Dragons,
Indonesia

US$2,590 / £2,057 per person*

Find out more about payments

*Trips are priced in the operator’s local currency. The sterling amount shown is a guide only and the amount you pay in sterling will change with currency fluctuations.

6 nights

A 7-day voyage on which you will discover remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the infamous Komodo Dragons at the Komodo World Heritage Site. Swim, dive, kayak, learn, explore, enjoy.

Two vessels are available for this trip:

Ombak Putih – OP

Katharina – K

See Vessel below for more details.

Both vessels are available for charter. Please enquire for details. 

Trip Start: Available May to September



Book now

VESSEL

Vessel Type

Traditional Indonesian Pinisi Schooners made from Ironwood

Vessel Length

Katharina – 40 metres

Ombak Putih – 42 metres

Skipper

Yes.

Katharina – crew of 12

Ombak Putih – crew of 14

Berth

Katharina – 14 guests in 6 cabins

Ombak Putih – 24 guests in 12 cabins

All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities:

  • Spacious twin-share cabins with twin bunks or double beds
  • Each cabin has a private bathroom with toilet and hot shower
  • Washbasin and toiletries provided in your cabin
  • Each cabin has individually controlled air conditioning
  • Towels and beach towels provided and regularly changed
  • Each cabin has a mini safe for valuables and travel documents

Katharina

kat

Ombak Putih

op

YOUR TRIP

Deposit and cancellation:

25% and Staggered.

See deposit and cancellations policy

Included

  • Professional cruise directors
  • Outdoor sleeping facilities
  • Complimentary snorkelling equipment and two sea canoes (add SUP)
  • Free tea, soft drinks, juices, coffee and mineral water
  • Excellent food and snacks (vegetarian and special menus on request)
  • Television, DVD and music centre in lounge
  • Dining in spacious air conditioned lounge
  • Teak wooden furniture in lounge, cabins and on deck
  • Spacious sun and semi-covered decks
  • Mooring fees

Additional

  • Visits to restaurants, museums, galleries etc during the trip
  • Fine selection of wines, beer and spirits for sale
  • Travel to and from the vessel

Practical Info

  • Open to beginner sailors.
  • Open to families.
  • Open to solo travellers.

GETTING THERE (AND BACK)

Getting there

Dragons – Route 1 – Bali to Flores

Meet the ship in Bali, Indonesia.

Dragons – Route 2 – Flores to Bali

Fly to Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia from Bali and meet the ship there.

Getting back

Dragons – Route 1 – Bali to Flores

Return to Bali by air from Labuan Bajo, Flores.

Dragons – Route 2 – Flores to Bali

Continue your onward travels from Bali.

Travel assistance

Need help booking travel and accommodation for your trip? We have teamed up with STA Travel. Their experts will assist you with all your travel requirements. Please enquire when booking.

ITINERARY

Dragons – Route 1 – Bali to Flores

Join: Bali, Indonesia.

Leave: Flores, Indonesia.

Dragons – Route 2 – Flores to Bali

Join: Flores, Indonesia.

Leave: Bali, Indonesia.

Adventure overview

Immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands from an intimate perspective, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis. This adventurous, 7-day inclusive voyage of discovery aboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih or the 12-passenger Katharina offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo Dragons. There will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard will add yet another dimension to your nature explorations.

Note: ‘Dragons – Route 1 – Bali to Flores’ travels outbound from Bali to Flores; guests meet the ship in Bali and later return to Bali by air from Labuan Bajo in Flores. The airfare is not included in the trip price. In order to ensure that you are able to enjoy the full programme, please do not book any flights that are scheduled to leave before midday on Day 7. We recommend flying with Garuda Indonesia.

Note 2: ‘Dragons – Route 2 – Flores to Bali’ travels inbound from Flores to Bali; guests fly to Flores to meet the ship. The airfare is not included in the cruise price. In order to ensure that you are able to enjoy the full programme, please do not book any flights that are scheduled to leave before midday on Day 7. We recommend flying with Garuda Indonesia.

Dragons – Route 1 – Bali to Flores

Day 1
We will meet in Sanur (Bali) in the morning and depart for either Padang Bai or Amed, on Bali’s southeast and eastern coasts respectively, where the ship will be anchored and waiting for us. This is a pleasant and beautiful drive of either approximately 1 hour or 2.5 hours (depending on the departure point), and a great opportunity to see a little bit of the island. After we board the vessel you will have a chance to settle in before the captain gives the orders for the anchor to be lifted prior to crossing the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist. Wallace noticed that the flora and fauna of the islands to the west are home to Asiatic animal and plant species, whereas the islands to the east of the invisible ‘Wallace Line’ have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. In the afternoon we will make our first stop at one of the three Gili islands, a popular holiday destination just off Lombok’s northwest coast. We will spend a few hours here, during which time you can choose from a number of water activities: swimming, snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking or simply enjoying the beautiful white-sand beach.

Day 2
Moored off the coast of North Lombok, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before going ashore and boarding a private bus for a trip into the interior of the northern side of the island and the traditional village of Senaru. Here, we will be taken on a tour, by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give us an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people. Our mellow adventure will then lead us down a well-trodden flight of steps through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-metre tiered waterfall. The small gravel beach and flat rocks at the base of the falls are a meeting place for the local people, and if we want we can take a dip under the full force of the intense flow. Our walk will continue alongside an old irrigation canal offering panoramic vistas of rice fields stretching towards the sea. The area around Senaru and Bayan was the birthplace of Lombok’s unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam. If we have time, we will visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. Said to have been founded in the 16th century, this is the oldest mosque in Lombok. We will also see some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. After re-embarkation, we will explore one of the coral reefs near Gili Sulat, which is a marine conservation area.

Day 3
This morning we will moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Our next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so we will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Another highlight of our visit to Satonda will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. Immediately after sunset, we leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.

Day 4
Today we will visit Wera, a Buginese settlement on the northeast coast of the island of Sumbawa, where the men build wooden boats along the black-sand shores and the village women spend days weaving brightly coloured cloth. Here we will visit the village and have a look at the hand-built boats in various stages of construction. Some of these boats are colossal in size, and it is fascinating to see how they are constructed. We will then proceed to the island of Banta, passing Sangean island, an active volcano towering 1800 metres above the surrounding waters. Banta island lies within the boundaries of the Komodo National Park; it is uninhabited and perfect swimming and snorkelling.

Day 5
When we wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. After returning to the onboard we will cruise around the coast and visit Komodo village, where we can buy some local handicrafts. Later we will head to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life.

Day 6
Today we will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where we will have another ranger-led nature trek in search of more Komodo Dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon we can go snorkelling. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons. In the evening we will go ashore to an island; there, with your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of our memorable voyage.

Day 7
After breakfast in Labuan Bajo, we will visit the local market or take a private bus to the inland village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After the performance, we will have lunch on the boat before transferring you to the airport for your flight back to Bali.

Dragons – Route 2 – Flores to Bali

Day 1
We start from the airport in Bali with an early morning flight to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. Upon arrival we will take a private bus to the inland village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After our visit to Melo we will return to Labuan Bajo where you will get your first glimpse of the ship. We will have plenty of time to settle in and get acquainted with the crew and fellow passengers as we cruise to the island of Kelor. Once there, we can enjoy a swim or a snorkel in the bright blue sea, ply the waters in a sea kayak, or have a little bit of fun on a paddleboard. We will also have the option of visiting the adjacent island of Kukusan where we will meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ 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 travelled and lived in boats. On Kukusan we get a glimpse of how the formerly nomadic Bajao have adapted to life in a static village. Nevertheless, still being so close to the water, the tribe’s 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.

Day 2
Today we will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island from where we will head off on a ranger-led nature trek in search of Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. After returning to the ship, we will cruise to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons.

Day 3
When we wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for another early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for more Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. During lunch, we will cruise past Makassar Reef towards Gili Lawa Darat, the northernmost island in the park. Guests who’d like to go ashore can hike to the summit of one of the islands’ hills where the horizon opens up to a complete vista overlooking all 80 islands within the Komodo Archipelago and the mainland of Flores. The sight of the long white sandy beaches with clearly visible coral formations, the savannah-like landscape of Komodo Island and volcanic island silhouettes in the background is a unique photo opportunity and a cherished memory for many guests.

Day 4
In the morning we will have our breakfast off the beach at Gili Banta, an uninhabited island that is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Following this daily excursion among the denizens of the reef, we will proceed to Wera, a Buginese settlement on the northeast coast of Sumbawa, opposite the active, 1800-metre, volcanic island of Sangean. Here, at Wera, the men build wooden boats along the black-sand shores and the village women spend days weaving brightly coloured cloth. We will visit the village and have a look at the hand-built boats in various stages of construction. Some of these boats are colossal in size, and it is fascinating to see how they are constructed. Tonight we will relax on the deck as we continue west toward Satonda.

Day 5
Today we reach the strange and mystical volcanic island of Satonda with its beautiful coral gardens along the coastline. Satonda has a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. From Satonda we will cruise to the island of Moyo where we will moor off Labuan Aji village and walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall. Here, we can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Returning to the sea, we will find time for snorkelling on the reef, and later relax under the stars aboard as we will continue our westward voyage to Lombok.

Day 6
Moored off the coast of North Lombok, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before going ashore and boarding a private bus for a trip into the interior of the northern side of the island and the traditional village of Senaru. Here, we will be taken on a tour, by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give us an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people. We will  re-embark in the west of Lombok, and cruise towards the island of Tangkong where, in the late afternoon, you will be treated to a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests. On this deserted island with your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of our memorable voyage. While you sleep, we will cruise further west.

Day 7
Depending on the weather conditions, we will either visit the island of Nusa Penida, the island of Nusa Lembongan, or Amuk Bay in Bali. We will then have a final swim and a snorkel before cruising to a mooring in either east or southeast Bali. Finally, we will say goodbye to the crew, and disembark before seeing everyone off to their next destination.

KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

Komodo National Park covers around 170,000 hectares of sea and land. It consists of Komodo, Rinca, Padar and other smaller islands. The rough, hilly, deserted, dry islands are situated between Sumbawa and Flores and surrounded by waters with ferocious currents, riptides and whirlpools. The islands were formed partly by volcanic eruptions and partly by old coral reefs. The climate is very dry with an annual rainfall of about 800 millimetres between November and April. About 70 percent of the land surface is savanna. On the dry hills grow Lontar palms and long tough grass. On Komodo Island there is one village with around 700 inhabitants, most of them fishermen; they are descendants of exiles from Bima in the past century. On Rinca there are two fishing villages. The Komodo National Park boasts more than 150 different species of birds, while its rich waters support amazing reefs and a huge variety of marine life, some coming from the Indian Ocean to pass through the straits, including whales and dolphins.

In 1980 Komodo and other surrounding islands were declared a National Park. In 1991 it became a World Heritage Site. The largest dragon ever measured was three metres long. The mating season is in July-August and the eggs hatch nine months later. Adult Komodo dragons are fearsome predators. The bulk of their diet is made up of large mammals: goats, deer, pigs, horses and water buffalo; these prey are often caught by ambush or surprise. According to the last census in 1999, 1,700 dragons live on Komodo and 2,000 more dragons live on Rinca. The Komodo probably owes its survival to the isolated location of the islands and the forbidding currents between them. The other reason, of course, is that Komodo dragons cannot be eaten and their skin doesn’t make good handbags.

KIT LIST

Temperature in this sailing area varies little (27° to 33° Celsius year-round) with mostly blue skies and light winds. We suggest you bring the following:

Light cotton/ linen clothes, including a pair of long trousers for visits in the villages

Water shoes (boots or plastic shoes)

Hiking shoes

Camera

A plastic / waterproof  bag for your camera when disembarking

High protection suntan lotion

A hat

Insect repellent

Dive/ snorkelling equipment if you have your own (there is plenty on board)

A sweater for cool evenings

INSURANCE

Specialist off-shore sailing insurance is required. We can direct you to the insurer we use. Ask for information when you enquire.

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