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Orangutans and Dragons

Bali-Bali - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Katharina
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Delve into learning about the wildlife and culture of Indonesia on this multi-part, 12-day tour and cruise. From Bali, fly to Borneo for a river cruise that visits an island operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, where you'll learn about these incredible great apes and conservation efforts in the area. Spend the next few days visiting a local Dayak village to learn about the customs of the indigenous people of this island before returning to Bali to embark on your cruise. Your ship will take you to some of the most striking islands in Indonesia, providing plenty of opportunities to snorkel over vibrant coral reefs, kayak clear waters, or stand-up paddleboard amongst bright tropical fish. Explore volcanic islands and relax on sunny beaches, and spot Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. 
A pair of dragons on Komodo IslandTribal dwelling in BorneoTropical island in SabahExplore the coral reefsMount Agung in BaliMountain Range in Komodo National Park, IndonesiaOrangutans
  • Spend time getting to know a local Dayak community
  • Learn about orangutans and conservation efforts in Borneo
  • Snorkel over vibrant coral reefs and spot bright tropical fish
  • Spot the distinctive Komodo dragon in the wild
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Bali, Indonesia | Fly Borneo | Embark River Cruise

Meet at Bali airport early in the morning for your flight to Borneo in the company of your guide, and be escorted to your river boat to start your journey. Cruise past the stilted and floating houses of the and continue upstream along the forest lined river, passing local villages along the way and catching glimpses of wildlife in the canopy. Visit a local village to see the local library foundation, before continuing upstream to a beautiful black water lake system, where you can take canoes out at sunset. Later the ship will find a quiet location to anchor overnight.

Day 2: Borneo | Orangutan Survival Foundation Visit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The boat moves upriver as you enjoy breakfast to a pre-release island operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). Take a motorized canoe to observe the orangutans and later continue to the BOS Education Center where orangutans are awaiting release in socialization cages and you can learn about the BOS history and rehabilitation programs. Over lunch, cruise upstream, passing more orangutan pre-release islands, where you can see the great apes in their natural environment. Here transfer to small canoes to have closer observation of the orangutans before heading for a refreshing swim in the black water lake.

Day 3-4: Borneo | Dayak Village Visit | Disembark | Fly Bali

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend two days getting to know the local Dayak people. Early in the morning, travel by car to visit a local Dayak village to see the cultural spirit houses and learn about their ancient forest culture. Meet the village elder with a Dayak Ngaju welcoming ceremony, then stroll around with him to see the village home gardens, rubber field & rubber tapping demonstration, and other village livelihoods. See traditional Dayak painted sandungs and watch a traditional dance. Visit to the elder’s house and enjoy the traditional spices coffee while sharing stories, before returning to the boat for lunch as the ship cruises downstream through the forest, relaxing and looking out for wildlife along the way. 

At the end of the second day, cruise to Palangkaraya for your flight to Bali, where you can settle in to your hotel for the night. 

Day 5: Bali, Indonesia

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast in the hotel where you meet your fellow guests, experience the best that Bali can offer with a tour of East Bali with its deep culture and glorious landscapes. Visit water palaces, ancient villages, see lush rice terraces and jungles and the islands volcanic peaks, and dine on some of Bali’s freshest and most delicious traditional cuisine. In the late afternoon you will arrive at your beachside resort in East Bali and have a chance to unwind, swim, or have a snorkeling lesson with your tour guide. In the evening join all your fellow guests for a welcome dinner and drinks in the hotel’s beachside restaurant.  Sleep in the shadow of Bali’s active volcano Mt. Agung, the mother mountain of all Balinese people, and the most imposing figure on the whole landscape of Bali.

Day 6: Bali | Embark | Gili Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Watch a spectacular sunrise from the beach in front of your resort as hundreds of small traditional jukung fishing boats return from their overnight expeditions, as your ship comes into view. Sail across the Wallace Line, the deep-sea boundary that represents the biogeographical separation point between Asia and Australia, where the landscapes, animals and plant life separate into distinctly different groups. Spend the afternoon snorkeling the magnificent coral gardens of the Gili Islands off the northwest corner of Lombok.

Day 7: Kenawa Island | Bajao Village Visit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up off the coast of Kenawa Island under the gaze of Lombok’s towering Mt. Rinjani, the largest volcanic peak in Indonesia, and spend the morning swimming, snorkeling and exploring. Visit a village of the famous Bajao "Sea Gypsies" of Southeast Asia, and see how they live their lives so entwined with the sea. 

Day 8: Saleh Bay | Satonda Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up early in Saleh Bay, where you will hopefully swim with a group of whale sharks that congregate off the local people’s fishing platforms that sit in the bay.
Swim, snorkel, kayak and paddle board in a deep lake on a volcanic island lake on Satonda Island, whose caldera filled by water from a tsunami caused by a massive volcanic event from the nearby Tambora Volcano, which in 1815 was the largest eruption in recorded history. In the evening, drink sunset cocktails as you float on the current while tens of thousands of giant fruit bats emerge from their forest lair and fly out directly over the boat on their nightly foraging missions.

Day 9: Sangeang Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Step ashore on an island formed from an active volcano, where local villagers are in the process of building a fifty-plus meter, traditional wooden pinisi boat, with the same pedigree and history of your ship. Walking around this small village, get a feel for their simple way of life, chat with the locals and maybe buy some handmade textiles as a memento. This afternoon, snorkel on a vibrant coral reef above small geothermal fissures where air bubbles are released from the volcanic chambers below the seabed. After a few hours under sail, spend the afternoon time on a deserted white sand beach on another volcanic island, this time an extinct one. Explore the magnificent coral gardens, hike to the crest of the surrounding hills for a view of the surrounding islands, swim, paddle, kayak and laze away the day before enjoying sunset cocktails on the sand.

Day 10: Gili Lawa Darat Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in the most northerly part of the Komodo National Park and enjoy a morning of sea-based activities including a fantastic drift snorkel over the reef, kayaking and SUP at Gili Lawa Darat island. Swim with schools of manta rays as they feed on the current and circle the so-called "cleaning stations," where small fish remove parasites from their skin. Hover above these giant and noble beasts for as long as you like. Spend the late afternoon on a local sandbar, where you can enjoy snorkeling, swimming and relaxing on the sand

Day 11: Rinca Island | Saba Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Rinca Island and go on a trek in search of the ancient Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. See monkeys, dear, pigs, buffalo, and myriad birds as you walk through the forests and savannahs of this large island. This afternoon, snorkel at Saba Island, a favorite hangout of sea turtles, where you will have a chance to swim with these gentle creatures as they cruise along the shallow water of the reef. Enjoy Indonesian hospitality as your crew host a beach barbecue in your honor on a deserted island. On offer is plenty of good food, music, cocktails dancing and frivolity as you dance and sing the night away next to a bonfire under a clear tropical night sky.

Day 12: Komodo | Disembark | Fly Bali

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Cruise into harbor as you eat your last breakfast on the boat, before taking a short drive to a traditional local village. Here enjoy their hospitality with coffee, betel nut and a highly potent local "arak" (not for the faint hearted), before being be treated to a selection of traditional dances by their men and women.
Enjoy a final lunch on the boat before being escorted to the airport for your onward flight to Bali.



Katharina ship
Bar, Katharina

Bali - Hotels

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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.


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 
Rates Exclude:
  • Domestic airfares
  • Personal insurance
  • Social alcoholic beverages
  • Crew gratuities
  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • If you are interested in purchasing a hiking pass for either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, please contact us asap. These are not included in the cost of the trip and must be arranged in advance. Hiking permits, especially for Huayna Picchu, often sell out months in advance. 



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