 75 experienced crew.

Not Included:

Airfare; items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance; laundry charges; shopping onboard; bar expenses; hair dressing and massage treatments; optional shore experiences; medical treatment; telephone and Internet charges; gratuities for individual staff members (optional).

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