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An overland journey takes us into the highlands of Sulawesi to the remarkable Tana Toraja

In the Wake of the Makassans

Darwin - Makassar - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
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On this 15 days voyage onboard Coral Geographer, you're cordially encouraged to set out on your journey to Makassar via the Straits of the East Indies. Discover lesser-known islands like Alor and Torajaland, which are full of unique cultural practices and old seafaring customs. Visit one of the few remaining traditional subsistence whaling settlements at Lamalera and observe historic traditional Phinisi boat making at Tana Beru. These journeys are a feast for the senses, from witnessing Komodo Dragons on a walking tour with local rangers to experiencing the Takabonarate Marine Park's vibrant underwater world.

From the 16th century, Makassan trepangers began to venture from their homeland in South Sulawesi. Traveling through the Flores and Savu seas, arrive at the Kimberley and Arnhem Land shores.  On their journeys, Makassans encountered the people of northern Australia and left an impact on the cultures that survive to this day.
An overland journey takes us into the highlands of Sulawesi to the remarkable Tana TorajaMountain Range in Komodo National Park, IndonesiaCoral ExpeditionsTraditionally, wooden Phinisi ships have been crafted by the Bugis boat-builders on the beach at Tana BeruTraditionally, wooden Phinisi ships have been crafted by the Bugis boat-builders on the beach at Tana BeruWild Komodo Dragon in its habitatKomodo IslandTake a walk with local rangers to spot the Komodo Dragon and visit a local village.Later, enjoy a stroll along the dusky pink sands of Pink Beach and swim or snorkel in the clear water.A local Abui elder demonstrates warrior pose with traditional hunting implements.An overland journey takes us into the highlands of Sulawesi to the remarkable Tana Toraja
Highlights
  • Encounter the traditions and funeral rituals in the mountains of Sulawesi
  • Gaze out over the tri-colored crater lakes of Kelimutu National Park
  • Walk in the tracks of the endangered Komodo Dragons
  • Hike to the summit of Padar Island and enjoy breathtaking views
  • Explore the turquoise waters and tiny islands of Takabonarate Marine Park
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Darwin | Embark

Board Coral Geographer at 8:30am for a 10:30am departure. Meet your fellow explorers and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2-14: Discover the Islands of Indonesia

  • Ship
  • 13 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 13 Dinners
AT SEA
Enjoy a peaceful day at sea as you make your way towards Tablolong Bay, where your first adventure of this journey awaits. Partake in onboard activities including workshops and lecturers from special guests and Expedition Team.

TABLOLONG BAY, KUPANG
Arrive at Tablolong Bay, Kupang and listen to the bright, harp like sounds produced by the traditional Sasando instrument with a beachside performance. Later, there is an opportunity to swim or snorkel.

ALOR ISLAND
Small, rugged Alor Island is home to around 140,000 people speaking 50 different languages. Visit the open-air Kadelang Market, the Museum of 1000 Moko and a traditional village, where you will be warmly welcomed. Witness the ceremonial Lego Lego dance in which ladies dressed in handwoven textiles and bronze bangles form a tightly-knit circle and dance rhythmically to gongs and Moko drums.

LAMALERA VILLAGE
Lamalera is one of the last traditional whaling villages, where an ancient hunting tradition continues to provide for the subsistence lifestyle of this rarely-visited village. The villagers will welcome you and share their way of life, which follows ancient beliefs and uses traditional tools and methods. Observe hunting and Ikat weaving demonstrations, with opportunities to purchase the exquisite hand-woven cloth directly from the weavers.

KELIMUTU CRATER LAKES​
From the coastal town of Ende, travel a beautiful road up to Kelimutu. On the way, stop at a orphanage, where you will meet the nuns and orphans and share refreshments. Arrive at the spectacular tricoloured Crater Lakes, where you may throw stones into the lakes for good luck. Later, enjoy lunch at Kelimutu Eco Lodge accompanied by the traditional music of Flores.

PADAR ISLAND
A climb to the peak of Padar Island offers a chance to stretch your legs and be rewarded with a mesmerizing panoramic view over the island’s rugged peaks, beaches and vast blue sea. Alternatively, explore the island up close by Xplorer cruise.

KOMODO ISLAND & PINK BEACH
Take a walk with local rangers to spot the Komodo Dragon and visit a local village. You will learn of the legends of the Komodo Dragons and why villagers treat them with kindness. Later, enjoy a stroll along the dusky pink sands of Pink Beach and swim or snorkel in the clear water.

TAKABONARATE MARINE PARK
Be welcomed at Tinabo Island with a dance performance before a guided tour through the village. Enjoy music and craft demonstrations and insights into the local cottage industries of coconut oil, fishing nets and boat building. At Tinabo Besar, visitors are encouraged to help with conservation programs of tree planting or coral transplanting under the guidance of National Park staff, before snorkelling in the pristine waters.

SOGORI
The small island of Sogori is home to the Bajau and Bugis people. The surrounding white sandy beaches as well as several shipwrecks make it appealing for beach walking, swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving.

TORAJALAND
An overland journey takes you into the highlands of Sulawesi to the remarkable Tana Toraja, where you will witness stunning limestone mountains and the ancient culture and traditions of the Torajan people. Visit the Tongkonan houses at Marante, the stone graves with Tau-tau effigies at Lemo and the hanging burial sites of Bori Parinding. At a Torajan market, see where buffalo and pigs are purchased for funerals, and explore Kete Kesu, a 400-year-old village high in the mountains. Stay overnight and enjoy local music and dancing.

TANA BERU
Traditionally, wooden Phinisi ships have been crafted by the Bugis boat-builders on the beach at Tana Beru since the 14th century. The ancient technique, which uses no nails, has been handed down through generations. Hear the seafaring tales of the boat builders and climb into a Phinisi ship to admire its size and the craftsmanship of the boat-builders.

Day 15: Makassar | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Makassar at 7:00am. Farewell your Master, crew and fellow guests with disembarkation at 8:30am. An optional charter flight to Darwin will be available.

Optional Post-Cruise Charter flight: Makassar to Darwin $850 per person. This will be a direct flight to Darwin, with no stopovers, with a Coral Expeditions staff member to accompany guests. Limited seats available, call our reservations team to book.

Ship/Hotel

Coral Geographer

Coral Geographer
Coral Geographer Deck

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$9,110
Coral Deck Stateroom
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Located on the Coral Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Twin porthole windows give you views of the world outside.
Promenade Deck Stateroom
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located on the Promenade Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside.
Coral Geographer
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
These 21.4 Sq m staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck.
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 sq m private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two.
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Gear Rental - Snorkeling equipment
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • Selected beers, wines and house spirits and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service.
  • 24-hour soft drinks, tea, and barista-style coffee
  • Captain's welcome and farewell drinks 
  • Expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Scuba Diving
  • Laundry Service
  • Entry visas/Travel permits
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet 

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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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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