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Coral Discoverer West Papua from Darwin

13 Days
On request

You’re really ‘out there’ on this cruise through the little known islands of West Papua. Discover serene, untouched beaches, bountiful wildlife, and rarely visited native tribes on this superb West Papua Cruise.

This 13-day cruise can be taken in either direction between Biak, West Papua, and Darwin, Australia. It takes you to many of the rarely visited islands of West Papua, with spectacular wildlife sightings and encounters with local tribes along the way.

Biak is noted for its beautiful beaches that remain firmly off the tourist radar. Enjoy a town tour, then board your cruise, bound for Cenderawasih Marine Park. This is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with majestic Whale Sharks, while dolphins, dugongs, turtles, and Blue Whales are often spotted in the surrounding waters. Sailing on to Manokwari, enjoy a more cultural day. Twenty-four different tribes call the island home, and you’ll have the chance to visit a village and learn about the local customs. Then snorkel or dive over the nearby wrecks left from World War II. There’s also a glass bottom boat tour if you’d rather stay high and dry.

The Amsterdam Islands are also renowned for their wartime wrecks. Here however, nature has regained a firm hold of each scuttled hulk, sprouting coral reefs and a unique eco-system, ripe for exploration. Take in spectacular views from Pindito Peak on Wayag Island, then turn to the Dampier Straits, where another village adventure awaits you at Pulau Gam. Keep your eyes peeled for the Red Bird of Paradise in the surrounding forest. End your day at Arborek Island, where you can swim with giant manta rays.

Dramatic limestone pillars dot the waters of the Misool Islands, which harbour pygmy seahorses and vibrant corals. Snorkel the saltwater lagoon of Palau Gorong, before exploring the trade history of the Spice Islands. While trade dates back over 2,000 years, Europeans first came to the islands in the 16th century, and their footprint can still be seen today in the architecture and museums of these islands. Cap off your trip through history with a day at the Kai Islands, renowned for having Indonesia’s finest beaches.

Your last (or first, if taking the cruise in reverse) island destination is Saumlaki, in the Tanimbar Islands. Visit a village community to learn about the local specialty, wood-crafting, and the (now abandoned!) practice of headhunting. A day at sea ends with a Captain’s Farewell Drinks before you land at your final destination.


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13 Days
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Embark Coral Discoverer in Darwin

This afternoon board Coral Discoverer at Darwin's Fort Hill Wharf, where there is time to settle in and enjoy the on board facilities before our departure. In the evening, join your fellow travellers, the Captain and his crew at the Captain's Welcome Drinks in anticipation of what promises to be a remarkable journey discovering Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration12 Nights

Coral Discoverer

More Info

Location View map
  • Coral Discoverer

    Built for comfort and safety, the Coral Discoverer provides the luxury and convenience of larger cruise ships, yet with just 72 passengers, is small enough access sites beyond the reach of larger vessels. The Coral Discoverer features plenty of open deck space and air-conditioned lounge ...

    Built for comfort and safety, the Coral Discoverer provides the luxury and convenience of larger cruise ships, yet with just 72 passengers, is small enough access sites beyond the reach of larger vessels. The Coral Discoverer features plenty of open deck space and air-conditioned lounge areas for guest comfort. There are outdoor and indoor bars and single-seating dining indoors. Its 2016 refurbishment has brought on board amenities to an even higher level -- the Sun Deck is a new social space and hub of on board community, underneath of which is a covered deck area complete with round bar, a sundeck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment. Our captain welcomes you on the bridge to observe ship operations and have a friendly chat. Coral Discoverer excursions are made on board the specially-designed excursion vessel 'Xplorer', and a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs.


    • Air Conditioning
    • Bar
    • Gift Shop
    • Laundry Facilities (Surcharge)
    • Library
    • Lounge
    • Scuba Diving
    • Spa/Jacuzzi
    • Sundeck
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 2

Crossing the Timor Sea

Spend the day at leisure enjoying the on board facilities as we cross the Timor Sea toward Banda Neira. Join our Expedition Staff in the ship's lounge for an interesting introduction to our expedition, and the many wonderful activities we will undertake over the coming twelve days.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Banda and Spice Islands

In the middle of the Banda Sea lies an enchanted fragment of history, the centre of the Spice Island trade. Originally the world's sole source of nutmeg and mace, these nine tiny islands have attracted traders since at least 2,000 years ago. In the 16th century, European explorers discovered entire continents in their quest for these islands. On our approach to Banda Island the outline of Gunung Api volcano, with its thin plume of smoke drifting from the summit, will be clearly visible. See Banda's famous Kora Kora canoes in action, with up to 38 oarsmen aboard they are a sight to behold as they glide across the water. Later in the afternoon there is time toexplore Fort Belgica, built by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1611, the fort is extremely well preserved and provides an interesting insight into
Dutch colonisation. Join the locals for a traditional dance and music performance before enjoying a glass of champagne as the sun sets over the fort

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Spice Islands

This morning enjoy the opportunity to immerse yourself in the colours and aromas of the Spice Islands. Stroll through the wide, tree-lined streets, past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism. See the museum, the former VOC Governor's Mansion, the old church and explore the spice markets. This afternoon we farewell the Spice Islands ad set sail towards Raja Ampat, enjoying informative presentations from our Guest Lecturers ahead of our arrival tomorrow.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Raja Ampt and Wagmab

Travel ashore to Wagmab Island and explore on a nature walk with the expedition staff. You will also have the chance to experience the waters surrounding the island, which are home to at least three species of the pygmy seahorse, no larger than a fingernail, and the most splendid soft coral jungles, with their vibrant shades of orange, red, purple and pink. Enjoy ample time for snorkelling, glass bottom boat tours, diving and kayaking.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Misool Island - Mesemta

The Misool Islands, one of the famed 'Four Kings' of the Raja Ampat region, are a gem-studded bracelet of islands that are a mecca for snorkelers and divers. The islands boast dramatic scenery, with towering limestone pinnacles jutting out of the water and white sand beaches adorned with palm trees. The morning dawns at our anchorage off Mesemta. Travel ashore aboard Xplorer for exploration and bird-watching and join our expedition staff on a nature walk. Later there is time for kayaking amongst the karst islands, and snorkelling over some of the finest coral gardens in Raja Ampat. This evening join the Captain and his crew on the sun deck for a gourmet barbeque at sunset

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Wayag Island and Raja Ampat

We cross the equator into the northern hemisphere as we make our way towards Wayag Island, which is currently being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage location. Savour a day of exploration, starting with an optional early morning hike up Pindito Peak, where the reward is breath-taking views over the island and its spectacular lagoon. Then, discover the lagoon's white sand beaches and a magical maze of limestone karst 'gumdrop' islands. The islands are adorned with thousands of pitcher plants and colourful orchids and we'll spend the remainder of the day exploring.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Gam Rainforest Walk and Aljui Bay Pearl Farm

Awaken as we cruise the Dampier Straits, named in honour of famed explorer William Dampier. At Pulau Gam early this morning a local Papuan guide will join us on a walk through the shady forests around Sawingrai village. Our guide's local knowledge will hopefully allow us to catch a glimpse of one of nature's finest creations, the ethereal Red Bird of Paradise. This afternoon join a guided tour of the Aljui Bay South Seas Pearl Farm, our local host taking us through the entire propagation and cultivation process. The farm produces pearls of the finest quality, and you may even wish to purchase an incredible souvenir produced in these very waters.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Hidden Bay and Gam Island

We enjoy our final morning in Raja Ampat discovering a true gem, Hidden Bay. The narrow entrance to the bay, which is located on Gam Island, is easy to overlook and visits from cruise ships are rare. Aboard Xplorer we'll travel through the long, narrow channel which splits into two picturesque bays featuring a maze of small rock islands. An extremely scenic and atmospheric place to explore, there will be ample time to kayak, enjoy glass bottom boat tours over the coral reefs, snorkel and SCUBA dive and join our expedition staff on a guided nature walk. In the afternoon we meet the locals of Gam and explore their traditional village.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Mansinam Island

Travel ashore aboard Xplorer to the island of Mansinam, where enjoy the opportunity to snorkel and SCUBA dive over the World War II wrecks that lie in the shallow waters just off the island. Enjoy glass bottom boat tours in the clear waters over the wrecks, snorkelling and diving over the Cross Wreck and the famed Shinwa Maru, a Japanese freighter sunk by Allied forces in 1943.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Cenderawasih Bay

We enter the marine life haven that is Cenderawasih Marine Park and go in search of an encounter with the biggest fish in the sea, the beautiful Whale Shark. This region is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to swim with these majestic animals, and with luck, we may have a chance to swim, snorkel and SCUBA dive amongst them. Keep your eye out for the park's wide variety of rarely seen wildlife, including dugongs, dolphins, blue whales and four species of turtle, including the endangered Leatherback. This will be a remarkable day exploring one of the world's most amazing natural habitats.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Cenderawasih Bay

Our exploration of Cenderawasih Bay continues today as we discover some of the bay's eighty square kilometres of pristine coral reefs which support over 200 species of tropical fish. Join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat, join a kayak tour and snorkel and SCUBA dive amongst the corals. Later this afternoon we visit a local village to learn about the interesting customs and traditional lifestyles of the West Papuan people. This evening join your fellow travelers, the Captain and his staff for the Captain's Farewell Drinks and reminisce over what has been an unforgettable adventure exploring the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Biak and Optional Charter Flight to Darwin

Depart Coral Discoverer this morning, bidding farewell to the Captain and his crew. For guests joining our charter flight to Darwin, join a tour of Biak this morning before transferring to the airport for our private flight back to Australia.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2017: 15 March.

2018: Departures on request


  • Accommodation
  • Services of expedition staff including lectures, briefings, slide/film presentations and other group activities
  • Group transfers during the cruise
  • All meals
  • 24 hour tea/coffee station
  • Landing fees


  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Drinks unless specified
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.


This cruise is onboard the Coral Discoverer. Itinerary above is from Darwin to Biak, itinerary also operates in reverse from Biak to Darwin.

15 Mar 2017
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