Start your adventure setting a southerly course for the Misool archipelago, stopping for a refreshing swim along the way. Dine alfresco on the main deck in the evening and meet the other passengers and crew while watching the sun set on your first day at sea.
Wake up to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the Misool archipelago. The topography is typical of ‘karst dissolution’, featuring a great number of tiny islets whose bases have been eroded over time by the relentless motion of the tides. Spend the day maximising everything that this fascinating area has to offer: the marine wonderland under the water and the magnificent landscape above the surface. Paddle out in the sea kayaks, watch for birds perched on the rocks, or just sit back and take in the glorious scenery. After a full day of island hopping through this archipelago, the boat will spend a quiet night at anchor in Misool’s Tomolol Bay.
A swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave is undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After an early breakfast, you will be taken into the heart of the bay to see this partially submerged cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with astonishing stalactites. The more adventurous can swim or paddle through the dark waters to the other mouth of the cave. Then move on to the mysterious stingless jellyfish lake, one of only 20 in the world where these amazing creatures exist, and swim amongst the many thousands of stingless animals. After returning to the ship, explore more of this impressive maze of karst islands, both above and below the surface, complete with mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries, and prehistoric cave paintings, estimated to be anything between 3,000 to 5,000 years old and depicting various human figures and huge human palms, fish, flowers and plants, tools and vessels. Overnight, the boat will cruise north to the island of Batanta.
The jungle-clad island of Batanta offers a change of scenery and a chance to stretch your legs on an adventurous trek into the island’s interior. Local guides will escort you through the mangrove waters to the start point of the trek. A short walk along the riverbed will bring you to the first of two jungle waterfalls complete with a refreshing pool for cooling off. The fit and adventurous may choose to continue the uphill climb along the rocks to where a second, larger cascade awaits. After leaving the wilderness behind us, heat to a nearby spot to swim and snorkel before moving north to the islands of Wayag.
Few areas in Indonesia can lay claim to such unsurpassed natural splendour as Raja Ampat’s Wayag islands. The beauty of these picturesque karst spires is perhaps only equalled by the brilliant colours and vibrancy of the reefs and the marine life that flourishes below. Nature has carved these islands into a series of coves and lagoons, narrow channels and inlets, caves, jagged rocks and shaded, sandy beaches. For those who dare, there are some spectacular but nearly vertical climbs that are rewarded with magnificent panoramas. Spend a quiet night here at anchor.
The Wayag islands are Raja Ampat’s best, and you will make the most of this unique region for one more morning, navigating the maze of mushroom-shaped islands, and stopping for swimming and snorkelling. In the afternoon, start your return to the southern hemisphere and the island of Waigeo.
Another full day of adventure awaits you along the convoluted western coast of Waigeo. Begin the morning by exploring Wofoh, three island gems linked together by stretches of pristine coral reef. You can use the tenders or kayaks to navigate the islands, or put your newly-acquired fish identification skills to use in exploring this vibrant reef.