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Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes I & II

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/dances-dragons-and-magical-lakes-i-ii/58
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, 8-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. As always, there will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view ...

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes I & II

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/dances-dragons-and-magical-lakes-i-ii/68
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. As always, there will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view ...

Corals, Cultures & Dragons: North Sulawesi to Flores

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/corals-cultures-dragons-north-sulawesi-to-flores/75
This exciting voyage will take us along the eastern seaboard of Sulawesi, and across the Flores Sea to the Komodo National Park, where we will encounter the fearsome Komodo dragons in their natural island habitat. Cruising from the North Sulawesi city of Gorontalo and heading south to Labuan Bajo in Flores, we will explore the many islands and atolls of this spectacular region, with the opportunity to engage in a whole host of activities, which include visiting remote villages and ...

East Indies Exploration: Culture, Sea & Spice with Ian Burnet

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/east-indies-exploration-culture-sea-spice-with-ian-burnet/92
“…I would dream of the fabled Spice Islands. Images of palm-fringed tropical islands backed by towering volcanoes filled my imagination and I saw myself arriving on their sandy shores by sailing boat, like the explorers, adventurers, traders that had gone before me… My boat was a Bugis Phinisi…” (from ‘Spice Islands,’ 2011, by Ian Burnet). SeaTrek has teamed up with author and Spice Islands expert, Ian Burnet, to curate this fascinating look at the colonial history of Indonesia and its role ...

Spice Routes / Spice Wars with Jeffrey Mellefont

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/spice-routes-spice-wars-with-jeffrey-mellefont/93
The Moluccas – Maluku in Indonesian– are the original Spice Islands, and a magical destination, beautiful, remote and unspoiled, with a long, fascinating and turbulent history. For millennia these fertile volcanic isles, dotted about the Equator, were the world’s only source of the ‘holy trinity’ of rare spices; cloves, nutmeg and mace. Once worth their weight in gold, they were traded along the ancient monsoon sea routes that stretched from China to India, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, enriching ...

Wallace Trails & Sails I 2017 with Dr. Tony Whitten

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/wallace-trails-sails-i-2017-with-dr-tony-whitten/94
SeaTrek is pleased to once again offer this National Geographic award-winning ‘Tour of a Lifetime,’ in collaboration with Dr. Tony Whitten, former Regional Director Asia-Pacific for Fauna & Flora International. This exclusive SeaTrek itinerary honours Alfred Russel Wallace and the time he spent in what is now Indonesia, independently working on the theory of evolution. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait in the archipelago led to his proposing the faunal boundary line, now known as ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat/97
The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates ...

Wallace Trails and Sails III with Alexander Reeuwijk

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/wallace-trails-and-sails-iii-with-alexander-reeuwijk/98
This exciting cruise follows in the footsteps of British naturalist and explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait between the islands of Bali and Lombok, and Borneo and Sulawesi, led to his proposing the zoo-geographical boundary now known as The Wallace line. In 1858, Wallace conceived the theory of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin. It was published, along with a description of Darwin’s own theory, in the same year. In the ...

Spice Traders, Island Tramps and Sea Gypsies in Association with ASA

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/spice-traders-island-tramps-and-sea-gypsies-in-association-with-asa/100
This 12-day cruise takes in some of the most remote of the Indonesian archipelago’s 17,000 islands. A leisurely passage that transits the Maluku (Moluccan) islands from Ternate and the Sula Archipelago to Sulawesi, which is the island draped like an orchid across the equator. Our voyage over ancient monsoon sailing routes on a traditional wind ship puts us in touch with the true nature of this island nation, a maritime crossroads of sea-borne trade, migration and cultures. This story of ...

Orangutans And Dragons

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/orangutans-and-dragons/101
For this exciting 12-day adventure, Seatrek offers an exciting mix of a gentle river cruise on a traditional wooden riverboat through the forests of Kalimantan, Central Borneo, with a sea voyage on a traditional pinisi schooner through the turquoise waters of the Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands. Kalimantan’s meandering rivers remain the best way to travel through the hinterland of Borneo, with its wealth of ecological and cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforest jungle. Here, we will ...

Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands Pre-Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/tribal-weaving-of-the-lesser-sunda-islands-precruise/102
There are many “must see” weaving highlights in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia but not all of them are accessible by boat. We therefore want to offer our guests a three-day pre-cruise option to visit these villages overland, see an interesting Lio weaving cooperative close to the city of Ende, and visit a traditional mountain village. Why not get into the swing of our Textile Cruise early, by joining us to explore a beautiful part of the rugged Ende ...

Tribal Weaving of the Lesser Sunda Islands with David & Sue Richardson

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/tribal-weaving-of-the-lesser-sunda-islands-with-david-sue-richardson/103
The diverse Lesser Sunda Islands, stretching eastwards from Bali, offer the most amazing landscapes and a glorious cornucopia of weaving for textile lovers. Here women not only continue to make their traditional cloth on back-tension looms but continue to wear it as well. There is kaleidoscopic variety of patterns and designs – every region of every island has its own unique textile culture, its own style of dress, and its own motifs. Together we will explore the extraordinary ancestral traditions ...

Seabirds, Cetaceans and Spices

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/seabirds-cetaceans-and-spices/104
From the Komodo dragons of Rinca and the marine life of the Wakatobi National Park, to the seabird colonies of the Banda Sea and the nutmeg forests of the Banda Islands, this exceptional 12-day cruise with Gert de Jong will introduce you to abundant wildlife above and below the water, masses of seabirds, remote island cultures and the illustrious history of the spice trade as we voyage through the the islands and seas of the Coral Triangle, home to some of ...

Papua's Whale Sharks & Birds of Paradise I & II

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/papua's-whale-sharks-birds-of-paradise-i-ii/106
This exciting expert-led cruise follows in the footsteps of British naturalist and explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait between the islands of Bali and Lombok, and Borneo and Sulawesi, led to his proposing the zoo-geographical boundary now known as The Wallace line. In 1858, Wallace conceived the theory of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin. It was published, along with a description of Darwin’s own theory, in the same year. We ...

Raja Ampat Action and Adventure

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/raja-ampat-action-and-adventure/110
The Raja Ampat archipelago has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ Marine biologists have established that Raja Ampat is the epicenter of marine biodiversity, boasting the most variety of corals and marine fishes on the planet. Yet, while the below-surface world is reminiscent of a living kaleidoscope, the above-surface views are amongst the most stunning that you are likely to behold in a lifetime. These gem-like islands of extreme limestone coastlines, virgin rainforest and pristine beaches are a ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat/111
One of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, with views among the most stunning that you are likely to behold in a lifetime, the Raja Ampat archipelago is a region characterised by rugged and steep limestone coastlines covered with virgin rainforest extending right down to the water’s edge. Many of the fish, corals and crustaceans that live in these waters are found nowhere else on Earth. During this cruise, we will take you on a far-reaching exploration of ...

Kingdoms of Coral, Karst and Cloves in association with ASA

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/kingdoms-of-coral-karst-and-cloves-in-association-with-asa/112
This special cruise in association with ASA and led by Jeffrey Mellefont will take guests on a journey of wonder through some of the greatest marine landscapes on the planet - from Raja Ampat to the Spice Islands. The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat Christmas & New Year Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat-christmas-new-year-cruise/228
The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates ...

The Beautiful Birdlife of Togian

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/the-beautiful-birdlife-of-togian/234
This eight-day cruise from Gorantalo in North Sulawesi to the Togian (Togean) Islands and back, provides a fantastic opportunity for bird-watching in this extraordinarily beautiful and remote part of Indonesia. The Togian Islands are a picturesque archipelago of 56 islands and inlets, located in the Tomini Bay. Formed by volcanic activity, the islands are covered by lush rainforest and surrounded by ancient coral reef formations. Both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems teem with exotic wildlife – much of which is ...

Wonderful Komodo Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/wonderful-komodo-cruise/235
This six-day inclusive voyage of discovery on our 12-passenger boat, Katharina, provides a wonderful opportunity to experience what the Komodo Islands have to offer both on land and in the sea. The natural beauty of these islands and the surrounding waters will unfold before you, from the highest ridges of Rinca Island to the minutest details within the colourful coral reefs. Our focused tour of the small group of islands and atolls around Komodo includes a ranger-led trek through the ...

In Search of Wallace and His Living Treasures with Dr. George Beccaloni

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/in-search-of-wallace-and-his-living-treasures-with-dr-george-beccaloni/272
How I wished that I had the brain of a Russel Wallace and could read more clearly the illuminated page of Nature.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle This unforgettable cruise will travel to remote exotic Indonesian islands in the wake of the legendary Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection and author of the most famous travelogue about the region, The Malay Archipelago. Like Wallace, we will go in search of the stunningly beautiful Birds of Paradise, which he regarded as ...

Wallace Trails & Sails I with Dr. Tony Whitten

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/wallace-trails-sails-i-with-dr-tony-whitten/326
SeaTrek is pleased to once again offer this National Geographic award-winning ‘Tour of a Lifetime,’ in collaboration with Dr. Tony Whitten, former Regional Director Asia-Pacific for Fauna & Flora International. This exclusive SeaTrek itinerary honours Alfred Russel Wallace and the time he spent in what is now Indonesia, independently working on the theory of evolution. Wallace’s observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait in the archipelago led to his proposing the faunal boundary line, now known as ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat Christmas Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat-christmas-cruise/363
The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat New Year Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat-new-year-cruise/364
The Raja Ampat archipelago lies to the west of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, straddling the equator off the extreme northwestern tip of the Papua province of Indonesia. Comprising 610 – 1,500 islands (depending on the accepted distinction between an island and a rocky outcrop), the region has been described as the ‘Last Paradise on Earth.’ The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and dates back to the time when the islands were ruled by the North Moluccan sultanates ...

The Scents of the Spice Islands I & II

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/the-scents-of-the-spice-islands-i-ii/365
The Moluccas are the original Spice Islands; a magical destination, beautiful, remote and unspoiled, with a long, fascinating and turbulent history. For millennia these fertile volcanic isles were the world’s only source of the ‘holy trinity’ of rare spices; cloves, nutmeg and mace, which were once worth their weight in gold. Be transported back in time on our expert-led cruise as we wend our way through dramatic volcanic islands interspersed with stops at pristine white-sand beaches. Relish the opportunity to ...

Breathe, Balance & Bliss: an Exhilarating Yoga Adventure to Bali, Komodo & Beyond

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/breathe-balance-bliss-an-exhilarating-yoga-adventure-to-bali-komodo-beyond/403
Join international yogis, Lindsay Gonzalez and Melody Massey, as they lead you on a journey of discovery through yoga, meditation and more, for eight days cruising from Bali to Komodo National Park.  Quench your wanderlust and inspire your innermost self on our beautiful ‘pinisi’ schooner, with delicious meals, the best of company, glorious nature, and daily yoga and mindfulness practices. This is an all-levels yoga and travel experience geared towards anyone who wants to take their yoga practice out of the studio and ...

The Avian World of East Sulawesi

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/the-avian-world-of-east-sulawesi/447
Indonesia has more endemic birds than any other country, most of which can be found in the biogeographical region of Wallacea, which was named after the great naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace. Whether you are a mere nestling who is new to bird watching, a fully-fledged birder, or a seasoned twitcher, this expert-led, ten-day ornithological voyage through the remote, rainforest-clad islands and nature reserves of East Sulawesi presents a fantastic opportunity to add some significant numbers to your lifelists. Birding ...

Beautiful Birds, Bays, and the Underwater World

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/beautiful-birds-bays-and-the-underwater-world/452
In the company of our guest expert, Kees Groeneboer, this special 10-day cruise will explore parts of the famous Raja Ampat region as well as the coastal area of the mainland of West Papua as far as Kaimana. The jungles of Papua are home to endemic and rare animals, while the spectacular region of Raja Ampat is one of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, where the below-surface world is reminiscent of a living kaleidoscope and the above-surface ...

Jewels of Raja Ampat with Dr. Tony Whitten

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/jewels-of-raja-ampat-with-dr-tony-whitten/466
During this ten-day cruise with Dr. Tony Whitten, former Regional Director Asia-Pacific for Fauna & Flora International (FFI), we will take you on a far-reaching exploration of what is without a doubt one of the least visited but most memorable adventure-destinations on our planet. You do not need to be a diver to be able to experience this global epicentre of marine diversity. Nor do you need to be a seasoned birdwatcher to see and appreciate the dazzling birdlife that ...

Life Force Yoga & Wellness Cruise

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/detail/life-force-yoga-wellness-cruise/494
Join Life Force and international yogis, Lindsay Gonzalez and Melody Massey, as they lead you on a journey of discovery through yoga, meditation, and more for eight days cruising from Flores to Komodo National Park and Bali. Quench your wanderlust and inspire your innermost self on a beautiful ‘pinisi’ schooner, with delicious meals, delightful company, captivating nature, and daily yoga and mindfulness practices. Surrounded by the enchanting turquoise waters of the Komodo National Park, we will engage your inner explorer through ...

Alexander Reeuwijk

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Alexander Reeuwijk is an expert in the field of the history of evolutionary theory, together with Redmon O’Hanlon’s he wrote the book “Darwin, Wallace and others’ in which the contributions of Darwin and Wallace on evolution are compared. Alexander has traveled extensively through the ‘interior’ of Indonesia, He visited Sumatra, Sulawesi the Moluccas and spend one month in Aru where he studied the Greater Bird of

Ian Burnet

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Australian author Ian Burnet has spent 30 years living, working and travelling in Indonesia, and is fascinated by the diverse history and cultures of the archipelago. His first book, ‘Spice Islands,’ tells the 2000-year-history of the spice trade from the Moluccas of Eastern Indonesia through China, India and the Middle East until the spices reached Europe. It was the lure of the fabled Spice Islands and exotic spices such as clove and nutmeg that drove ‘The Age of Discovery’ and

Dr. Tony Whitten

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Dr. Tony Whitten was trained as a wildlife biologist and since late 2010 he is the former Regional Director for Asia-Pacific at Fauna & Flora International, the world’s oldest international conservation organization. The subject of his PhD at Cambridge University was on the endangered gibbon on a remote and primitive island west of Sumatra in the mid 1970s. After this Tony worked at the University of North Sumatra where he initiated production of a major and innovative series of books

Gert De Jong

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
In 1990, Gert de Jong lived in the Moluccas for six months as a student in marine biology studying dugongs and seagrass. He fell in love with the oceanic islands of eastern Indonesia and its people. He then worked as an ecology consultant in studies on marine mammals, and as a teacher of biology in Amsterdam. In 2008, he started a conservation project for the seabirds that were breeding on remote Indonesian islands. For pan-tropical seabirds, such as frigate birds,

Jeffrey Mellefont

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Jeffrey Mellefont is a research associate of the Australian National Maritime Museum, where he had a long career as a publisher and editor. Formerly a blue-water mariner, celestial navigator and skipper, Jeffrey became a specialist marine writer and photographer and has made a lifetime study of the fascinating maritime world of Asia and in particular of Indonesia. He has published extensively on these subjects in both popular and academic journals. Jeffrey has been visiting Indonesia since 1975 when he was

David and Sue Richardson

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
David and Sue are passionate researchers and collectors of Asian textiles and since first visiting Indonesia in 1980, David and Sue have systematically visited every part of the archipelago, both overland and by sea using a variety of local vessels. Over the years David and Sue have assembled one of the finest and most comprehensive private collections of Indonesian and other Asian textiles, many of museum quality. They are members of the Textile Society of America as well as the

Dr. George Beccaloni

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Dr George Beccaloni is an zoologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science, who worked at London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) for more than 20 years on butterflies and other insects. He enjoys natural history photography and travel, and has visited Indonesia five times, twice as a speaker on tours. George has studied Wallace’s life and work for c. 16 years and is the founder and Director of the Wallace Correspondence Project. In 1999 he set up the Wallace Memorial Fund,

Dr. Kees Groeneboer

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
A linguist, historian and 30-year resident of Jakarta, Dr. Kees Groeneboer is passionate about the spectacular birdlife of his adopted homeland. He has travelled extensively though Indonesia’s eastern isles on countless missions to see, hear, and identify as many as possible of these graceful, colourful and often-endangered denizens of the forests and the cliffs. He often shares his enthusiasm with others by leading specialist bird-watching cruises aboard the Katharina during which he embellishes his bird expertise with his in-depth knowledge

Melody Massey

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Melody is a certified Hatha yoga instructor, singer, writer and world traveller. While living in India, her casual yoga practice became a passion that inspired her to become a yoga teacher. Her classes range from gentle yoga and Vinyasa to Bhakti yoga, a heart-opening practice weaving storytelling with mantras, music and asana. Melody teaches private, group, and virtual yoga classes, hosts yoga retreats and workshops, and offers live music for yoga classes. She is lead singer of Oneness, a mantra

Lindsay Gonzalez

https://seatrekbali.com/cruises/meet-the-expert/
Lindsay is an international yoga teacher (ERYT-500) in search of adventures on and off the mat. She is known for her keen understanding of breath work practices, body alignment, sense of humour, and ability to empower her students to live fully! With over a decade of experience in her field, she leads 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats throughout the world. Lindsay is a writer of continuing education programs for yoga teachers and is releasing her first book

The Manhattan Transfer and the Rhunhattan Tearoom

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This year on 31 July 2017 we will record the 350 year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Breda in 1667 which ended the second Anglo-Dutch war. In one of the clauses in this document the Dutch exchanged the island of Manhattan for the nutmeg growing island of Rhun in what was to become the Dutch East Indies and therefore gained a complete monopoly over the nutmeg trade. The nutmeg fruit showing the nut with its bright red outer

NUTMEG: FACTS & TRIVIA

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In the sixteenth century it was worth its weight in gold. The early history of Southeast Asia was driven and moulded by the Arab, Chinese, Malay and European adventurers who sailed in search of the fabulous wealth that it offered. The exotic nutmeg – or Pala as it is known in Indonesia – has a very rich heritage.  Read on for some fascinating facts: Nutmeg is indigenous to the volcanic soils of the Indonesian Banda Islands, and in the 15th and 16th

The Dutch Church in Banda Neira

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The church in Banda Neira was established in the 1600s to serve the residents of the Dutch colonial occupation of the remote Banda Islands. Behind the building can be seen the summit of the volcano named Gunung Api ,or Fire Mountain. The original wooden church was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt in 1852 in this neo-classical style. With its solid Doric columns, white plaster and sturdy brickwork, it is a good example of a provincial Dutch-era church and is now 

THE BIRTH OF FRANKENSTEIN FROM THE BELLY OF A VOLCANO

https://seatrekbali.com/blogs-awards/detail/the-birth-of-frankenstein-from-the-belly-of-a-volcano
Just over two hundred years ago, a little-known mountain on a relatively obscure Indonesian island became the epicentre of the ‘mother’ of all volcanic eruptions. It was the most powerful eruption in recorded history; more ferocious than Krakatoa with its 18-metre tidal wave, and more violent than Vesuvius, which buried alive the city of Pompeii.  Mt Tambora, located 200 nautical miles east of Bali on the island of Sumbawa, was once the highest mountain in Asia, but in April 2015,

Best Tour in Asia in 2013

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National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s 2013 – Tours of a

Ten Tales Of Ternate & Tidore

https://seatrekbali.com/blogs-awards/detail/ten-tales-of-ternate-tidore
Several of SeaTrek’s cruises – Wallace Trails & Sails; Spice Routes/Spice Wars; Raja Ampat Adventure Cruise; Spice Traders to Bugis Shipbuilders – commence or conclude at the clove-perfumed island of Ternate. Ternate and neighbouring Tidore are ancient Islamic sultanates. They were once the world’s only source of cloves, through which their rulers became among the wealthiest and most powerful sultans in the region. Much of their wealth, however, was wasted on fighting each other. Ternate’s volcano, Gunung Gamalama, erupts with unsettling regularity.

The Life-Giving Lontar Palm

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The lontar fan palm can be seen all over Indonesia, yet many of us are unfamiliar with it, mistaking it, perhaps, for the coconut palm. Its versatility is extraordinary. Its trunk, which can grow to 30 metres in height and to a thickness of about 90 cm is hewn for beams and posts; its branches are cut for walls and fences; and its broad leaves are woven into baskets, birdcages, water vessels, fans, hats – including some that have been

Subak – The Cultural Landscape of Bali

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Bali is renowned for the beauty of its sculpted rice terraces. These vibrant green plantings and layered mirrors unfold like giant stairways from the mountains to the sea. Known as ‘sawah’, the padi fields of Bali are a thousand years old, and achieved through an ancient system of aquatic engineering. Irrigation is critical to Balinese wet-rice agriculture because of the long dry season that extends from April to October, while the substance of rural life is dependent on the accuracy of

Pearl Culture

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The magic secret of the pearl is a mystery of origins. Believed to reflect the soul of an oyster, a natural pearl is an accident of nature, formed when an irritant – such as a parasite or a piece of debris – causes the mollusc to secrete a fluid that coats the invader. This irritant forms the nucleus of the pearl, then layer upon layer of the coating, known ‘nacre’, is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is

Birds Of Paradise

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“Birds of paradise glisten like seldom glimpsed denizens of an Asiatic harem, who are clad in gold of many hues and dipped in the purple of dawn.”––Thomas Forrest, The Breadtree Fruit, 1784. No other bird family is as beautiful or as rich in diversity of plumage and courtship behaviour as the flamboyant birds of paradise, of which there are 39 species, ranging from the size of a starling to the size of a crow, with certain types sporting tails of up

Sari Temple in Central Java

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One of the many highlights of our recent ‘Journey Across Java’ was a visit to the Candi Sari temple near Prambanan. It is quite unusual for Javanese temples as it also provided accomodation for the Buddhist monks and served as a monastery. The Sari temple entrance faces east, above the entrance is a kala head and below is a stone carving of a man riding an elephant.Historians believe the temple might have served as accomodation for those priests serving in

THE MYSTERIOUS CAVES OF TOMOLOL

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The spectacular destination of Raja Ampat features karst topography, with limestone and small karst islets so undercut by waves that they look like mushrooms, covered with rich green jungle to create an extraordinary landscape of rock islands. With all this limestone around, it is not surprising that erosion has also created a labyrinth of fascinating caves and narrow passages to explore, the most famous of which is the mysterious cave system of Tomolol on the east coast of Misool Island,

WHALE SHARKS – THE GENTLE GIANTS

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Whale sharks are the largest living fish species, and swimming alongside these magnificent creatures is one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences. Although they resemble the whales from which their common name is derived, they are not whales but sharks. They belong to the group called Chondryichtyes, which includes sharks, rays, and skates. The enormous whale shark can grow up to 12 metres in length and weigh up to 20 metric tonnes, which is about the size of a small bus,

In Search Of The Five Holy Springs

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It used to be called the “Lost Coast”, a string of fishing villages, collectively known as Amed – the start-point and finish-point for Seatrek’s Komodo cruises – on Bali’s eastern tip. Hugging a dramatic coastline of steep headlands, coves and coral reefs, Amed is a wonderful destination for those who wish to escape. We had heard a story about Toye Masem – five sacred springs, all within close proximity of each other, with each one purported to spout a different taste.

Manuk Island – A Bird Sanctuary in the remote Banda Sea

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By Ian Burnet The last stop on our East Indies Spice Exploration Voyage 2016, before reaching the Banda Islands, is the tiny island of Manuk which is just the tip of a volcano which pokes itself above the Banda Sea. The Ombak Putih approaches Manuk Island Manuk is an andesitic volcanic island that rises 3000 meters from floor of the Banda Sea at the easternmost part of the Indonesian island arc. Because of its steep cliffs and rocky coast it is almost impossible

Spice Islands eclipse: Astronomy, celestial navigation and spice-trade history

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ANMM research associate Jeffrey Mellefont leads a voyage on board a traditional Indonesian sailing ship, to view a total eclipse of the sun in the historic spice islands. In March this year a total eclipse of the sun tracked across the Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra in the west to the remote, eastern group of islands called the Moluccas. It was some three hundred years since a total solar eclipse had taken the same track through these historic islands of spice. At the

A Day at the Races

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The rough narrow racetrack through the rice fields was lined with thousands of people; illegal betting was rife, and I had just escaped being trampled to death by a pair of magnificently decorated bull buffaloes. We were at Negara in West Bali, watching the famous buffalo races. The sport, believed to have originated as a simple ploughing contest, is staged every year between July and November. Despite my near-death experience at the side of the track, the non-existent safety measures, the

Tenganan Village

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Hidden in the hills, 5km from Candidasa in East Bali, is a remarkable 700-year-old walled village called Tenganan, where the residents practice a time-honoured lifestyle based around ritual and ceremony. Tenganan is one of Bali’s original pre-Hindu settlements and a stronghold of native traditions. The villagers are the Bali Aga people, descendants of the aboriginal Balinese who resisted the rule of the post-Majapahit kings, fiercely safeguarding and maintaining their own culture through the conviction that they are descended from the

The Prettiest Flight

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If you’re lucky enough to be flying from Bali to Labuan Bajo for the start of SeaTrek’s ‘Dances, Dragons & Magical Lakes’ cruise, make sure you get a window seat and don’t even think about reading a book. Instead, sit back and relish one of the world’s prettiest flights. If it’s a clear day you’re in for a treat, and – if you’re on the left-hand side of the plane – you’ll see a string of volcanoes, beginning with Mt

In A Nutshell

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Visit the fabled Banda Islands on any one of SeaTrek’s spice cruises and at some point you will find yourself wandering through the beautiful and bountiful nutmeg forests, each one a vast orchard tucked beneath a towering old-growth canopy. The nutmeg tree is sun-sensitive and therefore cultivated under the cover of the soaring kenari trees, which can reach up to 50 metres in height. Many of them are more than 300 years old with buttressed roots that grow out from

Komodo’s Cockatoos

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When you’re visiting Komodo, make sure you’re not so busy looking for dragons that you miss out on observing some of the beautiful birdlife. A notable white-feathered resident of Komodo Island is the yellow-crested cockatoo (cacatua sulphurea) also known as the lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo and not to be confused with its larger Australian cousin. The parrots’ namesake, Sulphurea Hill, with its spectacular outlook over Loh Liang Bay, is a great place for spotting them, and if you don’t see them

Swimming with Giant Manta Rays

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One of the highlights of a SeaTrek Komodo trip is the opportunity to snorkel with giant manta rays at Karang Makassar or Manta Point, which despite – and because of – the strong currents, is one of the most interesting places in the Komodo National Park. Manta Point is a cleaning station, a specific location where manta rays come to get cleaned by parasitic copepods and a variety of small cleaner wrasse species that pick parasites from the mantas’ hovering

Flying Foxes

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At Satonda Island, off the north coast off Sumbawa, we witnessed an arcane sunset mission as hundreds of thousands of flying foxes emerged in a steady throng from the forest, reminiscent of a fleet of enemy aircraft intent on avoiding radar detection. 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 m from tip to tip.

Pulau Kumba is Erupting!

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Kumba Island lies in the Banda Sea of Eastern Indonesia and north of the island of Lembata. The island must be sitting over a hot spot in the earth’s mantle as it seems to have been active over many years. The sailing ship Vega stopped at Pulau Kumba in 2015 and its captain Shane Granger took these beautiful photographs of the island and its active volcano. And the amazing donut like cloud formation surrounding the eruption And how about this night image

Maritime tourism helps keep Indonesian traditions alive

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In December 2015 I joined a mixed group of American, European, Australian and New Zealand guests on this handsome motor-sailer, during a 12-day voyage through some of the most historic – and most remote – islands of our vast, archipelagic neighbour, the Republic of Indonesia. My role was to deliver nightly lectures about the maritime history, cultures and traditions of the islands we were sailing through. It’s a truly extraordinary maritime world of 17,000 islands, and one in which the

Beware Of The Boogeyman, He’ll Catch You If He Can

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Ever wondered about the origin of the term ‘boogeyman’ – that shapeless mythical monster, which jumps out of the wardrobe at night to frighten little children? In many cultures, the allusion to the boogeyman is used by parents to frighten their children into good behaviour, but in Indonesia, the boogeyman or “Bugis” man is real. The Bugis are the master shipbuilders and seafarers of South Sulawesi. Their exceptionally strong pinisi schooners – upon which the design of the Ombak Putih and

Komodo Dragon Trivia

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Komodo dragons, called ‘ora’ or ‘land crocodile’ by the locals, are the world’s largest living lizards. They can grow up to 3m long and weigh up to 100kg. Although the komodo can run briefly at speeds up to 20 kilometres per hour, its hunting strategy is based on stealth and power. A komodo ‘smells’ by collecting air with its forked tongue and then depositing it on receptors on the roof of its mouth. Using this method, it can detect a dead animal

The Funeral of a King

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Guests on our Textile Tour get to meet many Indonesian people wearing fabulous local costumes and ask us if this is what they wear every day. The answer is no – just like us they keep their best costume for special occasions for ceremonies. Fortunately for our guests, our visits during the Textile Tour count as a special occasion. The importance of textiles for ceremonial occasions was drummed into us on our latest visit to the island of Sumba. During our

Indonesia’s Living Dinosaurs – Rachel Lovelock

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On Komodo Island, our guide, armed with a forked stick, led us inland through the hot and dry monsoon forest surrounded by open savannah grasslands. Timor deer and wild boar darted nervously through the prickly palms; prey to the dragons that have no enemies apart from their own kind. The reason why these primeval apex predators have survived unmolested for so long is attributed to the fact that the treacherous whirlpools and rip currents in the seas around Komodo and

Balinese Feasts and Travel Tales Aboard The Katharina

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I was recently a lucky guest on board The Katharina on Seatrek’s ‘2015 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival’ (UWRF) cruise. The UWRF cruise is an annual event, which started in 2014, for which a writer (or two) attending the festival is invited to join and contribute with some literary input, storytelling and thought-provoking conversation. For this cruise, Tony Wheeler – co-founder of Lonely Planet, and Janet De Neefe – Founder and Director of UWRF, restaurateur, and owner of Casa Luna Cooking

Bali’s Secret Fleet: A Glittering Armada

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These could be the world’s most spectacular traditional fishing craft, but their home port is a remote estuary on the Indonesian island of Bali that few visitors ever see. SeaTrek expert lecturer, Jeffrey Mellefont, unveils a boatbuilding tradition steeped in ritual, religion and magic. Article reproduced with permission of the Australian National Maritime Museum, from its quarterly journal Signals (No. 110 March 2015). View

ANMM Chairman visits key maritime history sites in Indonesia

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Candi Borobodur, the great 8th-century Buddhist stupa in central Java, is rightly considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. With its backdrop the spectacular, active volcano Gunung Merapi, Borobodur is an hour and half drive from Yogyakarta where the ANMM exhibition Black Armada has just opened. (see curator Dr Stephen Gapps’ recent blogs about setting up and opening the exhibition). When chairman of the ANMM Council, Peter Dexter AM, arrived in Yogyakarta after an intense schedule of meetings in

Video: Whale Hunters in Lamalera

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This is Lamalera, a village of 2,000 people and one of the last communities to hunt sperm whales in the traditional way, with harpoons and ropes. Once a year, when whales migrate past their shores, they head out in their small outrigger boats to try to catch a few to sustain the people throughout the year. SeaTrek recently organised a recreation of the ‘leap’ for guests on the Ombak Putih, when one of their experienced hunters launches what he hopes

The Fabulous Flying Fox

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By Jennifer Hayes The sky rapidly changes to glowing golden hues and the sun sets on yet another incredible day at sea. You sit back on the top deck with your drink in hand and imagine that it just can’t get any better than this. Sure enough, it can and it does. Gazing towards the horizon you see fluttering activity, and soon enough that blazing sky is filled with graceful creatures taking wing. You can’t believe your eyes! It’s a sky

A Magical Wishing Lake – Rachel Lovelock

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In April 2015, almost exactly 200 years to the day since Tambora had erupted and caused the tsunami that had filled Satonda’s crater with seawater. I was standing at the side of the lake, and I had a dilemma. In 2000, I had visited the lake for the first time. I had made a wish and it had come true. It was the type of wish that doesn’t come true immediately – along the lines of “I wish I could

Island to Island – Textile Tour in Eastern Indonesia

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by Catherine Mortensen How does a journey begin? I know how my early travels in Turkey evolved but in this case this journey began not with a single step but instead with a book. How in fact does a book on Qaraqalpaq textiles of western Uzbekistan lead to a journey in Indonesia? I met David and Sue Richardson initially through their extensively researched publication on Central Asian textiles – Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta. As we connected on social media I

Festive Recipe : Tomato Sambal

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Festive Recipe Longtime Bali resident, Janet de Neefe, founder of the UWRF, writer, owner of Casa Luna Cooking School and two restaurants in Ubud delights us with a hot recipe, a traditional favorite of Indonesia, Sambal !We hope this spices up your season festivities! Sambal tomat / Tomato sambal If you only make one dish from this cookbook, let this be the one! Tomato sambal can be used to accompany a thousand dishes from Indonesia to the Mediterranean. Try it with eggs in any shape or

Raja Ampat: Heaven on Earth

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Small groups of uninhabited islands  rise abruptly from the sea to form a spectacular panorama of rugged karst cliffs that tower over tiny mushroom-shaped rocks dappled along crystal blue waters.  The wild jungle vegetation that clings to the rocks provides a stark contrast with the powdery white beaches sprinkled nestled in secluded coves.  This is Raja Ampat, an archipelago comprised of over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals located in the Indonesia’s far eastern waters of Papua.  This marine wonderland has long cast its  spell

‘Wallace Trails and Sails’: Well, I Don’t Know About Anyone Else, but I Certainly Had Fun!

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‘Wallace Trails and Sails’: Well, I Don’t Know About Anyone Else, but I Certainly Had Fun! Dr Tony Whitten, Seatrek ‘Wallace Expert’ and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific, Fauna & Flora International This year’s ‘Wallace Trails and Sails’ cruise has just ended. As ever, it was sad to say goodbye to everyone in Sorong – it’s amazing how close you can get to fellow passengers during an 11-day cruise which just throws random people together. This year’s cruise had many of the elements of

Intrepid Tank-less Travels into the Heart of the Coral Triangle: Snorkeling the Reefs Raja Ampat

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A marine area often described as ” The Amazon of the Seas.”  the Coral Triangle is a geographical term used to describe the waters stretching from Borneo to the Philippines and East to the Solomon Islands. This is the center of the world’s marine biodiversity and the Indonesian Archipelago makes up the lion’s share.  If this is the grand stage where the coral and fish of the world come to play, then it is certainly Raja Ampat that steals the

Tales from the Trip – A Journal of Adventures at Sea

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So you’ve done your research online, combed through the trip itinerary, or even scoured the sea charts like a modern-day Magellan off to discover the world, but what’s it really going to be like on a Sea Trek Sailing Adventure?  What can you expect from your travel through the islands of Indonesia on this “trip of a lifetime?” Its hard to say what one of our adventures will really be like, as each trip is unique in its own right.  For example, I

Live-Aboard Life

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Come seniors, come juniors, come honeymooners!   Whether it’s cruisin’, boozin, or just plain snoozin, there are plenty of ways to spend your time between activities onboard a Sea Trek Cruise.  All that snorkeling, trekking, village visits and beach time can leave you longing for the comforts of the ship.  Some follow a strict holiday regimen onboard… wine, dine and recline.  Others find time to navigate, contemplate, levitate or celebrate!  Whatever it is that floats your boat, The Ombak Putih and

Sumba Heart and Soul

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Still clinging tightly to its animist traditions, Sumba Island is a destination seductive to the soul.  Here are a just a few reasons why we find Sumba such a sensational destination. SUMBA- WHERE ANCIENT TRADITIONS RUN DEEP Hanging precariously off of the Nusa Tenggara Archipelago like a delicate pendent on a chain,  Sumba is a gem of an island whose remote obscurity seems to have allowed it to escape the very passage of time. With its rugged rolling savannah and low limestone

Sea Trek and Friends Honor Alfred Russel Wallace in His Ternate Home

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IN THE WAKE OF WALLACE Anchored at the foot of Mount Gamalama Volcano on the island of Tenate, the Sea Trek fleet made preparations to celebrate the evening of November 7th,  the day that  marked 100 years since the death of Alfred Russel Wallace.  Sea Trek,  government officials, members of the royal family, and passengers on the  upcoming“In the Wake of Wallace” cruises gathered for  the centenary celebrations to commemorate f the life and work of this most incredible man. Thanks to the generosity of

Sea Trek from the Sky

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There’s nothing to put things into a new perspective like taking to the air. On a recent flight from Bali to Labuhan Bajo, Flores, I was lucky enough to have both good weather and a window seat to shoot a fun ariel series. For those of you who have joined our Bali – Flores Itineraries, take a look and see if you can recognize any of the spots on our trip. If you have yet to experience this itinerary… just

The Garden of Good and Evil – Indonesia’s Fabled Spice Islands

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PARADISE LOST Imagine if you will, a tropical Paradise: a miniscule string of emerald green islands immersed in an aquamine equatorial waters, far from the cares of outside world. The shorelines of these lush island gems playfully alternate between dense jungle, volcanic lavaflow, dramatic cliffs, and white dreamy beaches. The warm equatorial sun, and rich volcanic nutrients have all magically combined to create pristine and colorful sub-aqua wonderland In fact, the water is so clear that one can see the brilliant

A Song of Fire and Spice

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“Please pass the pepper.”  It’s a common request we might hear anytime we sit down for a meal.  As with most of the everyday items we find in our spice cabinet, most of us take their aquisition and use for granted. However, the next time you add a dash of cinnamon to your muffin mix, sprinkle nutmeg over your holiday eggnog, or indulge in a scoop of vanilla ice cream, pause to consider that that it was a taste for

Fun, Frightening Facts about the World’s Largest Lizard, The Komodo Dragon

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A Wonder of Nature One of the  New Seven Wonders of Nature, Komodo National Park is both famous for its spectacular marine life and for it’s unique population of giant lizards that roam the savannas whose appearance and aggressive behavior have led them to be called ‘Komodo dragons’.  These fascinating creatures exist nowhere else in the world other than in captivity, and are of great interest to biologists, scientists, and nature enthusiasts alike. Though the dragons are world renowned, most people don’t

Here Be Dragons – Introducing Komodo National Park

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In a time when the shape of the world and its boundaries were shrouded in mystery, ancient mariners and map-makers would scrawl the warning “Here be dragons.”  along the borders of their parchment charts.  The indication of giant lizards and sea serpents was intended to serve as a warning for fellow explorers, suggesting that what lay in the unexplored regions of the earth was as terrifying as it was enticing. For some maritime adventurers the presence of dragons did not serve as a

Dive into 2013 with Sea Trek

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SELAMAT TAHUN BARU or HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our Sea Trek friends and family!  Our trusty fleet and crew are now enjoying some well-earned rest in Bali after their safe return from Indonesia’s remotest islands. While the Ombak Putih and Katharina receive some TLC in drydock, the Sea Trek team is busy on the ground preparing for the upcoming 2013 season.  The office is abuzz with excitement as we discuss this year’s intrepid  itineraries.  Along with our varied selection

The Sea Trek Smiles Project

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Moments of beauty are everywhere.  It is the job of a photographer to capture those moments in a way that speaks the moment to others. I was trained as a painter, but  I turned to photography to fufill my artistic need while on the road.  Although the technical aspects of the camera still allude me, photography has become one of my main motivations to travel. I have traveled in many places where people won’t pose for your camera before crossing their

Home of the Bugis Boat Builders – Wera, Sumbawa

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With its long, elegant bow, towering twin masts, streamlined wooden hull and seven billowing sails, the traditional Indonesian sailing ship known as a pinisi evokes a bygone era. SeaTrek’s vessels Ombak Putih and Katarina are built in the pinisi style. Built by hand in the traditional manner, they continue the living spirit of majestic sailing ships from the golden age of sail, which ended in the West in the early twentieth century, but thrived until recently in the waters of

Water World – Indonesia’s Beautiful Boats

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Welcome to the watery world of Indonesia, a diverse island nation comprised of a myriad of cultures, ethnicities and eco systems, where just a short voyage across the water can transport a traveler into an entirely new world. Although geographically separating one island from the next, these waters that divide the land also unite the country, for it is Indonesian’s relationship with sea that binds these vastly different islands and its people together. The name Indonesia is coined from a combination of Latin and Greek, meaning

Spinning the Earth – The Ceramic Craftsmenship of Masbagik

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It is often our journeys on land that stoke our passion to explore the seas, and perhaps no other stop on Sea Trek’s island-hoping itineraries provides a more striking difference to the open ocean and salty air than a visit to the village of Masbagik, a community that has mastered the art of working with fire and earth. Although Eastern Lombok has always been a very poor region, the hills that surround the village of Masbagik are rich with a red

Alor Island – A traditional village and bronze Moko drums

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Alor Island – A traditional village and bronze Moko drums Posted on April 27, 2017by ianburnet                                         East Indies Exploration 2017 SeaTrek Sailing Adventures depart from Maumere in Flores on September 22 for a 12 day voyage around the outer islands of the Indonesian archipelago to finish in Ambon on October 3, 2017. A map showing the Ombak Putih and our 12 day voyage from Maumere on Flores along the island chain that leads to the Banda Islands and our final destination at Ambon. After we

The Archipelago Journal: Ternate to Sorong

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The Archipelago Journal: Ternate to Sorong Colours hops on a cruise in eastern Indonesia to trace the travels of Victorian British explorer Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution through natural selection. Words by Dr Tony Whitten Photography by Edmund Lowe “Oh, how I wish I had known Alfred Russel Wallace.” That was my overwhelming feeling after first reading The Malay Archipelago, the book he wrote about his travels through Indonesia and Malaysia between 1854 and 1862. Read

Close encounter met de dragons in Komodo

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Geschreven door Fleur Besters De lucht komt al van verre tegemoet. De enorme buffalo ligt op de zij in een plasje water, in het droge seizoen een zeldzaamheid op Komodo geworden. En dan lijkt die massa te bewegen. Het is echter niet de buffalo, maar drie tot zelfs zes komodo varanen die zich letterlijk een weg eten door het dier. Een kadootje tijdens onze reis. Van sommige dragons rond de dode buffalo is alleen nog de staart te zien, ze duwen elkaar

Cruising the Komodos and Beyond

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By Jacqueline Lang and Peter Rigby The ship’s bell rings. Like school kids racing to recess, we tear out of our cabin, and spring on to the tender whisking us out to a snorkelling hotspot. Soon we’re kicking away in the Komodo Sea, gliding over reefs teeming with multi-coloured tropical fish. We’re in a remote part of eastern Indonesia; our new home, the Ombak Putih, a glorious 12-cabin wooden schooner built in the traditional pinisi-style. For seven days, we’re island hopping with 18 passengers

Spice Islands Eclipse

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ASTRONOMY, CELESTIAL NAVIGATION AND SPICE-TRADE HISTORY. By Jeffrey Mellefont.ANMM research associate Jeffrey Mellefont leads a voyage on board a traditional Indonesian sailing ship, to view a total eclipse of the sun in the Moluccas – the historic spice islands. IN MARCH THIS YEAR A TOTAL ECLIPSE of the sun tracked across the Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra in the west to the remote, eastern group of islands called the Moluccas. It was some 300 years since a total solar eclipse had taken

Komodo to Bali – Our Voyage Continues!

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By Peter Rigby & Jacqueline Lang Continuing the account of our sea voyage from Flores to Bali. Day 3  We awake anchored off Loh Liang village, Komodo Island. We’re treated to another stunning sunrise over our buffet breakfast, then we’re into the rubber duckies and zooming ashore for another island trek to see the wildlife. We set out with a guide through scrub and forest. Vegetation here is more lush than the previous island Rinca. We spot a wild boar, warily eyeing a fat dragon close

Better Than New

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Choosing to do a refit or full restoration is a popular way to obtain the yacht of your dreams. By Glen Watson. from Asia Pacific Boating May/June 2016 full

Ternate Tales of Natural Selection

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The Spice Islands are wrapped in an aromatic history of cloves, mace and nutmeg, Kings and Sultans, spice wars, and the rise and fall of invading armies. By Stephanie Brookes As I travelled through the Spice Island chain, I saw massive groves of cloves and nutmegs clinging to the perfect cone-shaped volcanic islands dotted across the Maluku Sea. In the 8th century, Chinese merchant ships sailed through the Moluccas (Maluku), and the Arabs followed later. The spice wars involved the Portuguese, the

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

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The region offers many great places to visit, and an even greater selection of vessels to make your boating holiday perfect. By Craig Hurst. from Asia Pacific Boating May/June 2016 full

Ambon Sacred Spears and Magic Eels

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Ambon Island was once a powerhouse of the world with the Portuguese establishing control over the clove trade in the early 16th century. However, long before the Portuguese sailed in with their tall ships, conquered the Spice Islands, built towering forts, and attempted to monopolize the spice trade, an ancient practice was well entrenched in the tiny island of Ambon. By Stephanie Brookes I had read some sketchy reports of a sacred eel that occasionally appears in a pond tucked away in

Dragons, Mantas And Pink Sand

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Something keeps drawing me back to Komodo National Park, and it’s not just the lure of the dragons, there’s so much more… Text & Images: RACHEL LOVE I’ve been to Komodo eight times now. You’d think that once you’ve seen one dragon you’ve seen them all, but each one of my Komodo adventures has been a unique and wonderful experience.The first time I visited the National Park was in 2001. Landing at the bay of Loh Liang on Komodo Island, all those

Boats, Books and Flying Machines

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Once described as “The trailblazing patron saint of the world’s backpackers and adventure travellers,” Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet guides hasn’t stopped travelling since he sold the company. He has a fascination with Bad Lands, Dark Lands (the titles of two of his books) and edgy travel. He was recently in Bali for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and the pre-festival Komodo National Park cruise in partnership with Seatrek Sailing Adventures aboard the traditional pinisi schooner, Katharina. Here

The Launch Of A Pinisi

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Almost a year since Mt Sangeang spectacularly erupted, I am desperately seeking shade from the sun on a blacksand beach within striking distance of the still-active volcano. Separated only by a narrow shipping channel, the 1800-metrehigh volcanic island of Pulau Sangeang towers over the tiny shipbuilding village of Sangeang Wera – a Buginese settlement in northeast Sumbawa. Here the men build wooden boats along the scruffy shores, while the village women weave brightly coloured textiles. Today, something huge is happening

Ship Shape – Giving Katharina a Facelift

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Renovating a house is easy. Call a contractor, buy the materials, and get them delivered to your house – all you have to do is pay for it. But what do you do when that project is a 40m long, wooden phinisi schooner named Katharina that still needs to keep sailing and she’s moored in the harbour off Bali? You plan your time with military precision, you get creative, and you bring in the Bugis Men. One of two ships owned

Indonesia’s Spice Islands by Schooner

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From Banda Neira to Ternate, a cruise aboard a Bugis-style ironwood schooner proves the ideal way to tour Indonesia’s fabled Spice Islands, whose long-faded fortunes have given way to fascinating ports of call By Johnny LangenheimPhotographs by Jack Wyllie The sun is already hot and high by the time Run comes into view. Perched on the prow of the Ombak Putih, I have to squint to make out the island, a tiny smudge on a languorous blue horizon that stretches otherwise unbroken

Yachts to Charter Now

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By Casey Hatfield From a 170-foot sailing ship in Indonesia to a Caribbean superyacht cruise, here are nine new ways to get on the water this season, in some of the world’s dreamiest yachting destinations. Many of the most beautiful and remote locations in the world are best seen from the sea, making chartering a yacht an endlessly appealing notion. 2015 is a particularly great time to get out on the water: Nine of our favorite vessels, from handmade sailboats to high-tech

7 Days to Komodo

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Looking at a map of Indonesia you can come to a couple of quick conclusions. One, it’s vast. Two, there’s a lot of water to cross if you want to have a good look at it and you are probably going to need a boat. FRV Bali finds a very nice one with SeaTrek Adventures. Another thing to consider is the inverse relationship that exists in the quality of food and accommodation and the distance you travel east of Bali and

Flores, Indonesia: A literary mini-festival at sea

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SeaTrek was pleased to be featured in The Sydney Morning Herald and Traveller.com this February.  Susan Wyndham truly captures the beauty and fun of this specialty culinary cruise with Janet DeNeefe and fellow writers from the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Joining Janet in 2015, will be Lonely Planet founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler. We look forward to another fantastic cruise with the UWRF. Click the link below for the article and photos: Flores, Indonesia:  A literary mini-festival at sea by Susan

My Old Man and the Sea

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SeaTrek’s very own Katharina graced the cover of the Jan/Feb “Where to go in 2015” issue of AFAR Magazine. Accompanying her is a lively article by Josh Dean entitled, “My Old Man and the Sea.” He says: “Watching scenery from a more traditional cruise ship is a little like watching it in high definition on a movie screen. It’s stunning but also distant; you’re an observer, not a participant. On the Katharina, though, the water is only a few feet below and

Sailing Off The Grid

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Sailing Off The Grid : by Exotiq Magazine, December 2014 If the idea of sailing through tropical seas and islands on a traditional wooden schooner floats your boat then eastern Indonesia is definitely the place you need to go. With 15 – 18,000 islands depending upon your source, to see more then just the bits connected by airports, you are going to need a good ship beneath your feet. Preferably one that has a capable captain, a strong crew, is super-seaworthy and