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Incredible diving and fascinating culture on a 12-day privately chartered cruise

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What's Included

  • Privately chartered yacht
  • All food and drink
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Indonesia is famous for its beautiful islands strewn across the turquoise waters, and the best way to explore them is aboard a private yacht. This trip is an example of what you can do, but all itineraries can be tweaked to suit your time frame and interests. On this 12-day cruise, you’ll get to explore the Banda Islands, famous for their role in the spice industry. You’ll also sail towards Raja Ampat where imposing limestone cliffs soar out the water and white sandy beaches await.

After boarding your luxury yacht, you’ll spend the first night in Ambon before spending the next few days discovering the Banda Islands. In the 16th century, this was the only place in the world where you could find nutmeg and it is a place rich is history. Explore colonial houses, impressive forts and the famous nutmeg plantations as well as the underwater world which is home to coral reefs and wonderful swim throughs.

Your next stop is the tiny island of Koon, a great spot for snorkelling, before heading to Misool for the next two nights. The chain is islands is home to lagoons, coves, cliffs, caves and beautiful beaches. Spend your time swimming, snorkelling, diving and relaxing on the sand. Sail through the Passage towards the Wayag Islands, marvelling at the emerald maze of islands and rock formations. As you make your way through the Dampier Strait you’ll pass through waters rich in marine life – keep your eyes peeled for turtles, sharks and manta rays. On the island of Mansuar and in Arborek you can get a glimpse of local culture and meet the people who call this incredible place home.

This amazing journey finishes in Sorong from where you’ll catch a flight for your onward journey.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-2

Ambon

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Ambon airport to the harbour to board your luxury yacht

PRIVATE YACHTS

ambon-indonesia

You will be met by the crew at Ambon airport and transferred to the harbour to board your private yacht. After you have settled in and been briefed by the crew, you will spend the afternoon at leisure, and can enjoy snorkelling at one of Indonesia's most spectacular sites in Ambon harbour.

Days 2-3

Banda Islands

banda-island

Early this morning, the Banda Islands will emerge on the horizon - think of all the European explorers and sailors hundreds of years ago who would travel across the world hoping to see the same view. Over the next two days, you'll find plenty of interesting sights to explore. Head ashore on Banda Neira, where every building could be a museum, with cannons in front of colonial houses and 17th-century inscriptions on the walls. There's the impressive Fort Belgica and a former governor's palace to see, among fascinating local museums. Then there are the historical nutmeg plantations of Banda Besar and the ruins of Fort Revenge hidden in the jungle on Ai Island. You can also visit Rhun Island - the first British overseas colony ever. This tiny piece of land was once the subject of a long conflict between European colonial powers and was transferred to the Dutch after the English came to an agreement that it would be swapped for Manhattan. Diving and snorkelling in the Bandas is magnificent, with walls covered in massive gorgonians, soft corals, barrel sponges and some very interesting swim-throughs. And, at the end of each day, you can arrive on a dazzling white beach in the shadow of an active volcano and enjoy sunset cocktails.

Day 4

Koon

diver-coral-garden

The tiny island of Koon is a veritable aquarium for underwater aficionados. Coconut palms dot the island, which is encircled by a blindingly white beach melting into turquoise seas. The coral reef fringing the island is well-protected and acts as a haven for fish.

Days 5-6

Misool

raja-ampat-aerial-with-boat

This morning, the yacht will reach the southeast end of Misool. You’ll awake to a shimmering pastel sunrise and enjoy a decadent breakfast on deck, with tea and coffee served by your crew. This chain of tiny islands carves the area into hundreds of narrow channels concealing lagoons, coves, cliffs and limestone overhang, caves and endless pristine beaches. Here in Raja Ampat’s southernmost island, you’ll spend two days exploring Misool’s treasures. The surrounding dive and snorkel sites have been voted some of the best in the world. Above water, you can explore the ethereal 'Gua Sacral' ancestral caves of Tomolol, a former burial site of indigenous Papuans. Swim through a cathedral-like cave coated in orchids and discover ancient cave paintings edging the crystal blue surface. There’s a pearl farm nearby where you can see how the local’s forge a living in these remote parts. Powder sand beaches await your footprints, and you can claim one as your own for as long as you like, hunting for shells or picnicking in the shallows.

Day 7

Waigeo

Waigeo-Indonesia

Rise at the crack of dawn for the best chance of sighting a rare Red Bird of Paradise. Your cruise director will accompany you to the island of Gam, where local children will wander with you to the foot of a jungle-clad hill. Hike around 45 minutes to reach the birdwatching platform and keep your eyes and ears open for signs of this elusive bird. Return to your yacht for a well-earned breakfast and take in the statuesque mushroom islands of Kabui Bay, marking the entrance to a narrow channel of water through which strong currents run with each tide – the famous Passage. The channel is framed by limestone cliffs and green vegetation and below, offers a rare glimpse at what is effectively a “salt water river”, shrouded with soft corals, fans and sponges. Nearby, the southern edge of Gam has quiet waterways leading through mangroves where you can glide through narrow inlets in the tender, exploring the jungle. You may be lucky and see a bloom of stingless moon jellyfish, making for an enigmatic swimming experience.

Days 8-9

Wayag Islands

Rock Islands and Lagoon in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

For the next two days, the yacht will cruise the interminable green island maze that comprises the most visually stunning scene in Raja Ampat – the Wayag Islands. This postcard worthy tropical paradise proves a magnificent backdrop for watersports. Kayak, paddleboard or cruise at water level, exploring hidden coves in the shadow of Wayag’s sheer limestone peaks. You can climb the renowned island peak for a panoramic view of the azure waterways through the rock formations, and finish the hike with a swim at the white sand beach below. One evening, you will be treated to a magnificent fresh grill on a deserted stretch of beach at sunset, complete with a blazing campfire, comfortable cushions and cocktails.

Day 10

Kri Peninsula

raja-ampat-clown-fish

This morning, you’ll awake to the sound of tropical birds calling from the depths of the jungle. Mioskon Bay is a spectacular anchorage where you can spend the morning snorkelling in the mangroves, or kayaking across mirror still waters, hugging the verdant coastline. Famed for its abundant fish-life and vibrant coral slopes, the Kri peninsula offers some of the most exquisite underwater vistas in Raja Ampat. Here, you can snorkel over vibrant soft and hard coral reefs through veils of colorful reef fish, and encounter turtles, sharks and even manta rays. Nearby, the island of Mansuar is home to an interesting church, and you can head ashore for a glimpse of local culture.

Day 11

Arborek

arborek-island

In the 1700s William Dampier reached the northwestern tip of Papua and travelled with the rising tide into the great channel that now bears his name. The Dampier Strait conveys massive quantities of seawater, forcing currents to flow parallel to the equator where most currents flow north and south. Dampier’s tidal surges carry planktonic feasts that attract hundreds of Manta rays at this time of year near Arborek Island. Spend time diving or snorkelling over the shallow sandy bottom and wait for the giant mantas to pass, swooping past with curious eyes in an elegant underwater ballet. After lunch onboard, head to shore to Arborek village. Arborek has a population of under 200, with very hospitable people creating handicrafts from sea pandan leaves including hats, string bags and carvings. Another beautiful day in Raja Ampat ends with cocktails on deck as the sun melts into the horizon.

Day 12

Sorong

The yacht will set sail early this morning towards Sorong. After a farewell breakfast, you will be escorted to the harbour by your yacht’s crew, and onwards to the local airport to catch your flight.

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Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands

12-day example trip
 
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