Flora & Fauna
The vast archipelago of Indonesia has an astounding level of biodiversity, with hundreds of endemic species. On land, arguably the most iconic are the Komodo dragon and the red bird of paradise, with its ritualistic morning dance.
Raja Ampat is said to have the richest coral reef system in the world. Many of the corals have proved surprisingly resistant to rising ocean temperatures, less affected by bleaching and still vibrant in colour. The region is a breeding ground for whale sharks.
For those lucky enough to watch a dusk exodus of thousands of fruit bats fill the sky for half an hour as they head off in search of food, it's an experience to remember.
A number of voyages on Tiger Blue follow in the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace, perhaps the most significant naturalist to study the region.
ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE (1823 - 1913)
Whilst everyone has heard of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, few people are aware he published his paper jointly with another great biologist, Alfred Russel Wallace. Working on opposite sides of the globe - Darwin in Galapagos and Wallace in Indonesia - they independently observed the same process of evolution, which came to be known as natural selection.
Wallace was also a celebrated travel writer of his era. His book, The Malay Archipelago, chronicled his scientific exploration spanning a period of eight years and features engravings by leading illustrators.
The 'Wallace Line' splits Indonesia into two ecological regions, with the western side influenced by Asian fauna and the eastern side influenced by Australasian fauna. Wallace also noted two 'types of mankind' in Indonesia who bear little resemblance to each other - the Malayan in the south and the Papuan in the north. Voyagers will easily observe the same to this day.