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British naturalist and explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace. Stops will be made at the island of Ternate, once the centre of the world clove trade; Halmahera island, where Wallace discovered that evolution is governed by natural selection; and the remote Raja Ampat islands, famous for their pristine coral reefs and colourful birds of paradise. The cruise will be joined Dr George Beccaloni, a naturalist, Wallace expert and head of the Wallace Correspondence Project, who has visited Indonesia five times previously on natural history-related trips.
Arrive into Bali's international airport in Denpasar, where you will be met and transferred to the Away Bali Legian Camakila hotel for 2 nights. The following day is at leisure. (N)
Fly from Bali to the small island of Ternate, the capital of the North Maluku province and former hub of the international spice trade. Transfer to the dock to begin your 11-night cruise. Your vessel will be the 12-cabin Ombak Putih. After lunch, go into the city to visit the Fort Toluko, built by the Portuguese; the 'Kedaton', the palace of the Sultan; and Fort Oranje, built by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and the probable site of the house where Wallace was living when he posted his essay on natural selection to Charles Darwin in 1858. (B, L, D)
Arrive this morning off the coast of Halmahera and visit the small village of Dodinga. It was in this village that Wallace, in a fit of malarial delirium, discovered the mechanism which drives evolutionary change - natural selection. Here you will learn more about Wallace's discovery, and also have time to explore the village, its colourful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort. (B, L, D)
An early start this morning at 3.00am for a journey into the island's primary rainforest in search of Wallace's standardwing bird-of-paradise, plus many other species of birds and other wildlife such as hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots, the paradise-crow and possibly another less spectacular species of bird-of-paradise. Afternoon snorkelling followed by another trip into the hills in search of birds and insects, including one of Wallace's greatest discoveries, the golden birdwing butterfly. (B, L, D)
Awake this morning off the coast of Bacan, another of Indonesia's historic spice islands. Go ashore to visit isolated villages and valleys, keeping a look out for the world's largest bee, Megachile pluto, discovered by Wallace, and a range of other species such as parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills and a rare species of black macaque known as the cuscus. (B, L, D)
Morning arrival at the Pisang islands, small isolated islands amid the Ceram Sea. Here you can relax on the beach or swim in the sea, before cruising later in the day to the shores of West Misool. (B, L, D)
Today you will go ashore at Kapatcol, where there is a good chance see lesser birds-of-paradise displaying in the wild. Local guides will lead you through the forest to see the birds as they dance around in their 'lekking' (courtship display) trees. (B, L, D)
Travel by smaller tender boat into the heart of Raja Ampat to cruise in the Misool archipelago, known for its stunning limestone karst scenery. Visit a partially submerged cave where you may swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cave's stalactites, cruise in a lake filled with many thousands of jellyfish, and see prehistoric cave paintings thought to be more than 3,000 years old. (B, L, D)
Today offers a change of pace, with a day in the jungle of Batanta island. Hike to Arefi village on the north coast of the island, where you will visit the village school. Subject to local conditions, it may be possible to walk along the riverbed to a jungle waterfall. In the afternoon, visit Dayang island for a snorkelling excursion. (B, L, D)
Early morning visit to the island of Penemu, where you can climb a hilltop for some superb views. Descend back to the coast for some snokelling over the island's reefs, then cruise to the tiny island of Aborek, where the local children will perform traditional dances, followed by the chance explore the village and learn about local Asai culture. Later in the day, visit a location where it may be possible to snorkel with manta rays. (B, L, D)
Another early start for the chance to spot the remarkable red bird-of-paradise, known for its elaborate dawn courtship display. Afterwards, cruise through the Dampier strait, where you may sport some larger species of marine life, then arrive in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months, and a small reserve established to protect huge coconut crabs. (B, L, D)
Pre-dawn visit to the jungle in search of Wilson's bird-of-paradise, then return to the ship for the journey to Mansuar island for some snorkelling, an area where the reef is known as the 'fish bowl' because of the diverse array of tropical fish found here. The final visit will be to Mioskon island, where you can watch as huge numbers of bats fly overhead just after sunset, followed by farewell party on board. (B, L, D)
Disembark the ship then transfer to the airport for your flight back to Bali. Stay overnight at the Away Bali Legian Camakila hotel. (B, L)
Transfer to the airport and fly back to the UK, arriving the following day. (B)
As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This itinerary operates on September 28, 2019
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
WAL2019: 14 Nights
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