8 days / 7 nights
Duration
Ports of Call
Schedules
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1

Day 1

We will meet at a café in South Bali for a quick breakfast before boarding our minibus for the beginning of our adventure. Our destination is Amed in the eastern regency of Karangasem – an exotic royal Balinese kingdom of forests and mighty mountains, emerald rice terraces, mystical water palaces and pretty beaches. With our tour leader providing information along the way, we will stop at Goa Lawah Bat Cave Temple.  This large temple complex is built around the entrance to a cave that’s home to thousands of bats. We’ll also visit the royal water palace of Tirta Gangga, a fabled maze of spine-tinglingy, cold water pools and basins, spouts, tiered pagoda fountains, stone carvings and lush gardens. The final part of our scenic journey takes us through a magnificent terrain of sculptured rice terraces followed by spectacular views of a fertile plain extending all the way to the coast. 

Guarded by the mighty volcano, Gunung Agung, your charming beachside hotel welcomes you with warm Balinese hospitality and traditional architecture, rich with hand-carved ornamentation. After checking in, you can relax and unwind with a swim in the pool or in the calm, clear waters lapping the shore just footsteps from your room.  Or you may prefer a gentle walk through the surrounding village and hillsides. This will also be an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkelling to have a lesson with our tour leader. Here you will meet Ray and Angela, our on-board naturalists who will consult with you individually to personalise your needs and expectations.

2

Day 2

After waking up early at the resort, we can enjoy our first sight of the beautiful Katharina as she makes her grand entrance, cruising into view in Jemeluk Bay. We will then have a leisurely breakfast and maybe a swim before being transported the short distance to the boat, which will be waiting at anchor. After we board the vessel, we will have a chance to settle in before the captain gives the order for the anchor to be raised 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 Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist and entomologist who spent eight years in what is now known as the Indonesian Archipelago. 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 evening, as we cross the Wallace Line, Ray will introduce us to the world of this remarkable man, who also had an “inordinate fondness for beetles!” During his time here, Wallace collected over 126,000 specimens, many of which were unknown to scientists, and many of which were beetles. We’ll be meeting some of them during this adventure. In the afternoon, we will enjoy our first snorkel to the east of the Wallace Line, and in the evening, Ray will tell us about the different species of animals that have evolved either side of this invisible barrier. Species found only on the Asian side include tigers and rhinos, whilst marsupials and monotremes are only found on the eastern side of the Line. Such anomalies stretch to insects, and every island has its own endemic species that differ from those of their neighbours. It can reasonably be concluded that it was an ocean barrier that prevented the migration of species, as the physical aspects of the separate islands are very similar.

3

Day 3

We will wake off the beautiful white sands of Kanawa Island in West Sumbawa, where after breakfast we will snorkel, paddle board, swim and explore the island’s beaches, grasslands and corals. Here will discover the amazing underwater world and swim with beautiful tropical fish. Despite its small size, Kanawa holds some surprises. In 2018 Ray may just have discovered a new species of spider found only on this isolated paradise. After lunch on the boat we will set a course 10 miles further east to Bungin Island, home to a group of Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’, famous for living entirely off the sea in stilt houses above the water. This is the second largest Bajau settlement in the country, providing an amazing and rare opportunity to experience part of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition. Later in the afternoon we will set out for Moyo Island.

4

Day 4

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 refreshingly cool water. During this walk there will be more opportunities to spot bugs, butterflies and spiders. Geckos and Flying Lizards scurry along the branches high above our heads, occasionally gliding from tree to tree in the midday heat. Our next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre, which filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. 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. At certain times the island becomes awash with hundreds of the most beautiful butterflies of the region. Here, we can still find a natural phenomenon with its own unique species. The seas surrounding Satonda are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so we will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Island fauna has evolved independently and that of the enigmatic Satonda is no exception. The flying foxes that make Satonda their home differ from other island species. Unlike their smaller cave-dwelling cousins, these large fruit bats hang out in camps high above the rainforest floor, keeping cool by fanning themselves with their huge wings, which can measure up to 1.7 meters from tip to tip. Immediately after sunset, we can marvel at the sight of thousands of these flying foxes commuting from the island to feed on the mainland. The Katharina will then leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.

5

Day 5

We will wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 metres above sea level. After breakfast, we will go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes. Ray and Angela will lead us into the surrounding forests where we will discover many species of insects. The island has its own endemic species of harmless scorpion and who knows what we will find as we turn over rocks and witness a whole new world beneath our feet. We can then snorkel on both a nearby reef and a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, a most interesting sight. Later, we will cruise to the island of Banta and its pinkish-white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling and hill climbing for the fit. In the evening Ray will tell us about the giant lizards that inhabit the area and we will proceed overnight to Komodo dragon country.

6

Day 6

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 for an early morning ranger-led trek. Islands are natural laboratories where we can study evolution in situ. The fact that islands are isolated from the mainland by the sea makes their ecology present spectacular adaptations, sometimes resulting in giant or dwarf species in comparison with their mainland relatives. One of the most famous examples of island gigantism is the Komodo dragon where evolution – without apparent predators or competitors – has triggered the appearance of larger species. Similarly, insects with few predators can evolve to larger sizes whilst larger mammals with limited food resources begin to decrease in size. Within a savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, Komodo’s awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. Komodo is also home to many unique species of bird including the Wallacean Drongo and the Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. In addition to birds, deer and wild boar, we will see butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-figs and lontar palms. Endemic to the island are a number of Nephila species of the giant golden orb-weaving spider.  Their webs can measure two metres across but don’t panic these guys are friendly.  Later, we will swim and snorkel over one of Komodo’s rich reefs. 

7

Day 7

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. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and the giant swarms of honeybees that inhabit this beautiful place. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon we can go snorkelling off Siaba or Kelor, where both on the land and in the sea, we may be fortunate to identify yet more of the remarkable residents of this far flung paradise.  In the evening we will go ashore to an island where you can enjoy a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests. 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.

8

Day 8

Today’s early risers will have time for one last swim and snorkel before we cruise into Labuan Bajo Harbour. At about 9am, we will leave the boat for a trip to the 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 whilst 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 onward journey.

1

Day 1

After flying from Bali in the early afternoon, you will be transported to a beachside resort just outside of the port town of Labuan Bajo, the gateway to the Komodo National Park. You will have the afternoon free to relax and unwind with a swim or a snorkel, or even a walk around the town. It’s also an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkelling to have a lesson with our tour leader. In the evening, we can enjoy sunset drinks on the beach before dinner with our fellow guests as you get better acquainted for the voyage ahead. Here you will meet Ray and Angela, our on-board naturalists who will consult with you individually to personalise your needs and expectations.

2

Day 2

After breakfast at the resort, we will leave at about 9am for a trip to the 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 splendid Katharina at her mooring in the harbour. We will have plenty of time to settle in and get acquainted with the crew 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. Another highlight of our visit to Kelor 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. In the evening Ray will tell us about the giant lizards that inhabit the area and we will proceed overnight to Komodo dragon country.

3

Day 3

Today will begin with an early breakfast as we need to be ashore by 7am at the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island. Here, we will have a ranger-led nature trek in search of the fearsome 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 the giant swarms of honeybees that inhabit this beautiful place. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon we can go snorkelling off Siaba, where both on the land and in the sea, we may be fortunate to identify yet more of the remarkable residents of this far flung paradise. 

4

Day 4

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 for an early morning ranger-led trek. Islands are natural laboratories where we can study evolution in situ. The fact that islands are isolated from the mainland by the sea makes their ecology present spectacular adaptations, sometimes resulting in giant or dwarf species in comparison with their mainland relatives. One of the most famous examples of island gigantism is the Komodo dragon where evolution – without apparent predators or competitors – has triggered the appearance of larger species. Similarly, insects with few predators can evolve to larger sizes whilst larger mammals with limited food resources begin to decrease in size. Within a savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, Komodo’s awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. Komodo is also home to many unique species of bird including the Wallacean Drongo and the Lesser Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. In addition to birds, deer and wild boar, we will see butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-figs and lontar palms. Endemic to the island are a number of Nephila species of the giant golden orb-weaving spider. Their webs can measure two metres across but don’t panic these guys are friendly.  Later, we will swim and snorkel over one of Komodo’s rich reefs. 

5

Day 5

Our day begins off the coast of Banta Island, with its pinkish-white sand beach, for a morning of swimming, snorkelling and hill climbing for the fit. We will then proceed to Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 metres above sea level. We will go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes. Ray and Angela will lead us into the surrounding forests where we will discover many species of insects. The island has its own endemic species of harmless scorpion and who knows what we might find as we turn over rocks and witness a whole new world beneath our feet. We can then snorkel on both a nearby reef and at a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, a most interesting sight.

6

Day 6

This morning will find us off the coast of 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. 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. At certain times, the island becomes awash with hundreds of the most beautiful butterflies of the region. Here, we can still find a natural phenomenon with its own unique species. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so we will spend some time swimming and snorkelling off the beach. Later, we will move to Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, and 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. During this walk there will be more opportunities to spot bugs, butterflies and spiders. Geckos and Flying Lizards scurry along the branches high above our heads, occasionally gliding from tree to tree in the midday heat.

7

Day 7

Bungin Island is home to a group of Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’, famous for living entirely off the sea in stilt houses above the water. This is the second largest Bajau settlement in the country and it provides an amazing and rare opportunity to experience part of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition. After lunch on the boat we will set a course 10 miles further west to the beautiful white sands of Kanawa Island in West Sumbawa, where we will snorkel, paddle board, swim and explore the island’s beaches, grasslands and corals. Despite its small size, Kanawa holds some surprises. In 2018, Ray discovered a new species of spider found only on this isolated paradise.  Our day will finish on this island with a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests. 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. Overnight, the boat will cross the invisible Wallace Line en route to Bali.

8

Day 8

Waking up under the majestic gaze of Mt Agung, Bali’s mother mountain, we will go for a final snorkel and swim before heading south along the coast to our disembarkation point of Amuk Bay. Here we say farewell to our crew and join a bus for our trip back to to South Bali with a few stops along the way to see more of the unknown world with Ray and Angela as well as to experience some of Bali's amazing culture.