Cruise to Asmat, West Papua

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I took an amazing 2-week, September-October cruise through the islands east of Bali, Indonesia, to Asmat, West Papua. It was arranged by Phyllis Hischier of West Papua Artifacts (San Luis Obispo, CA; 805/549-8371, www.asmat-artifacts.net) in conjunction with the American Museum of Asmat Art (www.stthomas.edu/asmat) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Doris Neilson with Asmat tribesmen in a longhouse — West Papua.

Our ship was the Indies Trader IV, which held about 20 passengers. It was very clean and comfortable. Good meals, snorkel and dive equipment, domestic airfare and all drinks were included in the cruise price of $7,500 per person, double.*

We boarded the ship in Bali and stopped at several islands on the way to West Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, where we visited the Museum of Culture & Progress and attended the annual Asmat Art Auction in Agats, the region’s capital. The Asmat are a tribal people.

We sailed between islands at night and spent our days on islands noted for the people’s monolithic stone culture and in villages with interesting architecture (peaked thatched roofs), where ikat or other types of fantastic weavings were produced. We generally were greeted by town officials with dancers and musicians before traveling inland to the villages.

In between the island visits we were able to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and just relaxing on the ship and on shore.

Phyllis plans a trip to the art auction annually. I hope to visit some of the other islands with her in the future.

DORIS NEILSON

Avoca, MI

*A cruise from Sumba through the eastern archipelago to Asmat is scheduled for Sept. 24-Oct. 15, 2009, at $10,000-$17,600 per person, double, excluding taxes but including domestic airfare and two nights’ Bali hotel.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I took an amazing 2-week, September-October cruise through the islands east of Bali, Indonesia, to Asmat, West Papua. It was arranged by Phyllis Hischier of West Papua Artifacts (San Luis Obispo, CA; 805/549-8371, www.asmat-artifacts.net) in conjunction with the American Museum of Asmat Art (www.stthomas.edu/asmat) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Doris Neilson with Asmat tribesmen in a longhouse — West Papua.

Our ship was the Indies Trader IV, which held about 20 passengers. It was very clean and comfortable. Good meals, snorkel and dive equipment, domestic airfare and all drinks were included in the cruise price of $7,500 per person, double.*

We boarded the ship in Bali and stopped at several islands on the way to West Papua (Irian Jaya), Indonesia, where we visited the Museum of Culture & Progress and attended the annual Asmat Art Auction in Agats, the region’s capital. The Asmat are a tribal people.

We sailed between islands at night and spent our days on islands noted for the people’s monolithic stone culture and in villages with interesting architecture (peaked thatched roofs), where ikat or other types of fantastic weavings were produced. We generally were greeted by town officials with dancers and musicians before traveling inland to the villages.

In between the island visits we were able to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and just relaxing on the ship and on shore.

Phyllis plans a trip to the art auction annually. I hope to visit some of the other islands with her in the future.

DORIS NEILSON

Avoca, MI

*A cruise from Sumba through the eastern archipelago to Asmat is scheduled for Sept. 24-Oct. 15, 2009, at $10,000-$17,600 per person, double, excluding taxes but including domestic airfare and two nights’ Bali hotel.