Southeast Asia Expedition

Southeast Asia Cruise

  • Silver Discoverer
  • Expedition Ship
  • 120 Capacity
  • 19 Days
  • 2015 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Mar 10 Tue
  • Price from
  • $12,850

Summary : Explore world-renowned snorkeling and diving hotspots in Raja Ampat and discover thousands of iridescent blue chromis. See the famous Komodo dragon in its natural habitat. Visit the volcanic island where Alfred Russel Wallace wrote his pioneering account of evolution by natural selection. Walk around the remains of an ancient Dutch fortress, and visit a Sultan's mosque and palace. Go in search of New Guinea’s finest ancient Papuan rock art. Marvel at Asmat woodcarvings and immerse yourself in the ancient Asmat culture. Cruise along mangroves by Zodiac in search of parrots, lorikeets and the spectacular Bird of Paradise. Spot Black Naped Terns, Red-Footed Boobies, and Frigate birds on this trip of a lifetime. Travel in the company of experts including a marine biologist, wildlife photographer and historian.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Snorkeling

PRICING

Prices from
$12,850 to $31,550

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Itinerary
Day 1
Koror, Palau, Micronesia

Embark the ship in the afternoon and meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Enjoy time to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet fellow travelers.

Day 2
Fanna & Sonsorol Islands, Micronesia

Set out for the Islands of Fanna and Sonsorol. Their proximity makes it possible to explore both in one day. Snorkel or dive among thousands of iridescent blue chromis. Birders get their chance to spot Black Naped Terns, Red-Footed Boobies, and Frigate birds. Sonsorol only has about 25 residents, while Fanna is completely uninhabited. Residents of Sonsorol regard Fanna as a reserve, but make occasional foraging expeditions by dugout canoe for fish, coconut crabs, and birds. Admire the islands’ forests of tall trees, including stately Ficus and Artocarpus.

Day 3
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. Hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of fields.

Day 4
Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia

The volcanic island, Ternate, is steeped in history. It was here that Alfred Russel Wallace wrote his pioneering account of evolution by natural selection, known as the “Ternate Essay,” which he famously sent to Charles Darwin, who published the essay alongside his own account of the theory. Once disembarked, jump on jeepneys for a tour to explore Benteng Oranye, the remains of a massive 1607 Dutch fortress, and Keraton, the Sultan's mosque and palace, which still serves as a family home today.

Day 5
Boo Islands, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is located on the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The archipelago of over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals is an ideal destination for water sports and beachcombing.

Day 6
Misool Island, Raja Ampat

Located in the Ceram Sea, Misool is one of the four major islands in Rajah Ampat National Park. This celebrated snorkeling and diving hotspot is surrounded by a 300,000 acre protective zone inside the Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary.

Day 7
Dwars in die Weg Islands / Kokas, West Papua

Early this morning, join the on-board expedition team for a Zodiac exploration in the MacCluer Gulf. You’re sure to be amazed by its breathtaking coastline of natural bays, tiny islets, pristine rain forest, and soaring mountains. Search for New Guinea’s finest examples of ancient Papuan rock art, which was first discovered by European adventurers in 1678. Some of the designs, which were stenciled by hand, feature hands, birds, angled boomerang-like objects and part human, part animal figures.

Later, set off to explore the charming port of Kokas a prosperous fishing community that’s home to about 4,000 residents. The majority of villagers are Muslim Papuans and belong to the Fak Fak Regency. Experience a welcome presentation of their unique cultural heritage, which includes harmonic songs, rhythmic drumming, and the traditional Gabagaba stick dance.

Day 8
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. Hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of fields.

Day 9 – 10
Agats Asmat Village Visits, West Papua, New Guinea

The Asmat region, a 5 sq mile (14 sq km) area of lowland swamp and rainforest, has long sheltered the Asmat tribe from outsiders. Zodiacs take you through this remote riverine, cruising along narrow waterways lined with entwined branches of thick mangrove forests. Keep an eye out for dozens of species of parrots, lorikeets and the spectacular Bird of Paradise. Journeying upstream, Asmat villagers come out to meet you in dozens of intricately carved canoes. Escorted to the village of Agats, the capital of the Asmat region, an enthusiastic welcome awaits. Walk along elevated wooden boardwalks leading to a church with superb carvings. Visit the museum with elaborate displays of ancestor poles, drums, body masks, shields, daggers, and skulls, reminding you that headhunting and cannibalism were practiced here until the early 1970’s. Explore Ewer’s colorful and active market, men’s longhouse, and view homes and prolific gardens.

Asmat culture is noted for its remarkable ritual objects. The people believe that humanity began with Fumeripitsj the Creator, who carved humanlike figures and brought them to life by beating on a drum. Villagers honor this belief by carving many of their everyday items—bowls, spears, paddles, ornate wooden sculptures, and shields. The artistic themes are based on an intriguing interpretation of life and death, and many of the carvings resemble relatives who are recently deceased. Asmat woodcarvings are known for their powerful lines and coarse, expressive motifs, and are widely considered to be among the world’s finest.

Day 11
At Sea

A day at sea gives good opportunities to reflect on things seen and places visited so far, and to prepare oneself for the different islands still to be visited. Enjoy a lecture about culture and natural history, or perhaps about modern influences on this remote part of the world. Help birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds, or enjoy a refreshing drink with a good book.

Day 12
Banda, Indonesia

Depart the ship for a guided walk around the historical rich city of Banda. Visits include a traditional market and tour of the clove and nutmeg plantation. Until the mid-19th century, the Banda Islands were the world’s only source of nutmeg. Banda maintained heavy trade during the Colonial Era—goods that moved through Banda included cloves from Ternate and Tidore in the north, Bird of Paradise feathers from the Aru Islands and western New Guinea, and even slaves. In exchange, Banda received rice and cloth. After lunch on board the ship, enjoy time in the beautiful waters of the Banda Sea.

Day 13
At Sea

A day at sea gives good opportunities to reflect on things seen and places visited so far, and to prepare oneself for the different islands still to be visited. Enjoy a lecture about culture and natural history, or perhaps about modern influences on this remote part of the world. Help birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds, or enjoy a refreshing drink with a good book.

Day 14
Alor Island, Indonesia

Arrive at Kalabahi and visit the traditional, hilltop village of Takpala where you are welcomed by the Chief. Enjoy a cultural performance of dancing and chanting. Kalabahi is the capital of Alor Island, set inside a peaceful bay of white sandy beaches, and overlooked by two old volcanoes.

In the afternoon, anchor off Alor-Pantar Strait, recognized as one of Indonesia’s top dive sites. With its smoldering volcanoes, crystal clear waters and pure white sandy beaches, observe traditional villages built half way up mountains. The island renowned for its unique Moko drumming on bronze kettledrums that have been traced back to the Dongson culture of Vietnam. Highly valued, they are still used as dowry throughout Alor. Spend the morning exploring spectacular reefs by snorkeling, scuba diving or glass-bottom boat.

Day 15
Solor Island / Palau Suanggi, Indonesia

Lamalera and Lamakera on nearby Solor Island are the last two traditional whaling villages in Eastern Indonesia. Although slowly dying out, the ancient tradition of whaling is still the principal economic activity here. Whaling boats are made entirely of wood with wooden pegs (there is not a nail to be found!), and sails are made of palm leaves. The patterns of the whale and the boats are often seen in Lamalera’s hand-woven, ikat textiles. Welcomed by the villagers, take the opportunity to go on a “mock” whale hunt in the boats. Village women will give a weaving and dyeing demonstration of their ikat textiles. After lunch, discover the tiny island of Palau Suanggi for an afternoon of underwater wonders–snorkel, scuba dive or view from a glass-bottom boat.

Day 16
Savu, Indonesia

Savu, a small island about halfway between Timor and Sumba, is one of the most interesting destinations in Nusa Tenggara. The Savunese derive their staple nutrition from the lontar palm, and the nutritious juice of this drought-resistant tree makes possible a relatively high population. Traditional textile weaving remains strong and women still grow cotton, hand dye and weave on back-strap looms. Experience a traditional village welcome, dances and singing. Enjoy a lontar tapping demonstration by men who seem to float on palm fan leaves.

Day 17
Komodo, Indonesia / Pink Beach

Early risers may spot whales cruising the straits approaching Komodo. Walk along the forest in search of the famed enormous reptiles; Komodo Dragons can weigh as much as 300 pounds (136 kg) and measure up to 10 ft (3m). The island is also home to elegant Sulphur-Crested cockatoos, Friar birds, Megapode birds, and Sambar deer.

Discover spectacular Pink Beach for an afternoon of fantastic snorkeling, diving and beachcombing. From the glass-bottom boat, spot shimmering tropical fish such as the striped Clownfish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host.

Day 18
Sumba, Indonesia

Known for its intricate ikat fabric, distinctive architecture and sculptured stone tombs, Sumba has resisted the advances of the modern age. Sumba’s culture revolves around fortified villages where ancestors are worshipped by extended families living in enormous clan houses with high-pitched thatched roofs. Sumbanese honor their dead by dragging massive stone graves a great distance to construct mausoleums for the departed. Visit villages, witness a funereal rite ceremony as well as a fierce martial arts performance on horseback.

Day 19
Benoa, Bali, Indonesia

Following breakfast, disembark the vessel.

Notes

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

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; scuba diving for qualified divers; 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 and visa 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.