Indonesian Odyssey: Bali to the Great Barrier Reef Cruise

The locals greet you as you take our a zodiac
Ethan Daniels
View an underwater world as you sail from the Spice Islands
Nick Rains
Encounter the reptiles of the Spice Islands
Darrin Bennett
Snorkel the sunwashed shores of the Great Barrier Reef
Snorkel with the exceptional sealife of the South Pacific
Jan Butchofsky Houser
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
Bob Fowler
The lovely National Geographic Orion
Learn about the tapestry of cultures and customs that make up Indonesia on this 17-day cruise from Bali to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Relax on secluded beaches and snorkel and dive extraordinary coral reefs. Rich in wildlife, this South Pacific cruise will not disappoint.

Day 1

    Bali, Indonesia / Embark

    Arrive in Bali and board the National Geographic Orion for your Indonesian adventure! (D)

    Day 2

      Sumbawa, Lesser Sunda Islands

      Stop at the Indonesian island of Sumbawa and attend a lively cultural display put on by local villagers. Among the festivities, witness a traditional wedding ceremony and a local boxing match. (B,L,D)

      Day 3


        Arrive at Komodo National Park, home to the world’s largest living lizard: the Komodo dragon. Join the park rangers to learn about the conservation of these prehistoric giants and take a hike to spot the lizards in their natural habitat. Enjoy an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or beachcombing at 'Pink Beach,' named for the coral fragments that lend their color to the sand. (B,L,D)

        Days 4-5

          Flores / Alor

          Journey to Flores, a small island which was once an important Portuguese sandalwood trading center. Visit the town of Larantuka, a refuge for deserters of the Dutch East India Company, and meet with the locals to learn about their history and customs. Travel to the island of Alor, known for the rich biodiversity of its reefs, and venture to its rugged interior to experience the traditions of the indigenous population. Visit a market selling intricate ikat textiles, and marvel at ancient bronze moko drums at a local museum. (B,L,D)

          Days 6-7

            At Sea / Banda Islands, Moluccas

            Amid the glittering Banda Sea lie isolated coral reefs and atolls. Take a day to explore these tropical gems, then sail into the Moluccas archipelago, also known as Maluku or the Spice Islands. Visit the nutmeg-rich island of Run, which played a pivotal role in the 17th century spice wars and was traded by the British in exchange for the Dutch island of New Amsterdam, later renamed New York. Delve into the history of the Dutch East India Company at Bandanaira island, and go swimming and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters. (B,L,D)

            Days 8-9

              The Banda and Arafura Seas

              In true expedition fashion, these two days remain flexible to take full advantage of the conditions of the moment. Whether exploring on walks ashore, or with mask, fins and snorkel, this region is rich with possibilities.

              Days 10-12

                At Sea / The Asmat

                Arrive in the enchanting Asmat region, which spreads across mud flats and mangrove forests, with raised wooden boardwalks linking one village to the next. Elaborately painted “warriors” escort you to one of the stilt villages on shore to attend a fascinating welcome ceremony.

                Your next exploration is dictated by the tides, as you venture to neighboring villages by Zodiac and encounter the ancient culture of the Asmat people, who are renowned for their woodcarving. (B,L,D)

                Days 13-14

                  At Sea/Torres Strait and Thursday Island, Australia

                  Spend a relaxing day at sea before sailing into the Torres Strait. Stop at Thursday Island to learn about the pearl industry which once made this island known, and continue on to explore Cape York. (B,L,D)

                  Days 15-16

                    The Great Barrier Reef and Lizard Island

                    Spend two days immersed in the wonders of the world's largest reef system: Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel or dive with a vast amounts of marine life, including starfish, sea anemones, reef sharks and turtles. Cruise south along the Queensland coast to Lizard Island National Park, a secluded group of islands considered sacred by the indigenous Dingaal people. Explore the white-sand beaches and coral gardens inhabited by colorful fish and giant clams. (B,L,D)

                    Day 17

                      Disembark in Cairns, Australia

                      Arrive in Cairns and disembark. Transfer to the airport for your connecting flights. (B)

                      Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

                      INCLUDED FEATURES
                      Aboard ship:
                      - All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
                      - Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
                      - 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
                      - Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
                      - Fitness center or exercise equipment
                      - Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
                      - The guidance and company of expedition staff

                      - Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
                      - Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
                      - Sightseeing & entrance fees
                      - Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
                      - Transfers to and from group flights
                      - The expertise of expedition staff

                      - All excursions
                      - Zodiac & kayak explorations
                      - Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge

                      NOT INCLUDED
                      - International and internal airfare

                      Pre- and post-expedition:
                      - Additional hotel nights
                      - Private transfers
                      - Travel Protection Plan
                      - Passport, visa, and immigration fees
                      - Expedition extensions
                      - Gratuities

                      Aboard ship
                      - Alcoholic beverages
                      - Spa treatments
                      - Gratuities
                      - Scuba diving
                      - Laundry
                      - Internet and phone
                      - Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature