|08 Feb 2020||
|09 Feb 2020||
Gam Island, Indonesia
|10 Feb 2020||
|11 Feb 2020||
|12 Feb 2020||
Aljui Bay, Indonesia
|12 Feb 2020||
Pulau Pef, Indonesia
|13 Feb 2020||
Dayang Island, Indonesia
|14 Feb 2020||
Birie Island, Indonesia
|15 Feb 2020||
7 Night cruise departing roundtrip from Sorong Harbour onboard Aqua Blu.
At almost every turn, the mesmerising turquoise and blue hues of Raja Ampat’s waters constantly jostle for your attention and beckon you to dive down and under. Located at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the region is known to house every kind of underwater habitat imaginable; pristine reef flats, secret bays, swift channels, deep drop-offs, shallow seamounts, mangroves, marine lakes and protected coral gardens are just a sample of the types of marine habitats that can be found in the roughly 20,000 square mile region.
As a result of the sheer diversity of underwater habitats, Raja Ampat is a thriving subterranean metropolis that houses more than 1,500 species of tropical marine fish (about 50% of all known species) and more than 600 species of coral (nearly 75% of all known species of reef-building corals). Cape Kri in the Dampier Strait notably holds the world record for the most number of species counted in a single dive (374 in total).
Nature’s underwater splendor isn’t defined with sheer numbers alone. Raja Ampat also happens to be in the middle of a major cetacean migration route and aggregation site where various whales and dolphin species have been sighted. Of great significance is also the fact that the region is the meeting point of the Indian and Pacific Ocean called the Indonesian Throughflow, where a six inch (15cm) average height difference between these two oceans creates an immense exchange of water carrying millions of aquatic eggs and larvae that spawn to life or serve as a vital source of food for marine animals.
At the same time, the cooler water from deep sea trenches and basins has also played a part in Raja Ampat’s stunning biodiversity. These environments offered marine life shelter from glacial water in the ice ages, and today offers natural protection against rising sea temperatures that have resulted in the bleaching of other relatively unprotected coral habitats including the Great Barrier Reef and the Maldives. Endowed with natural geological defenses, Raja Ampat is truly Mother Nature’s last frontier.
Aqua Expeditions’ Raja Ampat cruise aboard the Aqua Blu cruise ship sails every year from December through to February, the best season to discover the region. The cruise sets sail on 7-night itineraries, departing from the city of Sorong.
Come sail with us on the Aqua Blu and experience one of the world’s most rewarding marine expeditions.
Highlights of this cruise:
Arrive at Sorong to a warm welcome. Board Aqua Blu and cruise to Gam Island as the sun sets.
Gam Island, Waisai & Kabui
Awake to the beauty of Gam Island. Early morning trekking at Gam and Waisai. Tour Kabui and Karst in the afternoon on tenders, or visit a local village and bat cave on foot.
Cape Kri – Arborek
Rise in the morning to birdsong and explore the soft sandy coastline of Cape Kri on foot before a short cruise to a dive site that holds the world record for species spotted in a single 90-minute dive. Snorkeling is also highly rewarding. Sail to Arborek Island for dinner.
Watch the magnificence of Pulau Wayag’s limestone islets and lagoons unveil before your eyes as the sun rises. Climb to the top of Mount Pindito for a bird’s eye view of the stunning surroundings and attempt to spot rare birds of paradise before making the lagoons and reefs your home for the day. Arrival at Aljui bay and round off with dinner by the sea.
Aljui Bay & Pulau Pef
Visit a pearl farm in Aljui Bay before cruising to Pulau Pef and Yangello for snorkeling and watersports in the afternoon. Explore hidden lagoons and karst limestone islets aboard our tenders or kayaks. Arrive at Dayang Island for dinner.
Embark on a morning trek with our guides to look for birds of paradise in the lush forest. Dayang island is known for plenty of marine life, especially manta rays. Snorkeling is excellent at Wai along the bordering reef systems. For adventurous divers, explore the sunken wreckage of a WW2 P47D fighter plane and the beautiful reefs and sea-mounts of Tapok.
Arrival in Birie, a group of islands, bays and lagoons that lie just off the coast of north Batanta. Discover mangrove-fringed bays and plenty of wildlife en route to the spectacular waterfall in Batanta mainland is a must. Ship will cruise eastwards towards Sorong during dinner.
Presenting a new cruise experience in the pristine East Indonesian Archipelago, Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht sailing the region’s most prized destinations, including Komodo National Park, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on unforgettable 7- and 12-night itineraries.
Where modern luxury meets naval heritage
With a grand legacy as the former British Naval Explorer HMS Beagle and later as the private yacht of a European aristocratic family, Aqua Blu is a compelling maritime statement. A 2019 refurbishment overseen by Dutch yacht design maestro Cor D. Rover brings the vessel to world-class cruising specifications. Guests can expect to embrace an distinguished sense of history and seafaring evolution when they set foot on this one-of-a-kind cruise ship.
Inside the four-deck, 15-suite Aqua Blu, Cor has tastefully paired with a brass-and-ivory interior theme with generous and inviting indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a sun deck.
Unlocking access to the Earth’s most intriguing destinations
Faster, further, greater safety and comfort — Aqua Blu’s naval pedigree makes it the perfect candidate to navigate East Indonesia’s vast seas. Having attained the highest international classifications (RINA, SOLAS, ISM) in safety, the vessel is additionally equipped with Quantum Zero Speed stabilizers for optimal comfort at rest or while sailing.
Aqua Blu’s range stands heads and shoulders above that of its peers in East Indonesia. Able to cover vast distances in a short span of time — and in any sea condition — the vessel enables explorers on board to experience the most varied, enjoyable and rewarding coastal cruise itineraries in this wild and stunningly beautiful region of the world.
Aqua Blu will set sail on its inaugural voyage on 16 November 2019. Be among the first to cruise East Indonesia like no ship has ever done before.
Ship Profile & Stats
- Length: 60 metres
- Maiden Voyage: 1968
- Refurbished: 2019
- Passenger Capacity (dbl): 30
- Crew Nationality: Peruvian
- Officer Nationality: Peruvian
- Dining Staff Nationality: Peruvian
- Ship Registration: Indonesia
- Hair Dryer
- Air Conditioning
- In Room Safe
- Sun Deck
- Sky Lounge Bar
- Dining Room
- Watersports Equipment
Aqua Expeditions was launched in 2007 by founder and CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro, to fulfill his dream of bringing unparalleled travel experiences, in the utmost comfort, to modern-day adventurers cruising the world’s greatest rivers.
Beginning with the Peruvian section of the Amazon River, one of the world’s last great unexplored regions, Galli Zugaro commissioned the custom design of the Aqua Amazon, the first cruiseship to set sail on this stretch of the Amazon.
Increased demand for Aqua Expeditions uniquely intimate, life enriching river safari led to the launch of a second custom designed vessel, the Aria Amazon in 2011, with 16 suites designed by Puig with a similar five-star boutique hotel sophistication, and cruising the same captivating stretch of the Peruvian Amazon amidst equally thoughtful comforts and fascinating wildlife. With hand-crafted Amazon River itineraries from and to the remote Amazonian city of Iquitos, the Aria Amazon carries travelers to the source of the Amazon and the remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve. Expert professional naturalist guides lead guests in small groups by skiff up Amazon River tributaries to first-hand encounters with Amazon wildlife from pink dolphins and piranha, to capuchin monkeys and three toed sloth hiding in the rainforest canopy, and hoatzin, toucans and macaws gliding seemingly effortlessly across the cloudless, cerulean sky.
Success on one of the world’s great rivers encouraged Galli Zugaro to set off across the continents in search of the next once-in-a-lifetime luxury river experience for Aqua Expeditions. On the Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam, he found that elusive journey, one that would capture imaginations as profoundly as did the Peruvian Amazon. In October 2014, Aqua Expeditions launched a third luxury vessel, the 20-suite Aqua Mekong on the historic Mekong River between Siem Reap, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Floor to ceiling picture windows aboard Aqua Mekong allow guests to enjoy captivating panoramas of emerald flooded forests, colonial churches and stilt villages in the privacy of their suite. Guided shore excursions include enlightening visits to remote Buddhist temples and onto Cambodia’s vast Tonle Sap Lake before continuing on to Angkor Wat.
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