Summary : Discover Raja Ampat aboard an Indonesion super yacht on a tailor-made, exclusive charter expedition. Indonesian for the 'Four Kings', Raja Ampat is an exquisite archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo. The Raja Ampat archipelago is part of the Coral Triangle, which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth. The stunning and spectacular landscape is matched with an equally fantastic underwater realm. This incredible diversity of habitats is home to an incredible number of species of fish and soft and hard coral gardens. Dunai Baru sets sail to the most beautiful areas where diving is truly breathtaking!
Activities : Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling
Upon arriving at the Sorong airport, the gateway to Raja Ampat, you will be warmly welcomed by members of the Dunia Baru crew, who will take you to the nearby harbor. Embark the Dunia Baru for Raja Ampat, Indonesian for 'Four Kings', the four main islands off the northwest tip of Papua, Batanta, Misool, Salawati, and Waigeo. The region comprises hundreds of small islands, cays, and shoals and encompasses more than 24,000 square miles of land and sea.
In the afternoon, begin your adventure with a dip in the water—the spectacular Yenbuba jetty is the culmination of Raja Ampat sites, being shallow, covered in an enormous arrange of healthy and colorful coral species, and completely shrouded in fish. Scores of tightly packed anchovies weave over the coral slope, and schools of drummers and sweetlips can be seen hovering on the shallows—a perfect snorkel for all experience levels.
If the timing and sea conditions are right, it is possible you may be able to, instead, make your first stop at Manta Sandy—a cleaning station for manta rays. When present, these beautiful creatures can be well viewed while snorkeling on the surface.
Following your swim, your relaxed afternoon will continue on with a stroll around the local island of Arborek, exploring the small settlement there. The village on Arborek has long enjoyed a sterling reputation due to the locals’ devotion to conservation and the protection of the local reefs and abundant Manta Ray population that inhabit these. The villagers offer exquisitely made handicrafts from pandanus leaves, and are extraordinarily friendly and welcoming to guests who wish to explore their island.
On the second morning, you will wake up to Dunia Baru cruising into the interminable green island maze that comprises the most visually stunning scene in Raja Ampat—Wayag offers spectacular snorkeling, water sports and beach time.
Climb the renowned island peak behind the anchorage for a full panoramic view of the azure waterways through the rock formations, and finish the hike with a swim on the white sand beach below. At a nearby ranger station, friendly sharks and schools of fish are abundant. The calm waters of the bay offer a perfect setting for water sports of all sorts. Following three days of enjoyment within this picturesque paradise, Dunia Baru will continue on to Penemu—Wayag's little sister.
The Penemu Islands are a breathtaking cluster of rocky, limestone domes, adorned with throngs of remarkably lush green vegetation, colloquially referred to as Mini-Wayag. The islets encircle a shallow green bay perfect for kayaks and paddle boards, and a wooden staircase consisting of 316 steps along the islet hills, leads to a look out that offers spectacular views of the bay, its outlying islands, and the wide ocean beyond. From this serene enclosure, you will take the small boats out to three of the most celebrated dive sites in all of the islands for diving and snorkeling.
Batu Rufus: An exceptional site, both for snorkeling and diving, Batu Rufus offers an extremely impressive array of hard corals gardens. Black tip reef sharks are frequently encountered patrolling these reefs, as well as schools of blue chromis, bump head parrotfish, trivially, and occasionally green sea turtles.
Melissa’s Garden: A stunning coral garden dive, extending from the slopes of a small group of rocky islets. Small schools of colorful reef fish weave in and out of vast stretches of brilliantly colored and ornate corals. The site is also an excellent place to encounter pygmy seahorse, and is equally impressive in the shallows and at lower depths.
The remainder of this voyage brings guests to the entrance of one of the most unique features of the Raja Ampat region. Kabui Bay marks the beginning of the passage and is home to the Mushroom Islands, a statuesque collection of rocky tiers densely arrayed in the northwest corner of the bay. Within the passage, guests are afforded the chance to take a small boat tour of the Hidden Bay nearby, a remarkable, enclosed bay of a thousand rock islands scattered in a shallow, white sand lagoon.
The passage also contains a few underwater caves that can be accessed via a surface snorkel. The walls outside of the caves are covered in beautiful soft corals—and on occasion, a type of prehistoric sea critter that dates back to the time of the dinosaur!
Just outside of the passage, in the Dampier Straight, is the home of one of the most remarkable species of bird known—the Red Bird of Paradise. The territory of the bird can be visited by small boat, followed by a jungle trek early in the morning or in the evening. You can observe a number of the birds displaying their extraordinary feathers in the treetops, and singing their raucous calls.
Alternatively, or in addition to this excursion, you can also visit a nearby village—filled with friendly faces and frequently held ceremonies. The children generally speak a decent amount of English—perhaps a perfect opportunity for them to practice their skills while teaching your children a few words of their own.
Finally, enjoy one last beach barbeque to reflect on your experiences and bask in the serenity of this far-away land.
You will arrive back in Sorong Harbor in the morning and prepare for final departure.
Please Note: This itinerary is just an example. Itineraries are tailor made for each charter in the chosen destination.
This itinerary is an example. The charter vessel itinerary is fully customizable within the designated location. Read this itinerary as a guide only, as the exact route and the wildlife you encounter may vary.
Shipboard accommodations; snacks; bottled water & refreshments (excluding alcohol); shore excursions as outlined in the itinerary; entrance fees and permits at seasonal home ports; transfers to/from shore to the ship; services of English-speaking cruise director; service of the crew; use of the water sports equipment including sea kayaks, stand up paddleboards, Sunfish sailing dinghy, dive equipment including wetsuits for certified divers, snorkel equipment, and water skis; jet skis (where permissible by local authorities); a total of 50 nautical miles per charter day (surcharge applies for additional nautical miles per day); all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Enroute accommodations at stopover cities at the beginning and end of trip; aircraft charter fees; international airfare; domestic airfare; excess baggage fees; passport, visa, or airport departure fees; entry permits; ports and handling fees outside seasonal home ports; alcoholic beverages; land expedition and cultural program costs; PADI dive ceritification courses; medical care; any special requests and resulting transportation costs incurred in acquiring requested items; telecommunication costs for satellite phone and email charges; repositioning fees; government taxes, cancellation and medical insurance.
Please Note: A maximum of 14 guests are permitted aboard the Dunia Baru. In rare circumstances, it is possible that prices may be increased. While all efforts will be made to minimize the implementation of surcharges, circumstances under which they may occur include: increase in transportation costs (including fuel costs), increase in local taxes and duties (e.g. freight taxes, landing fees, embarkation/disembarkation fees, sales taxes, etc.); currency fluctuations; significant government or park permit price changes.
Photos: © Chris Hamilton, Kara Murphy