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Cruising in Paradise: Remote Indonesian Islands

Endless white sand beaches, turquoise waters and shockingly magenta reefs await you on this Indonesian Island Hopping Cruise. Ternate, Halmahera, Northern Loloda Islands, Morotai Island, the Raja Ampat, Aketajawe, Waigeo, Wai, Gam and Sorong are among the many small, Eden-like remote islands you will visit on this 11-day itinerary. Snorkel, swim and search for the Red Bird of Paradise in this adventure and relaxation packed holiday.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Spot porpoises lounging placidly in the calm sea
  • See Pacific War remnants from when Japan had a small base on Morotai Island
  • Explore an active volcano on the shores of Halmahera
  • Sample fresh coconut at Cape Leelai after visiting one of the many coconut plantations
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Day by Day Itinerary

View Ternate - Halmahera in a larger map
Day 1
Ternate - Halmahera

Leave the shores of Ternate and board your cruise ship. The first stop is closeby - the largest Maluku island, Halmahera. The island was once known as Jilolo or Gilolo. Half the sparse population is devout Muslim while the other half is Christian, creating a unique, diverse culture. After a few hours of sailing, you will reach the Bay of Jailolo. Go ashore to visit the ancient “Controller’s House” and the local community center full of historical artifacts.The village sits on the slope of a gorgeous volcanic complex.

Day 2

Climb back aboard to sail along the western coast. The island is covered in forested mountains. It’s not advisable to attempt to land, instead enjoy the views of the narrow beaches and small villages from your comfortable lounge aboard the cruise ship. Early that evening you pass the Bay of Loloda. This independent kingdom has a fascinating history dating back to the 13th century. As the bay is extremely shallow, the area is best toured from afar.

Day 3
Halmahera - Northern Loloda Islands

Travel to the 13th century Northern Loloda Islands. The powerful sultans of Ternate and Tidore ruled the area stretching all the way to Papua during the 13th century. The islands are known as “the Gate to the North.” Cast anchor at the small bay in the village of Kampung Dama on the South side of Pulau Doi. Step ashore in search of a fabled waterfall that promises rejuvenating water. The reef is an excellent dive spot. Spend the night at anchor.

Day 4
Halmahera - Morotai Island

Wake early to catch a stunning sunrise as the ship sails around the northernmost cape of Halmahera in route to Morotai Island. Cast anchor upon reaching your destination and spend the day reveling in the white sand beaches, clear water and vibrant reefs. That afternoon move onto Morotai to learn about the small island’s role in the Pacific War. The area was the site of a Japanese military base at Kao Bay. The area hosted a battle between the Allies and the Japanese on September 15, 1944 - remnants of the events are still on the peaceful beach.

Day 5
Morotai Island - Halmahera

Travel back to the mainland and stop at Tobelo - the capital of north Halmahera. The capital is one of the largest inhabited areas of the trip with a population of 15,000. The town is mainly Christian with a large Protestant Church built in 1924. After exploring the historic capital, proceed towards Kau Bay. Drop anchor at the small port of Subaim on the south coast.

Day 6
Halmahera - Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park

Step ashore and take a trek into the Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park. The park is an exotic wildlife sanctuary that plays host to vibrant vegetation and an extremely high level of biodiversity. Birdlife International considers the area to be the key island for the survival of at least 23 endemic bird species. Hire a guide from the local Tugutil tribe for an expert on the area’s natural surroundings. By sunset, you will sail north out of the bay to reach Cape Leelai.

Day 7
Cape Leelai

Go ashore for the last time on Halmahera near the village of Watam. Explore the area’s bay - Buli Bay. The area is full of coconut plantations. There are very few roads on the island and the villages are only accessible by shore, making this one of the most isolated communities in Indonesia. That night, the ship will make an overnight passage from Halmahera to the Raja Ampat.

Day 8

Wake up to find yourself in the Raja Ampat Archipelago - an archipelago composed of 600 island and islets that sit across the equator. Raja Ampat directly translates to “the Four Kings” and dates back to the North Moluccan sultanates. The island’s tiny islets are eroded from the non-stop tides. Step ashore the Wayag Islands and explore the islets and beaches. Spend the night at anchor.

Day 9

Begin the morning by heading to the largest of the Raja Islands, Waigeo. Keep your eyes on the seas, as the area is known for having porpoises in the passage. Don’t mistake the stone-colored creatures for dry rocks! The island of Waigeo is made up of rolling hills and sharp mountains jutting out from the sea. If the weather is calm, enter Fofak Bay and cast anchor. Head ashore and hunt for the waterfall and village.

Day 10
Waigeo - Gam

Sail the entire east coast of Waigeo. The four islands are incredibly green and turquoise. The contrast between the lush land and astonishingly blue sea is stunning. The surrounding sea is a large source of pearls. Make your way west to enter the Dampier Strait. Spend the night at anchor in front of the tropical island of Gam.

Day 11
Gam - Wai

The ship sails to the island of Wai today. Here, you can savor your last day of white sand beaches and lively reefs. The area is known for its manta rays and being the site of two separate WWII aircraft crashes. You may even see remnants of the wreckage while snorkeling. Spend your final night at anchor.

Day 12
Wai - Sorong

Enjoy the final cruise as the ship crosses to Sorong. Inhale the fresh sea air and gorgeous views of the unending blue water as your holiday comes to a close. Bid the vessel and the crew farewell. From Sorong you will be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home.


Suggested Accommodations

Private Schooner

Private Schooner

Navigate the waterways and explore the islands in luxurious style and comfort on your private schooner. Remote Lands offers a range of vessels for your stay, with air-conditioned cabins, en-suite bathrooms and spacious decks on which to relax and admire the views. With your own private boat, you will have the freedom to explore this amazing territory at your leisure, stopping off for diving, island-hopping, snorkeling, swimming and trekking. Schooners are equipped with a full crew, in order to make your stay as comfortable and special as possible.

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder Jay Tindall travels regularly to Indonesia. As well as relaxing in beautiful Bali, he loves visiting more remote areas such as Torajaland, Sumba & Kalimantan.
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