Friday 14 June 2024

Abercrombie & Kent’s Raja Ampat and Spice Islands


New for 2025: Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands: An Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent

Abercrombie & Kent Founder and Chairman Emeritus Geoffrey Kent has had the pristine East Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat in his sights since he began planning his first Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent® 10 years ago. 

Geoffrey Kent
After refining and perfecting his vision, A&K is announcing Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands (7–25 March 2025) a 14-day journey specially designed to fully immerse travellers in sights, sounds and experiences found nowhere else on earth. Travel alongside Geoffrey Kent and the region's foremost experts aboard an exclusively chartered expedition yacht to explore 12 unforgettable sites encompassing untouched islands, secluded bays and unspoiled beaches, revealing this 'Amazon of the seas' both in the water and on land.

'The challenge of wanderlust is the more destinations you see, the more you want to see', says Kent. 'Ever since my first Inspiring Expedition to Palau, I've been planning an even more spectacular ocean adventure to this pristine corner of Indonesia, the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on earth. Now, after years in the making, Raja Ampat & The Spice Islands is possibly my most lavish journey to date'.

After a gala welcome dinner in Jakarta hosted by internationally acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Nicola Russo, guests fly by private chartered jet to Sorong — avoiding the overnight, multi-stop commercial flight other travellers take — to board an exclusively chartered expedition yacht to explore the most diverse and dazzling marine environment on the planet. Accompanied by the finest experts for the entire journey — among them the premier specialist on Indonesia's natural and cultural wonders, Dr Lawrence Blair — guests can swim, snorkel and dive the crystalline waters of the Raja Ampat archipelago, where brilliant corals rise from the surface and schools of tropical fish, manta rays and reef sharks crowd the sea. End each day back aboard the ship, recapping the day's discoveries over freshly prepared gourmet cuisine, top-shelf wines and Champagne.

Raja Ampat's more than 1,500 islands are known to house every kind of underwater habitat imaginable: from reef flats and secret bays to mangroves and marine lakes. This pristine archipelago draws snorkellers and divers the world over with its breathtaking corals — 75% of the world's species are found here — as well as its abundant tropical fish, shark, ray and sea turtle, all vibrantly larger than life.

To illuminate the wonders of this region, A&K hand-selected a team to travel alongside guests, curating every moment and illuminating the wonders of this region through their unique expertise. This includes explorer, author and Emmy-winning filmmaker Dr Lawrence Blair, whose series Ring of Fire introduced Indonesia to Western travellers, and National Geographic contributing photographer Andy Coleman who shares his expertise in a one-on-one virtual coaching session before departure and captures each extraordinary moment throughout the journey.

Guests will find themselves fully immersed in the islands as they join naturalist guides and dive instructors on curated excursions that offer the most exclusive and adventurous experiences:

·       Travel by canoe to Kali Biru, the Blue River, to swim downstream in crystal-clear water under the jungle canopy

·       Snorkel and dive along mangrove-lined shores of Cape Kri in waters that hold the world record for most species sighted in a 90-minute dive

·       Watch the sun rise over Wayag Island's limestone islets, explore hidden lagoons by kayak and spot reef sharks in the waters off Figure Eight Rock

·       Join the sea life traversing the Marine Superhighway, a renowned aquatic migratory route, and kayak the shallow reefs of Manawoka

·       Explore Tomolol Cave, a spectacular water-carved cave system found in the One Thousand Temples group and see ancient rock art and underground rivers

·       Arrive at Pulau Banda to a greeting party of war canoes, stroll through history on a visit to the Dutch Fort Belgica and learn the history of the spice trade that shaped the region

·       Discover scenic fishing villages on Nusa Laut, looking out for the dugong, the Southeast Asian cousin of the American manatee.

Adventure by Day, Luxury by Night

The centerpiece of this journey is the exclusively chartered expedition yacht 'Aqua Blu,' featuring suite accommodations spread over five decks, along with an indoor spa (where a massage therapist is on hand). Its 25-person crew complement gives the voyage a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:1, ensuring onboard service that rivals any five-star hotel. In addition, every excursion leaves the boat with no more than 10 guests per guide, ensuring an expert is never far away whether on land or in the water.

The onboard dining experience on this journey is masterminded by Australian restaurateur Benjamin Cross, who created more than 160 recipes served on board. Between and after meals, gather for a drink with fellow guests at the open bar, where each guest's preferred brands are on hand and top-shelf wines and Champagne are chosen to complement each day's menu.

For travellers seeking a truly immersive and transformative experience, Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands: An Inspiring Expedition by Geoffrey Kent ($129,500 per person, double occupancy), is limited to just 24 guests and offers the perfect blend of adventure, luxury and discovery. To book, see this journey on the website, call +61 (0)3 9536 1800 to speak with an A&K Travel Consultant or contact your travel advisor.


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