Bali to Komodo

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    Destinations: South and Southeast Asia, Indonesia
    Activities: Expedition Cruises
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Tour Description

Indonesian Cruise to the Exotic Isles

Few places evoke the same lush, exotic imagery as the islands of Bali and Komodo — small pearls in the immense Indonesian archipelago that lies scattered like a broken necklace across one-seventh of the Earth’s surface.

The beauty of the islands is legendary, their biodiversity astounding, and the rich tapestry of their cultures helps make IE’s new Indonesian cruise unforgettable. Step ashore and experience the thrill of seeing huge Komodo Dragons, surprisingly fast and agile carnivorous lizards; or put on a snorkel and discover the colorful world below the waves, an undersea fantasy equal to anything in the world.

Enjoy a True Sea Safari

There are many ways to enjoy your Bali cruise and the exotic isles of Indonesia, but it is hard to imagine a more traditional mode of travel than as a passenger aboard a sailing ship — with canvas aloft, cutting through tropical waters speckled with coral reefs and palm-clad islands. Such a vessel is the Sea Safari VII — a traditional Indonesian Pinisi sailing ship.

Itinerary

Days 1-3

U.S. / Denpasar, Bali / Ubud

Fly independently from the U.S. to Denpasar, Bali, crossing the International Date Line en route. Transfer to the hill town of Ubud and settle into our charming accommodations at Kamandalu Resort and Spa. The hotel is laid out in the style of a Balinese village, where each air-conditioned villa overlooks the rice paddies or lagoon. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax by the pool or explore on your own in town. (Meals Aloft)

Day 4

Ubud: Monkey Forest and Tanah Lot

Explore Ubud, Bali’s cultural center, taking in the town’s ancient sites, temples and craft centers. Enjoy lunch before we travel to the Sacred Monkey Forest. Within the Sacred Monkey Forest there are approximately 340 Balinese long-tailed macaques from four distinct troops. The primates in this forest are protected because in Balinese Hinduism monkeys can be the embodiment of both positive and negative forces. Encounter the amazing creatures on a walk through the forest. Next we journey to Tanah Lot, venerated by the locals and perhaps the most photographed temple in Bali. Tanah Lot temple is built atop a huge rock, surrounded by the sea. Built in the 16th century, Tanah Lot's rituals include paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found in the little caves at the base of the rocky island are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. Tanah Lot is particularly beautiful in the evening so we’ll enjoy dinner here as the sun sets over the sea. (B,L,D)

Day 5

Ubud: Bali Bird Park, Mas and Petulu

Begin our day at the Bali Bird Park, a lush tropical garden filled with 250 species, including birds of paradise, green peafowl, Asian pied hornbill, Javan kingfisher and Bali starling. A private local ornithologist will accompany the group through the park. From here we travel to the village of Mas, famous for its skilled and artful woodcarvings and masks. Next visit the heron sanctuary in the village of Petulu, home to the Java pond heron and plumed egrets. See thousands of herons returning to roost in select trees for the night. Local legend tells that the birds are reincarnations of the men and women who died during the civil unrest throughout Bali in 1966. Many of those Balinese who died were laid to rest near the roosting grounds. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Ubud: Bali Village

This is a great opportunity to meet and interact with Balinese people and experience some of their daily life. Visit an elementary school, singing songs with the children. A family welcomes our small group into their home for a glimpse at life in a traditional Balinese house compound, learning how families live together in Bali. Next, we sample seasonal fruit juices while learning how rice is grown. Guests are invited to participate in cultivating the rice and other village activities. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Ubud. (B,L)

Day 7

Embark Benoa Harbor / Padang Bay

Leave for Benoa Harbor and our first glimpse of the Sea Safari VII. After embarkation, it’s “anchors aweigh” to begin our voyage through the islands of the Nusa Tenggara chain. During our eight-day expedition cruise, we explore picturesque bays and inlets. This is an adventure with many unexpected opportunities to view wildlife, meet villagers and explore the wonders of the undersea world. Soon the sails are unfurled, and we are on our way, heading to the Blue Lagoon of Padang Bay. During our afternoon at Blue Lagoon, we snorkel and visit a traditional village of Tenganan, also known as a traditional walled mountain village. Tenganan is one of several ancient villages in Bali, known for religious activities and cultural distinct from most of the rest of the island. Stop at the Klungkung Hall of Justice, erected in the 17th century. From the 17th century till 1908, the Klungkung Kingdom was considered the most important of the nine kingdoms of Bali. Before heading back to the Sea Safari VII, visit Bat Cave and Goa Lawah Temple, constructed at the cave entrance. Thousands of fruit bats nest here, and legend says the temple is also home to a giant dragon-like snake called Basuki, who feeds on the bats. Goa Lawah Temple is considered an important temple for matters of the afterlife. Those who can afford it hold funerals here. (B,L,D)

Day 8

Lombok Island

We arrive early to Nara Bay, Lombok, with luck in time to see the sunrise over Mount Rinjani. We’ll enjoy amazing views of the surrounding forest and the Gili Islands. Head into the island’s scenic interior, passing lush green rice paddies as the local culture unfolds for our small group. Wander through the market at Hunung Sari before exploring Lingsar Temple, sacred to both Hindus and Muslims. Stop at the pottery village of Banyumulek for the chance to observe the traditional methods used to produce the famous Lombok pots. Then travel to Pringgasela, where traditional weaving is done, watching as intricate patterns are woven into cloth. Our excursion also travels to picturesque Tetebatu, where we walk through breathtaking terraced rice fields at the base of Mount Rinjani, greeting the locals in their homes. Before heading back to our ship, there is time to snorkel in the crystalline waters. Dine on board as we head toward the island of Moyo. (B,L,D)

Day 9

Moyo Island

Moyo Island is surrounded by untouched coral reefs, ideal for swimming or snorkeling among white-tipped reef sharks, blue-spotted sting rays and tropical fish. Plus, two-thirds of the island is a game reserve, so we may observe wild boar, banteng and deer in the scrubby, lowland forests or some of the huge colonies of flying foxes. Before we venture into the water or search for wildlife, enjoy an intimate glimpse of village life in Labuan Haji. (B,L,D)

Day 10

Wera Island / Rinca Island

Just off the Northeast coast of Sumbawa Island, in the shadow of the Sangeang volcano, is the small agricultural island of Wera. About 1,500 farmers inhabit the island, but they are also renowned for their skill at building wooden boats. Stoll through the area, meeting the friendly locals and children along the way. There is time for snorkeling before we return to the Sea Safari VII. Pull up anchor and head toward Komodo National Park. Skirting the eastern coast of Komodo and crossing the Lintah Strait, arrive in Rinca and drop anchor. (B,L,D)

Day 11

Rinca Island / Komodo Island

Set out on a nature walk to explore Rinca Island, one of the two preserved habitats of the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. Weighing up to 350 pounds with a total length of over 10 feet, these fearsome hunters charge swiftly to bring down a variety of herbivores including barking deer, feral pigs and even wild horses. Their saliva contains a large quantity of bacteria; if their bite does not bring an animal down immediately, the prey later succumbs to a fatal infection. The national park features the exquisite lontar palms and bright pink vanda orchids that sprout epiphytically along the trunks of trees. Rinca Island is also home to monkeys, wild water buffalo, deer, horses and pigs. During our early morning walk along the shore we look for crab-eating macaques frolicking on the beach while a hike in the vine forest reveals birds, monkeys and dragons. The more energetic can climb for sweeping views of the bright blue bays. Mangroves near the jetty provide shelter for brilliant kingfishers, flycatchers and cuckoos. This afternoon, we sail to Komodo itself. Join our naturalist for a guided walk on Komodo Island, where we observe the Komodo dragons and learn their amazing story of survival. Individual Komodo dragons live over 60 years, but the species has been around for 10 million years. The park is located in the region known as Wallacea, denoting the overlapping of Australian and Asian biogeographical areas. This overlapping ensures an interesting mix of bird species including yellow-crested cockatoos of Australian origin, and monarch flycatchers and kingfishers originating from Southeast Asia. Weather permitting, enjoy a peaceful barbecue dinner on the beach. (B,L,D)

Day 12

Sumbawa Island: Bima

Head to the main port town of Bima, absorbing the interesting Sumbawan rural life and scenery along the way. The town itself is distinguished by its horse-drawn carts and colorful markets. We travel into the cloudy highlands west of Bima Bay to meet the Donggo people. This culture fled into the hills during the 17th century and still maintains many of their traditional religious practices. The Donggo worship a triad of gods; the god of heaven, “Dewi Langi”; the god of the water, “Dewa Oi”; and the god of the wind, “Dewa Wango.” Enjoy time to relax aboard the Sea Safari VII as we sail toward Satonda. (B,L,D)

Day 13

Satonda Island

This small, uninhabited island is actually the top of an extinct volcano which erupted in 1815, wiping out the Tamboran culture and launching so much ash into the atmosphere that 1816 was known worldwide as the "year without a summer." A lakeside walk offers good birding and close-up views of fruit bats hanging in masses from the trees. There is ample time to swim or snorkel before returning to our expedition ship. (B,L,D)

Day 14

Benoa Harbor / Sanur Beach

After breakfast, say good-bye to our friends aboard the Sea Safari VII and disembark in Benoa Harbor. Check into the Hotel Sanur Beach, where the rest of the day is free to soak-up the sun-drenched beach and rolling surf. (B,L)

Day 15

U.S.

Board your international flights and cross the International Date Line as you return to the U.S. (Meals Aloft)

Departures

Pricing Information

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

What are the visa and passport requirements for travel to Bali and Komodo?

A passport, still valid for six months beyond projected stay, is required to enter Indonesia. A 30 day visa is issued upon arrival for $25USD for US or Canadian citizens. Visas must be paid for in US Dollars. No credit cards, Canadian dollars, travelers checks or personal checks will be accepted.