For the past five weeks or so Dunia Baru has been cruising the waters of Palau, a tiny speck of an island nation in the western Pacific Ocean. This is the first time the superyacht has explored Palau, which lies east of the Philippines and north of West Papua … and we’re pretty impressed with what we’ve seen. Not only is the landscape spectacular – limestone islands draped with forests and surrounded by sublime turquoise waters – but the abundance of marine life here has made snorkeling and diving an absolute treat.
Eighty percent of Palau’s maritime territory has been designated a maritime sanctuary – the sixth largest in the world – and since 2015 an area just smaller than Spain has been protected from fishing and drilling for oil. There are more than 1300 species of fish found in these waters, and about 700 species of coral… which explains why we’ve heard some people call Palau an “underwater Serengetti”.
Palau’s not taking any of this for granted.
Late last year Palau passed a new law that requires all international visitors to sign a pledge before they enter the country – and they will only be granted a visa if they sign the pledge. The pledge was written by the children of Palau, and when signing it visitors declare that they will not harm the environment while they are in Palau.
The Palauans are taking action too, and environmental education has been written into the school curriculum, along with other programs that will “help to build eco-awareness in tomorrow’s leaders and conscious principles within the tourist sector”, according to the Palau Pledge page.
Conservation and preservation of the marine environment has been of national concern for a long time, and Palau’s president Tommy Remengesau is a vocal environmental campaigner. It’s not surprising when you realize that the total land area of Palau is just 460 square kilometers and, as a country of small islands, global warming and rising sea levels are having a direct impact. Since 1993, the sea level has risen by around 9mm every year – that’s almost three times the global average rate.
It’s not surprising, then, that there are so many conflicting figures when it comes to finding out how many islands comprise the Republic of Palau. According to National Geographic (who you’d think you could trust, right?) there are eight large islands and more than 250 islets; Encyclopaedia Britannica (ditto) says there are 340 coral and volcanic islands. The BBC says “more than 200”; the Palau Pledge website says 200 and, according to the Palau Visitors’ Authority’s Facebook page, there are “more than 500 islands”.
If we can track down an absolutely official figure we’ll let you know… but for now, it’s time to snorkel, kayak, paddleboard and wallow in the crystal waters around these pristine islands, however many there are!
The Dunia Baru team and crew tailors
itineraries specifically for each charter.
The superyacht is a fully equipped dive boat and we
have a wide array of water toys onboard.
To charter Dunia Baru please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or speak to your broker.