The new partnership in Southeast Asia

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Rascal Voyages and Conservation International Indonesia (CI Indonesia) have partnered for a new scientific expedition series in a bid to boost conservation efforts in the region – with tourists and travellers given the opportunity to play a part in helping marine preservation.

Visitors on the Exploration Series will journey across the Indonesian archipelago, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean and beyond. As well as offering people the chance to take a hands-on approach to marine conservation, and boosting Rascal’s commitment to protecting the waters in the region, the company will provide luxury accommodation and itineraries for guests – including pop-up island dinners and on-board cocktail parties.

Co-owner of Rascal Voyages, Erik Barreto, said, “The new partnership between Rascal Voyages and Conservation International follows a successful collaboration earlier this year, where we saw major scientific breakthroughs during a Rascal and CI Indonesia voyage to Raja Ampat.

“As well as the discovery of two new species of fish and two manta cleaning stations, the initiative led to the identification of at least 25 new manta individuals, and proof of new drone surveying technology. These accomplishments inspired us to develop the programme further, in line with our Rascal Voyages expansion across Southeast Asia.”

The first trip in the new series will be a five-day expedition led by turtle expert Dr. Ricardo Tapilatu of the State University of Papua along with Dr. Mark Erdmann and a team of local conservation specialists. It will take place in December and see the Phinisi-style yacht visiting the Mapia Atoll, part of the Bird’s Head Seascape.

Visitors will be able to learn all about the atoll’s reef diversity, coral health and fish species. In addition, drone technology will be in place to monitor the behaviours of turtles and mantas and visits to local communities will provide insights into the affects of climate change on human populations.

Further expeditions will be detailed in the near future, although trips to Cenderawasih Bay – to visit whale sharks – as well as the north Papua coast, Banda Sea and Alor, have been confirmed.

Rascal Voyages, the first firm offering entirely above-water accommodation aboard a Phinisi charter in Indonesia, is currently also preparing a number of new Phinisi yachts to keep up with customer demand in the region.