16th April 2023 to 25th April 2023

Total Solar Eclipse 2023: Cruise Indonesia

From $7500 per person

Join a sea adventure like never before, and sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s remote Banda Sea.
Clear
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
9
Vessel type
Traditional Indonesian Pinisi made from Ironwood
Vessel length
42 metres
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Double cabin & Twin Cabins
Insurance Required
Yes

Join a sea adventure like never before, and sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s remote Banda Sea.

9 Nights: 16 April - 25 April 2023

Price: $7, 500 per person

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 10 days aboard the beautiful sailing boat Ombak Putih.
  • Experience a total solar eclipse upon an uninhabited atoll.
  • A unique programme of island exploration.
  • No more than 22 guests on board, which allows for close and frequent interaction with the tour leaders.
  • Premium relaxation at sea.

Flights

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to current Indonesian flight scheduling to the departure point, all guests on this cruise need to fly from Bali to Maumere on April 15, the day before the cruise, and stay overnight before being taken to the boat on the morning of the 16th of April. Guests will need to fly on the 15th of April to Maumere and overnight. We are recommending the Coconut Garden Resort just 20 minutes from the airport and port. All this is extra apart from the transfer from the airport to the hotel.

In partnership with:

Join a sea adventure like never before. Sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse whilst on an uninhabited tropical atoll that sits within the eclipse line of totality.

This a brand-new cruise aboard a 22-berth luxury crewed schooner visiting several remote islands well off the tourist trail in the Banda sea. The highlight of the cruise will be the eclipse day, where you will disembark onto the beautiful Maupora atoll, an exotic uninhabited island.

Plus you will experience colourful coral reefs, marine biology, white sand beaches, abundant wildlife and the traditional Indonesian small island culture that Alfred Russell Wallace enjoyed in the 1850s.

Travelling as part of a small armada of traditional, wooden, pinisi liveaboard boats, handcrafted on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi by local craftsmen using ancient techniques handed down from father to son over many centuries, you will witness not only one of the most profound of all nature’s celestial wonders, but also see and experience some of the very best culture, nature, and landscapes that Indonesia has to offer; including some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs with diverse marine life.

The seas where you will sail are very rich and abundant with healthy reefs and wildlife. You will see lots of corals (hard and soft) and supporting communities of fish, turtles, invertebrates and molluscs. You are likely to see dolphins and, maybe, if you are lucky, pods of pilot whales. There is also the chance to see dugongs. The islands here, in what is known as east Nusa Tenggara (or NTT), have very rich waters due to the flow-through effect as the Pacific meets the Indian Ocean, so it’s home to many upwellings, strong currents, big pelagics and marine megafauna. The area is also very arid, with savannah rather than rainforest, and the cultures and wildlife have correspondingly adapted to that.

The onboard tour leaders will give talks on each of the different locations, flora and fauna and their cultures each evening prior to the visit.

Meet the Experts

The tour leaders will be Anastasia and Arifin. Both are hugely experienced tour leaders that have a vast knowledge of the area. They have more than a couple of decades of experience and hands-on learning from their time guiding all across the eastern half of Indonesia. Arifin is from this region (from Flores) and knows so much about the cultures. As does Anas, who is from Ambon but has led many trips to the islands and villages on our itinerary. Anas is a diver and lives to be in the water and is an amazing spotter of all kinds of marine life. They will both be giving talks on each day’s activities prior to our visits to let people know what they are going to see and experience. They will also be talking people through the experiences in situ when we are on land and sea. There will be plenty to learn and plenty of information imparted. They help really embody our “Indonesia Through Indonesian Eyes” philosophy. Add to that the all-Indonesian crew, many of whom are also from this region, and it’s an immersive extravaganza.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Embark from the Flores

You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in the morning and taken to the boat. You will have a chance to relax and get acquainted with your new home, getting to know your fellow travellers and enjoying the tropical sunshine and breeze on your face as you head east. At sunset, you enjoy cocktails on the deck as the sun sinks nicely slowly into the west. You will then be given a briefing by the onboard tour leaders, experts in local ecosystems, culture and history.

Day 2 – Vist Pulau Batang Island and its Coral Reefs

Just after dawn, you arrive at the small island of Pulau Batang, where you will have the morning to enjoy your first swim of the trip, guided by the tour leaders, along the colourful coral reefs. Joining the group in the sea is completely optional but with such an abundance of wildlife amongst the reefs, it would be a shame not to. All swimming and snorkelling will be fully supported by the crew and inclusive for all abilities.

The island has a small settlement on the northern side, so you may stop by for a visit and meet the local people. Mid-afternoon you head east once more in the direction of Wetar. This night will be spent at sea.

Day 3 – Explore the Culture of Wetar Island

Waking up offshore of the coast of Wetar you go ashore and visit a local village and their school, where you will have a chance to meet the locals and witness their culture. Later that morning you go snorkelling on a nearby island in front of the village with good corals and lots of big fish. Early afternoon you set off to Romang Island, enjoying sunset drinks and dinner on board. Romang is part of the Barat Daya Islands in Indonesia.

Day 4 – Arrive at your Eclipse Viewing Base 

You wake up off the coast of the beautiful island of Romang, already very close to the eclipse zone of totality. You can go ashore and meet the local people and glimpse into their daily lives, as well as visit the school where you can donate books and school supplies. Some of these islands are very remote, so your visit can be as exciting for the residents as it is for you. You can spend the afternoon in the sea or visit a second village. By now you will be fully immersed in the flexible but very relaxed itineraries.

Later afternoon, you will sail to a small island near Maupora atoll for some more high-quality relaxation on a boat, beach or sea. Then in the evening, you will sail a little further and moor just off Maupora, the small white-sand island chosen as your perfect viewing spot for tomorrow’s eclipse.

Day 5 – Eclipse Day at Maupora Atoll

Waking up, you organise into groups for the commencement of the eclipse at around midday. Those who have chosen to view the event on island will be transferred to the beach, along with any camera equipment they wish to take. While those who want to stay on the boat can relax and wait for the festivities to begin, maybe even go snorkelling or exploring the spectacular coral reefs.

The eclipse event will last just over 3 hours, with the total eclipse occurring just after 13:24 in the afternoon.

This evening you will be having a large communal BBQ party on the beach with all the boats, to celebrate this wonderful celestial event. After the party, you head off back in the direction of Wetar for the overnight crossing back across to Wetar Island to start the return leg of your journey.

Day 6 – Relaxing at Sea

Today will be one of watching the seas float by and you will make landfall in the afternoon in Wetar. After a rest here to enjoy the seas enjoy some beach time, you will continue your journey westwards towards the island of Sika.

Day 7  – Marine Exploration os Sika Island looking for Dugongs

You will arrive in the early morning in Sika, a small Island in the northern part of Alor, which has some fantastic snorkelling with lots of corals and sea grass habitat, a favourite location of the dugong (a cousin of manatees). If you are extremely lucky you may have the chance to spot one. From here you will cruise to the southwest to the Lingal and Pantar Islands.

Day 8 – Explore the Lingar & Pantar Islands on land

Lingal has a beautiful white sandy beach located on the southwest part of Alor, and you will enjoy the snorkelling and swimming before cruising to the southeast part of Pantar island to visit Tamakh village, a place seldom visited by foreigners. They will welcome you to the village wearing their beautiful bitil tube skirts and they will perform the Lego-Lego dance for you. You will then head back to the boat and cruise to Solor.

Day 9 – Lohayong Fort & Larantuka

After breakfast, it will be a good time for some water activities. Kayaks and paddle boards are available throughout the cruise for guests’ use. Whilst here you can visit the old fort at Lohayong. From Lohayong you cross to Larantuka, a bustling little town situated at the foot of the imposing Ile Mandiri volcano. As you go ashore you will be welcomed by local Lamaholot villagers who will show you in detail how they produce their fantastic earthy-brown ikat fabric, which are decorated with small white seashells. You can go snorkelling in the afternoon before heading off for an overnight crossing to Maumere.

Day 10 – Visit a Bajau Water Settlement then disembark

On the final day, you will visit Wuring village, a Bajau settlement built on the water of coral rocks and wooden poles. Living right the way across the waters of the Coral Triangle, this is a fascinating insight into a very traditional and semi-nomadic way of life. You will then head back to the boat to have lunch and to bid final goodbyes to your crew before heading to the airport for your return flights via Bali.

Flights

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to current Indonesian flight scheduling to the departure point, all guests on this cruise need to fly from Bali to Maumere on April 15, the day before the cruise, and stay overnight before being taken to the boat on the morning of the 16th of April. Guests will need to fly on the 15th of April to Maumere and overnight. We are recommending the Coconut Garden Resort just 20 minutes from the airport and port. All this is extra apart from the transfer from the airport to the hotel.

  • 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 the lounge
  • Dining in spacious air-conditioned lounge
  • Teak wooden furniture in lounge, cabins and on deck
  • Spacious sun and semi-covered decks
  • Mooring fees
  • Fuel surcharge (only until 31st January 2023)
  • Airport & hotel to boat transfers
  • Solar Eclipse Glasses
  • Visits to restaurants, museums, galleries etc during the trip
  • Travel Insurance
  • Fine selection of wines, beer and spirits for sale
  • International and internal flights (we suggest you fly into Bali, then onward flight to Maumere airport on the island of Flores)
  • Accommodation whilst ashore
  • For solo travellers, we are happy to arrange for you to share a cabin with another guest of the same gender at no extra cost, if there is one available. Alternatively, if you wish to book a cabin for yourself, there is a supplement.
  • Tips for the crew

ACCOMMODATION

Ombak Putih

New Scientist Default Image

A traditional Indonesian Pinisi made from Ironwood that is small enough to explore the places large cruise ships can’t and will mostly use its traditional sails to traverse the region, leading to a more elegant journey with lower impact on the region’s ecology. A stylish, well-appointed boat.

On the main deck there is a covered saloon bar and air-conditioned dining area plus a rooftop lounge. The boat carries kayaks, two tender boats, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling equipment. All of which will come in very useful for exploring the stunning coves and bays along the way.

New Scientist Default Image

Cabins

The boat houses 24 guests in 12 spacious twin-share with twin bunks or double beds. All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities including a private bathroom with a toilet, hot shower, and washbasin.

PACE AND PHYSICALITY

No sailing experience is required although if you would like to learn more about how the boat works and is navigated, the skipper will happily oblige, even letting you help hoist the sails.

There will be some early morning starts, however there will be plenty of time to rest and recuperate onboard.

There will be ample opportunity to explore the seas by kayak, paddleboard and snorkeling. The crew can help with all these activities and they will guide the boat to shallower waters, so they can make these activities as inclusive as possible. The itinerary might change as local conditions and opportunities present themselves.

Maumere Airport, please view itinerary for more important information on flights.

Maumere Airport.

Join a sea adventure like never before. Sail out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse whilst on an uninhabited tropical atoll that sits within the eclipse line of totality.

This a brand-new cruise aboard a 22-berth luxury crewed schooner visiting several remote islands well off the tourist trail in the Banda sea. The highlight of the cruise will be the eclipse day, where you will disembark onto the beautiful Maupora atoll, an exotic uninhabited island.

Plus you will experience colourful coral reefs, marine biology, white sand beaches, abundant wildlife and the traditional Indonesian small island culture that Alfred Russell Wallace enjoyed in the 1850s.

Travelling as part of a small armada of traditional, wooden, pinisi liveaboard boats, handcrafted on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi by local craftsmen using ancient techniques handed down from father to son over many centuries, you will witness not only one of the most profound of all nature’s celestial wonders, but also see and experience some of the very best culture, nature, and landscapes that Indonesia has to offer; including some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs with diverse marine life.

The seas where you will sail are very rich and abundant with healthy reefs and wildlife. You will see lots of corals (hard and soft) and supporting communities of fish, turtles, invertebrates and molluscs. You are likely to see dolphins and, maybe, if you are lucky, pods of pilot whales. There is also the chance to see dugongs. The islands here, in what is known as east Nusa Tenggara (or NTT), have very rich waters due to the flow-through effect as the Pacific meets the Indian Ocean, so it’s home to many upwellings, strong currents, big pelagics and marine megafauna. The area is also very arid, with savannah rather than rainforest, and the cultures and wildlife have correspondingly adapted to that.

The onboard tour leaders will give talks on each of the different locations, flora and fauna and their cultures each evening prior to the visit.

Meet the Experts

The tour leaders will be Anastasia and Arifin. Both are hugely experienced tour leaders that have a vast knowledge of the area. They have more than a couple of decades of experience and hands-on learning from their time guiding all across the eastern half of Indonesia. Arifin is from this region (from Flores) and knows so much about the cultures. As does Anas, who is from Ambon but has led many trips to the islands and villages on our itinerary. Anas is a diver and lives to be in the water and is an amazing spotter of all kinds of marine life. They will both be giving talks on each day’s activities prior to our visits to let people know what they are going to see and experience. They will also be talking people through the experiences in situ when we are on land and sea. There will be plenty to learn and plenty of information imparted. They help really embody our “Indonesia Through Indonesian Eyes” philosophy. Add to that the all-Indonesian crew, many of whom are also from this region, and it’s an immersive extravaganza.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Embark from the Flores

You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in the morning and taken to the boat. You will have a chance to relax and get acquainted with your new home, getting to know your fellow travellers and enjoying the tropical sunshine and breeze on your face as you head east. At sunset, you enjoy cocktails on the deck as the sun sinks nicely slowly into the west. You will then be given a briefing by the onboard tour leaders, experts in local ecosystems, culture and history.

Day 2 – Vist Pulau Batang Island and its Coral Reefs

Just after dawn, you arrive at the small island of Pulau Batang, where you will have the morning to enjoy your first swim of the trip, guided by the tour leaders, along the colourful coral reefs. Joining the group in the sea is completely optional but with such an abundance of wildlife amongst the reefs, it would be a shame not to. All swimming and snorkelling will be fully supported by the crew and inclusive for all abilities.

The island has a small settlement on the northern side, so you may stop by for a visit and meet the local people. Mid-afternoon you head east once more in the direction of Wetar. This night will be spent at sea.

Day 3 – Explore the Culture of Wetar Island

Waking up offshore of the coast of Wetar you go ashore and visit a local village and their school, where you will have a chance to meet the locals and witness their culture. Later that morning you go snorkelling on a nearby island in front of the village with good corals and lots of big fish. Early afternoon you set off to Romang Island, enjoying sunset drinks and dinner on board. Romang is part of the Barat Daya Islands in Indonesia.

Day 4 – Arrive at your Eclipse Viewing Base 

You wake up off the coast of the beautiful island of Romang, already very close to the eclipse zone of totality. You can go ashore and meet the local people and glimpse into their daily lives, as well as visit the school where you can donate books and school supplies. Some of these islands are very remote, so your visit can be as exciting for the residents as it is for you. You can spend the afternoon in the sea or visit a second village. By now you will be fully immersed in the flexible but very relaxed itineraries.

Later afternoon, you will sail to a small island near Maupora atoll for some more high-quality relaxation on a boat, beach or sea. Then in the evening, you will sail a little further and moor just off Maupora, the small white-sand island chosen as your perfect viewing spot for tomorrow’s eclipse.

Day 5 – Eclipse Day at Maupora Atoll

Waking up, you organise into groups for the commencement of the eclipse at around midday. Those who have chosen to view the event on island will be transferred to the beach, along with any camera equipment they wish to take. While those who want to stay on the boat can relax and wait for the festivities to begin, maybe even go snorkelling or exploring the spectacular coral reefs.

The eclipse event will last just over 3 hours, with the total eclipse occurring just after 13:24 in the afternoon.

This evening you will be having a large communal BBQ party on the beach with all the boats, to celebrate this wonderful celestial event. After the party, you head off back in the direction of Wetar for the overnight crossing back across to Wetar Island to start the return leg of your journey.

Day 6 – Relaxing at Sea

Today will be one of watching the seas float by and you will make landfall in the afternoon in Wetar. After a rest here to enjoy the seas enjoy some beach time, you will continue your journey westwards towards the island of Sika.

Day 7  – Marine Exploration os Sika Island looking for Dugongs

You will arrive in the early morning in Sika, a small Island in the northern part of Alor, which has some fantastic snorkelling with lots of corals and sea grass habitat, a favourite location of the dugong (a cousin of manatees). If you are extremely lucky you may have the chance to spot one. From here you will cruise to the southwest to the Lingal and Pantar Islands.

Day 8 – Explore the Lingar & Pantar Islands on land

Lingal has a beautiful white sandy beach located on the southwest part of Alor, and you will enjoy the snorkelling and swimming before cruising to the southeast part of Pantar island to visit Tamakh village, a place seldom visited by foreigners. They will welcome you to the village wearing their beautiful bitil tube skirts and they will perform the Lego-Lego dance for you. You will then head back to the boat and cruise to Solor.

Day 9 – Lohayong Fort & Larantuka

After breakfast, it will be a good time for some water activities. Kayaks and paddle boards are available throughout the cruise for guests’ use. Whilst here you can visit the old fort at Lohayong. From Lohayong you cross to Larantuka, a bustling little town situated at the foot of the imposing Ile Mandiri volcano. As you go ashore you will be welcomed by local Lamaholot villagers who will show you in detail how they produce their fantastic earthy-brown ikat fabric, which are decorated with small white seashells. You can go snorkelling in the afternoon before heading off for an overnight crossing to Maumere.

Day 10 – Visit a Bajau Water Settlement then disembark

On the final day, you will visit Wuring village, a Bajau settlement built on the water of coral rocks and wooden poles. Living right the way across the waters of the Coral Triangle, this is a fascinating insight into a very traditional and semi-nomadic way of life. You will then head back to the boat to have lunch and to bid final goodbyes to your crew before heading to the airport for your return flights via Bali.

Flights

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to current Indonesian flight scheduling to the departure point, all guests on this cruise need to fly from Bali to Maumere on April 15, the day before the cruise, and stay overnight before being taken to the boat on the morning of the 16th of April. Guests will need to fly on the 15th of April to Maumere and overnight. We are recommending the Coconut Garden Resort just 20 minutes from the airport and port. All this is extra apart from the transfer from the airport to the hotel.

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