Taiwan, Philippines & Indonesia

onboard Heritage Adventurer

June 9 – 27, 2025

Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia cruise picture of a Philippine Tarsier

As their huge eyes might suggest, Philippine Tarsiers are nocturnal creatures well-adapted to their dark environment.

Taiwan, Philippines & Indonesia cruise aerial photo of Sohoton Cove, Bucas Grande Island

Sohoton Cove’s iconic Blue Lagoon is a labyrinth of waterways dotted with numerous limestone islets.

Taiwan, Philippines & Indonesia cruise photo of Calayan Island.

Remote Calayan Island offers stunning white sand beaches, sprawling coral gardens, and rarely-visited coves and caves. © Joseph Emmanuel Magallanes

Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia cruise image of Philippine Crocodile

The critically endangered Philippine Crocodile is a small freshwater species that can live up to 80 years in the wild.

Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia cruise photo of expeditions vessel Heritage Adventurer

With only 140 guests on board and a fleet of 14 Zodiacs, the Heritage Adventurer is the ideal expedition vessel for this itinerary. © Nathan Russ

Taiwan, Philippines & Indonesia Cruise

Join Apex on this ultimate island-hopping voyage from Taipei, Taiwan, through the Philippines and Indonesia to Darwin, Australia, as we sail well off the traditional tourist route aboard the 140-guest expedition ship Heritage Adventurer. Crossing both the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, we weave our way through far removed and rarely visited tropical islands. Discover fascinating rare birds and wildlife that dwell in primeval jungles, explore islands where impossibly blue waters gently lap white sand beaches, and snorkel pristine coral gardens that abound with neon-colored fish. In addition to being among some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, these remote outposts boast incredible history, heritage, and ancient cultures. Escaping the tourist boom due to their hard-to-reach locations, the islands selected for this Taiwan, Philippines, and Indonesia cruise are perfect for exploration by expedition ship.

zoom in on our Apex Expeditions adventure tours
zoom out on our Apex Expeditions adventure tours


    • Travel by Air
    • Travel by Road
    • Travel by Boat
    • Travel by Bullet Train
    • Travel by Rail
    • Travel by Dog Sled
    • Monday, June 9, 2025: Taipei, Taiwan

      Arrive into Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, which is surrounded by mountains and proudly presided over by Taipei 101—the 1,600-foot-high skyscraper and former Taipei World Financial Center styled on a bamboo stalk. This evening, meet your fellow explorers and expedition leaders over a welcome dinner at your hotel.

    • Tuesday, June 10: Taipei / Keelung / Embark Heritage Adventurer

      Head out this morning to explore Taipei. Rightly famous for its prevalent street food, be sure to sample its variety of xiaochi (little snacks), while exploring top attractions including the Chinese-influenced Martyrs’ Shrine; Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, commemorating Taiwan’s former president; and the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. For those looking for a nature fix, head to Yehliu Geopark with its world-famous landscape of honeycomb and mushroom eroded rock formations, and the Japanese-era mining complex turned tourist attraction of Gold Ecological Park, where hillside walkways connect 1930s offices, workshops, and dormitories, for an insight into early mining history. This afternoon, travel to Keelung to board the Heritage Adventurer. Settle into your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship, then join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge or on the Observation Deck as we set sail for Hualien.

    • Wednesday, June 11: Hualien

      Taiwan’s second-largest city, Hualien is located on the mountainous east coast and is your gateway to the world-famous, 19-kilometer-long canyon in Taroko National Park and its namesake Marble Gorge. The spectacular marble walls soar to more than 300 feet high and are surrounded by verdant green bamboo forests, promising an unforgettable experience. Comprising some 227,000 acres and varying altitudes, from near sea level at the mouth of the Liwu River to more than 12,000 feet high at towering Mt Nanhu, the park’s dramatic landscape provides a diverse array of vegetation and habitats which boast a third of Taiwan’s vascular plants, half of its mammal species, the rare Nanhu Salamander, and more than 140 resident bird species.

    • Thursday, June 12: Calayan Island, Philippines

      One of the most remote, and hardest to reach islands in the Philippines, Calayan Island is a pristine paradise awaiting discovery. Part of the Babuyan Islands and nestled between Batanes province and mainland Luzon, Calayan Island’s unrestrained, rugged beauty offers unforgettable adventures, both above and below the water. Stunning white sand beaches, iconic lookouts from Nagudungan and Bangaan Hills, sprawling coral gardens, majestic waterfalls, and plenty of rarely-visited coves and caves make it an ideal destination for expedition cruising. On land, look for the recently described endemic, Calayan Rail, and at sea, share waters frequented by whales and dolphins.

    • Friday, June 13: Divilacan Bay

      Widely considered among the Philippines most beautiful destinations, Divilacan Bay, in the province of Isabela, offers a combination of lush forests and incredible snorkeling opportunities. The locally famous heart-shaped Honeymoon Island and conservation initiatives to save the critically endangered and endemic Philippine Crocodile have dubbed this the Queen Province of the North. Opportunities include exploring the forests for wildlife, snorkeling the offshore reefs, and Zodiac cruising through the mangroves to observe the results of the Mabuwaya Foundation’s crocodile program.

    • Saturday, June 14: Polilo Island

      We expect to make history today as the first expedition ship to visit this remote tropical outpost. Snorkeling, waterfalls, and wildlife are all good options today as we explore the largest of the Polillo Island group’s 24 islands and islets. Rebounding from large-scale logging operations, the lowland forest here is now protected in two reserves reflecting its importance for rare wildlife including the endangered Philippine Cockatoo and endemic Philippine Brown Deer, Warty Pig, and Large Rufous Horseshoe Bat. The island is also home to the Gray’s Monitor or “Butaan Lizard”—a tree-dwelling relative of the Komodo Dragon, while Dugong are also known to frequent its waters.

    • Sunday, June 15: Caramoan Peninsula National Park

      This coveted tropical dream destination, made relatively famous by television’s Survivor, Caramoan Peninsula National Park will be one of the highlights of our voyage. With jungle-capped towering limestone karst formations, white sand beaches, impossibly clear blue waters, deep gorges, snaking rivers, forest trails, an islet lake, and an underground river all waiting to be explored. You will be spoiled for choice during your time here!

    • Monday, June 16: Samar Island

      Largely unknown and unexplored, there’s a good reason why Samar Island Natural Park is considered the ultimate frontier. Combining all the remote paradise trappings of stunning cave formations, powder-fine sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters with the Philippines largest tract of lowland rainforest and connecting karst formation, the park is home to a staggering 38 species of mammals, 215 bird species (including the legendary Philippine, or Monkey-eating,Eagle), 51 species of reptiles, and more than 1,000 species of plants, of which more than half are endemic. Samar Island promises an extraordinary expedition day.

    • Tuesday, June 17: Bohol Island

      Rise early with cameras at the ready to capture the sunrise over Bohol Island, famed for its Chocolate Hills. During the dry season the grass covering the more than 1,200 conical karst hills turns a chocolatey brown creating this incredible natural phenomenon. During our time here, we may explore the countryside and famed cacao farms. Other highlights include a visit to a Tarsier Sanctuary to see the world’s second smallest primate, the tiny Philippine Tarsier; the coral stone Baclayon Church and National Cultural Treasure; and sampling The Pastry Capital of Bohol’s world famous Broa, or Lady Fingers. This afternoon, unwind on the pristine white sand beaches of Balicasag Island, ringed by a reef and marine sanctuary. Enjoy an incredible underwater experience snorkeling impressive coral gardens and underwater cliffs teeming with colorful marine life.

    • Wednesday, June 18: Bucas Grande Island

      Emerging from the shadow of its popular neighbor, the surfing hot spot of Siargao Island, Bucas Grande combines stunning white sand beaches with waterfalls, emerald-green waters, mangroves, expansive limestone cave systems, ironwood forests, inland lakes, elaborate coral gardens, exotic wildlife, and the rightly famous, 60-kilometer Sohoton Cove and National Park. Look for endemic Rufous Hornbill as we explore this pristine tropical island paradise by Zodiac. Highlights here include the Sohoton Jellyfish Sanctuary at Tojoman Lagoon, where thousands of stingless jellyfish thrive; the iconic Blue Lagoon, with its labyrinthine waterways comprised of numerous limestone islets; and incredible snorkeling and swimming opportunities. At nearby Cinnamon Island, named after its abundance of cinnamon trees, a cup of the local delicacy, cinnamon tea, has become the traditional welcome.

    • Thursday, June 19: At Sea

      Relax on board after our recent adventures, attend the onboard lecture series, join your naturalists on deck, or watch the world go by from the Observation Lounge.

    • Friday, June 20: Bitung, Indonesia

      After berthing at the busy, cosmopolitan harbor of Bitung, head for the nearby wildlife-filled jungles of Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, one of Indonesia’s oldest wildlife preserves. Spanning 8,800 hectares from beaches to the peak of Tangkoko Mountain, the reserve is a haven for endemic flora and fauna. Explore the lowland tropical rainforest with local guides searching for the critically endangered Crested Black Macaque, known for their distinctive pink rumps and jet-black mohawks, along with two nocturnal creatures: the saucer-eyed Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world and symbol of Bitung, and the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus. For birders, attractions include glamorous Knobbed Hornbills, Purple-winged Roller, Green-backed and Lilac Kingfishers, and Sulawesi Myna. Other aerial creatures include the brightly-colored Forester Moth, and the Draco Flying Lizard, or Sulawesi Lined Gliding Lizard.

    • Saturday, June 21: Gorontalo

      Sitting on the Equator, Sulawesi’s culture capital and hidden paradise, Gorontalo combines rich history and a mountainous landscape dotted with 500-year-old Portuguese forts, with pristine white sand beaches. It also recently acquired a reputation for being one of Indonesia’s best places to swim with Whale Sharks. At Botubarani, a small seaside village, we plan to enjoy the unforgettable experience of swimming and snorkeling with these gentle giants. Joining local boats and guides, we will venture into Gorontalo Bay where plankton and small fish attract the world’s largest fish, known to grow more than 12-meters in length.

    • Sunday, June 22: Seho & Taliabu Islands

      Explore the unspoiled paradise of remote and rarely-visited Seho Island, where beautiful sandy beaches and stunning coral reefs meet forested, wildlife-filled hills and jungles. Explore the island, with options for jungle hikes in search of birds and wildlife, or beachcombing and snorkeling over an amazing carpet of multicolored soft corals. This afternoon, visit the township of Bobong on Taliabu Island, before making your way to the local markets and spice plantations, to experience the rich culture of this tropical outpost.

    • Monday, June 23: Buru Island

      Fascinating and seldom visited, Buru Island is located at the boundary between the biogeographic zones of Australia and Asia. A high proportion of the species of birds and mammals here are found nowhere else, with 10 endemic bird species and 4 endemic mammals, as well as a number of near-endemic species. Explore these remote shores together with your expert naturalists and guides. Enjoy opportunities to traverse the forests in search of wildlife and experience the heart-warming hospitality of local communities during village visits.

    • Tuesday, June 24: Banda Neira

      Under consideration as a World Heritage Site due to its fascinating history as the center of the Spice Islands trade, Banda Neira is the main island in the archipelago of 10 tiny, volcanic Banda Islands. Once the world’s sole source of nutmeg due to the islands’ native Myristica trees, the principal town of Banda Neira offers a glimpse into bygone days. Its charming 17th-century European relics include the five-sided Fort Belgica, which overlooks the harbor. Built in 1611 by the first Governor General of the Dutch East Indies and refurbished in the 1990s, it was designed to guard against sea threats and to protect the colonialists from any uprising locals. Across a narrow strait lies the 640-meter active volcano Gunung Banda Api, which sits on its own island and is home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Below the sparkling sapphire water, the islands’ location near the center of the Coral Triangle is evident, with sprawling coral fields where myriad fishes include Scorpionfish, Ghost Pipefish, Napoleon Wrasse, and Mandarinfish. Village visits and cultural immersion rounds out your time here, including observing Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action.

    • Wednesday, June 25: Kai Kecil Island

      Explore Indonesia’s secret paradise—Kai Kecil Island, the crowning tropical jewel in the southeastern chain of the Maluku Islands. Located on the edge of the Coral Triangle, Kai Kecil is home to some of Indonesia’s finest beaches, where powdery white sands meet gin-clear turquoise waters, stunning coral reefs, and palm-fringed tropical jungles. Most famous is Ngurbloat Beach, known locally as ‘Pasir Panjang’, with its flour-soft white sand luxuriously stretching some 5-kilometers between thousands of coconut trees and the glassy ocean. Located among some of the world’s most biologically rich waters, snorkeling the extensive fringing and barrier reefs is exceptional and rewards with numerous colorful reef fish, nudibranchs, cephalopods, Dogtooth Tuna, and Spotted Eagle Rays.

    • Thursday, June 26: At Sea

      Take the time to relax and reflect on an amazing experience, as we recap the highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

    • Friday, June 27: Darwin, Australia / Disembark / Homeward

      Arrive in Darwin, Australia’s ‘northern gateway’, famous for its glittering harbor, World War II history, and enviable outdoor lifestyle. After breakfast, transfer to Darwin International Airport for flights homeward.


    • June 9 – 27, 2025
    • Leaders Jonathan Rossouw, Peter Harrison, Shirley Metz & Matt Boyle
    • Rates starting from $17,375 per person Rate details
    • 19 days Trip Length
    • 140 guests onboard Heritage Adventurer
    • Taipei Start
    • Darwin End
    The Apex Expeditions rate includes, as noted in the itinerary, a welcome reception in Taipei, with local beer and wine included; full drinks package onboard the vessel, which includes select wines, standard beer, standard cocktails, soft drinks, and sparkling water; all gratuities; and all transfers. In addition, the voyage rate includes an overnight in Taipei, a welcome dinner in Taipei, as well as breakfast and lunch the following day; accommodations and meals onboard Heritage Adventurer, all activities and excursions as described in the itinerary, services of Apex Expeditions leaders, as well as the full Heritage Expeditions lecture and expedition team, and all landing fees.

    Call us to reserve your spot on this exciting expedition!

    Have a question? Call us at 206.669.9272 / 800.861.6425. Prefer online?

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    slide of expedition leader Jonathan Rossouw

    Jonathan Rossouw

    Jonathan is excited to explore with you an array of habitats from lowland rainforests to spectacular coral gardens.
    Apex Expeditions leader Peter Harrison

    Peter Harrison

    Join Peter to seek the endangered Philippine Cockatoo, Knobbed Hornbill, Green-backed and Lilac Kingfishers, and more.
    Photo of Apex Expeditions Leader Shirley Metz

    Shirley Metz

    Shirley finds this itinerary to be an intriguing mix of wildlife, culture, history, and stunning natural beauty.

    Matt Boyle

    Find Matt on deck looking for whales and dolphins, or join him to snorkel among a staggering array of colorful reef fish.
    binocular icon show facts about Taiwan, Philippines & Indonesia

    The Biggest Fish in the Sea!

    Whales Sharks are the largest fish in the world, although they do have a few things in common with whales. For one, they are massive like whales—these graceful, docile creatures can grow up to 40 feet. They also feed more like whales than a typical shark. Swimming with their giant mouths wide open, they filter feed, collecting plankton and small fish along the way. Whale Sharks are solitary creatures but will often gather in large numbers in areas with abundant plankton. In fact, they will travel great distances to find enough food to sustain their huge size. Scientists believe that some individuals swim across entire oceans to arrive just in time for a plankton bloom—an incredible feat for a fish!