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The Whale Sharks of Cenderawasih Bay Cruise - TRUE NORTH ADVENTURES

7 Night Cruise Only


  • Cruise Line: True North Adventure Cruises
  • Ship: True North
  • Package Departs: 30 September 2023
  • Package Duration: 7 Nights
  • Offer Type: Cruise Only
  • Embark Ship: Biak, Papua New Guinea
  • Disembark Ship: Biak, Papua New Guinea
7 nights Cruise-Only

West Papua is the last frontier of the Indo-Pacific and deep in the heart of this flourishing equatorial wilderness is a biodiversity hotspot – Cenderawasih Bay. See the biggest fish in the world interacting with local fishermen and then snorkel with these gentle leviathans for hours enjoying countless breath-taking encounters. Return charter flights ex Darwin ARE INCLUDED in the tariff.

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THE WHALE SHARKS OF CENDERAWASIH BAY CRUISE Cruise-Only prices include:
- One way charter flight from Darwin to Biak
- Transfer from plane to ship on embarkation day
- 7 night small ship adventure cruise aboard True North (36 guests) round trip from Biak
- All shipboard main meals featuring superb fine dining
- All adventure boat excursions
- Non-alcoholic refreshments throughout the day
- All fishing equipment
- Complimentary cafe style coffees and tea are available all day onboard
- Port and Govt taxes
- Transfer from Biak port to airport
- One way charter flight from Biak to Darwin


This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually.
Special Conditions
*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best cruise fare at time of publication (09Aug21). Some categories may be sold out. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the prices in our booking system at time of reservation. Transfers only included if guests are arriving/departing by air at specific airports on exact package dates. Offer subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Note - the following are not included in your cruise fare: Visitor pass fee, adventure wear and other purchases made on-board, and alcoholic beverages (except as offered on special excursions) are additional. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the cruise tariff as a package or individually. This itinerary is provided as example only – prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation.
Special Validity Dates
Special is valid from 10 August 2021 to 30 August 2023 or until sold out/withdrawn.
Cruise Itinerary
Date Port Arrive Depart
30 Sep 2023 Biak, Papua New Guinea
1 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
2 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
3 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
4 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
5 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
6 Oct 2023 Papua New Guinea
7 Oct 2023 Biak, Papua New Guinea
7 Night Cruise sailing from Biak roundtrip aboard True North.

West Papua is the last frontier of the Indo-Pacific and deep in the heart of this flourishing equatorial wilderness is a biodiversity hotspot – Cenderawasih Bay. See the biggest fish in the world interacting with local fishermen and then snorkel with these gentle leviathans for hours enjoying countless breath-taking encounters.

Day One
Biak is where we will welcome you aboard the magnificent TRUE NORTH.

Enjoy a welcome aboard cocktail as we set sail on a journey through the very heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ – the world’s most bio-diverse marine region.

West Papua’s coastal areas encompass more than 275,000km2 of land and sea including the Cenderawasih Bay Marine Park – the largest marine park in Indonesia and, setting for one of the most unique animal encounters on the planet!

Day Two
Mapia Atoll is a very remote and exquisite coral atoll seldom visited by tourists. Located north of the equator and lying basically in the middle of nowhere, the atoll presents classic opportunity to indulge in nature’s tropical ocean splendour. Vertical walls rise several thousand feet from the ocean floor and come alive with brilliant soft corals, gorgonians, sponges, myriad of tropical fish and a dense population of green and hawksbill turtles. The area also has an enviable reputation for light game fishing! Snorkel, dive and fish to your hearts content!

Day Three
Today we visit Pulau Num and Pulau Swande. These highly picturesque islands offer another day of spectacular snorkelling, diving, beach-combing and fishing. Take an expedition boat ride through the bays of Pulau Num where locals live in huts stilted over the water and soak-up the stunning tropical scenery at Palau Swande. After lunch our guides will give an informative presentation on what makes Cenderawasih Bay so biologically and culturally unique. At the end of the day stroll along your very own beach, indulge in a refreshing beverage and watch the sun set in paradise!

Day Four
The Auri Islands offer the most beautiful clear-water snorkelling and diving in Cenderawasih Bay, as well as some of the most beautiful (and uninhabited!) white sand beaches in West Papua. Revel in breathtaking snorkelling and diving on the sheer walls of Tridacna Atoll (named for the plethora of giant clams on the reef) and again at Wild Fish Reef. After lunch, we’ll be treated to an informative presentation on what to expect when we encounter tomorrow’s giants and then everyone will be given the opportunity to enjoy a mid-afternoon heli ride over Auri’s spectacular Karst islands. Later in the day, snorkel over a trio of American WWII fighter jets mysteriously sunk in formation in only a few metres of water. End the day with beach drinks on our very own pristine sand spit as the setting sun turns the Cenderawasih sky to fire.

Days Five and Six
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the sea! They feed predominately on plankton (although in Cenderawasih they’ve taken a liking to small baitfish!) and can grow to more than 12 metres in length. There are several places in the world where snorkelers can seek out a close encounter with these gentle giants – however we are pretty sure that nothing compares to a whale shark encounter in Cenderawasih Bay!

Most encounters with whale sharks are fleeting – although they mostly swim slowly, mouths open and gulping buckets of microscopic plankton – they don’t have any trouble cruising past even the most determined snorkeler. But not in Cenderawasih Bay – here whale sharks linger close to the surface for extended periods and the reason for this unusual behaviour is not difficult to appreciate – they have long become accustomed to taking advantage of small fish that spill from the nets of local fishermen. This ‘learnt behaviour’ provides even the most inexperienced snorkeler with a unique opportunity to truly interact with these mammoth fish.

Join the crew for many ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences!

Two days will also afford ample opportunity to explore further afield. The Cenderawasih Marine Park features over 15,000km2 of relatively undisturbed marine and coastal habitat and the extensive coral reefs rank amongst the finest in the world. Cenderawasih is renowned for its diversity of coral reef fish species. Over 1040 species inhabit the park including numerous species of colourful butterfly fish, angelfish, damselfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish and anemone fish. Renowned Australian ichthyologist Dr. Gerald Allen has called Cenderawasih the “Galapagos of the East” in reference to the numerous endemic species of fish and coral and also because local evolution seems to be heading very much on its own trajectory! Species of mollusc are also particularly diverse and four species of turtle are often seen – the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Pacific ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys corlacea). Dugong (Dugong dugon), coconut crab (Birgus latro), dolphin and various shark species are often frequently sighted inhabitants.

Day Seven
Roon Island is known for its excellent and varied dive sites, beautiful shallow snorkelling reefs, friendly villagers and stunning aerial scenery. Begin the day with either an energising snorkel on the lovely reefs of the Numamuran Strait or a dive at the southern end of Roon – where a Zero fighter lies on a hard coral slope in just 12 metres of water and green turtle, barracuda and surgeonfish are known to swim alongside equally curios divers. After morning tea have another go at snorkelling or diving on the unique underwater geological formations or take a heli flight and enjoy the view from above. In the afternoon join a walk around the village at Yende and discover the local culture – the village church contains a bible that dates back to 1898!

Then all too soon we’ll steam east into the Auri Islands for one last reflective moment with your fellow-adventurers – celebrate an adventure-packed Cenderawasih sojourn with farewell sunset drinks on the beach!

Day Eight
Enjoy breakfast on-board before disembarking.

The TRUE NORTH allows discerning adventurers to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels! Guests are able to take advantage of a number of lavish vantage points including a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge and an alfresco bar. The ship’s naturalist presents interpretative information on plasma screens and, an internet café enables convenient communication with the outside world.

A popular venue on any True North cruise, the lower deck dining room offers the ultimate in comfort and uninterrupted vista – large panoramic windows ensure that guests never miss any of the action, even when they are enjoying the ‘finest in fine dining’. All cabins feature stylish décor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment and satellite telephones. The Explorer Class staterooms and the River Class cabins offer king size beds that can be converted to singles and the Ocean Class twins feature roomy single beds.

Multiple adventure boats provide guests with greater opportunity to do “what they want, when they want” and, to add yet another dimension to adventure, most cruise options feature an onboard helicopter!The purpose built TRUE NORTH is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems – guests need only step out of their cabins to experience wilderness and, the latest in computer controlled motion stabilizers ensures a comfortable ride.


Ship Profile & Stats
  • Maiden voyage: 2005
  • Tonnage: 740 tonnes
  • Length: 50 metres
  • Draft: 2.2 metres
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • Ship registration: Australian
  • Passenger capacity (dbl): 36
  • Crew nationality: Australian
  • Officer nationality: Australian
  • Dining nationality: Australian
Ship Amenities
  • All cabins have private ensuited facilities
  • Air Conditioning
  • In cabin entertainment and satellite telephone
  • 240 V and 110 V (normal Australian plugs)
Ship Facilities
  • Most cruise options feature an onboard 5 seater helicopter (Eurocopter Squirrel)
  • Forward Observation Lounge
  • Ships Lounge and Alfresco Bar
  • Sports Deck
  • Lower Deck Dining Room
  • Fully equipped gourmet galley
  • 6 x fully surveyed expedition boats
  • Internet Cafe
WHY YOU SHOULD CRUISE WITH TRUE NORTH ADVENTURE CRUISES

True North Adventure Cruises is the winner of numerous awards for excellence.

True North Adventure Cruises is an undisputed market leader and offers activity based itineraries especially designed for the most discerning adventurer.

True North Adventure Cruises consistently operates with impeccable customer satisfaction rates.

True North Adventure Cruises pioneered luxury adventure-cruising along the Kimberley coast 30 years previous. Others cannot equal our experience and knowledge!

Explore the magnificent Kimberley coast on either a 7 night, 10 night or 13 night voyage of discovery.

The TRUE NORTH is an Australian registered ship and is not required to exit territorial waters during Australian voyages – every day on-board the TRUE NORTH is an activity day!

The TRUE NORTH is the ONLY adventure-cruise ship in the southern hemisphere that travels with an on-board helicopter – an air conditioned Eurocopter.

The TRUE NORTH features enhanced levels of comfort throughout – allowing guests opportunity to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels.

The TRUE NORTH features several lavish vantage points including a sundeck, an observation lounge, a ship’s lounge, an alfresco bar and a sports deck.

All cabins feature en-suites, in-cabin entertainment and private satellite telephones.

An internet café enables guests to maintain contact with the corporate world.

The TRUE NORTH is purpose built for accessing shallow coastal environs and river systems – bigger ships cannot go where we go!

The TRUE NORTH features computer controlled motion stabilizers.

The TRUE NORTH is fully licensed for fishing activities.

The TRUE NORTH is revered for its on-board dining.

Legendary and authentic service – the TRUE NORTH welcomes just 36 guests and, an AUSTRALIAN crew uniquely chaperones your every experience ensuring our renowned reputation for attention to detail.

Avoid the crowds – we carry 6 dedicated adventure boats (not rubber boats) that provide guests with opportunity to experience wilderness in comfort and, in small groups. We can also make greater provision for guests to do ‘what they want, when they want’!

Experience the destination – our cruises are activity-based and extended periods at sea are specifically avoided. Daily activities include scenic walks, helicopter flights, culture, fishing, snorkelling, picnics, diving, exploring, nature and much, much more!
A ship’s naturalist presents entertaining interpretative sessions.

All Decks

Features:
~Approximate dimensions 3m X 4m (Ensuite 2m X 1.75m)
~King size bed (can be split into singles if requested)
~2 large viewing windows in the main cabin area
~Private spacious ensuite featuring double basin and windows
~Original Windram artwork in the cabin
~Plenty of drawer and closest space to store clothing and other personal items
~Mini Fridge
~Writing desk and chair
~In house entertainment featuring a large plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone

Features:
~Approximate dimensions 3.5m x 3.5m (Ensuite 2m x 1.75m)
~King size bed (can be split into singles if requested)
~Private spacious ensuite featuring windows
~2 Large viewing windows in the main cabin area
~Plenty of drawer and closet space to store clothing and other personal items
~In house entertainment featuring a plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone

Features:
~Approximate dimensions 2.5m to 3m x 3m (Ensuite 1.5m x 1.75m)
~Twin single beds
~Private Ensuite with spacious shower
~2 oval port holes allowing plenty of natural light into the cabin
~Drawers and closet space to store clothing and other personal items
~In house entertainment featuring a plasma TV & DVD player
~Personal air conditioning unit
~Satellite phone
From

AU $22,595*

per person
*All prices are per person twin share unless stated as solo, triple or quad share.
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