- Sail around the Wallacea Islands and learn more about the theories and history of Wallace
- Explore remote islands with author, filmmaker and Indonesian explorer Lawrence Blair
- Travel on board Mutiara Laut, a high spec, luxurious Indonesian phinisi
- Enjoy world-class snorkelling, supported by an experienced and welcoming crew
Alfred Russel Wallace was the most celebrated naturalist of his time. He is attributed with the phrase "origin of the species" and jointly published the theory of evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin. An amateur collector of plants from the age of 18 he went on to explore and collect specimens in first South America and then the Malay Archipelago (now Malaysia and Indonesia). Scores of bugs, butterflies and other fauna have been named after Wallace, bearing the eponym wallacii or wallacei.
Join us on a journey, in his footsteps, through the fascinating eastern Wallacea Islands, the source for many of his theories and an area steeped in history and spices. The Wallacea Islands are a transitional zone, lying to the east of the Wallace Line, the invisible line that defines the zoology of Asia and that of Australasia. A highlight of the trip is the Banda Archipelago - the original Spice Islands. A truly magical place; deeply immersed in living history. The Historic and Marine Landscape of the Banda Islands are listed on UNESCO's 'tentative list' for inclusion as a World Heritage Site. You will spend time exploring the historic buildings of the old towns, the extraordinarily rich marine coral reefs and the exotic land-based scenery.
"The forests of the Moluccas offers to the naturalist a very striking example of the luxuriance and beauty of animal life in the tropics. The glorious birds and insects render the Moluccas a classic ground in the eyes of the naturalist, and characterise its fauna as one of the most remarkable and beautiful upon the globe” - from The Malay Archipelago.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS CRUISE AROUND THE WALLACE ISLANDS?
The only way to truly appreciate this region is by boat. Stops will be made at lesser visited islands where you can spend time with communities hardly visited by tourists. Lawrence Blair, tour expert on this trip will explain and bring to life the route Wallace took and the importance of these spice islands.
DO I HAVE TO BE A DEVOTED FOLLOWER OF WALLACE TO JOIN THIS CRUISE?
No, while the theme is undoubtedly Wallace, purely because his insight and research into the flora and fauna of this region is fascinating. However, if you want to journey through a lesser explored part of this wonderful country then this trip is also relevant and worthwhile.
WHAT WILDLIFE WILL I SEE ON THIS INDONESIAN CRUISE?
The waters around these islands are home to some of the richest marine diversity anywhere in the world. During days at sea, you may see whales, dolphins and even the occasional dugong (or Asian manatee). Beneath the surface, the colourful corals hide turtle and hundreds of fish including some big pelagics and various species of ray. The islands themselves are home to a wealth of birdlife such as parrots, lorikeets, megapodes, sea eagles and other exotic birds. There will also be much insect life and many of the creatures encountered will be the same as those that Wallace himself saw here some 160 years ago.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A TYPICAL DAY ON THIS INDONESIAN CRUISE?
Each day will be different with some time spent on the water, sailing between islands, offering the chance to relax, snorkel or hear about the adventures of tour expert Dr Lawrence Blair. On land, explore some of the breath-taking island landscapes, take in the colonial architecture, learn about the spice history of the region, and visit local villages and markets. Relax on white sandy beaches, laze in a natural hot spring or hike up a dormant volcano.
Over dinner there will be time to chat about the day’s activities and Lawrence will also present to the group on a number of subjects.
WHAT IS THE BOAT LIKE?
Mutiara Laut (meaning "Pearl of the Sea") is a beautiful 47-metre double mast yacht featuring seven ensuite cabins, communal areas and a large deck area for relaxing and outdoor dining.
Onboard equipment includes snorkelling and fishing gear, water-skis and kayaks plus the onboard crew of 13, which includes a cruise director, an Indonesian captain, a chef and a snorkelling guide.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
Moderate levels of fitness should be fine as there are no strenuous activities and any walking can be adapted to suit the group. For those that are keen, there are some more challenging walks available.
WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE ON BOARD MUTIARA LAUT?
The daily a la carte menu offers a fusion of Indonesian and western cuisines. Alcohol is not included, however, it can be purchased from the onboard bar.
DO I NEED TO BE A KEEN SNORKELLER TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS CRUISE TO INDONESIA?
No, however snorkelling in this region is some of the best in the world so the ability and desire to do some will only enhance your experience. There will also be plenty of time spent out of the water exploring the many islands.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.