Local fruit and spices from the Indonesian islands on a wooden table
a close up photo of a sea turtle in indonesia
A brightly-colored in blue, yellow and red Wilson's Bird of Paradise during its mating dance as seen on the Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands voyage.
A gold-and-mauve-colored small bird with wings on display while standing on a tree branch as seen on the Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands voyage.
Looking toward an island in indonesia from the end of a long wooden pier over clear, tropical water
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Asia / Pacific Indonesia Cruise

Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands

Be transported back in time on this 10- to 12-day Indonesian cruise as the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina sailing vessel winds her way among remote palm-fringed coral islands, majestic rainforests and huge smoking conical volcanoes. The Moluccas are the original Spice Islands of Indonesia: a magical destination, beautiful, remote and unspoiled, with a long, fascinating and turbulent history. For millennia these fertile volcanic isles were the world’s only source of the holy trinity of rare spices: cloves, nutmeg and mace, which were once worth their weight in gold. Sail Indonesia and relish the opportunity to swim, snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard in waters rich in marine life.

On the main itinerary, go in search of Wallace and his living treasures, taking in firsthand experiences of unique ecology. Visit some of the places that most fascinated Wallace: the Spice Island of Ternate, Wallace’s base for his eastern travels and once the center of the world clove trade; the mysterious island of Halmahera where Wallace discovered evolution by natural selection; and the remote Raja Ampat Islands with their pristine, incredibly diverse coral reefs and up to five species of Birds of Paradise. Also hope to see giant clams, massive manta rays, humongous coconut crabs, endangered black macaque monkeys and possibly dugongs.

On the alternative Exquisite Birds of Paradise itinerary, seek out Indonesia’s vibrant and unique birds in their hotspots. Amateur birders to experienced ornithologists will appreciate this fantastic sailing expedition through the remote, rainforest-clad islands of northern Raja Ampat and North Maluku, including a two-night stay at the famed Weda Resort on Halmahera. Raja Ampat is one of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet and Halmahera is where some of the world’s rarest and least-known birds occur.

Passage is aboard the 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih or 12-passenger ketch Katharina. These traditional pinisi-style ships offer romance, Indonesian culture, rustic charm and superior service, and are therefore each an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter cruises. Complimentary onboard snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear and tender boats equip guests with daily adventures among a string of Indonesian islands.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Indonesia cruises.



Itinerary

In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures Itinerary

The main, In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures eastbound itinerary begins in Ternate and ends in Sorong. This 12-day Indonesia spice islands cruise follows in Wallace’s footsteps, seeking out the region’s unique ecology, with passage aboard the 12-guest Ombak Putih sailing vessel.

Route map for small ship cruise Sailing Indonesia: the Spice Islands main and reverse itinerary between Ternate and Sorong with stops at Halmahera, Raja Ampat, Gam and Waigeo.
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Day 1
Embark Ternate, Indonesia

Arrive by plane to the small island of Ternate, the capital of the North Maluku Province. Be met at the airport and transferred to the ship, moored off Ternate City. Get settled, have a quick safety briefing and enjoy an alfresco lunch while meeting the other passengers and the crew. 

In the afternoon venture into the city, which has retained its commercial and political importance as the administrative and trading center of North Maluku. Of the four historically powerful spice sultanates, Ternate is the only one where the sultanate has survived uninterrupted. Visit Fort Toluko, built by the Portuguese and the ‘Kedaton‘, the palace of the Sultan, with its rich collection of heirlooms. Also see the impressive Fort Oranje built by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and the probable site of the house where Wallace was living when he posted his essay on natural selection to Charles Darwin in 1858.  After the tour re-board the boat ready to start the journey. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Halmahera: Dodgina Village

Today wake up off the coast of Halmahera, just across from Ternate, with the mighty peaks of Ternate and Tidore as the dawn’s backdrop. After breakfast, head to the village of Dodinga: the very place where Wallace was living when, in a fit of malarial delirium, he discovered the mechanism which drives evolutionary changenatural selection. Once he had recovered, he promptly wrote a detailed essay explaining his theory, which he posted to Charles Darwin as soon as he returned to his base on Ternate. His essay, which was published together with Darwin’s thoughts on the subject in August 1858, prompted Darwin to publish his book Origin of Species in 1859, which explained the theory in greater detail.  Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort, and its importance in the history of science cannot be understated. 

After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then go off for an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation. Head south later in the day, ready for the first bird of paradise encounter the following morning. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Halmahera: Bastiong Village, Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort

Rise at 3:00am, have coffee and snacks, and transfer to cars at Bastiong Village, Halmahera, to drive over the dividing range towards Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort. Together with the local community, the owners of the resort manage a foundation for education and conservation of the primary forest and its wildlife. They are proud to be able to protect 700 hectares of primary rainforest, home of the Wallace’s Standardwing Bird of Paradise, plus many other species of birds and other wildlife. 

Start the walk into the forest so that by 6:00am the group is positioned quietly below the trees used by males of Wallace’s Standardwing for their communal courtship display. Walk back to the road for breakfast at a shelter before heading out for a morning of bird watching (hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots, and possibly the paradise-crow, another less spectacular species of bird of paradise). 

There might be a chance for a snorkel in Weda Bay before having lunch at the resort. After lunch there is an optional field-trip by car into the hills behind the resort to search for birds and insects, including one of Wallace’s greatest discoveries, the golden birdwing butterfly, which he regarded as being “the finest butterfly in the world.” Those who would prefer a relaxing afternoon can stay at the resort until the others return, or go back to the boat. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Bacan

Wake up off the western coast of Bacan, another of Indonesia’s historic spice sultanates. Go ashore to explore the forested slopes where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries, including the moluccan cuscus, the standardwing bird of paradise, the world’s largest bee megachile pluto, and the huge and magnificent golden birdwing butterfly. When Wallace caught the first golden birdwing butterfly male in 1859 he wrote: “When I took it out of my net, and opened its gorgeous wings, I was nearer fainting with delight and excitement than I have ever been in my life; my heart beat violently, and the blood rushed to my head, leaving a headache for the rest of the day.” Very few Westerners have ever seen this species alive and no groups of tourists have ever been taken to see it before. Of course spotting it is not guaranteed but your guide is the one person on Bacan who knows exactly where the butterfly can be found. 

Keep a close watch for these and a host of other animals, some of them endemic to these islands, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus and the endangered black macaquethe only monkey in Maluku. It’s the wrong side of the Wallace Line for monkeys; these ones were introduced hundreds of years ago from North Sulawesi. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Pisang Islands

In the morning make landfall at the Pisang Islands. These tiny gems isolated in the vast waters of the Ceram Sea offer a chance to relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches, clear waters and vibrant reefs before the ship makes her way to the shores of West Misool.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Raja Ampat: Kapatcol Village

Today hope to see the lesser birds of paradise displaying in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. Rise around 4:00am and have a quick breakfast before going ashore at Kapatcol, where local guides will be waiting to take everyone through the forest to hopefully see the birds as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ (courtship display) trees. Enjoy time for a look around the village, possibly including the school, to learn about their way of life. In the mid-afternoon set off to the eastern side of Misool to Tomolol Bay. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Raja Ampat: Tomolol Bay

This morning wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the eastern part of 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. After an early breakfast, take tenders 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 a mysterious jellyfish lake and swim among the many thousands of stingless animals: undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After returning to the ship, use the 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 cave paintings estimated to be 3,000-5,000 years old that depict various human figures and huge human palms, fish, plants, tools and vessels.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Batanta & Dayag

After days of marine exploration, the jungle-clad island of Batanta offers a change of scenery and a chance to stretch the legs on an adventurous trek into the island’s interior. Anchor at the foot of Arefi Village, nestled on the north coast of the island, to visit the village and the school, and watch the children’s performance. 

For those who wish, if the tide permits, take a short walk along the riverbed 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 this, the boat will move to Dayang Island for another great snorkeling opportunity. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Raja Ampat: Penemu & Aborek

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 snorkeling on the island’s reefs, set course for the tiny Arborek Island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances. Also take time to 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 to see possible manta rays while snorkeling, but no guarantees. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Dampier Strait, Raja Ampat: Yenbeser Village

Today presents another opportunity for keen naturalists to rise early and walk into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable red bird of paradise, one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect. With a little luck and the help of knowledgeable guides, see this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. After returning to the ship, turn attention to the sea as the ship makes her way through the Dampier strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. If the currents are in favorable, see some of the area’s larger specimens of marine life, which are attracted to the strait’s nutrient-rich waters. 

Spend the afternoon in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months. If the tides permit, visit a faithful replica of Wallace’s small hut, which was built by the villagers. Also visit a nearby small island where a local man has set up a coconut crab sanctuary. The island is home to a small number of these monsters (Birgus latro, the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod), and opportunities exist to get up close and personal with these magnificent yet docile beasts. Another late afternoon snorkel along a reef with some spectacular giant clams (the world’s largest bivalve) will lead into dinner at anchor on board, ready for an early morning venture for the red bird of paradise. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Waigeo: Saporkren Village & Mansuar: Yenbuba Village

Today, rise at 4:30am, off Saporkren village. Take a dinghy to the village while it’s still dark and follow a local guide on a short drive into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the gorgeous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Hope that the efforts of today’s early start will pay off with a rare and privileged sight of the bird’s elaborate courtship dance as the day breaks over the forest canopy. 

Back in the village there’s time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Get back on the boat by mid-morning and head to Yenbuba at Mansuar island for some snorkeling before lunch. This place is known as the “fish bowl” because it provides the chance to see different types of fish around the bay. The boat will then move to Mioskon island for more snorkeling and the opportunity to watch a multitude of bats flying overhead just after sunset. Tonight, enjoy a farewell party. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Sorong, Indonesia

Today is the end of the adventure, but there is still one last chance for a swim and a snorkel at a small offshore island before cruising into port. Alternatively, explore Doom Island. Once at anchor, say goodbye to the crew and ship before taking the tenders ashore and being transferred to the airport for your onward travel. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes; outdoor sleeping facilities.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands cruise begins in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE), and ends in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Ternate by 7:00am on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Sorong no earlier than 2:00pm on day 12. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabins, with age as a consideration.

Families & Children

Families with children age two and older are welcome. Both boats have been built with child safety in mind and the side railings on both ships have been built higher than on normal traditional Buginese schooners. Keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Children 11 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Sailing in the Wake of Wallace Itinerary

The reverse, Sailing in the Wake of Wallace westbound itinerary begins in Sorong and ends in Ternate. This 12-day Indonesia spice islands cruise follows in Wallace’s footsteps, seeking out the region’s unique ecology, with passage aboard the 12-guest Ombak Putih sailing vessel.

Route map for small ship cruise Sailing Indonesia: the Spice Islands main and reverse itinerary between Ternate and Sorong with stops at Halmahera, Raja Ampat, Gam and Waigeo.
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Day 1
Embark Sorong, Indonesia

Arrive by plane into Sorong, the gateway to Raja Ampat. From the airport be transferred to the harbor where the ship will be waiting at anchor. Get settled let the tour leaders explain the vessel’s facilities and safety procedures. Weigh anchor, leave the harbor behind and cruise to a small island to enjoy the first snorkel of the trip as the ship makes her way north. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Waigeo: Saporkren Village

Today rise very early and head off in the tenders to a small village. Follow local guides on a walk into the forest to spot the gorgeous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Back in the village take time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Get back on the boat by mid-morning and if time permits, travel over to a nearby island to snorkel. In the afternoon, go snorkeling on the beautiful reefs that fill this area. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Dampier Strait, Raja Ampat: Aborek Village

Rise early once more to see the remarkable red bird of paradise, and with a little luck and the help of knowledgeable guides, see this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. Once we back on the ship, turn attention to the sea as the ship makes her way through the Dampier Strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. There’s a chance to see some manta rays while snorkeling, but there are no guarantees. End the day by mooring off another tiny island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances and there’s time to explore the charming village. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Gam: Yenbeser Village

Today is a day of exploration and snorkeling. Spend the day visiting a local village and snorkeling on the many great reefs in the area. Visit a replica of Alfred Russel Wallace’s hut and call in on an island where a local man has set up a coconut crab sanctuary for what is the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod. A late afternoon snorkel along a reef with some spectacular giant clams (the world’s largest marine arthropod and mollusc) leads into dinner at anchor on board. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Raja Ampat: Penemu, Klaarbeck & Yar

Today is another day or snorkeling, Wallace tracking and exploring some of Raja Ampat’s most beautiful limestone karst islands. Wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with a short hilltop climb to take in the amazing views, before continuing on island hopping northwards to an island where at dusk, tens of thousands of fruit bats fly out to feed. Tonight offers a beach barbecue and party on a remote beach. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Raja Ampat: Tomolol Bay

This morning wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the eastern part of the Misool archipelago. Take tenders to a large cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with stalactites. Then move on to a mysterious jellyfish lake and swim among the many thousands of stingless animals: undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. 

In the afternoon, use the 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 cave paintings estimated to be 3,000-5,000 years old. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Raja Ampat: Kapatcol Village

Wake early once again and go ashore. Follow local local guides through the forest to hopefully see the lesser bird of paradise as they dance around in their “lekking” trees. On the way back, stroll around the village, possibly including a school visit, to learn about the way Nature Conservancy is working with the village to empower local women with a fishing practice called “sasi.” 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Djoronga & Damar

Today the ship is positioned off the extreme southern tip of Halmahera Island for snorkeling and a visit to a local Bajau sea gypsy village to learn about their way of life. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Bacan

Wake up off the western coast of Bacan and go ashore to explore the forested slopes in search of Wallace’s giant bee and the huge and magnificent golden birdwing butterfly. During this trip hope to see some of other endemic animals of these islands, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus and the endangered black-crested macaque.

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Halmahera: Bastiong Village, Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort

Once again set off early into the forest, this time by car, to see Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise doing their courtship displays in their favorite trees. Also spend the morning looking out for other birds including hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots and possibly the paradise-crow, another bird of paradise species. Continuing on to the Weda Bay Resort, have lunch before returning to the boat. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Halmahera: Dodgina Village

Today wake up off the coast of Halmahera and head to the village of Dodinga: the very place where AR Wallace was living when he discovered the mechanism which drives evolutionary changenatural selection. His Letter to Charles Darwin was the catalyst that prompted Darwin to publish his book Origin of Species in 1859, which explained the theory in greater detail. 

Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fortits importance in the history of science cannot be understated. After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then go off for an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation. Tonight enjoy a final farewell party. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Disembark Ternate, Indonesia

Today marks the end of the adventure, but first head out for a tour of the city, which has retained its commercial and political importance as the administrative and trading center of North Maluku. Visit a couple of old Portuguese and Dutch forts and pay a visit to the Sultan’s Palace with its rich collection of heirlooms. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes; outdoor sleeping facilities.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands cruise begins in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ), and ends in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Sorong by 6:30am on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Ternate no earlier than 2:00pm on day 12. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabins, with age as a consideration.

Families & Children

Families with children age two and older are welcome. Both boats have been built with child safety in mind and the side railings on both ships have been built higher than on normal traditional Buginese schooners. Keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Children 11 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Indonesia's Exquisite Birds of Paradise: Ternate to Sorong Itinerary

The eastbound Indonesia’s Exquisite Birds of Paradise cruise operates from Ternate to Sorong, starting with a speedboat trip to Weda on the island of Halmahera for two days on land seeking out exotic birds at the Weda Resort. The ship then embarks in Weda and cruises to the islands of Gebe, Kofiau, Gam, Mioskon, Waigeo, Mansuar, Batanta and Salawati in search of various birds of paradise before disembarking in Sorong Harbor.

Route map of Indonesia's Exquisite Birds of Paradise small ship cruise, operating between Ternate and Sorong with visits to the islands of Halmahera, Gebe, Kofiau, Gam, Mioskon, Waigeo, Mansuar, Batanta & Salawati
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Day 1
Arrive Ternate to Halmahera, Indonesia

Be picked up and and transferred by car and ferry to Weda Bay Resort. In the afternoon, enjoy the first bird watching expedition in the forests that surround the beautiful seaside Weda Bay Resort. 

Accommodations

Weda Resort

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Halmahera: Weda Resort

Early in the morning, begin the day’s bird-watching expedition into the forest starting with a search for Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise. The forest is alive with many beautiful species and it should be a full morning of great bird spotting. Back at the resort, after lunch, choose to snorkel, kayak or relax before venturing back into the forest for more magnificent birding at dusk. 

Accommodations

Weda Resort

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Embark Weda, Halmahera

At dawn, set off for more trekking around Weda rainforest looking for more birds of Halmahera, including another spot to watch the Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise once more. After lunch, board the ship. Get settled in as the ship starts her crossing to Gebe Island. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Gebe

The island of Gebe is home to a plethora of birds from both regions. Go ashore early to a local village and follow the local guides to many parrots, imperial pigeons, fruit doves, kingfishers and other local birds, and with luck, spot the glossy-mantled manucode.  Overnight the ship heads toward Kofiau Island.

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Kofiau

Kofiau is home to two wonderful endemics, not least the Kofiau paradise kingfisherhope to see it, along with many other birds, on a long early morning visit to the forest. In the afternoon, snorkel and explore the island before continuing the birding experience in the early evening. During the night, the ship sets sail to Misool.

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Misool

Long before dawn, start trekking near the village of Kapatcol, partly by dingy and partly on foot, towards one of the leks of the lesser bird of paradise. On the return, see other special birds of the region and hopefully also the king bird of paradise. In the afternoon, have the chance to go snorkeling on a local reef before heading back into the forest. During the night, continue the journey towards Salawati Island. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Salawati

Today, with the help of local guides, hope to see the beautiful yet elusive king bird-of-paradise, which can be seen high in the canopy. Also have the possibility to see the western-crowned pigeon. Later that day, if sea conditions allow, go ashore on the north-east corner of Salawati and look for the northern cassowary, which is known to roam freely in the forest here.

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Waigeo & Mioskon

Today brings an encounter with one of the most beautiful birds in the world, the Wilson’s bird of paradise. Rising once again before the dawn, walk through the forest to a hide from which to hopefully see the male’s elaborate forest floor mating display, and maybe even see a female or two come and join in. On the way back to the boat be on the lookout for more birds in the busy forest canopy and floor. In the afternoon, sail on towards Mioskon Island. Arrive around dusk to see thousands of flying foxes head out from their forest home on their nightly forage. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Gam & Mioskon

Go ashore in tenders to follow local guides through the forest to the lekking trees of the red bird of paradise, to witness their outlandish courtship display. On the way back through the forest be on the lookout for many other bird species native to the area. 

After a late full breakfast on the boat, move to another nearby island for snorkeling and relaxing. Come late afternoon, enter the forest once again in search of more endemic bird species. During the night the ship travels the final leg of the trip to Sorong City. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Disembark Sorong, Indonesia

After breakfast, go ashore on Doom island and tour this small town by three-wheeled motorized transport known locally as “becaks.” The town used to be a Dutch Colonial outpost and was also home to a Japanese base during WWII. Have a final lunch on the boat before saying goodbye to the crew and being transferred to your hotel or the airport for the next part of your journey. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes; outdoor sleeping facilities.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The eastbound Indonesia’s Exquisite Birds of Paradise cruise begins in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE), and ends in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Ternate by 8:00am on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Sorong no earlier than 2:00pm on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabins, with age as a consideration.

Families & Children

Families with children age two and older are welcome. The ship has been built with child safety in mind and the side railings have been built higher than on normal traditional Buginese schooners. Keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Children 11 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Indonesia's Exquisite Birds of Paradise: Sorong to Ternate Itinerary

The westbound Indonesia’s Exquisite Birds of Paradise cruise operates from Sorong to Ternate, embarking in Sorong Harbor and cruising to the islands of Mioskon, Gam, Waigeo, Mansuar, Batanta, Salawati, Kofiau and Gebe in search of various birds of paradise. The ship then disembarks in Weda on the island of Halmahera for two days on land seeking out more exotic birds at the Weda Resort, before making a speedboat trip to the island of Ternate.

Route map for small ship cruise Sailing Indonesia: the Spice Islands Exquisite Birds of Paradise alternative itinerary between Ternate and Sorong with stops at Halmahera, Gebe, Kofiau, Raja Ampat, Gam, Mioskon, Waigeo, Batanta and Salawati.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Sorong to Mioskon, Indonesia

On the first day of this birding adventure, be met at the airport or hotel by the tour leader and taken straight to the shi[, which will be anchored in the bay. Get settled as the ship gets underway for a five-hour cruise to Mioskon Island, which is home to a number of special bird species. It also provides the first chance to snorkel. At dusk see thousands of flying foxes heading out from their forest home on their nightly forage. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
Gam

Starting well before dawn, go ashore in tenders to follow local guides through the forest to the lekking trees of the red bird of paradise, from which to witness their outlandish courtship display. On the way back through the forest be on the lookout for many other bird species native to the area. After a late breakfast on the boat, move to another nearby island for snorkeling and relaxing. Come late afternoon, enter the forest once again in search of more endemic bird species. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Waigeo & Mansuar

Today brings an encounter with one of the most beautiful birds in the world, the Wilson’s bird of paradise. Rising once again before the dawn, walk through the forest to a hide and hope to see the male’s elaborate forest floor mating display and maybe even a female or two come and join in. On the way back to the boat be on the lookout for more birds in the busy forest canopy and floor. Spend the afternoon on a nearby island exploring, snorkeling and birding, before heading off in the evening towards Salawati Island farther south. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Batanta

Today, with the help of local guides, hope to see the beautiful yet elusive king bird-of-paradise, which can be seen high in the canopy. Also have the possibility to see the western-crowned pigeon as well. Later today, if sea conditions allow, go ashore on the north-east corner of Salawati and look for the northern cassowary, which is known to roam freely in the forest here. In the afternoon relax on board as the ship makes the long crossing towards the island of Misool. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Misool

Long before dawn start trekking near the village of Kapatcol, partly by dingy and partly on foot, towards one of the leks of the lesser bird of paradise. On the return, see other special birds of the region and hopefully also the king bird of paradise again. In the afternoon, go snorkeling on a local reef before heading back into the forest for more birding. Early in the evening the ship heads north towards the island of Kofiau. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Kofiau

Kofiau is home to two wonderful endemics, not least the Kofiau paradise kingfisherhope to see it on a long early morning visit to the forest along with many other birds. In the afternoon, snorkel and explore the island before birding again in the evening. Overnight the ship heads towards the island of Gebe. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Gebe

The island of Gebe is situated halfway between northern Raja Ampat and Halmahera, and is home to a plethora of birds from both regions. Go ashore early to a local village and follow the local guides to many parrots,  imperial pigeons, fruit doves, kingfishers and other local birds, and with luck, see the glossy-mantled manucode. At dusk start the long crossing to Weda on the east coast of Halmahera, ahead of an early trek into the forest. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Disembark Weda, Halmahera

Early in the morning, begin the day’s bird-watching expedition in the Weda Forest with the first port of call being a meeting with Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise. The forest is alive with many beautiful species so expect a full morning of bird spotting. After lunch back on the boat, say farewell to the crew, disembark the vessel and check-in at the Weda Resort. In the late afternoon go venturing back into the forest in search of more spectacular species. 

Accommodations

Weda Resort

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Halmahera: Weda Resort

At dawn, set off for more trekking around Weda rainforest, looking for more birds of Halmahera, including another spot to watch the Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise once more. Back at the resort, after lunch, choose to snorkel, kayak or relax before venturing back into the forest for more magnificent birding at dusk. 

Accommodations

Weda Resort

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Halmahera to Ternate, Indonesia & Depart

After breakfast set off by car in the direction of Ternate, keeping eyes open for any birds and wildlife on the way, for the journey through the fascinating landscapes of Halmahera. Once back on Ternate, be transferred to the airport for your departing flight or to your hotel if you have opted to stay on and do some more birding in the forests of this volcanic and historically rich island. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes; outdoor sleeping facilities.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The westbound Indonesia’s Exquisite Birds of Paradise cruise begins in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ), and ends in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Sorong by 6:30am on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Ternate no earlier than 2:00pm on day 10. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabins, with age as a consideration.

Families & Children

Families with children age two and older are welcome. The ship has been built with child safety in mind and the side railings have been built higher than on normal traditional Buginese schooners. Keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Children 11 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Nov 10 - Nov 19, 2020
Katharina • 10 days
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From $5900USD
Per Person
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Jan 23 - Feb 03, 2021
Ombak Putih • 12 days
From $7975USD
Per Person
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Feb 28 - Mar 11, 2021
Katharina • 12 days
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From $7975USD
Per Person
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Oct 04 - Oct 15, 2021
Ombak Putih • 12 days
From $7975USD
Per Person
Read More
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Nov 21 - Nov 30, 2021
Katharina • 10 days
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From $6490USD
Per Person
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Dec 03 - Dec 12, 2021
Katharina • 10 days
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From $6490USD
Per Person
Read More
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Motorsailer
Ombak Putih

The 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih combines traditional and modern design to bring authenticity and comfort to her itineraries in the Ring of Fire region stretching from Bali to the Philippines.

Motorsailer
Katharina

Katharina is a 12-guest sailing vessel whose adventures explore the Ring of Fire, the string of volcanic islands that stretch out from Bali east to the Philippines.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Lis Larson • January 17th, 2020
Expert Aboard: Katharina & Ombak Putih Ship Review

Learn about the food, cabins, crew and more from AdventureSmith experts who've been aboard these unique Indonesian sailing vessels.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

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Sailing Indonesia: Jewels of Raja Ampat

Experience the best of Indonesia travel aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or the 12-guest Katharina sailing vessels. This 10-day round-trip cruise from Sorong, West Papua, explores the natural splendor of Raja Ampat, home to the world's most bio-diverse coral reefs.

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Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands

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