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Sacred Dances, Textiles, and the Forgotten Islands

Flores to the Kei Islands - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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During this voyage aboard Katharina, immerse yourselves in the strong traditions of the islands’ tribes with their famous textiles and tantalizing dances. You'll meet the last traditional whale hunters before exploring the remote southern Moluccan Islands, known for their exceptional natural beauty – both above and below the turquoise blue ocean. This tour offers a balanced mix of cultural highlights and exploration.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Maumere | Embark
Day 2 : Lembata Island
Day 3 : Alor Island
Day 4 : Wetar Island
Day 5 : Romang Island
Day 6 : Damar Island
Day 7 : Sermata Island
Day 8 : Dai Island
Day 9 : Tanimbar Islands
Day 10 : Larat | Fordate Island
Day 11 : Kei-Tanimbar
Day 12 : Langgur-Tual | Disembark

Highlights

  • Enjoy a village dance and demonstration of the local traditional weaving
  • Look for sperm whales, manta rays and dolphins
  • Witness dances around the mesbah, the ritual heart of the village
  • Snorkel and relax on remote beaches

Ship

Katharina

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Alor Island
  • Damar Island
  • Flores Island
  • Lesser Sunda Islands
  • Maluku
  • Maumere
  • Romang Island
  • Tanimbar Islands
  • Wetar Island

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Unique wildlife Platter of Indonesian Ingredients Volcano scenery at sunrise Fruit on display at a Indonesian market Traveler admiring a marine Indonesian view

Day 1 Maumere | Embark

In the early morning, embark the Katharina in the harbor of Maumere. After settling in, take a tour to the small village of Watublapi, half an hour's drive, to enjoy a village dance and see a demonstration of the local traditional weavings. Back on the boat, depart for the island of Permana Kecil for some first snorkeling in the afternoon. Early evening, cruise off to the island of Lembata.

Day 2 Lembata Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Lamalera on the south side of the island Lembata. This is one of the few remaining places in the world where villagers hunt whales using traditional methods. On the beach, see the small craft for the hunting of the sperm whales, manta rays and dolphins and perhaps watch their preparation for hunting. This small-scale whaling (no more than 25 per year) is considered sustainable, and the local economy has some dependency on it. Possibility to join a short sailing on one of the boats, admiring the harpooner on the edge of the bowsprit. In the afternoon, sail in the direction of the island of Alor. If time allows, the ship stops at Rusa Island for some snorkeling.

Day 3 Alor Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, reach the enchanting bay of Kalabahi on Alor. Visit the traditional village of Monbang-Kopidil in the mountains where to witness dances around the Mesbah, the ritual heart of the village. See the moko drums, which for centuries have been part of a wife’s dowry as well as played for New Year celebrations and are thought to originate from Indochina. Alor produces Ikat cloth famous for its intricate patterns and bright colors. In the afternoon, snorkel on one of the local reefs near P. Tera. In the late afternoon, proceed further east, and cross between the Lesser Sunda Islands and the western Daya Islands in the Southern Banda Sea.

Day 4 Wetar Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchor in a delightful bay where the island of Wetar appears virtually impenetrable from the sea. Look for fishermen drying their catch on the beaches, visit the local village Napar or one of the other villages on the island, and can expect some great swimming and snorkeling in this area, which is known for its sopi, a strong gin-like alcoholic drink. In the evening, move eastwards to the island of Romang.

Day 5 Romang Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Go ashore on Romang for a three-hour three trek to see the lives of villagers in this remote region of the archipelago. Most of the people on this island are farmers and they plant coconut, oranges, cashew, corn, yams, cassava, sago, vegetables, and dry rice. Back on the ship, have lunch while heading eastward to the tiny island Kital or the island Maopora where you'll spend the rest of the afternoon snorkeling and beachcombing. Overnight cruising further to the east towards the island of Damar.

Day 6 Damar Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, reach the island of Damar, the next destination in your voyage along the volcanic string of islands known as Indonesia’s Ring of Fire. This volcanic island was one of the few islands outside the Banda’s that produced nutmeg. Staple food here are sweet potatoes (ubi), bananas and fish. Tons of cloves, coconuts, nutmeg and sulphur are being exported. Tide and sea allowing, take the opportunity for the fit and able to hike across the island from north to south. But of course also a less strenuous trekking is possible through spice plantations, coconut groves and pristine rain forest, ending in a local village. The dominating volcano is the 870-metre-high Wurlali, which has two cones and last erupted in 1892. If time allows, the sail ship to the nearby uninhabited island Terbang Utara, to enjoy the beautiful beaches, exceptional coral reefs for snorkeling and a lagoon full of birds. Overnight the ship cruises southwards towards the Sermata archipelago.

Day 7 Sermata Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Sermata islands belong to the most isolated in the area and are hardly ever visited. Visit the group of limestone islands and its few coastal villages. After a walk on the main island, spend some time on the beaches of the tiny island Kelapa, a great place for snorkeling. In the evening, move in the direction of the Babar archipelago.

Day 8 Dai Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The island of Dai in the Babar archipelago is a spectacular limestone mountain towering 650 meters above the sea. The beaches and reefs are exceptional. Trek across the whole island to enjoy the incredible scenery from the summit. The local people still go hunting with bows and arrows in these parts. Overnight, cross over to the Tanimbar archipelago.

Day 9 Tanimbar Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning are sailing along the west coast of Yamdena, the main island of the Tanimbar islands. Pass by islands of quiet beauty with untouched forest, teeming with birds, wild orchids and cuscus. This is another day of nature discovery, coastal explorations and some relaxing time on remote beaches. Passing by the north coast of the island, continuing the journey heading for the islands Larat and Fordate.

Day 10 Larat | Fordate Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the islands Larat and Fordate on the northern side of the Tanimbar archipelago. Village exploration, nature hike, and snorkeling are the substance of the day. Try to attend the performance of local music and dance. Overnight the ship sails onward to the Kei archipelago.

Day 11 Kei-Tanimbar

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early this morning, arrive at Kei-Tanimbar, the southernmost island of the Kei archipelago. Here you'll explore coastal villages, search for cultural artifacts such as weaving and pottery or trek into the local forest. In the evening, sail onward to Tual, the capital of the Kei archipelago.

Day 12 Langgur-Tual | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark and transfer to the airport of Langgur-Tual for the return flight to Bali, Jakarta or elsewhere, most probably via Ambon or Makassar.

Katharina

Per person starting at
$5,990
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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.
Jack Charney

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