One of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, with views among the most stunning that you are likely to behold in a lifetime, the Raja Ampat archipelago is a region characterised by rugged and steep limestone coastlines covered with virgin rainforest extending right down to the water’s edge. Many of the fish, corals and crustaceans that live in these waters are found nowhere else on Earth. During this cruise, we will take you on a far-reaching exploration of what is without a doubt one of the least visited but most memorable adventure-destinations on our planet. You do not need to be a diver to be able to experience this global epicentre of marine diversity; here you will have the opportunity to snorkel daily in an underwater world reminiscent of a living kaleidoscope. Nor do you need to be a seasoned birdwatcher to see and appreciate the dazzling birdlife that brought Alfred Russel Wallace to this region over a century ago. Witness the curious bobbing, flapping and weaving display dance of the red bird of paradise, hear the shrieks of the crested cockatoo and the loud whooshing wing beats of the hornbills in flight. Float on your back through a mysterious cave; swim with stingless jellyfish; dive into a jungle waterfall; relish the magic of what has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’

Many of these cruises fall over either Christmas Day and New Year's Day (or both!), so be sure to check the dates. In the true spirit of the festive season, you can rest assured that we will be pulling out all the stops to celebrate in style.

Note: The price of this cruise does not include any domestic airfares to and from our start and end points. If you are booking flights by yourself, please do not book any flights before checking with us first. Our first and last day programmes rely on strict time scheduling, so please confirm with us to ensure that you arrive and depart at your destination with plenty of time to spare and to avoid disruption to other guests' schedules.
Your flight will arrive in the West Papuan port town of Sorong, the gateway to Raja Ampat. From the airport we will transfer you to the harbour where Katharina will be waiting at anchor. Once settled into your cabin, your cruise director will familiarise you with the vessel’s facilities and safety procedures. Ready to start our adventure, we will weigh anchor and set a southerly course for the Misool archipelago, stopping for a refreshing swim along the way. We will then dine alfresco on the main deck while meeting the other passengers and crew and watching the sun set on our first day at sea.
This morning we will wake 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. We will spend the day maximising everything that this fascinating area has to offer by marvelling at both the marine wonderland under the water and the magnificent landscape above the surface. We can test out our paddling skills 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, Katharina 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, our tenders will take us 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. After returning to the ship, we will use our tenders to 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 ‘petroglyph’ 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, our boat will cruise north to the island of Batanta.
After our days of marine exploration, the jungle-clad island of Batanta offers us a change of scenery and a chance to stretch our legs on an adventurous trek into the island’s interior. We anchor at the foot of Arefi Village, nestled on the north coast of the island, where we will find local guides to escort us through the mangrove waters to the start point of our trek. A short walk along the riverbed brings us 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, we will find 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. We will spend a quiet night here at anchor.
The Wayag islands are Raja Ampat’s best, and we 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, we will set our compasses to return to the southern hemisphere and the island of Waigeo.
Another full day of adventure awaits us along the convoluted western coast of Waigeo. We will 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. Or you may prefer to simply just relax on the beach. In the afternoon we will move northwards to Aljui Bay, home to the Cendanda Pearl Farm, one of the larger producers of high quality seawater pearls in the region. Pearling is an important industry throughout Indonesia and a number of farms can be seen in the waters of Raja Ampat, where the farmers may grant us permission to visit their facilities and receive an explanation of the pearling processes that we have seen during our voyage.
We will wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with a short hilltop climb to take in the amazing views. After some great snorkelling on the island’s reefs, we will set course for the tiny Aborek Island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances for us. We can also walk around the village and gain a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept very much alive by the villagers living in this isolated place. There's a chance that we may get to see some manta rays as we snorkel, but there are no guarantees.
After waking up, before sunrise, we will follow in the footsteps of the famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable Red Bird of Paradise, one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect. We hope that the efforts of our trek through the forest will pay off, enabling us to catch a rare and privileged sight of the bird’s elaborate courtship dance as the day breaks over the forest canopy. Whether we spot the birds or not, for sure we will experience a wonderful trek. After lunch, we make our way through the Dampier strait, home to some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs.
After our last breakfast, we will stroll around on dry land at the Doom island with a traditional transportation called Becak. During the First World War, Doom island served as an administrative center of Dutch Empire administration in West Papua, and continued to become the core of Sorong for some time before the city grew in mainland Papua. During the Second World War, Japanese forces occupied and fortified the island, building a network of tunnels and bunkers. The island was attacked by American and Australian aircraft throughout the war. Following the war, a fishing station was briefly established on the island before it was moved to Manokwari. After this we will say goodbye to our crew and captain and head to the airport for our onward flights.
Every effort will be made to carry out our cruise itinerary as planned; however, our itineraries are subject to change at the captain’s discretion. When touring at sea, weather, currents, and even harbour masters don’t always co-operate with our planned itinerary, which sometimes make our planned schedules challenging or even impossible to carry out. For that reason, our written itineraries must be approached with reasonable flexibility. We reserve the right to make alterations due to circumstances beyond our control and/or other factors, in the best interests of all. It’s all part of the adventure.

Stateroom

$5,900 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Stateroom

$5,900 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Stateroom

$6,490 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Stateroom

$6,490 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Stateroom

$6,490 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Stateroom

$6,490 USD pp
Stateroom
Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed (on request). Each cabin has a wardrobe, a built-in mini safe, individually controlled cooling systems and soft lightning. All cabins have their own private bathroom with (warm & cold water) shower and toilet.

Katharina

Vessel Type: Yacht

Length: 40 metres

Passenger Capacity: 14

Built / Refurbished: 1995 / 2014

The Katharina is a traditional Indonesian pinisi, built in 1995 in Kalimantan using only the very best grades of ironwood. Her slim hull was originally being planned for commercial sailing carrying freight before we spotted her in the making. We bought her and fitted her out as a cruising vessel, and then again in January 2014, the Katharina was the subject of a major interior refit. Working with the unique heritage this vessel represents, her transformation is a conservation exercise back to authenticity, using only the best traditional materials, shaped by highly skilled Indonesian craftsmen. Yet, what goes on behind the scenes is the use of the most up-to-date technology and she is now equipped with a super yacht grade AC station and we are optimizing our systems to the latest safety standards.

Not only is the Katharina very elegant on the water, she is also fast becoming a classic yacht, as very few of these original designs remain. Katharina’s overall length is 40 metres, providing comfortable accommodation for up to 14 guests in six cabins located below decks. All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities including double beds or twins, private en-suite bathrooms, natural light, safety boxes, individually controlled air-conditioning and storage space including a safe.

Led by Captain Iwan, the Katharina is catered to by an all-Indonesian crew of 12, with each member dedicated to making your stay aboard truly memorable.

Cabin layout for Katharina

Inclusions


Voyage on board in selected cabin category
All meals while on board
Non-alcoholic beverages
Snorkel gear for use throughout the voyage
Excursions as per the itinerary
English speaking tour guide
Transfers between Airport and Ship (and vice versa) Except in Serangan, Bali


Exclusions


International and domestic flights
Travel insurance
Passport and Visa costs
Alcoholic beverages
Gratuities (Recommended US$10.00 - $20.00 per person/per day)

Katharina
Indonesia YachtYacht
10 Days from
$5,900 USD pp

Highlights

• Test out your paddling skills in the sea kayaks, watch for birds perched on the rocks, or just sit back and take in the glorious scenery

• Swim through Tomolol’s mysterious dome-topped cave

• Visit Sapokren Village and meet with a local NGO leader to discuss illegal logging, community development and (hopefully) details of a new FFI (Flora & Fauna International) project in these areas

• Follow in the footsteps of the famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable Red Bird of Paradise

• Enjoy the unsurpassed natural splendour of Raja Ampat’s Wayag islands

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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