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Snorkel with sea turtles as you cruise along Indonesia

Sulawesi Snorkeling and Culture

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Ombak Putih
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This exciting voyage will take you along the eastern seaboard of Indonesia's best kept secret, the legendary island of Sulawesi. Cruising from Kendari in the south and finishing in Gorontalo in the north, you will explore the many islands and atolls of this spectacular region, with the opportunity to engage in a whole host of activities, which include visiting remote villages and meeting hospitable local people, snorkeling on beautiful coral reefs, trekking, as well as having the chance to see birds and fish only found in this region of the world. There will also be ample time for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddle-boarding, as well as simply enjoying the pleasure of cruising across the tropical seas on our splendid traditional ship Ombak Putih. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Lapuko Harbour | Embark
Day 2 : Pulau Padea Besar
Day 3 : Labengki
Day 4 : Salabangka Archipelago
Day 5 : Banggai
Day 6 : Pantai Taima
Day 7 : Tanjung Malenge
Day 8 : Togian | Talatakoh
Day 9 : Danau Mariona
Day 10 : Gorontalo Harbour | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy beach activities and snorkelling in Pulau Bokori
  • Visit blue lagoons, stalactite diamond caves and beautiful turquoise bays filled with coral rock islands
  • Participate in some trekking and bird-watching in the Salabangka Archipelago
  • Explore the bat-island Tangkuladi (Pulau Empat), which is also part of the ALTO-conservation project

Ship

Ombak Putih

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Banggai Islands
  • Danau Mariona
  • Gorontalo
  • Labengke Island
  • Lapuko Harbour
  • Padea Basar
  • Pantai Taima
  • Pulau Malenge
  • Pulau Talatakoh
  • Salabangka Archipelago
  • Sulawesi
  • Togean Islands

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Snorkel with sea turtles as you cruise along Indonesia Experience the magic and culture of Indonesia Indonesia is a paradise of atolls and beaches History and culture come alive in Indonesia Traveler admiring a marine Indonesian view

Day 1 Lapuko Harbour | Embark

Arriving at Kendari Airport, you will be transferred to Lapuko Harbour, where you will join your splendid ship, the Ombak Putih. After lunch and a general briefing, you will depart for Pulau Bokori, or one of the two islands nearby, where you can enjoy beach activities and snorkeling. In the evening, you will cruise down the eastern shore of central Sulawesi to the small and isolated Padea Islands in the Manui Archipelago. 

Day 2 Pulau Padea Besar

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, you can visit the village of Padea Darat on Pulau Padea Besar. You will then spend the rest of the day exploring the islands with kayaks and paddleboards, and snorkeling off Pulau Padea Kecil, where there is a good drop-off with beautiful corals and an abundance of fish, and again later near Pulau Padea Besar. In the evening, you will cruise to the south side of Pulau Labengke Besar.

Day 3 Labengki

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Labengki – a pretty cluster of hilly, jungle-clad islands, with deserted white-sand beaches – is renowned as an underwater paradise. The best-known islands are Labengki Besar and Labengki Kecil, where there is a heart-shaped bay called Teluk Cinta (cinta means love) and a stunning view from the top of the hills above. At the Toli Toli giant clam reef, home to a giant clam conservation project, you can enjoy a fantastic snorkeling experience with the opportunity to see dozens of huge clams. You can also visit the colorful village, and the impressive Blue Lagoon. Later, you will cruise to Pulau Sombori, which offers more blue lagoons, stalactite diamond caves and beautiful turquoise bays filled with coral rock islands. Spend the afternoon snorkeling and exploring the area. Overnight we will cruise to Salabangka.

Day 4 Salabangka Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a full day exploring the Salabangka Archipelago, visiting a local village and participating in some trekking and bird-watching, with the opportunity to do some snorkeling in the afternoon. Then cruise overnight to Banggai Island.

Day 5 Banggai

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The best way to tour the village of Banggai is by bentor (motorised pedicab) transport. You will 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. The Banggai cardinal fish conservation project is working hard to prevent this from happening and you will visit the project to learn more. In the afternoon, you will have time for snorkeling at Pulau Potil, north of Banggai. Overnight you will cruise to Desa Taima, North Tompotika.

Day 6 Pantai Taima

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Pantai Taima, a nesting site of the famous, endemic and nearly-extinct maleo bird you will visit a project by the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (ALTO). Here, you'll hopefully see the almost-extinct, huge male birds digging in the sand to lay their eggs. Instead of incubating their eggs, the maleos tap the natural resources of the island, relying on heat from thermal vents or sun-warmed sand to incubate their eggs. Furthermore, instead of building up like other megapodes, maleos dig down. You will also visit the nearby bat-island Tangkuladi (Pulau Empat), which is also part of the ALTO-conservation project. At lunchtime you will depart for the Togian Islands, stopping to snorkel near one of the islands that you pass on the way.

Day 7 Tanjung Malenge

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Those who feel fit can participate in a four-hour jungle trek from Tanjung Malenge, on the southwest side of the island, ending up on the north side. Others can go snorkeling off the north side of the island. Later, you will visit the bajo (sea gypsy) village of Desa Kadoda, accessed via a wooden bridge, hundreds of meters long. 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. These people have now had to adapt to life in a static village. Nevertheless, still being so close to the water, their 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.

Day 8 Togian | Talatakoh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning you will take the dinghies and explore the narrow channel between the islands of Togian and Talatakoh, ending up at another fascinating bajo village, called Kabalutan, where more than 2,000 people live in the middle of the sea. In the afternoon you can enjoy some fabulous snorkeling at a reef north of Pulau Bolilanga.

Day 9 Danau Mariona

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you will visit Danau (Lake) Mariona, on the north side of the island to snorkel with thousands of multi-hued stingless jelly fish; it still remains a mystery as to how this lake was formed. You will spend the rest of the morning at the paradisical Karina Beach, where you can snorkel and participate in water sports. In the afternoon, you can enjoy some good snorkeling on the Tumbulawa Reef, and in the late afternoon we will visit Desa Tumbulawa to marvel at the sight of dozens of the Knobbed Hornbills flying in to roost in the trees. In the evening, you’ll have a fun farewell party on board with the crew while cruising to Gorontalo.

Day 10 Gorontalo Harbour | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
You will wake up at Gorontalo harbour. After saying goodbye to the crew, disembark. On the way to the airport visit the Portuguese built Fort Otanaha, from where you will see a beautiful view of the city of Gorontalo and the vast Limboto Lake.

Ombak Putih

Per person starting at
$5,900
Cabin, Ombak Putih
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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.

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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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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