Celebrating the birth of evolutionary science on a very special ‘SeaTrek Sailing Adventure’ in Indonesia

To commemorate the Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, and his famous essay to Charles Darwin on the discovery of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, Indonesian expedition cruise operator SeaTrek Sailing Adventures will be joined by world renowned Wallace expert, Dr George Beccaloni, Director of The Wallace Fund and the Wallace Correspondence Project to unveil a commemorative plaque to Wallace at a special ceremony in the small village of Dodinga, which is located on Halmahera in Indonesia’s beautiful Maluku Islands.

For those keen to be a part of this historic ceremony there are places available on a special SeaTrek voyage departing on 4 October 2024.

Travelling aboard the Ombak Putih, a traditional 12-cabin pinisi schooner, the cruise will sail from Ternate to Raja Ampat on a 12-day expert-led journey In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures.

Mantas protected in Maldives dancing with joy

It was whilst staying in Dodinga in 1858, that Wallace formed the idea for the mechanism by which natural selection was possible while suffering from a serious hallucinogenic fever brought on by malaria. Upon his recovery he wrote the now famous letter to Charles Darwin informing him of his discovery, prompting Darwin to finally publish his own ideas together with those of Alfred Russel Wallace. Sending them to the Royal Society in 1859 and changing the world of scientific thought forever*.

Also joining the cruise will be Bill Wallace, the great grandson of A.R. Wallace, who will help to unveil the plaque in the presence of local dignitaries, media, and the community of Dodinga Village.

Michael Travers, Head of Guest Relations for SeaTrek says: “We are proud to be involved in this event that celebrates not only the seminal work of A.R. Wallace, but that pays tribute to the people of the village of Dodinga, a small and once insignificant backwater that deserves to take its place in the annals of scientific history alongside Darwin’s Galapagos Islands”.

Over the course of the journey there will be further opportunities for keen naturalists and Wallace fans to follow in his footsteps, including a number of pre-dawn forest walks in search of the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise, the Lesser and the remarkable Red Bird of Paradise (one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect), and his namesake Bird of Paradise, Wallace’s Standardwing. For butterfly lovers, the cruise will also visit the island of Bacan, home to one of Wallace’s great discoveries, the Golden Birdwing Butterfly.

photo of very rare bird cendrawasih dancing in the forest

As the boat makes its way through the Dampier Strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier coral reefs, the cruise will then visit Yenbeser village where Wallace spent many months living among the local people and collecting specimens. Throughout the voyage there will be opportunities to snorkel in coral rich waters and explore reefs teeming with fish, swim in a lake filled with stingless jellyfish, and snorkel amongst giant clams.

The 12-days’ full board In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures cruise costs from $9,400 pp  (£7,460pp) including all airport transfers and complimentary $150 bar tab. Excludes international, fuel surcharge, domestic flights and crew tips.


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