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Jewels of Raja Ampat

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.

05 January, 2020 to 14 January, 2020 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 05 January, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
17 January, 2020 to 26 January, 2020 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 17 January, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
29 January, 2020 to 07 February, 2020 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 29 January, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
10 February, 2020 to 19 February, 2020 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 10 February, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
18 December, 2020 to 27 December, 2020 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 18 December, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
30 December, 2020 to 08 January, 2021 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 30 December, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 4720 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
04 February, 2021 to 13 February, 2021 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 04 February, 2021

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 5192 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
16 February, 2021 to 25 February, 2021 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 16 February, 2021

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 5192 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
18 December, 2021 to 27 December, 2021 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 18 December, 2021

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 5192 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo
30 December, 2021 to 08 January, 2022 Make a booking request for Jewels of Raja Ampat, departing on 30 December, 2021

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Stateroom £ 5192 GBP pp
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.
view cabin photo

Jewels of Raja Ampat itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - Sorong
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.
Day 2 - Misool Archipelago
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.
Day 3 - Misool Archipelago - 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.
Day 4 - 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.
Day 5 - Wayag Islands
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.
Day 6 - Wayag Islands
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.
Day 7 - 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.
Day 8 - Penemu & Aborek
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.
Day 9 - In the Footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace
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.
Day 10 - Sorong
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.
Please Note:
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.

Jewels of Raja Ampat reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* = Indicative
Map for Jewels of Raja Ampat
Katharina, the ship servicing Jewels of Raja Ampat

Katharina

Vessel Type: Yacht

Length:  33 metres

Passenger Capacity: 14

Built:  1997

Katharina is a mix of traditional and modern design. Her hull and rigging are traditional, while the deck house and interior were custom designed to adapt to Western tastes of space, privacy and comfort. While Indonesian traditional sailing vessels are customarily referred to as Bugi Schooners, strictly speaking Katharina is rigged as a Ketch, the foremast being higher than the aft mast.

The deck area of Katharina is dominated by the 25m tall main and top masts and a large central table around which we enjoy our meals alfresco. Just aft is the main lounge and bar, accessible on the port side. On top of this main cabin there is a sun deck, where you find several additional deck chairs and comfortable day beds. Below decks there are 4 double cabins (with one extra single upper berth) and 2 twin cabins (upper/lower berth). In addition there is one family cabin on the aft deck behind the wheelhouse. This cabin has one king size bed (1.80m wide), a normal single upper bed and an additional smaller bench/bed). All cabins are air-conditioned (individually controlled) and have private bathrooms with warm and cold water. Obviously, we provide all hotel amenities you may require.

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 shower and toilet. Unlike typical ship accommodation, your cabin provides ample space to store your stuff and still move about with ease.

We know from experience that during a cruise in the tropics some of our guests discover the pleasure of sleeping under the stars and there is plenty of room to sleep on the upper deck. Mattresses as well as light blankets are available for that purpose.

  •     Spacious twin shared cabins with twin bunk beds or double bed
  •     Each cabin has a private bathroom with toilet and hot shower
  •     Washbasin and soap toiletries in your cabin
  •     Cabins have individually controlled air conditioning
  •     Towels and beach towels that are regularly changed
  •     each cabin has an individual minisafe for valuables and travel documents
  •     Free tea, coffee and mineral water
  •     Excellent food and snacks (vegetarian food on request)
  •     Excellent wine selection, cold beer and other alcoholic drinks for sale
  •     Chilled towels and a welcome drink upon arrival
  •     Outdoor sleeping facilities
  •     Unlimited use of our snorkeling equipment and 2 sea canoes
  •     Television, DVD and music centre in lounge
Katharina double cabin | The Small Cruise Ship Collection
Katharina deck | The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Katharina bunk bed cabin | The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Cabin layout for Katharina
• 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
Enquire now about Jewels of Raja Ampat

Travel on the Katharina

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