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Sulawesi Snorkeling and Culture

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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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, 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 season aboard the splendid traditional pinisi ship Katharina.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Gorontalo | Embark
Day 2 : Una-Una Island
Day 3 : Bolilanga
Day 4 : Desa Kadoda
Day 5 : Taima Village
Day 6 : Banggai
Day 7 : Morowali
Day 8 : Salabangka Archipelago
Day 9 : Labengki
Day 10 : Kendari | Disembark


  • Visit and climb the Gunung Colo Volcano
  • Enjoy snorkeling around the small island Bolilanga
  • Meet the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea
  • Discover the heart-shaped bay called Teluk Cinta



Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Gorontalo
  • Morowali National Park
  • Salabangka Archipelago


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Traveler admiring a marine Indonesian view Fruit on display at a Indonesian market Volcano scenery at sunrise The Old Fort on the Outskirts of Gorontalo Tropical Island and Underwater Paradise for Divers

Day 1 Gorontalo | Embark

Arrive at Gorontalo airport then transfer by car to the harbor, where your ship awaits. After a general briefing, visit the Portuguese-built Fort Otanaha, from where you'll see the beautiful view of the city of Gorontalo and the vast Limboto Lake. Board the boat again and cruise to Una-Una Island.

Day 2 Una-Una Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This volcanic island is great to visit with the option of climbing Gunung Colo Volcano (highest point Sakora Peak 507m, southwest crater 235m), to experience a stunning view over the whole of the Togian Archipelago. In the afternoon, move to Binaguna village for snorkeling.

Day 3 Bolilanga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning enjoy some fabulous snorkeling around the small island Bolilanga. From there, move to Danau (Lake) Mariona, on the north side of the island to snorkel with thousands of multi-hued stingless jellyfish; it still remains a mystery as to how this lake was formed. Spend the afternoon at the paradisical Karina Beach, where you can snorkel and participate in water sports. In the afternoon, enjoy some good snorkeling on the Tumbulawa Reef, and in the late afternoon, visit Desa Tumbulawa to marvel at the sight of dozens of the Knobbed Hornbills flying in to roost in the trees.

Day 4 Desa Kadoda

  • 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, visit the bajo (sea gypsy) village of Desa Kadoda on the island of Papan, 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. Overnight, cruise to Desa Taima, North Tompotika.

Day 5 Taima Village

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Taima Village is a nesting site of the famous, endemic and nearly-extinct maleo bird. Visit a project by the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (ALTO). Here, you can hope to see the almost-extinct, huge maleo 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, depart for Banggai, stopping to snorkel near one of the islands that we pass on the way.

Day 6 Banggai

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The best way to tour the village of Banggai is by bentor (motorised 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. The Banggai cardinal fish conservation project is working hard to prevent this from happening. In the afternoon, you will have time for snorkeling at Pulau Potil, north of Banggai. Overnight you will cruise to Morowali to see the Wana Tribe.

Day 7 Morowali

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An early start today for an interesting trek in the Morowali Nature Reserve hoping to meet the last indigenous tribe of Sulawesi. The semi-nomadic Wana people have a shamanistic, animist culture that’s unique in Indonesia. It’s based on shifting agriculture, hunting with blowpipes and snares, fishing and harvesting forest products such as rattan and damar. Morowali comprises lowland alluvial forest, mountain forest, swamp forest, mangrove forest and moss forest. Your Wana guides lead us up-river and through dense forest – thankfully flat going.  From the village, you may get the chance to return using longboats across a fast running river, an unforgettable experience.  Overnight, cruise to Salabangka.

Day 8 Salabangka Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a full day exploring the Salabangka Archipelago, including a short stop at the village of Umbele where the residents are a mix of people from the mainland of Sulawesi and the Bajo people. They are mainly fishermen but some are working for a mining company. In the evening, cruise up the eastern shore of central Sulawesi to the islands of Labengki.

Day 9 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, 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. In the evening you will have a farewell party with the crew at the beach or on board.

Day 10 Kendari | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark at Kendari and transfer to the airport for the return flight to Bali, Jakarta or elsewhere.


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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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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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