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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Welcome to the archipelago with the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. Made up of 1,500 small islands that house 550 species of coral, 1427 fish species and more than 700 types of mollusks, Raja Ampat is a place where mere snorkelling feels (and looks) like deep-sea diving. It's very remote, which means a delightful lack of other visitors. Think clear turquoise waters, a kaleidescope of corals and reef fish, and, perhaps best of all, some of the friendliest locals you'll ever meet. Come and sail the isles of Raja Ampat, the tropical paradise you'll be telling friends about for years to come.

Countries Visited

Indonesia

Cities Visited

Sorong

  1. Day 1
    Sorong (West Papua)
    Welcome to Raja Ampat, whose name means 'Four Kings'; legend has it that a woman found seven sacred eggs and four future kings hatched from them. Located at the 'beak' of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula (or Doberai Peninsula), Sorong is where our trip begins. It's the largest town in West Papua and the gateway to the islands of Raja Ampat (Pulau Raja Ampat). We have no activities included for tonight, so perhaps take the opportunity to join fellow travellers for dinner. You might like to sample the street food along the waterfront, opposite the Marina Mamberamo.Those arriving earlier should check out Stone Hill for a panoramic view of the town – it's dotted with remnants of Dutch colonial houses and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Also consider visiting Sapta Ratna Pagoda, a local Buddhist temple; the best time to visit is late afternoon when it's cooler, and you can climb to the top for a beautiful panoramic sunset (to get there catch a becak, cycle rickshaw, or taxi, or simply make the one-hour walk). Those after a more relaxing option can head to Tanjung Kasuari (15 minutes by taxi from the hotel). Since Sorong is a port town, fresh seafood is abundant and you can buy fresh fish and have it barbecued in front of you.Tomorrow we head off early to the port to catch the 9 am ferry to Waisai. Our local guide will be waiting for you in the hotel foyer at 8.20 am.
  2. Day 2
    Palau Raja Ampat
    Sit back and relax as we begin our sailing adventure around Raja Ampat's delightful islands. The following itinerary for the next few days won't be 100 % set in stone. We'll keep a flexible approach to what we visit and when, based on weather and other factors. Half the fun of sailing, of course, is the spontaneous element and the fact that each day is unique. See the ‘Further Reading’ section below for more background information on Raj Ampat.The itinerary will loosely run as follows:Pulau WaigeoWe'll catch the 9 am morning ferry to Kota Waisai, on the island of Waigeo, the capital of the Raja Ampat Regency. In Waisai we climb aboard our new home for the next seven days – the Big Kanu. Based on a traditional Melanesian outrigger canoe, the trimaran is the perfect vessel for sailing the shallow waters of the archipelago. Kabui BayOur first stop is an enchanting location. Scattered throughout Kabui Bay are karst formations, many of which rise dramatically from the sea and are covered in thick tropical vegetation. Some have wooden jetties which allow easy access for a closer look. Kabui Bay also offers clear turquoise waters full of colourful corals and schools of fish, which make for great snorkelling or paddleboarding. There's a 5-kilometre mangrove river leading deep into the heart of a limestone karst forest with sorts of weird tress that burst out of the water – a far cry from your average muddy mangrove swamp. We tie up alongside one of the many limestone towers here, using a disused deck overnight. It's quite an amazing feeling atmosphere in this place. Anyone for for some yoga in the morning?Pulau GamFamous for its white sandy beaches and pristine forests, Gam offers calm, shallow waters that were made for snorkelling. Take a stroll along the beach or, better yet, trek to one of the higher points of the islands for some birdwatching. A highlight of Gam is to visit a local village and meet the friendly people there. The religion of the islands is Lutheran, so you might see the odd church dotted about the place. When we dock at the jetty or wander into town we'll be met by a welcoming party of curious kids. It's refreshing to step inside the village and experience the beautiful simplicity of life here; in can be infectious and make one question the needless complications of life back home.Pulau WayagWayag is the Raja Ampat poster child – if you see an image of Raja Ampat it's probably of this place. Here we have a little circular beach spot where most other boats dare not go, and can set up our own dining table among the trees on the edge of the white sandy beach (about six metres from the boat). We'll light a fire, settle in, and spend two days dining and exploring from this gorgeous anchorage. Those up for some strenuous exercise (and not afraid of heights) can tackle the steep hike through thick vegetation and be rewarded with sweeping views of the area.Alyui BayIf you thought the snorkelling was good up to this point, it's about to go above and beyond. Snorkellers here get an underwater experience that’s almost on the level of diving. Enjoy a mosaic of the most colourful corals, reefs and fish, tassled wobbegongs, Raja epaulette sharks (walking sharks), Pewter’s angelfish and perhaps seahorses. Large black corals, unique to the bay, occur much deeper elsewhere but in Alyui Bay nearly reach the surface. These special corals, their name owing to the dark colouration of their flexible and spiny skeleton, often have lightly-colored polyps, with some especially beautiful white colonies resembling wispy, snow-dusted saplings. Snorkellers will also likely see an abundance of sea slugs in the shallow waters of the bay, with the some of the more colourful (and relatively easy to see) sponge- and sea squirt-eating varieties often spotted along the current-swept walls.Pulau ArborekA small island you can walk around in less than an hour, Palau Arborek is home to the Arborek Tourist Village – a friendly, hospitable community known for its handicrafts. Noken, a traditional Papuan woven string bag, is one such handicraft. The locals are extremely welcoming and proud of their efforts in formulating regulations and their own conservation region, leading the way in community based marine conservation. You can snorkel straight off the beach here. As you swim along the pillars of the jetty you'll see huge schools of fish and coral, and at low tide you might be able to join the local women as they look for sea cucumbers.Dampier StraitThe Strait is the large passage of water between the islands of Gam & Waigeo in the north and Batanta in the south, taking its name from the English explorer-adventurer William Dampier who first charted the area in the 17th century. The Dampier Strait is where the Indonesia Throughflow runs – an ocean current that delivers upper ocean waters from the north east Pacific Ocean to the south west Indian Ocean (where most currents flow north to south). It’s the largest movement of water in the world. The current brings an abundance of plankton and streams of other nutrients to the reefs, resulting in an amazing diversity of coral and fish. Pulau FriwenAs you approach the small island of Friwen, don't be surprised if you're met by a welcoming party of children. Join them on the tree swings or go for a wander through the small village. We’ll have another chance to interact with the locals on the small island of Friwen. The islands have beautiful beaches on the northern shore, but it's the Friwenbonda to the south that is the real attraction. The Friwenbonda is a limestone tower located 500 metres from Friwen and separated by a deep channel. The cliffs of the north coast plunge into the ocean and create the Friwen Wall, a spectacular snorkelling site, home to huge coral fans of yellow, red and purple that sway in the current. Depending on the current, you can be dropped off at one end so the current takes you to the other.***The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day's itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on the weather and sea conditions. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times***FURTHER READING:The beauty of Raja Ampat is breathtaking and unsurprisingly this is one of the most important areas of marine biodiversity in the world. Due to its unique location, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Coral Triangle as it is known, is home to massive coral colonies and is one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. Scientists are constantly discovering new species and drawing new conclusions in Raja Ampat. These advances include the discovery that the coral around Raja Ampat is more resilient to fluctuations in water temperatures. This allows the coral larvae to be swept into the Indian and Pacific Oceans to replenish other reef ecosystems. So it’s not surprising that diving in Raja Ampat is one of the island’s most sought-after activities, and certainly the most beautiful.In May 2007, the government of Raja Ampat regency created 7 Marine Protection Areas (MPA's) and that has since been increased by another 5. The MPA's were set up to ensure the long-term health of the marine ecosystems and now cover 45% of Raja Ampat’s coral reefs and mangroves. This area is around 35,000 square kilometres of incredible scenery and marine life.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 7
    Friwen – Waisai
    As our sailing adventure draws to a close, we make our way slowly back to Waisai. There will be time for one last swim and a snorkel before we find a quiet bay in which to moor for the night.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 8
    Sorong
    We have a final breakfast on board, then say ‘Selamat tinggal’ to the crew and get ready to board the 9 am ferry back to Sorong. The ferry journey (approximately 2 hours) should have you back in time for mid- to late-afternoon flights.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • With an extraordinary biodiversity, Raja Ampat is one of the few places on the planet where you will see such a wide range of marine life in their natural habitat
  • Located in the great Coral Triangle between the Indian and Pacific oceans, Raja Ampat offers a snorkelling experience like no other. We’re talking views on par with those of a diver's
  • The reefs of Raja Ampat are in a perfect condition, with many giant corals, purple corals, and sea squirts, hard coral tables, deer antler corals, green and brown moose antler corals
  • The people of Raja Ampat are lovely and welcoming, not to mention model conservationists and artisans. Join them in their culture for a day at the delightful Arborek Tourist Village
  • Half the fun of this trip is the boat you’ll be sailing in - in the style of a traditional Melanesian outrigger

Meals
7 Breakfast(s) Included
6 Lunch(es) Included
6 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours

Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

Hand Hygiene
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:

  • Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
  • Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
  • Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.

Respiratory Hygiene
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:

  • Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
  • Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
  • Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.

Masks
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.

Medical/Surgical Masks
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:

  • Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
  • People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).

In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.

  • People over 60
  • People with underlying health conditions
Intrepid will:
  • Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
  • Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
  • Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places

Fabric Masks
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.

However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.

Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:

  • Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
  • Be secured with elastic loops or ties
  • Include multiple layers
  • Be washable and reusable.

Sanitation
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
  • Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
  • All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
Accomodation
  • All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
  • There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Camping
  • All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
  • If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
Transport
  • All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer should be made available
  • Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
Restaurants
  • Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
  • Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
  • Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
  • Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
  • Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
Activities
  • All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
  • Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Contactless/low touch
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
  • Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
Brand Material
  • Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
  • If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
Contracting
  • Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
  • Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
  • Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
  • Online ticketing for attractions and transport
  • Online payment

Physical Distancing
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:

  • Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
  • Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
Accommodation Intrepid operates product that is based on twin share accommodation and allows single travellers the chance to share accommodation with a stranger.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.

Camping
  • Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
  • Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Transport
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
  • Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
  • Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
  • Level of active community transmission in the destination
Possible risks include:
  • Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
  • If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
  • Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
  • Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
In Public
  • Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
  • Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
Restaurants
  • Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
  • Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Health Screening & Tracking
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.

Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
  • Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
  • Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
  • Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-Departure (Customers)
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.

Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).

Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.

COVID-19 Testing
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.

This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.

On Trip
  • Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
  • Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
  • Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
  • Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
Removal of customers, leaders, crew
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.

Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms

Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.

Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.

COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.

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Accommodations

Hotel (1 night), overnight boat (6 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 123 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 7 reviews with comments only

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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