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Coral grouper, diver, & school of fish

Corals, Cultures & Dragons: North Sulawesi to Flores

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ombak Putih
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Explore the eastern seaboard of Sulawesi and across the Flores Sea to the Komodo National Park, exploring the many islands and atolls of this spectacular region. Encounter Komodo dragons on ranger-led nature treks. Visit remote villages and learn about the history and culture of hospitable locals. Enjoy ample time for swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and snorkeling. There are even opportunities to view whale sharks and manta rays, endemic birds and colonies of nesting seabirds. A traditional pinisi ship is your home as you relax and play on this all-inclusive Indonesia trip.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Gorontalo Harbour | Embark
Day 2 : Una-Una Island
Day 3 : Pulau Malenge | Pulau Talatakoh
Day 4 : Banggai Island
Day 5 : Morowali National Park
Day 6 : Pulau Padei Kecil | Wakatobi National Marine Park
Day 7 : Wakatobi
Day 8 : Pulau Tomia
Day 9 : Kakabia Island
Day 10 : Pulau Kalao
Day 11 : Rinca Island
Day 12 : Bidadari Island | Melo | Fly to Bali


  • Visit a Bajao village & witness how former nomads have adapted to village life
  • Enjoy snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and seabird watching
  • View beautiful endemic Banggai cardinal fish and whale sharks
  • Explore Wakatobi National Park, famous for its colorful coral reefs


Ombak Putih

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Bali
  • Indonesia
  • Banggai Islands
  • Gorontalo
  • Kakabia Island
  • Morowali National Park
  • Pulai Bidadari
  • Pulau Kalao
  • Pulau Malenge
  • Pulau Padei Kecil
  • Pulau Talatakoh
  • Rinca Island
  • Tomea Island
  • Unauna Island
  • Wakatobi National Park


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Coral grouper, diver, & school of fish Cruising Adventures! Cultural encounters Cruising Adventures! Komodo Dragon Cruising Adventures! Frigate bird Cruising Adventures!

Day 1 Gorontalo Harbour | Embark

Around 1pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Gorontalo Harbour where your beautiful boat, Ombak Putih, will be waiting. Your tour leaders will give a safety briefing and you can get settled into your new home, before heading off on an overnight crossing to the Togian Islands, a picturesque archipelago of 56 islands and inlets, located in the Tomini Bay. Formed by volcanic activity, the islands are a tropical paradise, covered with lush rainforests and surrounded by ancient coral reef formations.

Day 2 Una-Una Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At dawn, there will be a special ceremony as you cross the Equator before reaching the volcanic island of Una-Una. Later, you will do an easy trek within the surroundings of Binaguna village, where you can expect to see a variety of birds. Before lunch, you have the opportunity to snorkel at Tanjung Kalama on the north side of the island, and then during lunch, you cross over to Pulau Togian. In the afternoon visit Danau (Lake) Mariona, on the north side of the island to snorkel with thousands of multi-hued stingless jellyfish. The rest of the afternoon will be spent at nearby paradisical spots such as Karina Bay for snorkeling and other kinds of water sports. In the evening move to nearby Pulau Malenge.

Day 3 Pulau Malenge | Pulau Talatakoh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Set out at dawn for a trekking and bird-watching excursion on Pulau Malenge. Start a four-hour walk from Tanjung Malenge, on the southwest side of the island, and end up on the north side. Mid morning, take the dinghies to go snorkeling at the famous Atoll Hotel California Reef, north of Pulau Malenge. In the afternoon visit a sea gypsy village on the south side of Pulau Talatakoh. These are the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. Historically, Indonesia has had many nomadic tribes often referred to as ‘sea-gypsies’ due to the fact that they mainly traveled and lived in boats. On Talatakoh get a glimpse of how the formerly nomadic Bajau have adapted to life in a static village. Nevertheless, still being so close to the water, the tribe’s dependence on the sea is not lost. Their children are introduced to the sea at a young age and grow accustomed to living and playing within the ocean environment. Later, explore nearby Pulau Tabalabala, a group of more than 50 very small rocky islands. An alternative might be to visit a sea gypsy village and climb a hill on Pulau Papan, east of Pulau Malenge, where there is good snorkeling nearby. Cruise overnight to Banggai Island.

Day 4 Banggai Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning tour the village of Banggai using bentor (motorized pedicab) transport. Visit the market, the Sultan’s Palace, a grave of kings of the past, and the ceremonial house (Rumah Adat) of one of the main indigenous tribes. At the harbor you might see the beautiful Banggai cardinal fish, hovering in groups in the calm shallows. The tranquil bays of Banggai and its neighboring islands are the only places on Earth where you can see these tiny, exquisite fish in their natural habitat. Sadly, they may soon be gone from the wild because they are being collected for the aquarium trade faster than they can reproduce in nature. In the afternoon, have ample time for water sport activities near Tanjung Mosongan, southwest of Banggai, with its beautiful shallow reef and a waterfall that cascades directly into the sea. You might also cross over to Pulau Bandang, which has a nice beach and a lovely reef. In the late afternoon cruise to the Sulawesi mainland to the Morowali National Park.

Day 5 Morowali National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At dawn have the opportunity for some interesting trekking through the Morowali National Park to find the isolated Wana tribe in the forest. From the village, return to the beach using longboats across a fast running river, an unforgettable experience. Later, set off on an overnight cruise to Pulau Padei in the Manui Archipelago.

Day 6 Pulau Padei Kecil | Wakatobi National Marine Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning enjoy some splendid snorkeling in front of Pulau Padei Kecil. After this, visit the well-organized sea-gypsy village of Samarengga on Pulau Padei Besar. Hopefully have time to do some more snorkeling at the beautiful reef here before departing for the beautiful Wakatobi National Marine Park, famous for its colorful coral reefs, white-sand beaches, mangrove forests, traditional weaving villages, blacksmiths and historical ruins.

Day 7 Wakatobi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arriving at Wangi-Wangi, the main island of Wakatobi, tour around the island, visiting the capital Wanci, a seaweed farm, and a traditional weaving community. In Desa Liya, see the impressive remains of Benteng Lya Togo, a fort with a mosque on the compound. If time allows, you can also take a look at the interesting ruins of Benteng Mandatitonga Fort. Wakatobi is widely recognized as having the highest number of reef and fish species in the world, so later cruise to Pulau Hoga, where you can experience some superb snorkeling in the afternoon. There might even be time to visit the partly reconstructed Benteng Ollo, another fort with a mosque inside, on Pulau Kaledupa. In the evening head further south to Pulau Tomia.

Day 8 Pulau Tomia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day with snorkellng at the Wakatobi Resort House Reef of Pulau Tomia, later cruising to Binongko Island to visit a village famous for its blacksmiths (known as Tukang Besi). Here watch them making machetes (parang). After lunch depart on an overnight passage to the distant island of Kakabia.

Day 9 Kakabia Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning arrive at Kakabia, and circle this bird island, allowing the opportunity to watch thousands of sea birds (brown boobies, red-footed boobies, frigate birds) flying around or sitting in the bushes and trees. During the rest of the day (depending on the weather), spend time on the beach, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and seabird watching. In the late afternoon, commence your overnight crossing to the Bonerate Archipelago.

Day 10 Pulau Kalao

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, visit the neat village of Lambego on Pulau Kalao. Here you can observe the building process of the traditional wooden boats that cross the Indonesian seas. Afterwards there is fabulous snorkeling in front of this village, where there is a very attractive small beach. Those who are interested in bird watching can spend the morning trekking near the village. In the afternoon visit Pulau Tertera, on the northeast side of Bonerate, for either snorkeling or bird watching.

Day 11 Rinca Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Waking up early, go ashore on Rinca Island for a ranger-led nature trek in search of the fearsome Komodo dragons. 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. After returning to the boat, cruise to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here 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. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons, and here you can enjoy hiking up the nearby hill, beachcombing, snorkeling, or simply relaxing in the shade of the trees. Later cruise to Karang Makassar (Manta Point) to search for, and hopefully snorkel with, the giant manta rays that inhabit these waters; drifting on the current above one of these majestic creatures is an experience that will remain with you forever. Then cruise to Kalong Island at sunset to witness the spectacular sight of hundreds of thousands of flying foxes emerging in a steady throng from the forest as they head to a feeding site on mainland Flores. After this, the crew builds a bonfire and prepares a beach barbecue as a final celebration of this memorable voyage.

Day 12 Bidadari Island | Melo | Fly to Bali

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Wake up off the white-sand beaches of Bidadari Island, have breakfast and then head off for a very short cruise to Labuan Bajo. At about 9am leave the boat for a trip to the 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 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, have lunch on the boat before transferring to the airport for your 90-minute direct flight back to Bali.

Ombak Putih

Per person starting at
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Cabin Deck
Cabin Deck. Spacious, air-conditioned twin-share cabins with twin bunks or double beds and private bathroom with toilet and hot shower.


- 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 airfare
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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