Komodo & Flores Sea Sailing Voyages


Indonesia is a nation of islands, rich in seafaring traditions and formed largely of volcanoes in the most tectonically active part of the great Ring of Fire which encircles the Pacific Ocean.

To explore Indonesia in depth, you will at some stage need to take to its seas - and how better to do so than in a luxuriously furnished wooden sailing ship called a pinisi . Whilst these hand-crafted wooden ships look as though they are from a bygone era, this is not the case because they are still very much a part of the modern day merchant shipping fleet, carrying freight throughout Indonesia's Tropical waters. Whilst on this cruise you will visit a thriving village where these ships are being built.

You will also visit a myriad of islands, some tiny green surrounded by white sand and coral reef; others whose peaks reach almost 2,000 metres, visibly created by volcanoes which have exploded out of the tropical waters you will sail across. Some of these islands have an incredibly violent past, including Mount Tambora whose eruption had about four times the energy of Krakatoa. Its explosion in 1815 gave rise to the 'year without a summer' when ash filled skies as far away as North America and Europe.

Happily calm now, coral reefs flourish in these waters. In fact, here within the Coral Triangle, they are some of the most diverse and colourful reefs on our planet. This voyage provides daily opportunities to snorkel in stunning waters where we can find hundreds of species of Acropora and other hard corals; pink, white and red soft corals; and thousands of tropical fishes. 

Komodo coral reefs coral triangle Indonesia

The voyage will visit a Manta Ray cleaning station, so you might be lucky enough to snorkel with these majestic ocean giants. The voyage will also visit ikan bili (very small fish) fishermen on the island of Sumbawa. Their low-hanging nets sometimes attract the attentions of whale sharks, with whom the fishermen are happy to share some of their catch. Snorkeling with manta rays and whale sharks are fantastic experiences; and whilst not guaranteed on these voyages, are a significant cherry on the top if you do.

If you prefer to keep your head above water, you can make use of stand up paddles boards and kayaks onboard; or enjoy the views from on deck.

SUP Komodo Bali Indonesia sail cruise

There will be plenty of opportunities to step onto the shore, with excursions planned to waterfalls, isolated beaches, forest fringed lagoons; and at Komodo and Rinca islands, to see Indonesia's living dinosaur: the Komodo Dragon. They share their habitat with their prey, which comes in the form of wild buffalo, monkeys and Sunda sambar deer.

In between islands, you will see Bajau, or Sea Gypsy villages built on stilts - some in isolation, but also the second largest of these at Bungin Island.

Evenings are special, often with colourful sunsets, whilst at Pulau Satonda we can hope to see thousands of flying fox bats commuting to the larger island of Pulau Sumbawa.

For further details about this holiday, please click on the Itinerary tab.

Itinerary

Sample 9 Day Itinerary

These voyages are available on two wooden pinisi ships, built using hand tools and traditional methods by the highly skilled seafaring peoples of Borneo and Sulawesi. Both are outfitted with up to date safety equipment, tenders, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and snorkelling gear. Cabins are located below decks and are well equipped with air-conditioning, storage space and private bathrooms.

Motor Yacht Option A

Built in 1997 and re-fitted in 2015, this 42 metre ship carries 24 guests in 12 comfortable cabins all located on the lower deck. The main and top decks are comfortably furnished with covered and open seating areas, large salon and sundeck.

Motor Yacht Option B

Built in 1995 and re-fitted in 2014, this 38 metre ship carries just 12 guests in 6 cabins. Onboard you will find a salon, bar, two sun decks and an outdoor dining area.

Days 1 - 2

This voyage starts and ends Labuan Bajo on Flores Island, close to the Komodo Marine Park. You will be met at the airport and drive to the harbour to step onto your pinisi yacht base, before heading to your first snorkelling spot: a coral restoration project where you will see how the corals and fish populations have grown since they were first transplanted in 2014.

Further explorations of the course of these two days will include:

  • A chance to step on land to go in search of Komodo Dragons.
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  • Enjoy further snorkeling on some of the Komodo Marine Park's best coral reefs & locations where sea turtles can often be seen.
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  • Snorkel at locations where you might see manta rays coming in to be cleaned of parasites by 'cleaner fish'.

Days 3 - 4

Across these two days:

  • You will 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". We will spend the morning here, swimming, paddle boarding, and snorkelling on the beautiful coral reef that lies parallel to the beach.
  • You will cruise to a nearby active volcanic island where we will see a large wooden pinisi boat with the same pedigree and history as the ship you are on, 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 centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora catastrophically erupted in 1815. Here you will be able to swim, kayak and paddleboard on the lake; and those eager to expend some energy can go trekking around the crater rim.
  • Another highlight of your voyage will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that fly at dusk from an island to feed on the mainland.
  • Experience a beach BBQs under a night sky filled with millions of stars as you feast on the amazing local delicacies prepared by your chef, accompanied by live musical entertainment from the talented crew.
     

Days 5 - 6

These two days you will visit a small limestone island for snorkelling, kayaking and exploring the karst formations. You will also visit Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo and walk to a scenic waterfall. You can bathe here in cool freshwater.

At some stage you will anchor off the north coast of Sumbawa, where you will be able to see fishermen who catch small fish called ikan bilis , on nets hung directly beneath the floating platforms which are their homes. Whale sharks are often attracted to their catch, which the fishermen share with these, the largest of all fish. With any luck, you will be able to snorkel amongst them.

Days 7 & 8

  • Enjoy a unique snorkelling 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 we will go drift snorkelling 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, you can enjoy commanding views over the island, seas and islands.

Day 9

After breakfast on our last day, we will take you on a scenic drive towards Melo Village, where you will 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, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments.

After lunch on the boat, we will say farewell to the crew and your fellow shipmates as you disembark and return to Labuan Bajo airport for your onwards journey.

Dates

Enquire / Book 19 - 27 Jul 2024 - US$ 5,150
Enquire / Book 19 - 27 Jul 2024 - US$ 5,150
Enquire / Book 30 Jul - 07 Aug 2024 - US$ 5,150
Enquire / Book 10 - 18 Aug 2024 - US$ 5,150
Enquire / Book 21 - 29 Aug 2024 - US$ 5,150
Enquire / Book 21 - 29 Aug 2024 - US$ 5,150

Our price includes:
- Accommodation in a shared twin cabin
- All meals onboard
- Soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks
- Two items of laundry per day
- Towels and linens
- Complimentary sarong, cotton backpack and re-usable water bottle
- Basic first aid kit
- Toiletries inc sunscreen, soap and shampoo
- Complimentary beer, wine and selected cocktails with beach BBQ
- Port and park fees
- Use of facilities onboard inc snorkelling gear, paddle boards and kayaks
- Transfers to and from the boat as per the itinerary

Not included:
- Domestic flights
- Other alcoholic drinks
- Gratuities
- Items of a personal nature (e.g. souvenirs)
- Fuel surcharge US$400*

*may be subject to change

  • The Spectacular Coral Reefs of Komodo - photo: Dr Simon Pierce
  • Komodo Dragon on Rinca Island
  • Whale Shark at Indonesian fishing platform
  • turtle-on-the-coral-reef-komodo-dive-diving-underwater-photography-c-ralph-pannell-aqua-firma-scuba-travel-holiday.jpg
  • Komodo-National-Park-Island-Hopping-Yacht-Safari-Bali-sailing-wildlfe-culture-snorkelling-kayaking-indonesia.jpg
  • Komodo-Dragon-Bali-Island-Hopping-Yacht-Safari-sailing-wildlfe-culture-snorkelling-kayaking-indonesia.jpg
  • Komodo-Bali-Island-Hopping-Yacht-Safari-sailing-wildlfe-culture-snorkelling-kayaking-indonesia-double-cabin.jpg

Indonesia

Trip Reviews: Indonesia

  • Reef Manta Ray at a cleaning station in Komodo - photo by Dr Simon Pierce
  • Young-Komodo-Dragon-Bali-Island-Hopping-Yacht-Safari-sailing-wildlfe-culture-snorkelling-kayaking-indonesia.jpg
  • whale-shark-indonesia.jpg
  • caci-traditional-dance-fight-melo-bali-komodo-island-hopping-yacht-safari-sailing-wildlfe-culture-snorkelling-kayaking-indonesia.jpg
  • Al Fresco Dining
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