Sailing in the Footsteps of Alfred Wallace
- Vessel: Katharina
- Where: Ternate, Indonesia
- Duration: 12 days
- Embark: Ternate, North Maluku - 4 December 2022, 08:00
- Disembark: Sorong, West Papau - 15 December 2022, 13:00
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Follow in the footsteps of naturalist Alfred Wallace as you explore the Indonesian archipelago with traditional boat Katharina.
Set the sails with Katharina and guides, Ray and Angela as you follow in the footsteps of naturalist Alfred Wallace – known for his theory of evolution by natural selection.
This fascinating voyage will see guests island hop through Indonesia’s tropical archipelago searching for Birds of Paradise, mysterious caves with ancient rock paintings and endless secluded coves teaming with corals and colourful fish. Listen as the sulphur-crested cockatoo flies amongst luscious green landscapes and swim with the other-worldly, rare stingless jellyfish in a forest pool of evolution.
- Guided exploration ashore
- Birds of Paradise
- World famous Coral Reefs
- Rainforest trekking
- Private ensuite cabins
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Sample menu
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
A day to day guide
D A Y 1
Arrive onto the small Indonesian island of Ternate, the capital of the north Maluku province, Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your floating base – the beautiful traditional vessel, Katharina. Spend some time settling into your cabin before enjoying your first alfresco lunch with your fellow guests and crew.
After lunch, venture into the coastal city which has retained its political importance as the trading centre of north Maluku. Of the four historical spice sultanates on Indonesia, Ternate is the only one that has survived uninterrupted. Visit the Fort of Toluko built by the Portuguese and the local Kedaton state and explore Fort Oranje where it is said that Wallace was living as he posted his essay on natural selection to Charles Darwin in 1858.
D A Y 2
Wake up anchored off the coast Halmahera where the mighty mountain peaks of Ternate and Tidore provide a stunning backdrop over breakfast.
Today, guests will visit the village of Dodinga. This is the very place where Wallace was living in malarial delirium, as he discovered the mechanism that drove evolutionary change – natural selection. Once Wallace had recovered, he wrote detailed essay explaining his theory and set it to Darwin. The essay was published together with Darwin’s thoughts on the subject in August 1858. This was the essay that led Darwin to publish his book Origin of Species in 1859, explaining the theory in great detail. The village of Dodinga is a pretty riverside village with friendly local, traditional timber houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort. The importance of the history of science here, does not go un-noticed.
Spend some time with the villagers, sharing fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality before guests head back to the boat for an afternoon of snorkelling and relaxation.
The boat will head south later in the day to be ready for an early start the next morning as guests trek in search of the Bird of the Paradise.
D A Y 3
An early start sees guests trek with a guide to a waterfall located in central Halmahera. Wander through towering coconut trees as you watch out for a number of bird species including the fascinating Bird of Paradise.
Back on the boat by the afternoon, guests can spend time on-board with a book or enjoying the unique marine life from the water. Make use of the boats paddle boards and kayaks to explore this tropical island paradise.
D A Y 4
Anchored off the western coast on the island of Bacan, today sees another adventure ashore to the forested slopes where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries. The Moluccan Cuscus, the Standardwing Bird of Paradise, the world’s largest bee Megachile pluto and the huge Golden Birdwing Butterfly all inhabit this island with Wallace describing the Golden Birdwing as the “finest butterfly in the world”. When he first caught a male in 1859, he wrote: “When I took it out of the net, and opened its gorgeous wings, I was nearer fainting with delight and excitement than I have ever been in my life; my heart beat violently, and the blood rushed to my head, leaving a headache for the rest of the day.”
To this day, few westerners have ever seen this species alive and no tourist groups have been taken in search of it. There is no guarantee that you will see it but our guide is the only person on Bacan who know exactly where it can be found…
As we explore the forested slopes in the footsteps of Wallace, keep a close eye out for the other fascinating animal species that live on the island. From parrots and cockatoos to lorikeets and the elusive cuscus, the island is also home to Maluku’s only monkey – the endangered black macaque.
D A Y 5
Make landfall on the tiny island gems of Pisang located in the Ceram Sea as guests enjoy ultimate tranquillity with sparkling white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. Spend the day here before the boat makes its way to the shores of West Misool.
D A Y 6
Today will be an early rise before dawn to head ashore in search of the Lesser Birds of Paradise. The 4am rise will hopefully stand us in good stead to see these fascinating birds but there are no guarantees! Our local guide will meet on the shores of Kapatcol where guests will trek into the forest to see if we can spot the birds dance around in their “lekking” (courtship display) trees.
The rest of the day is a more relaxed affair as we explore the local village and school to learn about their traditions and way of life. Mid afternoon will see the sails set to reach the eastern side of Misool to Tomolol Bay.
D A Y 7
Watch the sun rise over the picturesque island chain that makes up the eastern Misool archipelago. The landscape here is typical of “karst dissolution” where a great number of tiny islets that have been eroded over time by the relentless motion of the tides.
After an early breakfast, guests will be taken to heart of the bay where a partially submerged cave gives you the chance to explore a cavernous grotto adorned with astonishing stalactites. The more adventurous traveller may want to paddle through the dark waters to the other mouth of the cave…
Move onto the mysterious jellyfish lake as you swim among thousands of stingless jellyfish. Once we have returned to the ship, the crew will guests by tender to further explore this impressive maze of kurst islands. Discover mysterious skull cairns in sea caves cemeteries, prehistoric cave painting estimated to be anything between 3000-5000 years old. The mesmerising paintings depict various hum figures, fish, plants, tools and vessels!
D A Y 8
After our days of marine exploration, the jungle-clad island of Batanta offers a welcome change of scenery. Take an adventurous trek into the islands interior as the boat anchors at the foot of the Arefi village nestled on the north coast of the island. After the trek, guests are welcomed into the local village and school to watch a children’s traditional dance performance.
If the tide is right and for guests that wish, there may be the opportunity to walk along the riverbed where the first two jungle waterfalls complete with a refreshing pool, cascade down the cliff. After this, the boat will set sails for Dayang island, another great snorkelling opportunity.
D A Y 9
Wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with amazing views. Guests can take a short hilltop climb ashore before snorkelling on the island’s beautiful reefs. Set course for the tiny island of Arborek where the local people will perform their traditional dances for us.
Guests are also invited to walk around the village to gain a sense of the Asai culture which is very much kept alive by the villagers living on this remote island. If the conditions are right, there is also the chance to swim with the noble sea beasts – the manta ray.
D A Y 1 0
Today will see a great opportunity to those keen naturalists of the group as we rise early into the forest for another pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable Red Bird of Paradise. This was one the species that Wallace was most anxious to observe and collect and with the knowledge our local guides, we should be able to watch this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display.
Return to Katharina as the crew guides us through the Dampier strait – home to some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. Spend the afternoon in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months researching. If the tides are in favour, guests will get the chance to visit a faithful replica of Wallace’s small hut which was built by the villagers using plans from FFI (Fauna & Flora International) and a grant from Katharina’s boat owners.
Visit another small island nearby that is home to a coconut crab “sanctuary”. The island is home to a small number of these docile beasts and the sanctuary has been set up by a local man, offering guests the chance to get up close and personal! A late afternoon snorkel sees some spectacular giant clams before heading back to the boat for dinner and an early night…
D A Y 1 1
One last 4.30am sun rise sees guests taken by a local guide by dinghy to Saporkren village where we change transport for a short drive into the forest. The guide will take guests to a spot for a perfect vantage point to watch for the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. This a rare and privileged sight to watch as they perform their dawn mating ritual as the mist rises from the forest canopy.
Back on the boat, head for Yenbuba on Mansuar island to enjoy some snorkelling before lunch. This place is known as the “fish bowl” due to the teeming marine life and different species in the area – just like swimming in a giant fish bowl!
Finish the day anchored off the island of Mioskon where guests can watch the sunset and enjoy a farewell dinner party.
D A Y 1 2
The end of the Indonesian adventure is marked with a final swim or snorkel before we bid farewell to the guides and the crew take guests to the airport for onward travel.
MEET THE EXPERTS
RAY AND ANGELA HALE
Ray and Angela Hale have travelled the length and breadth of both Indonesia and Malaysia in search of endangered species. They have discovered and photographed hundreds of species from the endearing Orangutans to the tiniest of insects.
Over the last 20 years, Ray has delivered many lectures around the world and is passionate about reconnecting people with nature and conserving the Earth’s endangered animals. His aim is to ensure that the guests, be they entomologists, wildlife photographers, experienced explorers or simply nature lovers visiting the islands of Indonesia for the first time, are given the best possible chance of success.
All voyages for Katharina
Guest berths: 14 Rig: Gaff Ketch
Built in 1995 on the Indonesian portion on the island of Borneo, Katharina was originally planned for use a commercial freighter but caught the eye of her current owner with her elegant sailing lines and sleek hull shape.
They saw her transformation into a charter vessel as an exercise to conserve her Indonesian authenticity and in 2014, employed local craftsmen to complete a beautiful interior refit. Working alongside her sister ship Ombak Putih, (larger but equally as beautiful!), they are both fine examples of some of the few original boats that still sail these waters.
Now led by Captain Ferdi, Katharina takes guests on skippered sailing holidays to explore the cultural heritage, natural wonders and wildlife of the Indonesian islands.
Read more about what to expect from life on board Katharina.
The top deck is a raised sun-lounging area sitting on the roof of the saloon and bar, giving guests secluded relaxation and stunning views. On the main deck, Katharina is rigged traditionally to make best use of the wind as the weather permits. A generous and comfortable saloon and bar sit to the stern of the boat while a large dining table sits under a canopy at the bows, perfect for alfresco dining under the stars.
Below decks, her interior refit has been to a high standard with spacious cabins and campion-ways. Hand-crafted beds using local timber and locally made soft furnishings give the boat an authentic Indonesian feel. There are six private ensuite cabins for guests in a combination of double beds, twin bunks and three berth cabins.
The galley sits to the stern and is really where this boat comes to life. With 12 crew on hand, you won’t have to a lift a finger with freshly-prepared meals showcasing the very best of Indonesian cuisine and hospitality.
Deck planMore about Katharina
Life on board
Indulge in a world of adventure as you discover the natural beauty of the Indonesian archipelago from the water. Walk barefoot along sandy shores, enjoy delicious local cuisine and wonder at the endemic wildlife species across the islands.
Life on-board Katharina is one of traditional Indonesian culture, from the welcoming local crew to the fresh local delicacies, fascinating endemic species and breath-taking Indonesian landscapes. The local people are at the heart of everything that Katharina does. From employing local people to sail her to the traditional craftsmen that built her, the networks and connections that have been nurtured by the crew are heart-warming. Visit remote villages where you’re greeted by running children, laughing and joking, sharing their local crafts. Dance around the fire, play music, exchange gifts and wonder their fascinating corner of paradise.
Sleeping and Relaxation
With six private, air-conditioned en-suite cabins full of traditional Indonesian charm, spacious communal area, alfresco dining areas and sun-lounge deck, Katharina offers plenty of seclusion and relaxation. There are kayaks, snorkel gear and SUP’s for guests to use and the crew can arrange extra activities ashore from kite-surfing to cookery classes.
There are a total of 12 crew on Katharina so you really won’t have to lift a finger. From home-made cocktails, freshly prepared Indonesian cuisine, there is even a host to take care of any extra excursion planning.
Read more about what to expect from your Indonesian sailing holiday aboard Katharina here.
- Full board including all meals, soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks. (Starting and ending with lunch on first and last days)
- All Indonesian tour leaders
- All park fees, cultural performances, local guides and off-boat activities.
- Welcome drink, cold towel upon boarding and each time guests return from off-boat excursions.
- Daily room cleaning
- Two pieces of laundry each day
- Towels and linens
- Complimentary cotton backpack, luggage tag, fan and stainless steel water (which guests are encouraged to take home)
- First aid kit containing all major medicines
- Sunscreen lotion
- Soaps, shampoo and conditioner
- Beach BBQ
- Free wine, beer and selected cocktails at the beach BBQ
- Selected wines with special farewell dinner
- All port fee
- Use of on-board TV and multimedia facilities
- Library of books, kids games and TV documentaries
- Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games
- Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck
- All transfer to and fro the boats
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Domestic flights
- Transit hotels
- Alcoholic drinks outside of specials dinners and beach BBQ
- Crew and tour leader tips
- Incidental expenses on land (souvenirs, private purchases etc)
Are all meals included?
Yes - all meals are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks)
Are there any added extra's?
No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Vegetarian, halal, kosher, children’s fare, low fat dishes, allergies, etc. However, we must be notified in advance of any special needs so we can make arrangements.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
(All cabins are ensuites) 2 x double cabins, 2 x triple cabins (one double bed & one upper single bunk), 2 x twin bunk cabins.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
There are six ensuites with each cabin.
Is there WIFI?
No! Time to disconnect from the modern conforms and reconnect with nature!
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a need for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure. Ginger tea and biscuits also help with sea sickness.
Is bedding included?
All bedding and shower towels are included. Please bring your own swimming towels.
From: Ternate, North Maluku
To: Sorong, West Papau
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.