Journey from Australia, across the Banda and Java Seas, to explore the diverse islands, landscapes, cultures and wildlife found here while ashore or underwater over coral reefs. Snorkel in Indonesia’s Coral Triangle, and be dazzled by the diversity of the underwater life at destinations such as Anano Island. Encounter captivating expressions of local culture in the ornate funereal homes of the Torajan people, and in a collection of other sites so fascinating they have been proposed for UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit Tanjung Puting National Park and Camp Leakey to learn of Dr. Biruté Galdikas’ ground-breaking work with orangutans, as well as possible up-close encounters with these intelligent and threatened animals. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, culture, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on board Expedition Team.
Leti Island, Indonesia –
Visit Leti Island, one of the “Forgotten Islands” of the Malaku Province in Indonesia. The isolation of these beautiful islands has allowed their native cultures to continue to thrive. About 7,000 people live on Leti Island, and still speaking the native Leti language. Experience this unique culture through several cultural performances.
Anano Island, Indonesia –
Visit Anano Island (Pulau Anano), part of the Wakatobi Island group. The island is referred to as Thousand Turtles Island after the scores of sea turtles that lay their eggs here. The island is part of the Wakatobi Marine Park, which is considered having one of the highest counts of reefs and fishes in the world. Pulau Anano’s reefs have not only coral and fish, but also walls of gorgonian fans and large, colorful sponges. Snorkelers may discover mackerels, rainbow runners, colourful frogfish, octopus, marbled snake eels, flying gurnards, multitudes of crab species, and dazzling anemones amongst the bounty of the coral reef.
Bau-Bau, Indonesia –
Bau-Bau is the main city on Buton Island, with a population of over 137,000, and is home to Benteng Keraton. Buton, an unusual fort built by a local sultan centuries ago. The fort is claimed to be the biggest in Indonesia, encircling the old sultan’s home with a wall up to 8 meters high and 3 kilometers long. Made of coral blocks, the fort commands an excellent view over the city and port and the sea beyond. Inside the fort is the house of the former sultan, which today serves as a fascinating small private museum.
Tana Toraja, Indonesia –
Visit Tana Toraja, home to the Toraja people, an ethnic group indigenous to South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The Toraja culture centers around funeral ceremonies as an extremely important ritual. See villages where homes are adorned with the horns of buffalo sacrificed in funerals and walk past an ancient field of funeral ceremonies with more than 100 tall stones representing feasts of merit given in the past. From Lemo and Londa, view cliffside burial sites of ancestors located high in the cliffs, and in hanging coffins in natural caves. Most of these sites have been grouped together as a proposed UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tanjung Putting National Park and Camp Leakey, Indonesia –
Tanjung Puting is one of the most important national parks of Indonesia. It possesses the largest and most diverse examples of coastal tropical heath and peat swamp forest of southern Borneo. Declared a National Park in 1982, it remains largely undeveloped and wild, with orangutan and other primate species found in the park. Cruise by Zodiac and local boat into the Tanjung Puting National Park and take a private tour of Camp Leakey, the landmark research station. Meet one of the founding scientists, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas (as available) and learn of her 45 years devoted to the study, care and preservation of endangered orangutans.
Ijen Crater, Indonesia –
At Mount Merapi visit Ijen Crater Lake, a highly acidic crater lake and the largest of its kind in Java. Located at an altitude of 2,883 meters (9,458 feet), the stunning view of the lake’s eerie turquoise color, yellow sulphur deposits and steam are worth the drive and hike to see.
• Meet a swath of Indonesia’s many ethnic groups and learn of their different traditions through cultural presentations and informal visits.
• Hear the Leti language spoken only on Leti Island, one of the Forgotten Islands of Indonesia.
• In-depth visit of Tana Toraja (Toraja Land) to see the unique culture centered around ornate and involved funeral ceremonies that can take months of preparation.
Wildlife Watch List:
• Damselfish, surgeonfish, angelfish, clown fish, wrasses, groupers, butterfly fish, triggerfish
• Proboscis monkeys, Javan lutung (ebony leaf monkey), long-tailed (crab-eating) macaque, Borneo orangutan, gibbons
• Watch for whales and dolphins off shore
• Seabirds of note: Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Lesser Frigatebird, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Osprey, Little Pied Cormorant
• Land birds: Black Eagle, Serpent Eagle, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Volcano Swiftlet, Cave Swiftlet, Collared Kingfisher, Cuckoo Dove, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Scale-breasted Munia, Storm Stork, Buffy Fish Owl, Rhinoceros Hornbills, Edible-nest Swiftlet, Green Imperial Pigeon, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Long-tailed Parakeet, Blue-rumped Parrot
Please Note: Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and/or ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
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