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Raja Ampat Sailing Expedition

Indonesia

Raja Ampat Sailing Expedition

sailing·
Snorkeling
·
Start: Sorong
·
End: Sorong

Raja Ampat offers a snorkelling experience like no other

Activity
LocationIndonesia
Duration8 days
Start / EndSorong / Sorong
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Indonesia

Raja Ampat Sailing Expedition

sailing·
Snorkeling·
8 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Sorong
·
End: Sorong

Description

Welcome to the archipelago with the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. Made up of 1,500 small islands that house 550 species of coral, 1427 fish species and more than 700 types of mollusks, Raja Ampat is a place where mere snorkelling feels (and looks) like deep-sea diving. It's very remote, which means a delightful lack of other visitors. Think clear turquoise waters, a kaleidescope of cora...

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Itinerary

Day 1Sorong (West Papua)
Welcome to Raja Ampat, whose name means 'Four Kings'; legend has it that a woman found seven sacred eggs and four future kings hatched from them. Located at the 'beak' of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula (or Doberai Peninsula), Sorong is where our trip begins. It's the largest town in West Papua and the gateway to the islands of Raja Ampat (Pulau Raja Ampat). We have no activities included for tonight, so perhaps take the opportunity to join fellow travellers for dinner. You might like to sample the street food along the waterfront, opposite the Marina Mamberamo. Those arriving earlier should check out Stone Hill for a panoramic view of the town – it's dotted with remnants of Dutch colonial houses and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Also consider visiting Sapta Ratna Pagoda, a local Buddhist temple; the best time to visit is late afternoon when it's cooler, and you can climb to the top for a beautiful panoramic sunset (to get there catch a becak, cycle rickshaw, or taxi, or simply make the one-hour walk). Those after a more relaxing option can head to Tanjung Kasuari (15 minutes by taxi from the hotel). Since Sorong is a port town, fresh seafood is abundant and you can buy fresh fish and have it barbecued in front of you. Tomorrow we head off early to the port to catch the 9 am ferry to Waisai. Our local guide will be waiting for you in the hotel foyer at 8.20 am.
Day 2Palau Raja Ampat
Sit back and relax as we begin our sailing adventure around Raja Ampat's delightful islands. The following itinerary for the next few days won't be 100 % set in stone. We'll keep a flexible approach to what we visit and when, based on weather and other factors. Half the fun of sailing, of course, is the spontaneous element and the fact that each day is unique. See the ‘Further Reading’ section below for more background information on Raj Ampat. The itinerary will loosely run as follows: Pulau Waigeo We'll catch the 9 am morning ferry to Kota Waisai, on the island of Waigeo, the capital of the Raja Ampat Regency. In Waisai we climb aboard our new home for the next seven days – the Big Kanu. Based on a traditional Melanesian outrigger canoe, the trimaran is the perfect vessel for sailing the shallow waters of the archipelago. Kabui Bay Our first stop is an enchanting location. Scattered throughout Kabui Bay are karst formations, many of which rise dramatically from the sea and are covered in thick tropical vegetation. Some have wooden jetties which allow easy access for a closer look. Kabui Bay also offers clear turquoise waters full of colourful corals and schools of fish, which make for great snorkelling or paddleboarding. There's a 5-kilometre mangrove river leading deep into the heart of a limestone karst forest with sorts of weird tress that burst out of the water – a far cry from your average muddy mangrove swamp. We tie up alongside one of the many limestone towers here, using a disused deck overnight. It's quite an amazing feeling atmosphere in this place. Anyone for for some yoga in the morning? Pulau Gam Famous for its white sandy beaches and pristine forests, Gam offers calm, shallow waters that were made for snorkelling. Take a stroll along the beach or, better yet, trek to one of the higher points of the islands for some birdwatching. A highlight of Gam is to visit a local village and meet the friendly people there. The religion of the islands is Lutheran, so you might see the odd church dotted about the place. When we dock at the jetty or wander into town we'll be met by a welcoming party of curious kids. It's refreshing to step inside the village and experience the beautiful simplicity of life here; in can be infectious and make one question the needless complications of life back home. Pulau Wayag Wayag is the Raja Ampat poster child – if you see an image of Raja Ampat it's probably of this place. Here we have a little circular beach spot where most other boats dare not go, and can set up our own dining table among the trees on the edge of the white sandy beach (about six metres from the boat). We'll light a fire, settle in, and spend two days dining and exploring from this gorgeous anchorage. Those up for some strenuous exercise (and not afraid of heights) can tackle the steep hike through thick vegetation and be rewarded with sweeping views of the area. Alyui Bay If you thought the snorkelling was good up to this point, it's about to go above and beyond. Snorkellers here get an underwater experience that’s almost on the level of diving. Enjoy a mosaic of the most colourful corals, reefs and fish, tassled wobbegongs, Raja epaulette sharks (walking sharks), Pewter’s angelfish and perhaps seahorses. Large black corals, unique to the bay, occur much deeper elsewhere but in Alyui Bay nearly reach the surface. These special corals, their name owing to the dark colouration of their flexible and spiny skeleton, often have lightly-colored polyps, with some especially beautiful white colonies resembling wispy, snow-dusted saplings. Snorkellers will also likely see an abundance of sea slugs in the shallow waters of the bay, with the some of the more colourful (and relatively easy to see) sponge- and sea squirt-eating varieties often spotted along the current-swept walls. Pulau Arborek A small island you can walk around in less than an hour, Palau Arborek is home to the Arborek Tourist Village – a friendly, hospitable community known for its handicrafts. Noken, a traditional Papuan woven string bag, is one such handicraft. The locals are extremely welcoming and proud of their efforts in formulating regulations and their own conservation region, leading the way in community based marine conservation. You can snorkel straight off the beach here. As you swim along the pillars of the jetty you'll see huge schools of fish and coral, and at low tide you might be able to join the local women as they look for sea cucumbers. Dampier Strait The Strait is the large passage of water between the islands of Gam & Waigeo in the north and Batanta in the south, taking its name from the English explorer-adventurer William Dampier who first charted the area in the 17th century. The Dampier Strait is where the Indonesia Throughflow runs – an ocean current that delivers upper ocean waters from the north east Pacific Ocean to the south west Indian Ocean (where most currents flow north to south). It’s the largest movement of water in the world. The current brings an abundance of plankton and streams of other nutrients to the reefs, resulting in an amazing diversity of coral and fish. Pulau Friwen As you approach the small island of Friwen, don't be surprised if you're met by a welcoming party of children. Join them on the tree swings or go for a wander through the small village. We’ll have another chance to interact with the locals on the small island of Friwen. The islands have beautiful beaches on the northern shore, but it's the Friwenbonda to the south that is the real attraction. The Friwenbonda is a limestone tower located 500 metres from Friwen and separated by a deep channel. The cliffs of the north coast plunge into the ocean and create the Friwen Wall, a spectacular snorkelling site, home to huge coral fans of yellow, red and purple that sway in the current. Depending on the current, you can be dropped off at one end so the current takes you to the other. ***The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on the weather and sea conditions. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times*** FURTHER READING: The beauty of Raja Ampat is breathtaking and unsurprisingly this is one of the most important areas of marine biodiversity in the world. Due to its unique location, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Coral Triangle as it is known, is home to massive coral colonies and is one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. Scientists are constantly discovering new species and drawing new conclusions in Raja Ampat. These advances include the discovery that the coral around Raja Ampat is more resilient to fluctuations in water temperatures. This allows the coral larvae to be swept into the Indian and Pacific Oceans to replenish other reef ecosystems. So it’s not surprising that diving in Raja Ampat is one of the island’s most sought-after activities, and certainly the most beautiful. In May 2007, the government of Raja Ampat regency created 7 Marine Protection Areas (MPA's) and that has since been increased by another 5. The MPA's were set up to ensure the long-term health of the marine ecosystems and now cover 45% of Raja Ampat’s coral reefs and mangroves. This area is around 35,000 square kilometres of incredible scenery and marine life.
Day 7Friwen – Waisai
As our sailing adventure draws to a close, we make our way slowly back to Waisai. There will be time for one last swim and a snorkel before we find a quiet bay in which to moor for the night.
Day 8Sorong
We have a final breakfast on board, then say ‘Selamat tinggal’ to the crew and get ready to board the 9 am ferry back to Sorong. The ferry journey (approximately 2 hours) should have you back in time for mid- to late-afternoon flights.

More info

Trip title

Raja Ampat Sailing Expedition

Trip code

TSSD

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Welcome to the archipelago with the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. Made up of 1,500 small islands that house 550 species of coral, 1427 fish species and more than 700 types of mollusks, Raja Ampat is a place where mere snorkelling feels (and looks) like deep-sea diving. It's very remote, which means a delightful lack of other visitors. Think clear turquoise waters, a kaleidescope of corals ... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Expedition,Sailing

Transport

Overnight boat

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

No particular level of physical fitness is required for our sailing trips, although you should be reasonably agile and enjoying good health. Please keep in mind that there are a number of shore excursions on your trip. This involves boarding a small zodiac from the yacht. Disembarkation at some locations will be at steps or a small pier, whilst at other locations you may be required to disembark o... Read more

Joining point

Fave Hotel

Joining point instructions

You can make your way to the joining point hotel at anytime. Check-in is a 2pm however if you arrive earlier the hotel reception can store your bags until your room is available. An arrival transfer and pre/post accommodation is available and these services can be booked through our sales team. There are no direct international flights into Sorong however there are connections through Jakarta (J... Read more

Finish point

Sorong

Important information

This is an expedition trip in a remote region. While we have researched the trip and have a set itinerary the beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your ski... Read more

Group leader

On your Raja Ampat sailing expedition you will be accompanied by one of our highly trained skippers, a cook and 2 crew members. Your skipper's role involves taking charge of the sailing, organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, safety of the vessel and safety for all passengers on board. All skippers have extensive sailing miles experience and hold ... Read more

Safety

WATER SAFETY: Travellers that are able and confident swimmers will be able to enjoy swimming & snorkelling off the boat, but please always note the skipper's advise and instructions on when and where to swim and what precautions to consider. Travellers that are not able to swim are certainly welcome on this trip, but you will be required to wear a life jacket when we are sailing. Travellers who ... Read more

Communications

You will be travelling to a very remote region so you must be prepared to be without mobile phone or internet for most of this trip - for some people this is a blessing, for others it could be viewed as a nightmare! Believe us when we say that it may take a couple of hours or even a day [where you will still check your phone just in case we've been wrong and there is a secret WIFI signal to be fo... Read more

Visas

INDONESIA: Passport holders for most nationalities are permitted to enter Visa Free for up to 30 days for tourism purposes. Please check with your relevant consulate or embassy. Entry requirements: presentation of onward or return tickets, passport which is valid for at least 6 months. Visitors on Visa-free Short Visits must enter AND exit from certain airports and seaports in Indonesia including... Read more

Why we love it

With an extraordinary biodiversity, Raja Ampat is one of the few places on the planet where you will see such a wide range of marine life in their natural habitat

Is this trip right for you

The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on the weather and sea conditions. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times As the majority of this trip takes place... Read more

Health

PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION: Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in your home country are available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by a doctor. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you take and that it's for personal use only. MOSQUIT... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS If you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies you must advise us at the time of booking. We will endeavour to accommodate all requests but please note that as we have limited refrigeration and storage space on board the yachts and for the most part of the trip we will not have easy access to shops or supermarkets. Vegans, coeliacs or those with speci... Read more

Money matters

The official currency of Indonesia is the rupiah (IDR). There are money exchanges and ATM machines available at the airport and all major towns. ATMs are the easiest and safest way to access cash, although we also recommend that you bring and carry some cash in a major currency for when ATMs can not be accessed. USD notes older than 2000 series, as well as foreign currency notes that are old, torn... Read more

What to take

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST Space on board the vessel is very limited - for your own comfort and safety, luggage should be kept to an absolute minimum. The use of a backpack, soft sports bag or duffle bag is recommended - we highly recommend you do not travel with a hard suitcase. If you are travelling with a larger bag or suitcase you can leave these bags at your hotel [usually for a small fee]. This ... Read more

Climate and seasonal

Raja Ampat spans the equator which means it does not have 4 season like it's northern or southern neighbours. The islands have a tropical climate and what is best described as mirco climates - where one island could be experiencing thunderstorms and another bright sunny days. If it does run the showers are usually short and sharp with blue skies following. The average day time temperatures are 32... Read more

A couple of rules

Your skipper is very capable with years of experience at the helm, so it goes without saying that when he directs you to do something or asks you not to do something you take notice and heed his request. All decisions made by the skipper are made with the safety of his passengers and crew in mind. CLIFF JUMPING We do not allow cliff jumping on our tours as it is a dangerous activity and against I... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. Below link will take you to the feedback site: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local re... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The boat operating your Raja Ampat sailing trip is a 10 passenger tri-maran. The design is based on the traditional Melanesian outrigger canoe. It has 9 cabins, 8 single and 1 twin/double for a total capacity of 10 plus crew. There are 2 bathrooms as well as a salt water shower. The cabins are all located off a central communal area and can be closed off by sliding concertina doors. Unlike tradit... Read more

Transport notes

The boat is 24m long [79ft] with a span of 12m [39ft] and draft of 90cm. The boat is very stable, and seasickness is minimal and the boat whilst enduring water slap, does not roll, so glass bottles can sit on a table undisturbed for long sea passages. The boat comes equipped with solar panels and 2 tenders and has a separate plumbing system for salt water, drinking water and shower water. Safety ... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

The bonus of our sailing adventures are that they are small groups, a maximum of 8 - 11 travellers (with the average number of travellers 7). However when you add in a Skipper and the fact you will be eating, sleeping and lounging about together for up to 9 days in the confines of a monohull you may need to call on some patience, maybe some headphones but above all a sense of humour. Most travel... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

For sailing trips the itinerary will be subject to change depending on weather conditions. Your skipper will make the final decision to ensure safety at all times. Generally daily sailing time would not exceed 6 hours. Please note that we will endeavour to sail at all times but there may be times during the trip that we will use the sails and motor or just the motor.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 night),overnight boat (6 nights)
8days
€1,455per person
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May 25
Sorong
Jun 1
Sorong
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Sorong
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Sorong
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