Steppes Travel has teamed up with award-winning BBC cameraman Doug Allan to offer a spectacular cruise around Raja Ampat, Indonesia, an area that is home to jungle-coated islands, white sandy beaches, ancient cave systems, tribal groups – and whalesharks.
Those lucky enough to get a space on board this exclusive itinerary with Doug Allan will spend eight days snorkelling and diving some of the world’s most-pristine coral reefs, as well as enjoying plenty of in-water time to photograph and film the world’s largest fish at Cenderawasih Bay, where the whalesharks enjoy an unusual relationship with the local fishermen.
Doug Allan is undoubtedly one of the world’s best-known and respected wildlife and documentary cameramen – David Attenborough names him as his favourite, which is no small accolade, and he has twice won the underwater category in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Allan became addicted to scuba diving after completing an honours degree at Stirling University in 1973, and after a string of weird-and-wonderful diving jobs, including searching for freshwater pearls in Scottish rivers, rebuilding canals in Germany and assisting with Cambridge University trips to the Red Sea, he finally landed his big break in 1976 when he became a research diver for British Antarctic Survey.
Until 1985, he was a constant fixture with the BAS, even being awarded the Fuchs Medal (then the Polar Medal) for his stellar work, and it was here, in the frozen wilderness, that his career took an entirely new diving direction.
He spent one long winter in the company of emperor penguins, and during that time he took his first foray into the world of film-making. His natural talent shone through and the BBC took first option on buying his outstanding footage, setting him on a path that now sees him constantly in demand, having worked on a number of high-profile, award-winning films and series for several major TV networks worldwide.
In contributing to Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet and Frozen Planet alone, he has made over 70 filming trips, including orcas attacking grey whales off California, polar bears trying to capture belugas in a frozen hole in Arctic Canada, and killer whales washing seals off ice floes in Antarctica – all on-screen firsts.
He is no stranger to the ‘big stuff’, having filmed whales in almost all the seas of the world and fronting the BBC series Ocean Giants, and he also did a stint in front of the camera as one of the presenters on Operation Iceberg, as well as providing some of the more-memorable footage in that series.
He’s been giving talks for many years on wildlife, diving, his experiences while film-making and the craft of nature photography – as well as contributing to various radio shows and penning two children’s books – and will make the consummate host for this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
This awesome liveaboard expedition, which is on board the 40-metre, six-cabin Tiare (a luxurious yacht built using salvaged materials from traditional Javanese homes), departs on 21 November 2018. For a detailed itinerary, or to book your place, call 03333 310885 or contact: https://www.steppestravel.com/enquiry