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New Indonesia cruise: wildlife of the Raja Ampat Islands

Manta Ray

Manta Ray

Sunday 3rd February – Friday 15th February 2019
Cost: in the region of £7,995 per person

For February 2019 we are delighted to offer a new addition to our unique selection of full-boat wildlife cruises – the Raja Ampat Islands of West Papua. Widely known among the diving community for their pristine fringing reefs and abundant marine life, the seas surrounding this beautiful archipelago are home to Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Dugong and an interesting variety of cetaceans, whilst on the forest-clad islands themselves lives the spectacular Red Bird-of-Paradise! Led by world-renown marine biologist Chas Anderson, and a Naturetrek naturalist guide, this exciting 13-day wildlife holiday will be limited to just 15 people and be based for 8 nights on the comfortable motor vessel MV Mermaid II.

The cruise starts in the town of Sorong on West Papua and focuses on the Raja Ampat (or Four Kings) Islands which lie to the northwest. The Raja Ampat Archipelago consist of four large islands and over 1,500 smaller islets, cays, atolls and shoals, most of which are uninhabited. The turquoise-blue waters that surround them lap against beautiful stretches of palm-fringed beach, which in-turn merge into lush tropical forest. Beneath the waves, Raja Ampat boasts some of the richest coral reefs on Earth, home to 75% of the world’s coral species and over 1,500 species of fish! One of the great joys of this cruise will be the daily opportunities to snorkel over a kaleidoscope of marine life, from a myriad colourful reef fish to, if fortunate, the huge and elegant Manta Ray.  

Further out at sea we will search for a variety of whale and dolphin species. Bryde’s Whale, Pantropical Spotted Dolphin, Spinner Dolphin, Sperm Whale and Orca are all likely, and we also hope to find the little-known Omura’s Whale which was first described in 2003. Blue Whale, Rough-toothed Dolphin and Fraser’s Dolphin are possible too, although less frequently observed. During our cruise we should also look out for Whale Shark, Dugong, flying fish, reef sharks and a variety of seabirds, whilst on land we will go in search of the Red Bird-of-Paradise, plus numerous other species of bird including Common Paradise Kingfisher and the large Palm Cockatoo.   

The cost of this cruise will be confirmed later this year and we will start to take bookings at that point. The provisional price noted above includes economy class flights, pre and post-cruise nights in Manado on a bed and breakfast basis, services of a Naturetrek naturalist guide and 8 nights on board the MV Mermaid II on a full board basis.

We expect this holiday to fill quickly so to register your interest, or for further details, please contact Alison Steel on 01962 733051 or e-mail