Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Zegrahm Expeditions’ Announces First-Ever “Circumnavigation of Sumatra” Cruise

Zegrahm Expeditions will extend its tradition of offering exclusive journeys and unique “circumnavigation” voyages in 2011, when it operates a Circumnavigation of Sumatra cruise in January aboard Clipper Odyssey. Sumatra, located in Western Indonesia, is the sixth 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 Circumnavigation of Sumatra cruise 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.

On this Circumnavigation of Sumatra cruise 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.

Like Zegrahm’s other programs, this Sumatra cruise is 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 for Zegrahm’s Circumnavigation of Sumatra cruise 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 http://www.zeco.com.

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