Sailing Indonesia: The Undiscovered Frontier
Explore beyond the reaches of popular port towns to see a more authentic, undiscovered Indonesia. These remote itineraries go where few passenger ships do, and reap the rewards of their custom yet flexible itineraries and excellent local guides leading the way.
Choose from routes that cruise Sulawesi, east of Flores and the stretches in between. These are truly the most remote and least-visited parts of the Indonesian archipelago. And a highlight is passage aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina. These traditional pinisi-style ships are AdventureSmith favorites for private charter cruises due to their romance, Indonesian culture, rustic charm and superior service. Complimentary onboard snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear and tender boats equip guests with daily adventures on every route. Learn a bit more about each one:
On the main 14-day itinerary, travel from the spice port of Ternate to the shipbuilding port of Bitung in North Sulawesi while sailing through the islands that fringe the Molucca Sea. Numerous highlights include remote island cultures, Bajau sea gypsies, birds of paradise and other exotic birdlife, volcanic peaks and ample opportunity for snorkeling on fantastic coral reefs and in lakes filled with freshwater stingless jellyfish. Experience Halmahera, the island where famed naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace developed the idea of natural selection via survival of the fittest, then wrote and sent it on to Charles Darwin.
On the alternative 16-day Corals, Cultures & Dragons sail the length of Sulawesi from Bitung Harbor down to Flores Island. The journey is the reward here as you cruise along and meet fishermen and villagers who only see your ship once every few years. While you won’t have the chance see birds of paradise or Halmahera on this route, you’ll trek to see the rare maleo bird, snorkel with sea turtles and seek out black-crested macaques, with the grand finale of seeing Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park. Another similar southbound route sails from Ternate in the Spice Islands to Flores, also over 16 days days with Komodo National Park a final stop.
Komodo dragons are also a highlight on the 10-day Remote Ring of Fire itineraries sailing between Komodo and Maumere. These unique routes hit the Komodo National Park highlight but cruise on to explore more uncharted territory east of Flores. There’s a chance to snorkel with manta rays and snorkel every day, in fact. And volcanos take center stage in every vista as you explore their surrounding reefs, visit local villages and see historic Portuguese forts used in the spice trade.
Visiting farther east to Alor Island is the 12-day Textiles of the Lesser Sundas. This special itinerary introduces you to the culture and textiles of the Sikka people, with guest textile scholar hosts David and Sue Richardson. Gain insights into the local techniques of spinning, binding, dyeing and weaving, with opportunities to purchase finished ikat and other textiles along the way. This trip also finishes in Flores with a visit to Komodo National Park.