Palau & Yap

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    Destinations: Australia and the South Pacific
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Tour Description

Above and below water, a Micronesia expedition to Palau and Yap offers countless discoveries. The waters of the region teem with more than 1,400 species of fish, rainbow-hued coral reefs and walls, and marine caves. We travel aboard the intimate, 16-passenger Palau Aggressor II, making several expedition stops daily. As part of our Palau adventure travel experiences, we dive among the wrecks of Japanese planes and warships from WWII. No Micronesia tour is complete without meeting the friendly local people; to this end, we visit Kaday Village on Yap and enjoy a cultural performance.

Palau and Micronesia Expedition highlights include:

  • Renowned Nikko Bay, with its pristine coral gardens, forgotten WWII bunkers and artifacts, and marine caves full of geologic wonders.
  • Half-day of kayaking as part of your Palau expedition, featuring hidden marine lakes, mangrove channels, tropical beaches, birding, and snorkeling.
  • Peleliu Island, with some of the most exhilarating drift and wall dives in the region, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Philippine Sea.
  • Jellyfish Lake, a Biological Wonder of the World – snorkel among amazing, melon-sized jellyfish, a defining memory of your Micronesia expedition.

When traveling with Zegrahm Expeditions, virtually everything is included in the cost of your Palau expedition:

  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations, including pre- and post-voyage hotel nights
  • Daily activity options: snorkeling, diving, kayaking, cultural tours, and more
  • World-class expedition leader and local guides
  • All meals onboard and with the group ashore
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Transfers on group arrival and departure dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
  • Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your Palau adventure travels
  • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator

Itinerary

Day 1

Depart USA

Depart USA on your independent flight to Palau.

Day 2-3

Koror, Palau

Upon your late-night arrival in Koror,we transfer you to the Palau Pacific Resort.

After a morning at leisure and lunch, we explore Nikko Bay. This well-sheltered bay holds pristine coral gardens with world-class snorkeling, hidden marine caves full of geologic wonders, and forgotten WWII bunkers. and artifacts. In the afternoon the divers in the group head for the WWII Jake seaplane wreck for an easy check-out dive in shallow waters. Return to our hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Rock Islands

Today we explore Palau’s geologically fascinating Rock Islands on a full-day guided boat tour with the chance to snorkel and dive among vibrant coral reefs. As you look up from the water, watch for wheeling white-tailed tropicbirds, fast flying sulfur-crested cockatoos, delicate fairy terns, slow-flying Palauan fruit bats, and many mixed flocks of feeding terns. Enjoy lunch on a white sand beach. Return to Koror for dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at our hotel.

Day 5

Kayaking / Embark Palau Aggressor II

Palau boasts more than 300 emerald islands surrounded by crystal-clear, turquoise lagoons. During our half-day kayaking tour (no experience necessary) we explore Palau’s hidden network of marine lakes, mangrove channels, and tropical beaches. Birding and snorkeling are highlights.

Then return to Koror to embark the PalauAggressor II, our home for the next seven nights.

Day 6-10

Palau Expedition Stops

Given the expeditionary nature of thisvoyage, our day-by-day itinerary may vary. This region of the Pacific features some ofthe highest marine biodiversity in the world and we choose daily dive and snorkel sites based on weather conditions, tidal exchange, and skill levels.

Palau is best known for its vertical walls adorned with gorgonians, soft corals, large predatory fish, and an abundance of reef fishes. Along with trips to some of the world’s top dive sites such as Blue Corner, SiaesCorner, Ulong Channel, Turtle Cove, Turtle Wall, Ngemelis Wall, and Big Drop Off,we also explore less frequented sites in theinner lagoons and on the outer islands.

Peleliu Island–Conditions permitting we spend a day diving, snorkeling, andexploring its outer reefs. Some of the most exhilarating drift and wall dives can be made from the island’s southernmost tip, wherethe Pacific Ocean meets the Philippine Sea.

Jellyfish Lake–Named one of the Seven Biological Wonders of the World, this unique lake system is a prime example of biologicalisolation. Our naturalist guides present a detailed interpretation of this phenomenon and we snorkel among the amazing and harmless, resident melon-sized jellyfish.

Palau Wreck Diving –Palau is the final resting place for the “Lost Fleet of the Rock Islands,” more than 50 Japanese warshipsand airplanes sunk by U.S. dive-bombersduring WWII, and we dive and snorkel some of these vessels during the week. Covered in soft corals, these wrecks provide a habitat for many species of marine life.

Other amazing snorkel sites may include: Giant Clam City, a shallow site covered with enormous, colorful tridacna clams, and Soft Coral Arch, a limestone arch covered with branching, rainbow-hued soft corals.

Day 11

Koror / Disembark Palau Aggressor II

After a final day exploring the islands of Palau we enjoy some free time in Koror before meeting at a local restaurant for dinner. A festive cocktail party celebrates our time onboard thePalau Aggressor IIand we disembark in the late evening and transfer to the airport for our early morning flight to Yap.

Day 12

Koror / Yap

Upon our very early arrival in Yap, transfer to the Manta Ray Bay Resortfor a morning at leisure. After lunch we depart by power boat for afternoon dive and snorkel excursions. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 13

M’il Channel / Colonia / Ggal Village / Wulu Village

After breakfast depart by power boat forthe M’il Channel where we hope to snorkel and dive at close range with manta rays.Magnificent leviathans with wingspans 7–14 feet across, they arrive here daily to feed and have their gills groomed by cleaner wrasses.

After a traditional lunch on a lovely beach at the north end of Yap Island, we visit the small capital city of Colonia. Tour the Yap High School and witness the remains of the first German cable station that connectedthe Philippines, Guam, and Shanghai withEurope. One hundred years ago it was possible to call from this very point in Yap to Berlin, Germany. Afterwards, at the Yap Institute for Natural Science, the director enlightens us on Yap’s culture and the connections to Palau and its environment.

A short bus ride from Colonia brings us to the village of Ggal and to one of the largest stone money banks in Yap where we have a chance to photograph the biggest and heaviest money in the world. We continue to a lookout point to view the Pacific Ocean on one side of the island and the Philippine Sea on the other side. At nearby Wulu Village, we see one of the best preserved men’s houses in Yap. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 14

Maa Village / Kaday Village

This morning we visit Maa Village where we embark on a mangrove tour by kayak. Local guides lead the way, helping to identify the different types of mangroves and plants that are used locally as herbal medicine.

After lunch at the hotel we drive to Kaday Village and walk along ancient stone pathways, past fields of taro, and through dense foreststo observe stone foundations from previous cultures. Visit the pebai, community house,and view wunbey, the flat stone platforms wherethe elder men of the village hold meetings.We are greeted with a cultural performance and have a chance to meet the local people and participate in some of their daily traditions. Farewell dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 15

Yap / USA

Depart on your independent early morning flight to the USA.

Departures

Pricing Information

Palau Aggressor II

Palau Aggressor II cruises are primarily dive and snorkel expeditions and therefore, the ship is designed accordingly, drawing only four and a half feet of water and flexible enough to maneuver through the labyrinthine channels of the islands. Aboard a Palau Aggressor II expedition, passengers are lulled by the waves as well as an ambience of relaxed luxury; amenities include eight deluxe staterooms for 16 guests, each with an en suite bathroom with shower, port windows, and individual climate control. The gracious staff includes a chef and seven crew members, making for a highly personalized sailing experience. All Palau Aggressor II voyages offer superb dive-related features: a dive deck with personal gear lockers and rinse tanks, weights and 80-cubic-foot tanks, and a high-speed, 16-passenger dive and snorkel skiff. Ship registry: Belize.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers. For planning purposes, below please find suggested travel dates for this itinerary: