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Wild Komodo Dragon in its habitat

Bugs, Butterflies, Bats, and Dragons

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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Discover Indonesia while on this 8-day inclusive voyage aboard the Katharina. This tour 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. Immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Pulau Sangean from an intimate perspective, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis. There are over 350,000 species of beetle and counting, and it is because of this that Ray and Angela Hale, both highly experienced and well-travelled naturalists, are leading a cruise to explore and share the richness of this often-unnoticed cornucopia of bugs, beetles and beasties.

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 Island
Day 7 : Rinca Island
Day 8 : Melo | Disembark


  • Swim with sea turtles and marvel at the giant and gentle Manta Rays as they effortlessly “fly”
  • Visit the mysterious Satonda Lake, which local people believe is magical
  • Tour Labuan Aji village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall at Moyo
  • Trek through Loh Liang park searching for the unique Komodo dragons



Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Bali
  • Indonesia
  • Komodo Island
  • Melo Village
  • Moyo Island
  • Pulau Sangeang
  • Rinca Island


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Traditional Meal Mount Agung, Amed, Bali. A pair of dragons on Komodo Island Wild Komodo Dragon in its habitat Breathtaking aerial sunset in Komodo National Park in Indonesia

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-tinglingly, 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 Balinese-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.

In the evening, as you cross the Wallace Line, you will be introduced to the world of this remarkable man, who also had an “inordinate fondness for beetles!” During his time here, Wallace collected over 126,000 specimens, many of which were unknown to scientists, and many of which were beetles. you’ll be meeting some of them during this adventure. In the afternoon, enjoy your first snorkel to the east of the Wallace Line, and in the evening, Ray will tell you about the different species of animals that have evolved either side of this invisible barrier. Species found only on the Asian side include tigers and rhinos, whilst marsupials and monotremes are only found on the eastern side of the Line. Such anomalies stretch to insects, and every island has its own endemic species that differ from those of their neighbors. It can reasonably be concluded that it was an ocean barrier that prevented the migration of species, as the physical aspects of the separate islands are very similar.

Day 3 Kenawa Island | Bungin Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake off the beautiful white sands of Kanawa Island in West Sumbawa, where after breakfast you will snorkel, paddle board, swim and explore the island’s beaches, grassland, and corals. Here, discover the amazing underwater world and swim with beautiful tropical fish. Despite its small size, Kanawa holds some surprises. In 2018 Ray may just have discovered a new species of spider found only on this isolated paradise. 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 entirely off the sea in stilt houses above the water. This is the second largest Bajau settlement in the country, providing an amazing and rare opportunity to experience part of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition. Later in the afternoon, set out for Moyo Island.

Day 4 Moyo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba'i Waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshingly cool water. During this walk, there will be more opportunities to spot bugs, butterflies, and spiders. Geckos and Flying Lizards scurry along the branches high above our heads, occasionally gliding from tree to tree in the midday heat. Your next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its center, which filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, 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. At certain times the island becomes awash with hundreds of the most beautiful butterflies of the region. Here, you can still find a natural phenomenon with its own unique species. The seas surrounding Satonda are rich with soft and hard corals and colorful tropical fish, so you will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling. Island fauna has evolved independently and that of the enigmatic Satonda is no exception. The flying foxes that make Satonda their home differ from other island species. Unlike their smaller cave-dwelling cousins, these large fruit bats hang out in camps high above the rainforest floor, keeping cool by fanning themselves with their huge wings, which can measure up to 1.7 meters from tip to tip. Immediately after sunset, marvel at the sight of thousands of these flying foxes commuting from the island to feed on the mainland. The Katharina will then leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.

Day 5 Pulau Sangean

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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. Ray and Angela will lead you into the surrounding forests where you will discover many species of insects. The island has its own endemic species of harmless scorpion and who knows what you will find as you turn over rocks and witness a whole new world beneath our feet. You can 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. Later, cruise to the island of Banta and its pinkish-white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling and hill climbing for the fit. In the evening Ray will tell you about the giant lizards that inhabit the area and you will proceed overnight to Komodo dragon country.

Day 6 Komodo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. Go ashore for an early morning ranger-led trek. Islands are natural laboratories where you can study evolution in situ. The fact that islands are isolated from the mainland by the sea makes their ecology present spectacular adaptations, sometimes resulting in giant or dwarf species in comparison with their mainland relatives. One of the most famous examples of island gigantism is the Komodo dragon where evolution – without apparent predators or competitors – has triggered the appearance of larger species. Similarly, insects with few predators can evolve to larger sizes whilst larger mammals with limited food resources begin to decrease in size. Within a savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, you will encounter, at a safe distance, Komodo’s awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. Komodo is also home to many unique species of bird including the Wallacean Drongo and the Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. In addition to birds, deer and wild boar, you will see butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-figs and lontar palms. Endemic to the island are a number of Nephila species of the giant golden orb-weaving spider.  Their webs can measure two metres across but don’t panic these guys are friendly.  Later, swim and snorkel over one of Komodo’s rich reefs. 

Day 7 Rinca Island

  • 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. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so you may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and the giant swarms of honeybees that inhabit this beautiful place. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon you can go snorkeling off Siaba or Kelor, where both on the land and in the sea, you may be fortunate to identify yet more of the remarkable residents of this far-flung paradise.  In the evening, go ashore to an island where you can enjoy a quintessential Indonesian experience and a highlight for many guests. With your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of your memorable voyage.

Day 8 Melo | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
For those early risers, have time for one last swim and snorkel before you cruise into Labuan Bajo Harbor. At about 9 am, 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 whilst 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, you will have lunch on the boat before transferring to the airport for your onward journey.



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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.


- 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 was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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