Immerse in Indonesia's wildlife and culture with a 14-day multi-part tour and cruise aboard Katharina. Starting in Bali, take a flight to Borneo for a river cruise that includes a visit to an island operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Discover more about these magnificent creatures and conservation efforts in the region. Afterward, spend a few days in a local Dayak village to learn about their customs. Return to Bali and begin the cruise to some of the most striking islands in Indonesia. Take part in activities such as snorkeling over vibrant coral reefs, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding among tropical fish. Explore volcanic islands, unwind on sunny beaches, and observe Komodo dragons in their natural habitat.
Learn about conservation efforts in Borneo with the Orangutan Survival Foundation
Immerse yourself in a local Dayak community and get to know their culture
Meet at the airport in Borneo or at your hotel and taken to the riverboat. 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 visit the local library foundation, before continuing upstream to a beautiful black water lake system, where you take canoes out at sunset. Later the ship find a quiet location to anchor overnight.
Note: Please be aware that this itinerary is designed to be flexible. The aim to follow the schedule as described, but due to weather, tides, preferences of trip members, and other factors such as the learning of the opportunity to investigate exciting new discoveries, can sometimes need to change course. The boat captain and your Trip Leader make the decisions to maximize trip safety and your overall enjoyment—come prepared to be flexible!
Day 2: Borneo | Orangutan Survival Foundation Visit
The boat moves upriver as you enjoy breakfast to a pre-release island operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). You take a motorized canoe to observe the orangutans and later continue to the BOS Education Centre where orangutans are awaiting release in socialization cages and you can learn about the BOS history and rehabilitation programs. Over lunch the ship cruise upstream passing more orangutan pre-release islands, where you can see the great apes in their natural environment. Here you transfer to small canoes to have closer observation of the orangutans before heading for a refreshing swim in the black water lake.
Early in the morning, travel by car to visit a local Dayak to see the cultural spirit houses and learn about their ancient forest culture. Meet by the village elder with Dayak Ngaju welcoming ceremony then stroll around with him to see the village home gardens, rubber field & rubber tapping demonstration, and other village livelihoods.
Visit to the elder’s house and enjoy the traditional spices coffee while sharing stories, before returning to the boat for lunch as you cruise downstream through the forest, relaxing and looking out for wildlife along the way.
Taking the early morning flight from Bali, you are met at the airport in Komodo by your tour leaders and be taken straight to your boat. And as you settle into your new home, head to your first snorkeling spot; a coral restoration project where you can see how the corals and fish populations have grown since it were first transplanted in 2014
Go ashore on Komodo Island in search of the fearsome Komodo dragons, found only in the Komodo National Park. This is the world’s largest lizard, growing up to a length of three meters and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms. Enjoy some magnificent snorkeling on some of the Komodo Park’s best reefs. Swim with manta rays as it feed on the current and circle the so-called cleaning stations, where small fish remove parasites from their skin. Snorkel at a favorite hangout of sea turtles, where you have a chance to swim with these gentle reptiles as it cruise along the shallow water of the reef.
Day 8-9: Gili Banta | Sangeang Island | Satonda Island
Wake up off the coast of a beautiful uninhabited island with a beach of pure white sand with some sparkles of powdered red coral, creating the effect of a “pink beach”. You spend the morning here, swimming, paddle boarding, and snorkeling on the beautiful coral reef that lies parallel to the beach. Over lunch, you cruise to a nearby active volcanic island where you see a large wooden pinisi boat with the same pedigree and history of SeaTrek’s very own ships being built on the beach. 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 souvenir. Spend the day at a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its center that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora catastrophically erupted in 1815. Here you swim, kayak and paddleboard on the lake, and the more adventurous can go trekking around the crater rim. Experience one of the famous SeaTrek beach BBQs under a night sky filled with millions of stars as you feast on the amazing local delicacies prepared by the chef, and all accompanied by live medical entertainment from the talented crew. Another highlight of your visit to the island is the sight of thousands of flying foxes that fly at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland.
Day 10-11: Sumbawa ( Whale Sharks) | Moyo Island (Jungle Waterfall)
You have chance for an early morning swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. These massive but harmless animals have long congregated here in the bay but now, thanks to travelers like you, a formed a mutually beneficial alliance with the local fisherman who have their traditional small floating fishing platforms in the bay that attract the sharks. Spend the day on a beach located on a small limestone island nearby, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling, and exploring the local karst formations. You cruise to Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo to visit the village and walk to a scenic waterfall where you can bathe in the refreshing cool water.
Day 12-13: Sangeang Island | Gili Lawa Darat Island | Rinca Island
Enjoy a unique snorkeling experience where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, with the metallic black volcanic sand below being home to an abundance of very interesting invertebrates. Entering the Komodo National Park again you go drift snorkeling in one of the best and healthiest coral reefs in the park, and for those who want to take the land-adventure to another level, you can do a sunset hike up to a gorgeous viewpoint overlooking the other islands in the park. Visit Rinca Island, which is well known for its diverse wildlife, and maybe spot dragons, monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breath taking.
Day 14: Melo Village | Disembark
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After breakfast on your last day, take on a scenic drive towards Melo Village, where you witness the traditional Caci dance performance. Local strongmen perform a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. After lunch on the boat, you say farewell to the crew and your fellow shipmates as you disembark and continue onto your next destination.
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.