Ombak Putih small ship cruising on a sunny day with land in the background
the ombak putih small ship anchored on a sunny day with a guide in the foreground looking back at it
the deck of the ombak putih with a row of lounge chairs on a sunny day
delicious food and a bottle of wine on a table on the deck of the ombak putih yacht on a sunny day
a cabin on the ombak putih small ship showing the higher of 2 beds, wooden walls and pictures on the walls
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Ombak Putih

24 guests
year built
138 feet
34 feet
11.5 feet
cruising speed
7-10 knots

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 through Indonesia. This intimate vessel is a gaff-rigged ketch just oozing with Indonesian charm and an Old World sense of simple luxury. As a traditional pinisi-style ship she was built in the sturdy and efficient way that ironwood ships have been built for hundreds of years on the islands surrounding Sulawesi. She is well fit for her memory-making itineraries and her beauty as the perfect match for the stunning region and waters in which she plies. The Ombak Putih, means “white wave” in Bahasa Indonesia and is quite the appropriate ship for traveling from idyllic island to idyllic island throughout the remote intrigue of Indonesia.

Why Sail Aboard Ombak Putih

Choose the Ombak Putih for an intimate sailing adventure on a sustainably-minded traditional ship with an Indonesian crew. This ship is romantic for couples, family-friendly and ideal for a group of friends. Travelers are sure to be impressed by this ship’s all-wood interiors, lending your voyage a feel that harkens back to the time of spice trade. Ombak Putih is fitted with all internationally required safety and communication equipment such as SSB and VHF radios, life jackets, life rafts and satellite telephone. Other safety measures include the reliable “work horse” Detroit Diesel engine, anchor chains instead of wire rope and many safety features demanded by the Australian coast guard for ocean-going vessels. Her crew is a well-trained, seasoned Indonesian crew of 16, several of whom have worked on the vessel since she was launched, complemented by a multilingual cruise director.

AdventureSmith Explorations has been aboard the Ombak Putih. Read our dedicated Ombak Putih Ship Review, written by two of our specialists, for our firsthand take on life aboard. Or consult this page further for a detailed description of Ombak Putih, including ship specs, deck plan, cabin images, a photo gallery and current links to all the trips she sails. Our team can help you compare the Ombak Putih with other small cruise ships and yachts offering Indonesia cruises, including private charter cruises.

History of Ombak Putih

Ombak Putih’s construction followed age-old and well-established design principles. Throughout Asia, the Buginese people from the island of Sulawesi are well-known for their shipbuilding skills; most remarkable about Ombak Putih is that this huge handmade wooden structure was made without any drawings, fully relying on the intuitive craftsmanship of its builders as passed along through many generations. A Dutch naval architect was hired to recalculate and verify all dimensions for ultimate seaworthiness, as well as design the interior and the deck house. Only first-quality ironwood timber was used, making the hull considerably thicker than most other wooden vessels (ranging from 10cm down below to 6cm near the deck). Construction on Ombak Putih began in May of 1996.

One year after construction started, six men started digging. In Batulicin, boats are not towed into the water. Instead, men dig away the soil underneath, thus creating a small canal out of which the boat is eventually pulled. On May 27, 1997, the Ombak Putih was launched, complete with the Buginese tradition of a goat being ritually sacrificed and its blood scattered over various important places of the ship.

Common Areas Aboard Ombak Putih

The charming, classy and clean Ombak Putih offers a variety of common spaces for all passengers to find a nook. The spacious enclosed salon has room to relax and read and includes the ship’s library, presentation TV, small bar, coffee station, the electronic charging “dry zone” and mini-fridge. A charming outdoor dining and seating area on the main deck is where all meals are served (completely covered in canvas to protect from sun and rain) and offer plenty of room for viewing wildlife and wild seascapes from the rail. The bow offers cushioned seating for six to watch the sunset and to lookout for dolphins. On the Top Deck, an uncovered bow facing area and the covered viewing area aft of the wheelhouse provide an ample supply of benches, loungers, couches and even bean bag chairs for reading, napping, journaling, socializing with shipmates or simply watching the jaw-dropping landscapes of Indonesia slip by.

Dining Aboard Ombak Putih

Free tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices, filtered water (reusable water bottle is provided) and mineral water is available on board Ombak Putih, as are excellent buffet meals and snacks. Enjoy a welcome drink and chilled towels to refresh your embarkation. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated upon request. Wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks are available for purchase on board; however, Indonesia has high import taxes for alcohol, so guests are permitted to bring their own wine or liquor, which should be stored in staterooms as there is limited space in the ship’s coolers.

Meals are served in large dishes, buffet or family-style, with guests being able to select their own portions. Breakfast includes several cereal, granola and bread options alongside a changing menu of Western- and Eastern-style cuisine. Eggs and a small menu of choices are made to order upon request. Crackers, cookies and nuts are available self-serve any time of day, and the chef prepares an early evening traditional snack before each night’s dinner. Dinners include steak and seafood, soups and always a refreshing salad. Dessert is served plated at both lunch and dinner, and is most often an assorted tropical fruit plate punctuated by a few custards and cakes throughout the voyage.

Activities Aboard Ombak Putih

Take advantage of the marine life by using complimentary onboard snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear and two tender boats. Beach towels and sarongs are provided and there is a freshwater on-deck shower for rinsing off after activities. Scuba diving may be arranged on select itineraries at an added cost. The 2:1 guest to guide ratio ensure guests are completely taken care of during any activity. No WiFi is available aboard the ship, and cell coverage should not be relied upon in the remote regions that the Ombak Putih sails.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Ombak Putih

Ombak Putih can accommodate 24 guests in complete comfort and superb style. Her 12 cabins are a study in the efficient use of space aboard a ship—all boasting modern conveniences such as USB charging ports, air conditioning, stylish fixtures and ensuite bathrooms with a hot shower and toiletries. The beach sarongs and towels, reusable water bottles and small day-pack that await guests on the berth make it clear that time won’t be spent inside peering through the brass porthole. Towels and beach towels are regularly changed. There is ample space to store belongings and still move about with ease. Valuables and travel documents can be stored in the ship’s safe. Voltage on board is 220 volts. In each stateroom there is a socket suitable for 2-way European plugs as well as USBs. An added bonus, mattresses and light blankets are available on the Top Deck for sleeping under the stars, an unforgettable experience that a cruise in the tropics affords. 

room with large bed and wooden walls aboard the ombak putih small ship

Ombak Putih features 12 staterooms: four twin cabins with bunk beds (#1, 2, 3, 4), two double bed cabins (#5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12) & two triple cabins with a double bed & single bed (#7, 8).

ombak putih small ship deck plan
Trips, Tours & Cruises

Get Aboard Ombak Putih in Indonesia

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter.
For charter pricing and details, contact us to connect with a charter cruise specialist.

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