Secrets of the Malay Archipelago (Manila - Darwin)
14 days with Ponant Rating:
DAY 1 – MANILA
Departure at 18H00.
On first sight, the Philippines' capital shows its highly Americanised Asian megalopolis side, with ultramodern skyscrapers set all along the waterfront. But when you stroll through the cobbled streets of the Intramuros district, you'll discover a different side of Manila, one that's full of old-world charm. An enchanted pause in the middle of urban bustle, Rizal Park's 60 hectares of magnificent green parkland is perfect for recharging your batteries. To see the city from a different angle, take a walk along Roxas boulevard, a popular seaside promenade.
DAY 2 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
DAY 3 – SIBUYAN ISLAND
Sibuyan is the second largest island in the Romblon archipelago and has always been isolated from the other islands in the Philippines, a particularity that is due to its geological history. The island remains very much untouched and wild. It boasts an exceptional ecosystem and is home to several endemic species, which is why it is sometimes dubbed “the Galápagos of Asia”. Dominated by Mount Guiting-Guiting, which rises to an altitude of more than 2,000 metres or 6,750 feet, it will provide a perfect insight into the natural beauty and culture diversity of these parts. Right near Sibuyan, you could get the chance to swim at the beautiful white-sand beaches on the minuscule Cresta de Gallo Island, surrounded by crystal-clear waters.
DAY 4 – CUATRO ISLANDS
DAY 5 – AT SEA
DAY 6 – PULAU NITU
Pulau Nitu is an uninhabited picture postcard perfect island located in the Sangihe archipelago roughly halfway between Sulawesi, Indonesia and Mindanao in the Philippines. This small remote group of islands combine for a total area of 813 square kilometres and many have active volcanoes, with the largest being Karangetang on Siau island. The deep waters at the junction of the Celebes and Molucca seas provide a rich diversity of marine life amongst crystal clear warm tropical waters. So, you will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel amongst the schools of fishes and brightly coloured corals.
DAY 7 – PULAU LIHAGA, NORTH SULAWESI; TANGKOKO NATURE RESERVE, NORTH SULAWESI
Established in 1991, Bunaken Marine Park was among the first of Indonesia's marine parks. The park is globally renowned for its rich ecosystems, comprising fringing and barrier reefs. There are seven times more genera of coral than in Hawaiian waters, and more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling on one of the many islands within the marine park. During lunch your ship will relocate to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, home to at least 127 mammal, 233 bird and 104 reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy a guided walk through the rainforest in search of the Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, and the Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
Tangkoko Nature Reserve is home to at least 127 mammal, 233 bird and 104 reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy a guided walk through the rainforest in search of the Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, and the Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
DAY 8 – AT SEA
DAY 9 – BANDA NEIRA, MALUKU ISLANDS
From age-old traditional cultures and ancient vestiges, to coral reefs and lush green jungle… The attractions of the remote Banda archipelago seem endless. Better known as the legendary “Spice Islands” of the Ancient World, these small volcanic landmasses were the fabled prize of colonial powers for more than four centuries. Every colonial power of significance fought for control of these ten small islands that today have become largely forgotten. Walking the streets of Banda Neira is a surreal experience as your eyes are drawn to the eclectic mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture, the remnants of a rich and tumultuous history. It is without doubt the most historically significant and interesting of all the “Spice Islands”.
DAY 10 – MOMMON WATERFALL, WEST PAPUA
DAY 11 – TRITON BAY, WEST PAPUA
Triton Bay is one of three regions in Indonesia’s West Papua province that comprise the Bird’s Head Seascape (the other two are Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay), which is now considered by marine biologists to be the epicentre of the Coral Triangle. It contains more fish and coral species than anywhere else on the planet. Its unparalleled marine biodiversity and endemism, habitat richness, and relatively intact nature of its ecosystems are unique. Join your expedition team for a zodiac voyage through the spectacular rainforest capped karst islands. Later in the day enjoy the opportunity to explore the richness of the underwater realm.
DAY 12 – KEI ISLANDS, MALUKU ISLANDS
The Kei Islands are blessed with kilometres of stunning, yet almost entirely empty, white-sand beaches and a deeply hospitable population. Beneath the mostly Christian facade, Kei culture is fascinatingly distinctive. Local history holds that ancestors of contemporary Kei islanders came from Bali, part of the expanding Hindu Majapahit kingdom from the western archipelago. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling on an idyllic uninhabited picture postcard tropical island.
DAY 13 – AT SEA
DAY 14 – DARWIN
Disembarkation at 09H00.
Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.
All This Included
Board the luxurious Le Lapérouse for a 14-day crossing of the Malay Archipelago voyage. During your expedition cruise between Manila and Darwin, you will experience a wide variety of unique destinations, discover ancient tribes, explore the most biodiverse marine ecosystems on earth and uncover historical locations, particularly remains of the colonisation dating back from the 17th century.
Join your expert expedition team, selected for their knowledge and experience, along with local guides to explore these unique destinations by foot, Zodiac® or local transport.
This bespoke experience will showcase the astonishing diversity of cultures, landscapes, flora and fauna across the Malay Archipelago.
From the lush rainforest topped karst islands of West Papua, through the sun kissed islands of the Moluccas, to the remote regions of the Philippines, discover one of the world’s great adventures in waiting.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Le Laperouse
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.