Christmas with the King of Saparua

Feast with a King this Christmas on an expedition to Raja Ampat

 Earlier this year, guests onboard Coral Adventurer’s maiden voyage sailed through a succession of welcoming eastern island communities across the Indonesian archipelago stopping at the small island of Saparua, at the site of an enchanted fragment of history. This is no ordinary tourist-filled tropical island. This is one of the legendary ‘Spice Islands’ of the Moluccas.

It was on a voyage here in 2018 that the King of Saparua first emerged to meet us. The charismatic leader was fascinated by our small ship – after all, few tourists visit the small island and even fewer ships. A year later, Coral Adventurer sailed through the Arafura Sea in Banda Neira to return and fulfill our promise to host the King onboard the new ship during its inaugural voyage.

As guests stepped ashore, a welcoming committee of traditional dancers and a school choir lead them to 17th Century Dutch fortress, Fort Duurstede, a commanding edifice built by the Dutch. The King sat atop the stairs before the Fort in a position that affirmed his status, benevolently overseeing the special ceremony and upholding local custom. Following a final dance and some exquisite choral renditions, the King’s entourage complete with children’s choir boarded our Xplorer to join us for on board hospitality and a ceremonial exchange of gifts. There was wild applause as the group departed, and hearing the children break out into spontaneous song was a memorable highlight for all.  A lasting connection was forged, and plans made to host the King once more on our return for Christmas lunch in December.

You can join fellow expeditioners on our voyage to Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands this December, enjoying extraordinary bucket list experiences. Highlights of the voyage include underwater explorations of the “Four Kings of the East” archipelago; retracing the travels of early explorers along the exotic Spice trail and swim with the majestic whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay. This is a richly rewarding voyage through lands steeped in history and culture of global significance.

Joining these expeditions is historian, author and geologist, Ian Burnet, who brings over thirty years of experience in the region to share with explorers. Along the way he will present and provide knowledge and reveal the most beguiling personality traits and idiosyncrasies of historical figures who shaped the regions past.

Our expedition voyages to Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands over 12-nights will depart 21st December 2019 from Darwin to Biak and will return on 2nd January; or vice versa departing 2nd January from Biak to Darwin returning on 14th of January. A limited special offer of No Sole Supplement is available for these voyages. Charter flight option is offered to all passengers.

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For more information contact reservations on 1800 079 545