SEATTLE, Wash. — Zegrahm Expeditions will extend its tradition of offering exclusive journeys and unique “circumnavigation” voyages in 2011, when it operates a “Circumnavigation of Sumatra,” in January aboard the Clipper Odyssey. Sumatra, located in Western Indonesia, is the 6th largest island in the world, and contains a rich diversity of natural and cultural highlights – ideal for Zegrahm’s small-ship, expedition cruising concept.
The maneuverability, comfort, and Zodiac capability of the 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey, makes the ship well-suited for a robust exploration of Sumatra. The 18-day itinerary departs January 3, 2011; the Clipper Odyssey will sail in a counter-clockwise direction around the island, making numerous landings for visits to remote villages, historic sites, and national parks. The voyage begins and ends in Singapore – an interesting destination itself, and convenient for international flights.
This is a first-ever itinerary for Zegrahm, which has been operating innovative, small-ship voyages – and unique land safaris and land tours via sister company Eco-Expeditions – for over 20 years. Circumnavigation voyages, which provide adventurers in-depth exploration, and the sense of achievement of going “full-circle,” have been a hallmark of Zegrahm. The company has operated numerous other circumnavigation voyages, including those of New Guinea, Baffin Island, the Black Sea, South Georgia Island, and Newfoundland.
With Sumatra, Zegrahm presents a destination of beautiful tropical rainforests, towering mountains and volcanoes, and a vast array of ethnic peoples – boasting 52 different languages. A wealth of national parks are home to over 200 mammal species, including nine that are endemic to the main island and 14 that are endemic to the Mentawai Islands. A special highlight of this voyage is the opportunity to view orphaned Sumatran orangutans at Bukit Lawang Orangutan Rehabilitation Station. Birders search for some of the 580 species recorded on the island, such as the blue-masked leafbird, Sumatran drongo, and spot-necked bulbul.
In the highlands, the cultures of indigenous peoples have endured for generations. The Batak have a special dress code, religious beliefs, and customs, and their dwellings are elaborately decorated. On Nias Island, travelers will witness the traditional practice of stone-jumping, where young boys prove their manhood by jumping over six-foot-high stone megaliths. Participants will also meet the Minangkabau, a matrilineal society that uniquely combines Islamic beliefs with their traditional animist philosophy.
Zegrahm programs are fully guided by the industry’s brightest leaders and lecturers. Company co-founder Mike Messick will be the Expedition Leader, with a roster of naturalists, historians and scientists aboard, highlighted by Dr. Jonathan Rossouw and Kevin Clement – two of the world’s top wildlife experts.
Reservations are being accepted now and a brochure is available. Departures on new itineraries have a tendency to fill quickly. For reservations or more information, please contact Zegrahm and Eco Expeditions at 800-628-8747 or 206-285-400. Details are also accessible online at www.zeco.com.