Local fruit and spices from the Indonesian islands on a wooden table
a close up photo of a sea turtle in indonesia
A brightly-colored in blue, yellow and red Wilson's Bird of Paradise during its mating dance as seen on the Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands voyage.
A gold-and-mauve-colored small bird with wings on display while standing on a tree branch as seen on the Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands voyage.
Looking toward an island in indonesia from the end of a long wooden pier over clear, tropical water
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Asia / Pacific Indonesia Cruise

Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands

Be transported back in time on this 12-day Indonesian cruise as the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina sailing vessel winds her way among remote palm-fringed coral islands, majestic rainforests and huge smoking conical volcanoes. The Moluccas are the original Spice Islands of Indonesia: 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. Sail Indonesia and relish the opportunity to swim, snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard in waters rich in marine life.

On the main itinerary, navigate the Banda Islands and much of the famed region as you sail northbound from Ambon to Ternate. Go in search of famed naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and his living treasures, taking in firsthand experiences of unique ecology and visiting some of the places that most fascinated Wallace: Ambon, the former capital of the Moluccas; Bacan, where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries (birds of paradise, the world’s largest bee); Ternate, Wallace’s base for his eastern travels and once the center of the world clove trade; and the mysterious island of Halmahera where Wallace discovered evolution by natural selection.

On select alternative itineraries between Ternate or Ambon and Sorong, also visit the remote Raja Ampat Islands with their pristine, incredibly diverse coral reefs and up to five species of birds of paradise. Many of these sailings feature special guest hosts who are experts in endangered species and evolutionary biology. Or opt for an East Indies Spice Exploration route cruises from Flores or Komodo to Ambon, exploring more of the Lesser Sundas than other Spice Islands cruise routes. Each itinerary offers a unique slice of history, along with incredible snorkeling, kayaking and trekking.

Passage is aboard the 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih or 12-passenger ketch Katharina. These traditional pinisi-style ships offer romance, Indonesian culture, rustic charm and superior service, and are therefore also AdventureSmith favorites for private charter cruises. Complimentary onboard snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear and tender boats equip guests with daily adventures among a string of Indonesian islands.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Indonesia cruises and Indonesia trips.



Itinerary

The Scents of the Spice Islands Itinerary

The main 12-day Scents of the Spice Islands itinerary begins in Ambon and explores the Banda Islands before heading north to Halmahera and Ternate. Focus fully on the Spice Islands, with historic stops yet plenty of hiking, snorkeling and sailing aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih sailing vessel.

A map showing a Spice Islands cruise route from Ambon to Ternate with a yellow line marking the route
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Day 1
Embark Ambon, Indonesia

Upon your arrival at the airport, a provided transfer will take you to the Ombak Putih at her mooring in the harbor. After you have settled in, take an (optional) short tour of the island.

Ambon town is one of the oldest European outposts in the region and in Wallace’s time it was the capital of the Moluccas. Wallace collected some stunning species on the island and said that it “…always remain as a bright spot in the review of my Eastern travels, since it was there that I first made the acquaintance of those glorious birds and insects, which render the Moluccas classic ground in the eyes of the naturalist, and characterise its fauna as one of the most remarkable and beautiful upon the globe.”

Visit the market and see a traditional Balieo house. See the ancient Waipauwe Mosque (1414), the Immanuel Church (1512) and finally Fort Amsterdam (1514), one of the first European forts built in the Moluccas. Rumphius, an important German botanist, lived in the fort from 1660 to 1670 and see copies of some of his psychedelic paintings of local brightly colored fish.

After this return to the boat for lunch before heading to the Banda Islands.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Banda Islands

Today reach the remote and legendary Banda Islands. Famous for their natural beauty and cultural heritage, and the well-preserved remnants of an extraordinary history of imperialist rivalry, these islands are quite simply one of Indonesia’s highlights. Banda was originally the world’s only source of nutmeg and mace, valued for their rarity and high cost by aristocrats and elites.

This is a very special destination. Since conditions of wind and tide will determine the order in which the ship can visit various Banda islands, the activities here can’t be assigned to a particular day. But you can look forward to a few highlights detailed here.

In the capital Bandaneira, on the biggest island, Neira, land near the elegant arches of Hotel Maulana – a little slice of Somerset Maugham. It’s a pleasant stroll through the quaint colonial outpost’s characterful streets, inspecting notable residences, a museum, churches and a waterfront market. Brooding over all is the mediaeval-looking Fort Belgica, its five crumbling bastions now solidly rebuilt. The population is a handsome mix of Malay, Arab, Dutch and Melanesian. Just across the harbor is Banda’s perfect, jungle-clad volcanic cone Gunung Api (‘Fire Mountain’ – 640 metres). The fit and ambitious might make an early morning ascent up a challenging track to the top for stunning views.

There are some excellent coral reefs nearby to see some amazing marine life while snorkeling. Ironically, in the less-than-pristine waters of the harbor, there’s a good chance of seeing (at dusk) arguably the world’s most stunning fish, the small but jewel-like Mandarin Fish.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 4
Banda Islands: Lonthoir, Ai, Run, Hatta

Over the next two days, visit some of the other small islands of the Banda archipelago – Lonthoir, Ai, Run, Hatta – each of them with its own remnants of old plantations, Dutch cemeteries and fortifications.

The tiny outlying island of Run was the subject of an unbelievable real estate deal when in 1667, under the Treaty of Breda, it was ceded by the English to the Dutch in exchange for Manhattan. Yes, The Manhattan where New York stands. On the island of Ai, visit Fort Revenge, built by the English before being captured by the Dutch. And on Lonthor enjoy the tranquil beauty of nutmeg groves, where the shapely fruit-bearing trees grow in the shelter of towering, gigantic kenari or native almond trees. With any luck spot the Elegant Imperial Pigeon, a species Wallace discovered and named, which can swallow nutmegs whole.

Observe the age-old technique of harvesting spices by hand, and taste (and buy) baked goods, condiments and jams flavored with fresh mace and nutmeg. The fruit enclosing the nutmeg seed is sold dried and has a unique and intense flavor. It is a delicacy rarely obtainable outside the Banda Islands.

Another stop might have you climbing up to fortress Hollandia and meeting the last of the ‘perkeniers’ – the small-holder farmers who managed the plantations for the Dutch, on land parcels known as ‘perken.’ You’ll learn of more recent wars and eruptions that shook these lovely islands, and value even more their current peace and tranquility.

Leaving Banda navigate through the Sonnegat (‘Sun’s gap’) between Neira and Gunung Api, possibly escorted by kora-kora – the big Moluccan galleys used traditionally for ceremony and warfare, propelled by banks of warrior-oarsmen.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Saparua Island & Nusalaut

On Saparua land beside Dutch Fort Duurstede (1691), stormed in 1817 in a revolt led by Ambonese Kapitan Pattimura, a national hero and martyr. His story is told by vivid museum dioramas. Brightly painted bemo mini-buses will take you to a morning market before a sailing to nearby Nusalaut. Rarely visited by outsiders, this island is home to a Christian community after early missionaries planted their faith here at the same time that Islam was spreading through the archipelago.

Visit the Eben-Haezer church founded in 1719. Nearby is the restored Dutch Fort Beverwyck, built from 1657 in a distinctive architectural style you’ll have not yet encountered this trip. A highlight here is a lunchtime feast of wonderful local dishes – freshly prepared by villager hosts from forest, garden and sea produce. It’s your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try papeda, the most famous and unusual of the many sago dishes in this region.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Manipa Island

Manipa Island is said to have magical powers, because none of the Portuguese, Dutch or WW2-Japanese who occupied the surrounding islands ever landed here. The spell doesn’t apply to Indonesian ships, so land at Uwe township for lessons in village technology. Its gardens produce cashews, while the leaves of forest Melaleuca cajuputi are pot-distilled to make a volatile oil called kayu putih or cajeput. It’s famed throughout Indonesia as a universal panacea: cosmetic, antiseptic, insecticide, decongestant, analgesic, expectorant, anti-spasmodic, stimulant and tonic.

Also view production of the traditional Moluccan food staple, sago, a nutritious flour washed from the fibrous trunk of the sago palm. Sago can be baked into easily transportable dry cakes, which Wallace often subsisted on, while the palm also provides building material and thatch. After an afternoon snorkeling, cruise on towards Belang-Belang.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Belang-Belang, Obi Latu & Manatahan

Deserted, white-sand Belang-Belang is a real beachcomber’s paradise, where your guides will launch a full flotilla of watercraft, kayaks and paddleboards. At Obi Latu, mountains clad in forest and clove plantations plunge spectacularly into the sea.

Visit isolated Manatahan, a village of migrant Butungese from Sulawesi hundreds of miles to the west. Migration is not unusual in this island world where people are accustomed to moving by boat, and islands are sparsely populated or uninhabited. In past times the picturesque channels around Obi were dotted with the sails of local spice traders, Portuguese caravels, Spanish galleons, Dutch jachts and English pinnaces. Now encounter friendly fishers and their outrigger dugouts, colorful timber island-trading craft and sometimes little lambo sloops still trading under sail.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Patinti Strait & Doworalamo

By today you will have lost track of time and place, but your crew won’t have. They will have delivered you on schedule to the Patinti Strait and Doworalamo, where we visit a village of the famous sea gypsies, known in Eastern Indonesia as Sama-Bajo. Scattered widely through Southeast Asia, sea gypsies spent their entire lives from birth to death on their small sailboats called lipa-lipa. Now the modern world has pushed them ashore. Landless, their homes are always built on stilts over coral reefs or the tidal margins of remote islands such as this one.

Take opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and beach-combing before the ship continues on its northerly course.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Bacan Wildlife Viewing

Wake up off the western coast of Bacan, another of Indonesia’s historic spice sultanates. Go ashore to explore the forested slopes where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries, including the Moluccan Cuscus, the Standardwing Bird of Paradise, the world’s largest bee Megachile pluto, and the huge and magnificent Golden Birdwing Butterfly.

Wallace described the latter species as the “finest butterfly in the world.” When he caught the first male in 1859 he wrote: “When I took it out of my net, and opened its gorgeous wings, I was nearer fainting with delight and excitement than I have ever been in my life; my heart beat violently, and the blood rushed to my head, leaving a headache for the rest of the day.”

Very few Westerners have ever seen this species alive, and no groups of tourists have ever been taken to see it before. Of course there is no guarantee you will see it – but your guide will be employing the one person on Bacan who knows exactly where it can be found.

Keep a close watch for a host of other animals, some of them endemic to these islands, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus and the endangered black macaque – the only monkey in Maluku. It’s the wrong side of the Wallace Line for monkeys; these ones were introduced hundreds of years ago from North Sulawesi.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Halmahera & Payahe Bay

Sunrise finds you in Indonesia’s most stunning seascape. Four perfect, brilliant-green volcanic-cone islands emerge from the sea in a straight line stretching south to north, parallel to the rugged, forested spine of the big island called Halmahera. They are Makian, Moti, Tidore and Ternate. Makian is dominated by volcanic Mount Kiebesi (1357 metres) towering over its palm-fringed, white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

There are interesting expeditions ashore and good places to snorkel. Later cruise toward Payahe Bay on the mainland of Halmahera, which was another of the Spice Sultanates, formerly called Gilolo. Your landfall is a remote beach full of outrigger fishing craft, for an easy afternoon trek towards a forest waterfall.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Dodinga

Wake up just across from Ternate off the coast of Halmahera, with the mighty peaks of Ternate and Tidore as your dawn backdrop, ready to head ashore to the village of Dodinga after breakfast. This is the very place where Alfred Russel Wallace was staying when, in a fit of malarial delirium, he came up with the idea for the mechanism for evolutionary theory. He promptly wrote to Charles Darwin when he recovered and set in motion the formalization of the theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort, and its importance in the history of science cannot be understated. After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Ternate, Indonesia

Finally, reach the island of Ternate. This colorful city was the center of the spice trade for several centuries, and the imprint of the Dutch and the Portuguese can still be seen. In fact, its warehouses are still filled with fragrant piles of clove and nutmeg. Nearby is the splendid 17th-century, pagoda-style royal mosque, and the Sultan’s Palace with its rich collection of heirlooms.

There’s a choice of forts to visit from the turbulent colonial era, such as well-restored Fort Tolukko (Portuguese, 1540). Wallace rented a house on Ternate for three years and used it as his base for the exploration of the Moluccas. It was while living here, very soon after returning from Dodinga, that he posted his legendary “Letter from Ternate” containing his independently conceived theory of natural selection to Darwin.

Visit the probable site of his house near Fort Oranje, before going back to the Ombak Putih to say farewell to the Ship’s Naturalist, the captain and the crew. Then take the tenders ashore and being transferred to the airport for your onward travel. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases; insurance of any kind (medical and medivac/air evacuation strongly encouraged due to the remote nature of itineraries); fuel surcharge ($400 per person, per departure).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Your trip/cruise is transferrable should you provide an alternate participant at the same fare. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The Scents of the Spice Islands cruise begins in Ambon, Indonesia (AMQ), and ends in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Further arrival & departure guidelines to plan flights will be provided upon booking. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Indonesia trip concludes.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin for solo use may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you are willing to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will be waived; if no room-share match is found, no single supplement will be charged.

Families & Children

Families traveling with children are welcome aboard, but keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Both boats have higher side railings than on normal traditional Buginese schooners, but there are steep staircases to consider if bringing smaller children. Children 12 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents. If sharing a cabin with other children, only the third child will receive the discount.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Eastbound Ternate to Sorong Itinerary

Select alternative itineraries sail eastbound from Ternate to Sorong to include iconic Raja Ampat sites with the Spice Islands—and offer special programming with guest hosts. Follow in Alfred Russel Wallace’s footsteps with zoologist & historian Dr. George Beccaloni of London’s Natural History Museum on “In Search of Wallace & His Living Treasures” departures, or with endangered species specialists Ray & Angela Hale on “In the Wake of Wallace” departures.

Route map for small ship cruise Sailing Indonesia: the Spice Islands main and reverse itinerary between Ternate and Sorong with stops at Halmahera, Raja Ampat, Gam and Waigeo.
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Day 1
Embark Ternate, Indonesia

Arrive by plane to the small island of Ternate, the capital of the North Maluku Province. Be met at the airport and transferred to the ship, moored off Ternate City. Get settled, have a quick safety briefing and enjoy an alfresco lunch while meeting the other passengers and the crew. 

In the afternoon venture into the city, which has retained its commercial and political importance as the administrative and trading center of North Maluku. Of the four historically powerful spice sultanates, Ternate is the only one where the sultanate has survived uninterrupted. Visit Fort Toluko, built by the Portuguese and the ‘Kedaton‘, the palace of the Sultan, with its rich collection of heirlooms. Also see the impressive Fort Oranje built by the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and the probable site of the house where Wallace was living when he posted his essay on natural selection to Charles Darwin in 1858.  After the tour re-board the boat ready to start the journey. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
Halmahera: Dodgina Village

Today wake up off the coast of Halmahera, just across from Ternate, with the mighty peaks of Ternate and Tidore as the dawn’s backdrop. After breakfast, head to the village of Dodinga: the very place where Wallace was living when, in a fit of malarial delirium, he discovered the mechanism which drives evolutionary changenatural selection. Once he had recovered, he promptly wrote a detailed essay explaining his theory, which he posted to Charles Darwin as soon as he returned to his base on Ternate. His essay, which was published together with Darwin’s thoughts on the subject in August 1858, prompted Darwin to publish his book Origin of Species in 1859, which explained the theory in greater detail.  Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort, and its importance in the history of science cannot be understated. 

After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then go off for an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation. Head south later in the day, ready for the first bird of paradise encounter the following morning. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Halmahera: Bastiong Village, Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort

Rise at 3:00am, have coffee and snacks, and transfer to cars at Bastiong Village, Halmahera, to drive over the dividing range towards Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort. Together with the local community, the owners of the resort manage a foundation for education and conservation of the primary forest and its wildlife. They are proud to be able to protect 700 hectares of primary rainforest, home of the Wallace’s Standardwing Bird of Paradise, plus many other species of birds and other wildlife. 

Start the walk into the forest so that by 6:00am the group is positioned quietly below the trees used by males of Wallace’s Standardwing for their communal courtship display. Walk back to the road for breakfast at a shelter before heading out for a morning of bird watching (hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots, and possibly the paradise-crow, another less spectacular species of bird of paradise). 

There might be a chance for a snorkel in Weda Bay before having lunch at the resort. After lunch there is an optional field-trip by car into the hills behind the resort to search for birds and insects, including one of Wallace’s greatest discoveries, the golden birdwing butterfly, which he regarded as being “the finest butterfly in the world.” Those who would prefer a relaxing afternoon can stay at the resort until the others return, or go back to the boat. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Bacan

Wake up off the western coast of Bacan, another of Indonesia’s historic spice sultanates. Go ashore to explore the forested slopes where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries, including the moluccan cuscus, the standardwing bird of paradise, the world’s largest bee megachile pluto, and the huge and magnificent golden birdwing butterfly. When Wallace caught the first golden birdwing butterfly male in 1859 he wrote: “When I took it out of my net, and opened its gorgeous wings, I was nearer fainting with delight and excitement than I have ever been in my life; my heart beat violently, and the blood rushed to my head, leaving a headache for the rest of the day.” Very few Westerners have ever seen this species alive and no groups of tourists have ever been taken to see it before. Of course spotting it is not guaranteed but your guide is the one person on Bacan who knows exactly where the butterfly can be found. 

Keep a close watch for these and a host of other animals, some of them endemic to these islands, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus and the endangered black macaquethe only monkey in Maluku. It’s the wrong side of the Wallace Line for monkeys; these ones were introduced hundreds of years ago from North Sulawesi. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Pisang Islands

In the morning make landfall at the Pisang Islands. These tiny gems isolated in the vast waters of the Ceram Sea offer a chance to relax and enjoy the sparkling white-sand beaches, clear waters and vibrant reefs before the ship makes her way to the shores of West Misool.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Raja Ampat: Kapatcol Village

Today hope to see the lesser birds of paradise displaying in the wild, an unforgettable experience for anyone lucky enough to see them. Rise around 4:00am and have a quick breakfast before going ashore at Kapatcol, where local guides will be waiting to take everyone through the forest to hopefully see the birds as they dance around in their ‘lekking’ (courtship display) trees. Enjoy time for a look around the village, possibly including the school, to learn about their way of life. In the mid-afternoon set off to the eastern side of Misool to Tomolol Bay. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Raja Ampat: Tomolol Bay

This morning wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the eastern part of the Misool archipelago. The topography is typical of karst dissolution featuring a great number of tiny islets whose bases have been eroded over time by the relentless motion of the tides. After an early breakfast, take tenders into the heart of the bay to see this partially submerged cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with astonishing stalactites. The more adventurous can swim or paddle through the dark waters to the other mouth of the cave. 

Then move on to a mysterious jellyfish lake and swim among the many thousands of stingless animals: undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. After returning to the ship, use the tenders to explore more of this impressive maze of karst islands, both above and below the surface, complete with mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries and prehistoric cave paintings estimated to be 3,000-5,000 years old that depict various human figures and huge human palms, fish, plants, tools and vessels.

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Batanta & Dayag

After days of marine exploration, the jungle-clad island of Batanta offers a change of scenery and a chance to stretch the legs on an adventurous trek into the island’s interior. Anchor at the foot of Arefi Village, nestled on the north coast of the island, to visit the village and the school, and watch the children’s performance. 

For those who wish, if the tide permits, take a short walk along the riverbed to the first of two jungle waterfalls complete with a refreshing pool for cooling off. The fit and adventurous may choose to continue the uphill climb along the rocks to where a second, larger cascade awaits. After this, the boat will move to Dayang Island for another great snorkeling opportunity. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Raja Ampat: Penemu & Aborek

Wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with a short hilltop climb to take in the amazing views. After some great snorkeling on the island’s reefs, set course for the tiny Arborek Island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances. Also take time to walk around the village and gain a sense of the Asai culture, which is still kept very much alive by the villagers living in this isolated place. There’s a chance to see possible manta rays while snorkeling, but no guarantees. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Dampier Strait, Raja Ampat: Yenbeser Village

Today presents another opportunity for keen naturalists to rise early and walk into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the remarkable red bird of paradise, one of the species that Wallace was most anxious to collect. With a little luck and the help of knowledgeable guides, see this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. After returning to the ship, turn attention to the sea as the ship makes her way through the Dampier strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. If the currents are in favorable, see some of the area’s larger specimens of marine life, which are attracted to the strait’s nutrient-rich waters. 

Spend the afternoon in Yenbeser village where Wallace spent some months. If the tides permit, visit a faithful replica of Wallace’s small hut, which was built by the villagers. Also visit a nearby small island where a local man has set up a coconut crab sanctuary. The island is home to a small number of these monsters (Birgus latro, the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod), and opportunities exist to get up close and personal with these magnificent yet docile beasts. Another late afternoon snorkel along a reef with some spectacular giant clams (the world’s largest bivalve) will lead into dinner at anchor on board, ready for an early morning venture for the red bird of paradise. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Waigeo: Saporkren Village & Mansuar: Yenbuba Village

Today, rise at 4:30am, off Saporkren village. Take a dinghy to the village while it’s still dark and follow a local guide on a short drive into the forest on a pre-dawn quest to spot the gorgeous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Hope that the efforts of today’s early start will pay off with a rare and privileged sight of the bird’s elaborate courtship dance as the day breaks over the forest canopy. 

Back in the village there’s time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Get back on the boat by mid-morning and head to Yenbuba at Mansuar island for some snorkeling before lunch. This place is known as the “fish bowl” because it provides the chance to see different types of fish around the bay. The boat will then move to Mioskon island for more snorkeling and the opportunity to watch a multitude of bats flying overhead just after sunset. Tonight, enjoy a farewell party. 

Accommodations

Ombak Putih or Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Sorong, Indonesia

Today is the end of the adventure, but there is still one last chance for a swim and a snorkel at a small offshore island before cruising into port. Alternatively, explore Doom Island. Once at anchor, say goodbye to the crew and ship before taking the tenders ashore and being transferred to the airport for your onward travel. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases; insurance of any kind (medical and medivac/air evacuation strongly encouraged due to the remote nature of itineraries); fuel surcharge ($400 per person, per departure).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Your trip/cruise is transferrable should you provide an alternate participant at the same fare. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

This Spice Islands cruise begins in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE), and ends in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Further arrival & departure guidelines to plan flights will be provided upon booking. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Indonesia trip concludes.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin for solo use may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you are willing to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will be waived; if no room-share match is found, no single supplement will be charged.

Families & Children

Families traveling with children are welcome aboard, but keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Both boats have higher side railings than on normal traditional Buginese schooners, but there are steep staircases to consider if bringing smaller children. Children 12 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents. If sharing a cabin with other children, only the third child will receive the discount.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Westbound Sorong to Ternate Itinerary

Select alternative itineraries sail westbound from Sorong to Ternate include iconic Raja Ampat sites with the Spice Islands—and offer special programming with guest hosts. Follow in Alfred Russel Wallace’s footsteps with endangered species specialists Ray & Angela Hale on these In the Wake of Wallace departures aboard 12-guest Katharina. 

Route map for small ship cruise Sailing Indonesia: the Spice Islands main and reverse itinerary between Ternate and Sorong with stops at Halmahera, Raja Ampat, Gam and Waigeo.
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Day 1
Embark Sorong, Indonesia

Arrive by plane into Sorong, the gateway to Raja Ampat. From the airport be transferred to the harbor where the ship will be waiting at anchor. Get settled let the tour leaders explain the vessel’s facilities and safety procedures. Weigh anchor, leave the harbor behind and cruise to a small island to enjoy the first snorkel of the trip as the ship makes her way north. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
Waigeo: Saporkren Village

Today rise very early and head off in the tenders to a small village. Follow local guides on a walk into the forest to spot the gorgeous Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Back in the village take time to meet with the community and perhaps visit the school. Get back on the boat by mid-morning and if time permits, travel over to a nearby island to snorkel. In the afternoon, go snorkeling on the beautiful reefs that fill this area. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Dampier Strait, Raja Ampat: Aborek Village

Rise early once more to see the remarkable red bird of paradise, and with a little luck and the help of knowledgeable guides, see this rare bird’s elaborate courtship display as dawn breaks over the forest canopy. Once we back on the ship, turn attention to the sea as the ship makes her way through the Dampier Strait, home of some of Raja Ampat’s premier reefs. There’s a chance to see some manta rays while snorkeling, but there are no guarantees. End the day by mooring off another tiny island, where the local children will perform their traditional dances and there’s time to explore the charming village. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Gam: Yenbeser Village

Today is a day of exploration and snorkeling. Spend the day visiting a local village and snorkeling on the many great reefs in the area. Visit a replica of Alfred Russel Wallace’s hut and call in on an island where a local man has set up a coconut crab sanctuary for what is the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod. A late afternoon snorkel along a reef with some spectacular giant clams (the world’s largest marine arthropod and mollusc) leads into dinner at anchor on board. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Raja Ampat: Penemu, Klaarbeck & Yar

Today is another day or snorkeling, Wallace tracking and exploring some of Raja Ampat’s most beautiful limestone karst islands. Wake up in front of the island of Penemu, a dramatic location with a short hilltop climb to take in the amazing views, before continuing on island hopping northwards to an island where at dusk, tens of thousands of fruit bats fly out to feed. Tonight offers a beach barbecue and party on a remote beach. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Raja Ampat: Tomolol Bay

This morning wake to see the sun rise over the picturesque chain of islands that makes up the eastern part of the Misool archipelago. Take tenders to a large cave where it is possible to swim, snorkel or simply float while gazing up at the cavernous grotto adorned with stalactites. Then move on to a mysterious jellyfish lake and swim among the many thousands of stingless animals: undoubtedly one of Raja Ampat’s most memorable activities. 

In the afternoon, use the tenders to explore more of this impressive maze of karst islands, both above and below the surface, complete with mysterious skull cairns in sea-cave cemeteries and prehistoric cave paintings estimated to be 3,000-5,000 years old. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Raja Ampat: Kapatcol Village

Wake early once again and go ashore. Follow local local guides through the forest to hopefully see the lesser bird of paradise as they dance around in their “lekking” trees. On the way back, stroll around the village, possibly including a school visit, to learn about the way Nature Conservancy is working with the village to empower local women with a fishing practice called “sasi.” 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Djoronga & Damar

Today the ship is positioned off the extreme southern tip of Halmahera Island for snorkeling and a visit to a local Bajau sea gypsy village to learn about their way of life. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Bacan

Wake up off the western coast of Bacan and go ashore to explore the forested slopes in search of Wallace’s giant bee and the huge and magnificent golden birdwing butterfly. During this trip hope to see some of other endemic animals of these islands, including parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets, hornbills, the elusive cuscus and the endangered black-crested macaque.

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Halmahera: Bastiong Village, Weda Reef & Rainforest Resort

Once again set off early into the forest, this time by car, to see Wallace’s standardwing bird of paradise doing their courtship displays in their favorite trees. Also spend the morning looking out for other birds including hornbills, giant cuckoos, parrots and possibly the paradise-crow, another bird of paradise species. Continuing on to the Weda Bay Resort, have lunch before returning to the boat. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Halmahera: Dodgina Village

Today wake up off the coast of Halmahera and head to the village of Dodinga: the very place where AR Wallace was living when he discovered the mechanism which drives evolutionary changenatural selection. His Letter to Charles Darwin was the catalyst that prompted Darwin to publish his book Origin of Species in 1859, which explained the theory in greater detail. 

Dodinga is a pretty little riverside village with friendly people, colorful houses and the ruins of an old Portuguese fortits importance in the history of science cannot be understated. After spending some time with the villagers, sharing some fresh coconuts and enjoying their hospitality, head back to the boat for lunch and then go off for an afternoon of snorkeling and relaxation. Tonight enjoy a final farewell party. 

Accommodations

Katharina

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Disembark Ternate, Indonesia

Today marks the end of the adventure, but first head out for a tour of the city, which has retained its commercial and political importance as the administrative and trading center of North Maluku. Visit a couple of old Portuguese and Dutch forts and pay a visit to the Sultan’s Palace with its rich collection of heirlooms. 

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; insurance of any kind; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases; insurance of any kind (medical and medivac/air evacuation strongly encouraged due to the remote nature of itineraries); fuel surcharge ($400 per person, per departure).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Your trip/cruise is transferrable should you provide an alternate participant at the same fare. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The In the Wake of Wallace cruise begins in Sorong, Indonesia (SOQ), and ends in Ternate, Indonesia (TTE)We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Further arrival & departure guidelines to plan flights will be provided upon booking. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Indonesia trip concludes.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. All activities are inclusive and always optional; inform your tour leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin for solo use may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you are willing to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will be waived; if no room-share match is found, no single supplement will be charged.

Families & Children

Families traveling with children are welcome aboard, but keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Both boats have higher side railings than on normal traditional Buginese schooners, but there are steep staircases to consider if bringing smaller children. Children 12 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents. If sharing a cabin with other children, only the third child will receive the discount.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

East Indies Spice Exploration Itinerary

The alternative East Indies Spice Exploration cruise begins in the town of Maumere on Flores Island, nearby to Komodo National Park, and sails northeast to the City of Ambon on the island of the same name. Visit remote villages and historic forts, go trekking, and enjoy ample opportunities to snorkel and paddle.

Route map of East Indies Spice Exploration Indonesia small ship cruise, operating between Maumere & Ambon, through the Banda Sea.
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Day 1
Embark Maumere, Flores, Indonesia

After arriving in the early afternoon from Bali, be met at the Maumere airport by the tour leader and taken directly to the boat to meet fellow passengers and the crew. Cruise out of the harbor and head off to the east, taking time to become familiar with the ship. Stop for a snorkel and a swim along the way, before sunset cocktails and dinner as the ship cruises on into the night.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Flores

In the morning the ship will be moored offshore of the capital town of Flores, a Christian-dominated island as a result of Portuguese influence. Go ashore and see the five Catholic churches and the Stations of the Cross along the waterfront. During lunch the ship will cross to a neighboring island for a visit to a small local village and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort dating back to the 16th Century. Later in the afternoon, get out the snorkeling gear and explore one of the richly vibrant nearby reefs.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Lembata

Wake up on Lembata Island in a bite-shaped bay under the gaze of a massive live volcano called Ile Api–Island of Fire. Be welcomed ashore in a local village with singing and dancing, and be witness to the production of their famous local textiles. After lunch on the boat, sail across the bay to snorkel on a vibrant local reef and to swim and paddle on a local beach. This evening, the crew will set up for a beach BBQ and party under the stars before heading off for an overnight cruise to the next destination.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Village Visit

Today, visit a traditional village up in the mountains. Be welcomed by the chief and witness a ceremonial war dance in honor of this visit. See their traditional Moko war drums and intricately designed Ikat fabrics, which have been woven and dyed using age-old techniques, and used in local bridal dowries for centuries. Then weigh anchor and cruise east while enjoying lunch on board, stopping in the late afternoon at a picturesque tropical island to snorkel and swim on a coral reef.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Wetar

Wake up in a lovely bay on Wetar Island and go ashore to a local fishing village to meet the locals and see their way of life as they dry their catch on the beach. Spend the day swimming and beaching, snorkeling and exploring, and indulge in a bit of local culture by way of sopi, a strong alcoholic drink made from a local palm tree. Later in the afternoon, weigh anchor and continue the journey east.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Romang

This morning go ashore on a small island and be welcomed into a remote village where the locals will share their way of life as farmers and fishermen. After lunch continue cruising, stopping off at another tiny island—this one deserted—to swim, kayak, snorkel over the reef and relax on the sand. This evening the crew will set up for a beach BBQ for all to dance and sing into the night before heading off again for an overnight cruise to the next destination.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Damar

Today is another day of cruising and exploring in one of the remotest parts of Indonesia. Visit a very simple village where the people’s houses are made using the products of the sago palm, the staple crop in this part of the world. The villagers will demonstrate how they process the heart of the sago palm into the edible product that sustains them. After lunch, cruise around the island and stop off to explore the beaches and reefs by snorkel.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
At Sea

Today will be a day at sea with a route that will pass four spectacular volcanic sea mounts, explicit examples of Indonesia’s place along the Ring of Fire. One of these islands is uninhabited by people, and is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, (brown and red-footed boobies, and frigate birds), who will likely come out to encircle the boat in great numbers upon her approach. If the tide allows, go ashore and investigate, and surely have a snorkel. In the late afternoon proceed north to the fabled Spice Islands.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Bandas

By dawn spot the Banda Archipelago Spice Islands, original home of nutmeg and the scene of much bloodshed between the colonial powers of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries over control of the spice trade. Go ashore and visit Fort Revenge, built by the Dutch, before snorkeling on the local reef.

Later, head across to the main island group and the main town, and anchor in the beautiful enclosed anchorage under the imposing gaze of a nearly 2,000-foot-high volcano. If arriving before nightfall, go ashore and explore the town.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Bandas

Today is a day of exploring the history and beauty of the Spice Islands with a visit to the main town of the Spice Islands and its fort overlooking the harbor. Wander through the streets and markets of this bustling town and meet the local people. After lunch on the boat, take a local boat over to the biggest of the islands to walk among the vast nutmeg plantations, visit another Dutch fort, talk with the locals and visit one of the last perkineers, the farmers who still run the larger plantations on the island who will tell about life on the islands.

Later in the afternoon, snorkel on a local reef and have a chance to see the rare and multi-hued Mandarin fish, which only comes out at dusk to mate. Dinner will be had ashore at a local restaurant that offers traditional and delicious local dishes.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Bandas & At Sea

This morning offers time for a final stroll around the town or a last snorkel before saying farewell to the Spice islands around lunchtime and heading north. Enjoy lunch on the way, passing another major seabird island, before settling in for a relaxing afternoon on board scouring the horizon for migrating whales.

Accommodations

Katharina, Ombak Putih

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Disembark Ambon, Indonesia

Wake up just south of the final destination. Spend the last few hours enjoying the majesty of the ocean, and possibly see more whales along the way. As the ship drops anchor in the harbor, say farewell to the crew and tour leaders and be taken to the airport for onward journeys, ending a magical 12 days of exploration and adventure.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations and meals as indicated in itinerary; group airport transfer Maumere and Ambon; beverages including coffee, cocoa, tea, soft drinks and fruit juice; limited laundry service (2 items per day free of charge, service stops 2 days before disembarkation); guided excursions; use of snorkeling gear and sea kayaks/canoes.

Exclusions

International flights; alcoholic beverages; pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations; gratuities; a 2.5% foreign credit card transaction fee if using a credit card to pay for any onboard purchases; insurance of any kind (medical and medivac/air evacuation strongly encouraged due to the remote nature of itineraries); fuel surcharge ($400 per person, per departure).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Your trip/cruise is transferrable should you provide an alternate participant at the same fare. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – 25% of total trip cost
90 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The East Indies Spice Exploration cruise begins in Maumere, Indonesia (MOF) and ends in Ambon, Indonesia (AMQ). Transfers to and from the vessel will be provided. Plan flights to arrive to Maumere anytime prior to day 1 of the itinerary. Further arrival & departure guidelines to plan flights will be provided upon booking. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit ourBooking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Indonesia trip concludes.

Activities

Opportunities to explore the land and sea are made available most days of your trip and might include trekking, cultural tours, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding or nature exploration. Although all activities are inclusive, they are always optional, just inform your Tour Leader if you prefer to stay on board. Other activities may include jumping off the boat, beach volleyball with the crew and fishing (a simple spool of fishing line and hooks are available on board).

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin for solo use may do so at a 75% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. If you are willing to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, the single supplement will be waived; if no room-share match is found, no single supplement will be charged.

Families & Children

Families traveling with children are welcome aboard, but keep in mind that this is an adventure cruise and parents must watch their children at all times. Both boats have higher side railings than on normal traditional Buginese schooners, but there are steep staircases to consider if bringing smaller children. Children 12 years and younger will be charged 50% of the cruise fare if they share a triple cabin with parents. If sharing a cabin with other children, only the third child will receive the discount.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

These ships are AdventureSmith favorites for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Feb 07 - Feb 18, 2023
Katharina • 12 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon themed trip icon of a blue bird flying
From $8790USD
Per Person
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Sep 06 - Sep 17, 2023
Ombak Putih • 12 days
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From $8790USD
Per Person
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Sep 07 - Sep 18, 2023
Katharina • 12 days
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From $8790USD
Per Person
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Sep 20 - Oct 01, 2023
Ombak Putih • 12 days
From $8790USD
Per Person
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Sep 21 - Oct 02, 2023
Katharina • 12 days
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From $8790USD
Per Person
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Oct 04 - Oct 15, 2023
Ombak Putih • 12 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon themed trip icon of a blue bird flying
From $8790USD
Per Person
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olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon Eastbound
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green western galapagos islands directional icon Westbound
Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Motorsailer
Ombak Putih

The 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih combines traditional and modern design to bring authenticity and comfort to her itineraries in the Ring of Fire region stretching from Bali to the Philippines.

Motorsailer
Katharina

Katharina is a 12-guest sailing vessel whose adventures explore the Ring of Fire, the string of volcanic islands that stretch out from Bali east to the Philippines.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Lis Larson • January 17th, 2020
Expert Aboard: Katharina & Ombak Putih Ship Review

Learn about the food, cabins, crew and more from AdventureSmith experts who've been aboard these unique Indonesian sailing vessels.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

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Sailing Indonesia: Jewels of Raja Ampat

Experience the best of Indonesia travel aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or the 12-guest Katharina sailing vessels. This 10-day round-trip cruise from Sorong, West Papua, explores the natural splendor of Raja Ampat, home to the world's most biodiverse coral reefs.

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Aqua Blu Raja Ampat Cruise

Cruise Indonesia's stunning Raja Ampat in style aboard the 30-guest Aqua Blu luxury expedition yacht. This 8-day cruise explores the world's most biodiverse environments by snorkel and diving, with secluded beach visits along the way.

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Embrace culture, nature and wildlife on this 8-day Spice Islands cruise aboard the 30-passenger luxury Indonesia yacht Aqua Blu, including regular dive opportunities.

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Sailing Indonesia: Bali, Komodo & Flores

From Bali to Flores, experience Indonesia's Whale Sharks, Corals & Dragons aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina. Encounter the famous Komodo dragon, swim with whale sharks, snorkel in pristine coral reef and explore beautiful deserted beaches.

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10 - 14 Day Cruise
Sailing Indonesia: The Undiscovered Frontier

Experience Indonesia's undiscovered frontier aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina. Meet remote island cultures, seek out exotic birdlife, snorkel in pristine coral reef and explore some of the least visited parts of the Indonesian archipelago along Sulawesi or east of Flores.

From $5400USD
Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
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Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands

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