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Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes

Bali-Komodo - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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This adventurous, 8-day inclusive voyage of discovery aboard the Katharina offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo dragons. As always, there is ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard add yet another dimension to your nature explorations. Immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands from an intimate perspective, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Bali, Indonesia
Day 2 : Lombok Strait | Embark
Day 3 : Kenawa Island | Bungin Island
Day 4 : Moyo
Day 5 : Pulau Sangean
Day 6 : Komodo National Park
Day 7 : Rinca
Day 8 : Melo | Disembark | Bali, Indonesia

Highlights

  • Relax and swim, snorkel, or walk in the surrounding rice fields of Bali
  • Visit the mysterious Satonda Lake, which local people believe is magical
  • Explore the famous Komodo National Park in look for dragons
  • Discover some of Melo's local traditions & culture thru a exotic performance

Ship

Katharina

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Cruising Adventures! Dances, Dragons, & Magical Lakes cruise Dances, Dragons, & Magical Lakes cruise Cruising Adventures! Komodo Dragon trek

Day 1 Bali, Indonesia

In the morning meet at a café in South Bali for a quick breakfast before boarding the minibus for your destination of Amed in the eastern regency of Karangasem – an exotic royal Balinese kingdom of forests and mighty mountains, emerald rice terraces, mystical water palaces and pretty beaches. With your tour leader providing information along the way, stop at Tenganan Village,  a community that still holds to the ancient 'Bali Aga' culture with its original traditions, ceremonies and rules of ancient Bali, and its unique village layout and architecture. You’ll also visit the royal water palace of Tirta Gangga, a fabled maze of spine-tinglingy, cold water pools and basins, spouts, tiered pagoda fountains, stone carvings and lush gardens. The final part of your scenic the journey takes you through a magnificent terrain of sculptured rice terraces followed by spectacular views of a fertile plain extending all the way to the coast.  

Guarded by the mighty volcano, Gunung Agung, your charming beachside hotel welcomes you with warm Balinese hospitality and traditional architecture, rich with hand-carved ornamentation. After checking in, you can relax and unwind with a swim in the pool or in the calm, clear waters lapping the shore just footsteps from your room. Or you may prefer a gentle walk, in the surrounding village and hillsides. This will also be an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkeling to have a lesson with the tour leader. In the evening, take time to get better acquainted with your fellow guests in preparation for your voyage ahead with sunset drinks in the seaside bar and a Baliniese-style welcome dinner.  

Day 2 Lombok Strait | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake in the morning at the resort, have a leisurely breakfast and maybe an early morning swim before being transported the short distance to the boat, which will be waiting at anchor in the bay. Getting up early to see the sun come up with the boat in the background is something rather special. After you board the vessel you will have a chance to settle in before heading off for a snorkel on the lovely reefs that the local area is famous for. Back on the boat, the captain will give the order to raise the anchor and you will head east in the direction of Sumbawa across the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary called the Wallace Line, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the renowned Victorian 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 line have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. As you head east, enjoy lunch along the way and have plenty of time to relax and settle into your new ocean-going home for the next seven days. Sunset drinks on the back deck will be a highlight.

Day 3 Kenawa Island | Bungin Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake off the beautiful white sands of Kenawa Island in West Sumbawa, where after breakfast you can snorkel, paddle board, swim and explore the island’s beaches, grasslands and corals throughout the morning. After lunch on the boat, 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 set sail for Moyo Island.

Day 4 Moyo

  • 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 center 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, you 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 colorful tropical fish, so you will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling. 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 5 Pulau Sangean

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 meters above sea level. After breakfast, 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. Luckily for you, the local community of boatbuilders on the mainland has started construction of a brand new and very large pinisi boat on the beach at Sangean village. You will have the opportunity to see the process that built both the Ombak Putin and Katharina in action; truly an impressive sight and a marvel of engineering. You will 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. You will then proceed to the island of Banta and its pure white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and hill climbing for the fit. Later that evening, proceed on to Komodo dragon country.

Day 6 Komodo National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in the most northerly part of the Komodo National Park and enjoy a morning of sea-based activities including a fantastic drift snorkel over the reef, kayaking, and SUP at Gili Lawa Darat island. Swim with schools of manta rays as they feed on the current and circle the so-called cleaning stations, where small fish remove parasites from their skin. Hover above these giant and noble beasts for as long as you like. Spend the late afternoon on a local sandbar, where you can enjoy snorkeling, swimming and relaxing on the sand.

Day 7 Rinca

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where you will have 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 on the beautiful Siaba Island, before perhaps visiting the lovely Kelor Island. You will also have the option of visiting the adjacent island of Kukusan where you will meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. That evening you will go ashore to an uninhabited island and get your toes in the sand for a final night’s beach barbeque. With a raging bonfire, great food, dancing and the crew singing and playing guitars, this end-of-cruise celebration under the stars is a quintessential Balinese experience.

Day 8 Melo | Disembark | Bali, Indonesia

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
For those early risers, you will have time for one last swim and snorkel, before cruising into Labuan Bajo harbor. At about 9am, leave the boat for a trip to the village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of 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 will also showcase other traditional dances. After the performance, have lunch on the boat before transferring you to the airport for your flight back to Bali.

Katharina

Bali

Per person starting at
$3,280
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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.

Notes

- All rates are quoted in USD and represent cost per person, based on double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.75 times the published rate.

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:
  • Domestic airfares
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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