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Orangutan in the wild

Orangutans And Dragons

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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Join the Katharina on this exciting 12-day adventure, combining a gentle river cruise on a traditional wooden riverboat through the forests of Kalimantan, Central Borneo, with a sea cruise on a traditional pinisi schooner through the turquoise waters of Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands. Kalimantan’s meandering rivers remain the best way to travel through the hinterland of Borneo, with its wealth of ecological and cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforest jungle. Here, observe proboscis monkeys and witness the fascinating Dayak culture, as well as experience the ultimate encounter with Asia’s only great ape, the orangutan. Meanwhile, a sea cruise through a panorama of islands is the only way to see the legendary Komodo dragons.
Cruising Adventures!Dances, Dragons, & Magical Lakes cruiseCruising Adventures! OrangutanCruising Adventures! Komodo DragonOrangutan in the wild
  • Visit Sei Gohong to meet the traditional Ngajus medicine expert
  • Explore Bapallas Island to observe orangutans in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy a traditional coffee while sharing stories about the Dayak culture
  • Discover one of the colorful and rich coral reefs near Gili Sulat
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Bali, Indonesia

You will arrive in Bali, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for an opportunity to rest up after your long journey for the adventures ahead.

Day 2: Palangkaraya | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning fly to Palangkaraya, the capital of the Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan. After meeting your fellow travelers, be transferred to Palangkaraya Harbor, and board a river boat to start your journey, cruising upriver past stilted and floating houses and small villages. In the early evening, take a canoe through the shimmering black water lakes, keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys, red langurs, hornbills, and brahmini kites. Then return to the boat for a quiet dinner in the midst of the jungle.

*Internal flights included in the cost of the tour.

Day 3: Rungan River | Bapallas Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The boat moves up the Rungan River as you enjoy breakfast. On arrival at Bapallas Island, take a motorized canoe to observe the orangutans in their natural habitat as seen in Animal Planet’s ‘Orangutan Island’ series. At the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) Education Center, observe the adult orangutans that are waiting to be placed on the pre-release islands. Then have a leisurely lunch onboard while cruising to Kanarakan, a tiny village on the Rungan River. Arriving in the afternoon, welcomed by the village elder with Dayak Ngaju welcoming ceremony then stroll around the village with a local host to see the village home gardens, rubber field and rubber tapping demonstration, and other village livelihoods. Later continue to Tangkiling Hill to see traditional Dayak spirit houses and climb to the top to see the sunset over the vast flat landscape. Back to the boat cruise down to Lake Tahai overnight.

Day 4: Lake Tahai

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At dawn, there will be the option for canoeing to Lake Tahai for bird watching, followed by a leisurely breakfast onboard as the boat passes the orangutan pre-release island of Pulau Kaja. After breakfast, depart for Kanarakan, passing the orangutan islands. In Kanarakan meet with the village elder Dayak Ngaju, welcoming ceremony then stroll around with him to see the village home gardens, rubber field and rubber tapping demonstration, and other village livelihoods. Visit to the elder’s house and enjoy the traditional spices coffee while sharing stories. Return to the boat for lunch and cruise downstream to Muara Rungan, where you have dinner and later overnight in a quiet location on the river.

Day 5: Tanjung Sangalang | Sanur, Bali

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, the boat cruises to Tanjung Sangalang for check out and transfer to Palangkaraya Airport. From here fly to Bali via Jakarta and spend the night in a hotel in Sanur (Bali) in preparation for Part Two of the adventure.

Day 6: Gili Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Upon waking, your boat will be anchored and waiting for you just off shore. After a leisurely breakfast board the vessel. You will have a chance to settle in as you head off ih the direction of Lombok across the Lombok Strait to the Gili Islands where you will snorkel and swim. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist. Wallace noticed that the flora and fauna of the islands to the west are home to Asiatic animal and plant species, whereas the islands to the east of the invisible ‘Wallace Line’ have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. Later that evening you will head off to the west as you watch the sun go down over Bali as you enjoy cocktails on the back deck.

Day 7: Kenawa Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up to the beautiful white sands of Kenawa Island in West Sumbawa, where after breakfast you will snorkel, paddle board, swim and explore the island’s beaches, grasslands and corals throughout the morning. After lunch on the boat you will set a course 10 miles further east to Bungin Island, home to a group of Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’, famous for living in stilt houses above the water and living entirely off the sea. It is the second largest Bajau settlement in Indonesia and will provide you with an amazing and rare opportunity to experience a part of Indonesian culture that is a huge part of the country’s seafaring tradition. Later in the afternoon you will set sail for Moyo Island.

Day 8: Moyo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where you can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Your next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so you will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Another highlight of your visit to Satonda will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. Immediately after sunset, leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.

Day 9: Pulau Sangean

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 metres above sea level. After breakfast, you will go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes, which you can see swimming in the sea. Then snorkel on both a nearby reef and a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, a most interesting sight. Then proceed to the island of Banta and its pure white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling and hill climbing for the fit. Later that evening proceed on to Komodo dragon country.

Day 10: Komodo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. Go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, you will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. You may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. After returning to the boat, you will cruise around the coast and visit Komodo village, where you can buy some local handicrafts. Later you will head to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here you will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life.

Day 11: Rinca Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island for another ranger-led nature trek in search of more Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so you may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes, and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon you can go snorkeling and enjoy some beach time with paddleboards and kayaks. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons. In the evening go ashore to an island and enjoy a quintessential experience. With your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew builds a bonfire and prepares a beach barbecue as a final celebration of your memorable voyage.

Day 12: Flores Island | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After breakfast in Labuan Bajo, take private air-conditioned cars to the inland village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Manggarai in Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group also showcases other traditional dances. After the performance, enjoy a light lunch on the boat before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Bali.



Katharina ship
Bar, Katharina

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Cabin Deck
Cabin Deck. Spacious, air-conditioned twin-share cabins with twin bunks or double beds. Private bathroom with toilet, washbasin, and hot shower.


Note: Depending on the chosen start point, guests will meet and stay overnight in Jakarta or Bali, from where we will fly to Palangkaraya to join the riverboat. The river cruise also ends in Palangkaraya from where will fly to Bali (changing planes in Jakarta). After one night in a hotel in Sanur, Bali, you will meet and embark on our sea cruise, which will end in Flores. Guests will return to Bali by air from Labuan Bajo in Flores. All internal flights, hotels in either Jakarta or Sanur, Bali are included in the total price.

Rates Include:
  • Accommodation in air-conditioned cabins with private shower and toilet
  • Full board, tea and coffee, soft drinks, mineral water
  • Excursions
  • Use of towels
  • Use of snorkeling gear
  • Experienced tour leader
  • Transfer to and from the ship in all harbors with the exception of Serangan Harbor, Bali
Rates Exclude:
  • International airfare
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities



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