Upon arrival at Sorong airport, you will be met by the ship’s crew, who will transfer you to the harbor to board the boat. Once onboard, you’ll be greeted by the remaining crew members and have time to enjoy a welcome cocktail. Once you are settled in, the ship will depart Sorong for the southernmost islands of Raja Ampat. We will make a stop en route at Senpan Island, where you’ll have your first experience with Raja Ampat’s famed waters. Surrounded by a white powdery beach, clear azure waters, and a reef easily accessed from the beach, it makes for the perfect refreshing stop. Return to the boat for a delicious dinner under the stars as the ship continues to Missool.
Awaken to a glorious sunrise over the waters of Raja Ampat. When you’re ready, join us on deck for a hearty breakfast and enjoy the scenery as the ship nears the southeast end of Misool. We will spend the next three days exploring this beautiful playground. One of the large islands that make up ‘The Four Kings,’ Misool, holds a treasure trove of adventurers while its natural beauty emanates tranquility.
This chain of small islands carve-out hidden channels, coves, enchanting heart-shaped lagoons, and an array of secluded beaches. Home to one of the most biodiverse in the world, the dive and snorkel sites are world-renowned – Kaleidoscope, Boo Rock, and Gamfi are just a few of remarkable sites that surround the islands. Travel back in time with a visit to Tomolol, where we’ll explore the mysterious Gua Sacral caves, a once burial site of the indigenous Papuans. We’ll tender to limestone cliffs for views of ancient rock, colorful reminders of a time long gone. While Raja Ampat is best known for its abundant biodiverse marine life, its hidden shores are equally impressive. Hidden amongst the tall limestone cliffs are powdery sand beaches that melt into light blue water inviting us to step ashore and relax in the beauty and tranquility that is Misool.
Penemu and Fam
Today we’ll arrive at the beautiful Penemu Islands, a cluster of small limestone islands surrounded a myriad of blue water. After breakfast, we’ll hike up to the lookout for a breathtaking panoramic view of the islands and its secluded bay. Afterward, we will delve into the water to explore the fantastic dive and snorkel sites that surround the islands. From shallow reefs teeming with vibrant marine life to coral-covered walls bursting with color, the underwater world will not disappoint. Revel in the natural beauty as you kayak through the maze of limestone islands or tender to the deeper channels for a chance to see dolphins playing in the water or whales as they migrate through the region.
The passage, Waigeo
Today we set out before dawn for an opportunity to see the mystical Red Bird of Paradise. Accompanied by the cruise director, you will visit the island of Gam, where smiling villagers will greet you and accompany you to the lush jungle. After a short trek to the bird-watching platform, around 45 minutes, we’ll spend time in search of the elusive, exotic bird. Afterward, we will return to the boat for a well-deserved breakfast surrounded by the picturesque mushroom-shaped islands of Kabui Bay.
The bay marks the entrance to the narrow channel known for its strong currents that flow through at each tide. Surrounded by limestone cliffs and lush vegetation, the channel provides a view of a spectacular saltwater river, blanketed with brilliant sea fans, sponges, and corals. Located on the edge of Gam, lie quiet waterways that take us to thick mangrove forests where we will tender through the inlets to explore the lively jungle. If we are lucky, we may spot the stingless jellyfish. They tend to stay close to the surface feeding on plankton, allowing us to have a once in a lifetime swim with the surreal creatures.
Wayag Islands, North Raja Ampat
We’ll spend the next two days sailing through the magnificent Wayag Islands. A picture-perfect panorama dotted with small green islands rising from the water dotted with pristine white sands and breathtaking turquoise water. A playground for water enthusiasts, it is the perfect backdrop to discover the area at water level. You’ll have a chance to kayak hidden coves or tender to through the crystal clear waters to a secluded beach. Take to land to hike the famed island peak for an awe-inspiring view of the rock formations and its surrounding waters. The trek concludes at a white powdery beach where you’ll have a chance to sit back and enjoy a fantastic sunset as the crew prepares a fabulous meal on a deserted beach.
Kri, Dampier Strait
Wake up to the sounds of nature in your first full day in Raja Ampat. After breakfast, you’ll have additional time to explore the sights of Mioskin Bay.
Take to the water to snorkel over the reef or paddle through the mangrove forest, exploring its life-sustaining eco-system. The Kri peninsula is a blissful underwater paradise of vibrant color, abundant marine life, and offers some the best underwater landscapes in Raja Ampat. Its water holds a treasure waiting to be discovered, dive or snorkel Sardine Reef, Mike’s Point, and Cape Kri, where spectacular coral gardens are home to an array of reef fish, sharks, turtles, and manta rays. You can stretch your legs as you visit the neighboring island on Mansuar island for a glimpse of the daily island of this remote part of the world.
Today we sail the Dampier Strait, named after the great explorer William Dampier who sailed through the great channel on his way to the Northwestern tip of Papua. The Dampier Strait’s tidal surges move a massive amount of seawater, creating a phenomenon where the currents flow parallel to the equator. These tidal surges carry with them abundant plankton, which is what attracts hundreds of Mantas to Aroborek Island this time of year. We will have time to dive or snorkel the shallow sandy bottom waiting for the graceful mantas to pass by in an awe-inspiring underwater ballet.
After lunch, we’ll head ashore to the island of Arborek. A traditional stop for boats, the warm people of Aroborek welcome visitors with open arms and pure Papuan warmth. This tiny island, surrounded by lush forest and tall palm trees, is home to under 200 residents. Relying on the ocean for sustenance, the Arborek create beautiful handicrafts out of sustainable materials; sea pandan leaves, wood, and bamboo. You’ll depart the island with lifelong memories of the Papuan spirit.
Batanta, Dampier Strait
Our final day in Raja Ampat takes us to the island of Bantants, a haven for bird watchers. After breakfast, we’ll have an easy hike to a local waterfall for a well-deserved swim in its refreshing waters. Home to a wide variety of butterflies and endemic birds, the jungle comes to life in a myriad of calls and fluttering colors. We’ll return to the boat to enjoy a sundowner as we settle for a marvelous sunset over the island.
Batanta to Sorong
We bid a fond farewell to the remote islands of Raja Ampat before returning to Sorong. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the harbor and then onto the local airport in plenty of time for your return flight home.