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The greatest show on Earth

The Coral Triangle is home to the richest coral reefs on the planet. The region stretches from Malaysia in the west, to the Solomon Islands in the east, and reaches as far north as the Philippines. At its heart, are the bio-diverse tropical waters of Indonesia and a habitat for marine life like nowhere else on earth. For Coral Triangle Safaris, the travel company behind 26m sailing yacht Sequoia, it’s this unique environment that gives the region such special appeal. Indonesia comprises over 17,500 islands and the region’s remote quality and scarcity of luxury hotels mean that true exploratory adventure is still to be found. The best way to see this part of the world, one of the few remaining un-spoilt wonderlands, is undoubtedly by boat. Allowing you to cover vast distances and quite literally broaden your horizon, this self-sufficient means of travel offers independent autonomy and unlimited opportunity. Offering charters through Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago and the Komodo National Park, Coral Triangle Safaris have become experts in seeking out the rare and wonderful wildlife to be seen below the water’s surface and on its shores. Just like with an African Safari, Sequoia’s professional crew and experienced guides will lead you on a search of Indonesia’s ‘Famous Four’ – whale sharks, manta rays, birds of paradise and Komodo dragons. Raja Ampat is widely regarded as the world’s number one destination for scuba diving and snorkelling. Located in Indonesia’s West Papua province, this island oasis is home to over 31,000 different species of fish, sharks, turtles and manta rays. Taking a dip in the ocean here has been described as being like stepping into a tropical aquarium. The vivacity of colour is astounding and the abundance of life a reassuring and inspiring indication that all is not lost. The isolated nature of the region makes it entirely possible for you to complete your trip without seeing another human being, outside of the crew and those you are travelling with. If you’d like to gain an understanding of what life is like for the local communities however, cultural experiences can be arranged with visits to tribes and on-shore settlements that have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. At the Komodo National Park, the underwater adventure continues but it’s the shore-stalking Komodo dragons that steal the show. To take a walk through the park is to take a step back in time to a prehistoric age, as you track Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. The National Park has been a World Heritage Site for over 30 years and both the islands and the reefs are heavily protected, which has given the native flora and fauna a chance to flourish. Whale sharks are seasonal and migratory to the Indonesian region, however the Coral Triangle Safaris’ crew know that your best chance of a face-to-face meeting with these smiling giants of the sea is to search beneath the Bagans (traditional Indonesian fishing pontoons).  Whale sharks are known to be attracted to these and the associated fishing activity. The sharks will swim up to the surface, making this an encounter suitable for both scuba divers and snorkelers. The yacht itself, and your home during the expedition, is a handcrafted wooden vessel with spacious lounge areas and expansive deck spaces, where one can relax and simply watch the waves pass by. There are three beautifully appointed suites, able to accommodate six guests, and the authentic yet luxury styling of the yacht adds a timeless charm. Every detail of the yacht has been carefully considered, with furniture made by local artisans and everything aboard selected with sustainability in mind. In a commitment to minimising their environmental impact, Coral Triangle Safaris don’t have any single-use plastics onboard and products containing palm oil, or the production of which contribute to deforestation, are also avoided. The aquatic treasures of the Coral Triangle can be enjoyed by virtually any one, at any age, at any level of physical ability – the only equipment needed are a mask, snorkel and fins! Join us on an Indonesian adventure. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Coral Triangle Safaris.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. How times have changed. I doubt that we would have read many sentences like this one a few years.

    “The isolated nature of the region makes it entirely possible for you to complete your trip without seeing another human being, outside of the crew and those you are travelling with.”

    But that’s what we all want now. Adventurous travel but within our safe bubbles. I’d be very happy with that.

    1. It’s so strange but I was just thinking about taking a trip like that! When I was in Bali I had a chance to explore the northeast of the island and once you get away from the touristy areas, it’s possible to feel like you’re really in a remote place. It’s rare to find that but it’s out there!

  2. I’ve been a lucky man and travelled many a mile and have seen more than my fair share of the planet (for now we won’t get into a discussion on my carbon footprint ….)

    It is reassuring to read about somewhere that I never knew about, a place that is off the beaten track. The Coral Triangle looks pristine clean and as relatively undiscovered as any place is going to be in the 21st century.

  3. Sounds like Coral Triangle Safaris have carved out a unique niche to get people to the heart of this place like nothing else can. The region looks incredible, almost too good to be true. So with Sequoia, you kind of get a safari experience with the yacht, right? That’s pretty cool, I wouldn’t have really expected that. I’d love to see the wildlife there. Silly question then but is it possible to scuba dive during the excursion directly from the yacht? Seeing the reefs and marine life here really would be incredible. I’d like to go to the Komodo Nat Park too, I’ve read about it before on here I think because I remember seeing about the dragons and the snorkelling you can do there.

    Gorgeous yacht, and it’s always reassuring to know that sustainability has been a factor in its development. That’ll be the future of ratings for travel I think, in terms of the eco friendly and sustainability features.

  4. There are probably many places that would like to claim that they are “The Greatest Show on Earth” but after seeing these breath-taking images I can see why the Coral Triangle has got a realistic shot at the title.

    1. Yeah, and I just had to look up the place name for myself. I saw that there are 500 different species of corals there, which is almost unfathomable. I had no idea this even existed!

  5. I gotta say, the pictures in this post are really great. Every single one is so perfect. I’m such a fan of travel photography, and these are just beautiful.

  6. The bedroom on board Sequoia looks quite spacious, in fact there’s probably more space there than in some hotel rooms where I’ve stayed.

    It must be brilliant to wake-up to a different view every morning and the excitement that you’ve got a whole new area to explore.

  7. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Indonesia, including Komodo and Raja Ampat several times and cannot wait to get back. The diving is outstanding (first time I’d seen a Wobbegong shark), the Komodo dragons are something else, treks to the viewpoints were taxing but wonderful and the highlights of Raja Ampat -for me the Arborek village, the wonderland of the Tomolol Cave, Manta Sandy- I will never forget.

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