|All Cruises Include:||All Cruises Exclude:|
Private Shower and Toilet
Soft drinks, tea, and coffee
Use of snorkeling gear
Use of sea canoes
European cruise director
If you looking for a sailing expedition, that appeals to everyone, KLM Ombak Putih has earned the reputation of carrying, the perfect mix of deluxe clients. International Travelers from around the world board KLM Ombak Putih for "this years experience". You will find the service impeccable and the conversation light and intelligent.
"Departure Dates & Rates 2013"
|9-Jul-13||13-Jul-13||Komodo National Park Cruise||$ 1.500||5|
|17-Sep-13||28-Sep-13||Maumere - Banda - Ambon||$ 3.595||12|
|01-Oct-13||08-Oct-13||Ambon- Banda-Saparua- Ambon||$ 2,600||8|
|11-Oct-13||20-Oct-13||SPICE ISLANDS: Ambon-Banda Islands-Ambon||$ 3.250||10|
|24-Oct-13||4-Nov-13||SPICE DISCOVERY : Ambon - Banda Islands - Ternate||$ 4.750||12|
|8-Nov-13||19-Nov-13||Ternate – Halmahera – Morotai – Raja Ampat – Sorong||$ 4.950||12|
|23-Nov-13||5-Dec-13||Sorong -Raja Ampat – Papua Barat- Aru- Kei||$ 5.400||13|
|7-Dec-13||19-Dec-13||Kei – Aru– Papua Barat- Raja Ampat – Sorong||$ 5.400||13|
|22-Dec-13||1-Jan-14||Sorong – Raja Ampat – Buru – Ambon||$ 3.575||11|
|4-Jan-14||14-Jan-14||Ambon – Buru – Sula – Kolonodale - Kendari||$ 3.575||11|
|Departure Date||Return Date||Cruise Description||Days||Price|
|1-Apr-14||7-Apr-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|9-Apr-14||15-Apr-14||Flores - Sumba - Flores||7||$2,380|
|18-Apr-14||24-Apr-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|29-Apr-14||5-May-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|16-May-14||22-May-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|27-May-14||2-Jun-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|4-Jun-14||10-Jun-14||Flores - Bonerate - Kelimutu - Flores||7||$2,380|
|12-Jun-14||18-Jun-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|24-Jun-14||30-Jun-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|3-Jul-14||9-Jul-14||Flores - Bonerate - Kelimutu-Flores||7||$2,380|
|12-Jul-14||18-Jul-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|22-Jul-14||28-Jul-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|31-Jul-14||6-Aug-14||Flores - Bonerate - Kelimutu - Flores||7||$2,380|
|9-Aug-14||15-Aug-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|20-Aug-14||26-Aug-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|28-Aug-14||3-Sep-14||Flores - Komodo - Bali||7||$2,380|
|14-Sep-14||20-Sep-14||Bali - Komodo - Flores||7||$2,380|
|24-Sep-14||5-Oct-14||Flores - Komodo - Ring of Fire - Banda - Ambon||12||$4,980|
|8-Oct-14||19-Oct-14||Ambon - Banda Islands - Ternate Expert cruise||12||$5,400|
|22-Oct-14||2-Nov-14||Ternate - Halmahera - Sorong Expert Cruise||12||$5,400|
|7-Nov-14||16-Nov-14||Sorong - Sorong Expert Cruise||10||$4,500|
|20-Nov-14||29-Nov-14||Sorong - Sorong||10||$4,150|
|3-Dec-14||14-Dec-14||Sorong - Aru - Kei Expert Cruise||12||$5,400|
|18-Dec-14||27-Dec-14||Kei - Seram - Misool - Ambon||10||$4,150|
|31-Dec-14||11-Jan-15||Ambon - Kendari||12||$4,980|
"Advance Bookings Suggested"
Flores – Komodo -Bali 7 Days/6 Nights
On day 2 you will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island for a first possible encounter with the famous Komodo dragons. This dry and rugged island is well-known for its diverse wildlife. Apart from dragons, we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer. From the top of the hills, the scenery is spectacular. In the afternoon we go to one of the beaches nearby for some excellent snorkeling and in the evening our crew will prepare an evening beach barbecue and enjoy a star studded night sky.
On day 3 you will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang on the island that has given the Komodo dragon as well as the National Park its name. Accompanied by a ranger, we will hike for about 2 hours on this dry island that is covered by steppe and forest. The ranger shows us the dens and nests of the dragons and we learn a lot about this mysterious creature.
On day 4 you will wake up in the little harbor of Bima on the island of Sumbawa where you will visit the local market and a village in the nearby highlands where the inhabitants will demonstrate some traditional dances. Most famous is the ‘adu kepala’ : the ritual head-to head combat…
On day 6 we will anchor off East Lombok and go ashore to visit a traditional pottery center, several small villages and to witness a traditional dance performance.
On day 7 your last day aboard the Ombak Putih starts with a relaxing morning on a deserted beach at Gili Nanggu (just off the coast of South Lombok). We will leave around lunch time for the four hour sail back to Bali.
Komodo National Park Cruise 5 Days/4 Nights
On day 1 embarkation in Labuhanbajo (LBJ), West Flores. After a few hours of sailing we reach our first destination, the uninhabited island of Sabolon. Here we spend our first afternoon beachcombing and snorkeling followed by a quiet evening and a night at anchor under the stars.
On day 2 after a refreshing morning dip in the sea we hoist the anchor around nine o’ clock and after a short sail our first stop of the day will be at the small island of Mesa where we visit a settlement of the Bajau, the ‘Sea Gypsies’ who live in houses on wooden stilts that are often underwater during the high tide. Originally from Sulawesi and formerly fully nomadic, living on their boats, nowadays the Bajau often occupy more permanent settlements. In the afternoon we move to another deserted beach on nearby Mauan Island in the heart of the National Park. At the end of the afternoon we move to our night anchorage in Komodo Bay.
On day 3 we go ashore on Komodo Island at the Rangers station in Loh Liang for a trek on the island that gave its name to the Park. We make the trek in the company of some experienced rangers so we can watch the dragons in their natural habitat. The ranger shows us the dens and nests of the dragons and we learn a lot about this mysterious creature. We have lunch while crossing over to nearby Padar Island to another spectacular beach location for more exceptional snorkeling. At the end of the day we move to a protected bay to spend the night at anchor.
On day 4 you will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island for a second opportunity to encounter the dragons. We go trekking through the dry and rugged island of Rinca, which is well-known for its diverse wildlife. So aside from the Komodo dragons, we are likely to spot monkeys, wild buffaloes, deer and horses. From the top of the hills, the scenery is spectacular – you have to see it yourself! After this adventure and a healthy meal on the boat, we go to one of the many beautiful beaches in Komodo N.P. for snorkeling and swimming. The National Park is world-known for its teeming underwater world and colorful coral reefs. The plankton-rich seas around Komodo support amazing reefs and a range of large marine life, including whales and dolphins. After a short sail along the Northern Coast we also pay a visit to Rinca village. Finally we move to Kelor Island where in the evening our crew will prepare an evening beach barbecue and we enjoy a star studded night sky.
On day 5 we sail back to Flores and after a morning excursion to witness an unusual ancient whip fighting dance by the local Manggarai people we then deliver you to the Labuanbajo airport for your return flight to Bali.
Komodo - Sumba - Savu - Lembata – Maumere
On day two we visit the Komodo National Park where you will have the opportunity to encounter the famous Komodo dragons. A refreshing swim and some spectacular snorkeling are planned for the afternoon. At sunset Ombak Putih will go on a southerly course for an overnight crossing of the Sumba Strait.
On day three you will wake up in the harbor of Waingapu, in North-East Sumba, home of some of the finest weaving in Indonesia. We will visit some of the more important traditional villages such as Prailiu where ancient customs still play an essential part in daily life. Witness the production of the well-known "ikat" weavings. These textiles are important family heirlooms and are used extensively in the traditional ceremonies. On the way back to the harbor there will be time to visit a local market and other villages. During the night we continue our voyage to the Island of Savu.
On day four we anchor in the same spot at Seba, where Captain Cook landed in 1770. Savu is an island with a very strong animistic culture and a very thin layer of Christianity. We explore the ruins of Bodo, once a fortified village and drive by truck to Mesara, to see Savu ikats in a traditional village. There, we will also try the juice of the lontar palm, a staple food on the islands. In the late afternoon we go on a Northerly course, crossing the Savu Sea to Flores.
On day five we have reached the old port of Ende, capital of Flores where we go ashore early in the morning to make the 40 kilometer trip to the stunning, three-colored crate lakes of Mount Keli Mutu, 1690 meters high and one of Indonesia’s most spectacular sights. Once we come down from the volcano, we pay a visit to a local school before returning to the vessel. While having dinner we continue our voyage eastward again.
On day six we arrive on the South coast of Lembata to visit the traditional whale hunting village of Lamalera. Here local fishermen still practice a primitive form of whaling with small open boats. Traditional whaling is still allowed under the International Whaling Convention, the local economy depends upon whaling and it is a staple of the village. On the beach we will see the whalers preparing their small sailing craft. Each extended family owns such a boat and these are still being built without any metal screws or bolts at all
On day seven we go ashore at Lewoleba and visit some villages in the authentic heartland of Lembata. After lunch on board we proceed to the North East Coast of Adonara for some swimming and snorkeling.
On day eight we reach our final destination, Maumere and make a shore excursion to the village of Watublapi. Once we return to the vessel, we have our farewell dinner on board.
On day nine we take you to the airport for the early morning flight back to Bali
In the Wake of Wallace I: Maumere – Ternate
On day two, with the first rays of the sun we will drop anchor in Waienga Bay. After breakfast we will go ashore near the village of Jontona on the Southeastern flank of the Ile Ape volcano. We drive or walk up to the old traditional village. The Northwestern peninsula is the cultural heartland of Lembata Island and the scenery is exceptionally beautiful. The villages in this area are famous for their fine ‘ikat’ cloths and we will be able to witness how these remarkable textiles are made, following tedious, age-old techniques of spinning, dying and weaving. Weather permitting we will trek further up the Ile Ape Mountain where we find several traditional ‘adat’ houses. In the afternoon, once we hike back down to the coast and we are back aboard, Ombak Putih will sail out of the bay and the skipper will look for a convenient anchorage on the Lembata north Coast where we can go for a swim and enjoy the sunset. Around midnight we raise the anchor again to go on a short overnight crossing to one of the most remarkable sights in Eastern Indonesia.
On day three you will wake up with the ship at anchor off the Island of Kumba, a smoldering volcano in the middle of the Flores Sea. If the conditions allow us to do so we will go ashore on one of the pebble beaches and usually we can even go snorkeling ‘under the volcano’. The ship will leave again in the course of the morning and we hope for gentle trade winds to help us move swiftly on the 120 mile passage across the Flores Sea.
On day four we reach the first islands in the Tukang Besi archipelago, southeast of Sulawesi. This group of islands stretches over about 30 miles and we will stop near the best reefs and beaches. On these islands we will make our first acquaintance with the Bajau people. These 'sea gypsies’ live in houses on stilts over the water. Formerly they were fully nomadic, living on their boats, but nowadays they often occupy more permanent settlements. The Bajau use trident harpoons and bamboo spears to hunt the giant stingray, sometimes employing its poisonous spine as a point for daggers. The government tries to resettle these people in villages ashore but the Bajao resist. They consider themselves as the ‘children of the sea’ and do not feel at home on the land.
On day five we arrive in Bau-Bau, on Buton Island. Bau-Bau was an important harbour on the trade route between Sulawesi and the Moluccas and infamous as an important center of the slave trade and piracy. In the old days the sultan of Buton was a powerful potentate who ruled over a large area of the surrounding islands. Visiting the palace at Wolio, we can still see some of the former splendor. Two-meter-high stone fortifications still encircle the hilltop kraton, which contains one of the oldest mosques in eastern Indonesia, dating back to the 15th Century.
On day six we enter the narrow Strait between Buton and Muna with the first daylight. Navigating carefully between the islands we reach the main town of Raha on Muna Island around noon. Here we go ashore near the village of Bolo to visit limestone caves with ancient wall paintings.
On day seven we follow the east coast of Sulawesi on the way to Tolo Bay. We make several stops at small islands, to visit fishing villages and look for turtles or precious shells.
On day eight we arrive in Kolonodale, a town nestled deep into the narrow, but enchanting Bay of Tomori, the westernmost indentation of Tolo Bay. Our aim is a visit to the Morowali National Park. On a local boat we cross Tomori and sail up a small river into the virgin rain forest of Morowali where we meet members of the Wana tribe. The Wana comprise about 600 families who follow a traditional prehistoric lifestyle. They still hunt with blowpipes and survive bygathering forest products. Morowali is also known as a unique habitat of unusual beetles, butterflies, babirusa and equally rare maleo birds. In the late afternoon we are back on board to sail out of the Bay again. We will navigate with extreme care remindful of the fact that it was right here off Morowali that in the year 1580, Sir Francis Drake ran aground on a reef.
On day nine we reach the Banggai Islands, an archipelago of two major islands and approximately 100 smaller islets about 20 miles offshore. These are remote islands rarely visited by tourists. The chief town and port of the group is Banggai, which is on the western coast of Banggai Island. We first go round the town in a becak (pedi-cab).The sultanate of Banggai dates back to the 13th century and the palace of the former sultan is still intact. In the afternoon we start crossing over towards Sanana
On day ten we reach the Island of Sulabesi and visit its principal town Sanana, where we find an ancient Portuguese fortress, with its characteristic pinnacles at the four corners of the walls still reasonably intact. Outside the main town we will visit a Bajao village where we wander through a maze of wooden foot-bridges that connect the houses, all built on stilts over the sea The Bajao are a nomadic tribe of ‘sea gypsies’, originally from Sulawesi.
On day eleven we cross the equator and enter the northern hemisphere. Our voyage will continue through narrow straits and past several small islands to Bacan. In Maluku every island is a treasure by itself and this is where in 1858 Wallace discovered the marsupial cuscus, ‘cuscus ornatus’, which belongs to a curious genus peculiar to the Australo-Malayan region. They have small heads, large eyes and a dense covering of woolly fur, which is often pure white. On Bacan Island, parrots and fruit pigeons are also abundant. Endemic to the island is the roller Eurystomus azureus, a sunbird, Nectarinea auriceps and a racquet-tailed kingfisher, Tanysiptera isis. A bonus prize would be the endemic bird of paradise, Wallaces Standard Wing, Semioptera wallacii.
On day twelve we are sailing past Tidore and several other beautiful islands in the same chain, we proceed to Kayoa Island, which Wallace reached in October 1858. In the virgin forests he found colorful beetles, "so abundant that they rose up in swarms." We will look for the endemic racquet-tailed Kingfisher of Kayoa. In the evening we set sail for ternate.
On day thirteen we will be anchored in front of the town of Ternate, our final destination of this trip. Today the island of Ternate is still a major administrative center of the Moluccas but the peak of its power and importance was in the fifteenth and sixteenth century when the sultans of Ternate and nearby Tidore ruled an empire that stretched all the way from the eastern part of Sulawesi to Ambon, Seram and parts of Papua. The islands were the world's major producer of cloves and the sultans who controlled the spice trade were celebrated through the East for their power and regal magnificence. Wallace claims in his autobiography that it was on Ternate that he wrote his initial paper proposing a theory of evolution by means of natural selection. He describes his arrival on the island on page 312 of “The Malay Archipelago” ” On the morning of the 8th of January, 1858, I arrived at Ternate, the fourth of a row of fine conical volcanic islands which skirt the west coast of the large and almost unknown island of Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly conical mountain is Tidore, which is over four thousand feet high—Ternate being very nearly the sameheight, but with a more rounded and irregular summit. The town of Ternate is concealed from view till we enter between the two islands, when it is discovered stretching along the shore at the very base of the mountain. Its situation is fine, and there are grand views on every side…” After exploring the town we either transfer you to a hotel or to the airport for a connecting flight to Bali.
This special Seatrek itinerary honors one of the first prominent scientists who dared to raise
In the wake of Wallace II: Ternate - Banda – Ambon
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913) was a British naturalist and explorer. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of evolution due to natural selection that prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own theory. From 1854 to 1862, age 31 to 39, Wallace travelled through what is nowadays Malaysia and Indonesia in order to study its nature. His observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow strait in the archipelago led to his proposing the zoo-geographical boundary now known as the Wallace line. While he was exploring the archipelago, he refined his thoughts about evolution and had his famous insight on natural selection. In 1858 he sent an article outlining his theory to Darwin; it was published, along with a description of Darwin's own theory, in the same year. Accounts of his studies and adventures were eventually published in 1869 as “The Malay Archipelago” . Its full title was The Malay Archipelago: The land of the orang-utan, and the bird of paradise. A narrative of travel, with sketches of man and nature.
On day one you will arrive on the island of Ternate and be transferred from the airport to the Ombak Putih. Today the island of Ternate is still a major administrative center of the Moluccas but the peak of its power and importance was in the fifteenth and sixteenth century when the sultans of Ternate and nearby Tidore ruled an empire that stretched all the way from the eastern part of Sulawesi to Ambon, Seram and parts of Papua. The islands were the world's major producer of cloves and the sultans who controlled the spice trade were celebrated through the East for their power and regal magnificence. Wallace claims in his autobiography that it was on Ternate that he wrote his initial paper proposing a theory of evolution by means of natural selection. He describes his arrival on the island on page 312 of “The Malay Archipelago” ” On the morning of the 8th of January, 1858, I arrived at Ternate, the fourth of a row of fine conical volcanic islands which skirt the west coast of the large and almost unknown island of Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly conical mountain is Tidore, which is over four thousand feet high—Ternate being very nearly the same height, but with a more rounded and irregular summit. The town of Ternate is concealed from view till we enter between the two islands, when it is discovered stretching along the shore at the very base of the mountain. Its situation is fine, and there are grand views on every side…” After exploring the town during the remainder of the afternoon we spend the night at anchor.
On day two we leave Ternate and after sailing past Tidore and several other beautiful islands in the same chain, we proceed to Kayoa Island, which Wallace reached in October 1858. In the virgin forests he found colorful beetles, "so abundant that they rose up in swarms." We will look for the endemic racquet-tailed Kingfisher of Kayoa.
On day three we cross the equator and enter the southern hemisphere. Our voyage will continue through narrow straits and past several small islands to Bacan. In Maluku every island is a treasure by itself and this is where in 1858 Wallace discovered the marsupial cuscus, ‘cuscus ornatus’, which belongs to a curious genus peculiar to the Australo-Malayan region. They have small heads, large eyes and a dense covering of woolly fur, which is often pure white. On Bacan Island, parrots and fruit pigeons are also abundant. Endemic to the island is the roller Eurystomus azureus, a sunbird, Nectarinea auriceps and a racquet-tailed kingfisher, Tanysiptera isis. A bonus prize would be the endemic bird of paradise, Wallaces Standard Wing, Semioptera wallacii.
On day four as the day breaks we lift the anchor and we will be sailing all through the day and the following night for the 150 mile passage to Sanana.
On day five we reach the Island of Sulabesi and visit its principal town Sanana, where we find an ancient Portuguese fortress, with its characteristic pinnacles at the four corners of the walls still reasonably intact. Outside the main town we will visit a Bajao village where we wander through a maze of wooden foot-bridges that connect the houses, all built on stilts over the sea The Bajao are a nomadic tribe of ‘sea gypsies’, originally from Sulawesi.
On day six we will be visiting Buru. This island is harsh and mountainous. Like all the islands of Maluku, Buru has its own collection of endemic birds, such as pittas, sunbirds and kingfishers. In general it must be noted that Maluku is indeed a major hub of global bird diversity with 94 bird species found nowhere else on earth - more birds than for any other similar area. In addition Buru is home to the peculiar Babirusa - an animal that looks part pig, part deer. It is found only in Sulawesi and Buru and its ancestry is lost in the mists of time.
On day seven in the early morning the captain will move the ship to nearby Kelang Island where we will go ashore for a trek through small villages, vegetable gardens and tropical rainforest all the way to the top of the island; we will have a good chance to encounter wildlife and the view over the surrounding islands and toward Ceram and Buru is breathtaking. The coral reefs on the north coast of the island are exceptionally beautiful. During the night the captain will take the vessel on a southerly course again and we will round Cape Hatamata, the extreme southeasterly point of Ceram.
On day eight we will first explore the Bight of Hitu on the North Coast of Ambon Island which was a favorite anchorage of the early navigators. Then we go beach-combing and snorkeling around the islands in Piru Bay. We will also take the tenders to explore the coastline and villages of Ceram itself. In the late afternoon we pass through the Horuke Strait and start our 110 mile passage to the Banda archipelago. The days that follow are dedicated to the Banda archipelago, considered by some to be “the most beautiful islands on earth". Tiny specks in the vast Banda Sea, the three main islands enclose a harbour with water so transparent that living corals and even minute objects are plainly seen on the volcanic sand at depths of tens of meters. The reefs surrounding the island are healthy and lush with fish and colorful invertebrates, so Banda is one of the world's finest spots for scuba diving and snorkeling.
On day nine we will reach the first of the Banda Islands, Run. An amazing historical footnote is the fact that in 1667, under the Treaty of Breda, this small island was ceded by the English to the Dutch in exchange for Manhattan. After rounding Run we will reach the Island of Ai. Here we go ashore on a beautiful beach to meet with the villagers. A short walk brings us to Fort Revenge, a reference to the wars that were waged here between the colonial powers in the 17th century. Behind the fort, we find the first nutmeg plantations. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling over one of the most beautiful coral reefs of Eastern Indonesia, off the coastline of Ai. In the course of the afternoon we set sail for close-by Bandaneira. With the Ombak Putih moored on the waterfront, we can get our first look at the small colonial town. At the end of the day we will dine and spend a quiet evening in the lagoon.
On day ten the day is available for strolling through the old town of Bandaneira to get a feel for its incredible history. Until today the population is an interesting mix of Malay, Arab, Dutch and Melanesian We can view the restored planters’ mansions, fortifications and churches, and perhaps take a look at the local museum. We will find that Fort Belgica was an early blueprint of the Pentagon. We will also have an opportunity to visit the markets and find the special nutmeg fruit jellies and syrups which are specialties of the region.
On day eleven we invite the fit and ambitious to come along for an early morning ascent of the Gunung Api volcano. While this is a challenging climb up a narrow track to an elevation of about 600 meters, the reward to reach the top of the “Fire Mountain” is more than worth it: a stunning and unforgettable view over the Banda sea, the surrounding islands and the crater itself. The Banda islands are in fact the remainder of a large volcano that sank into the sea and the curved edge of the largest island clearly traces out the rim of its massive sunken caldera. Around noon we cross over to visit Lonthor, the largest island in the chain. On our way out the ‘Sonnegat” (sun’s gap) between Bandaneira and Gunung Api we hope to be escorted by one or two so-called ‘Kora-Kora’, long sea canoes, rowed by over a dozen muscled men and used in ancient times to attack the invading colonists. On Lonthor we visit Fort Hollandia, the Groot Walingen estate and a nutmeg plantation. Wallace: …”Few cultivated plants are more beautiful than nutmeg trees. They are handsomely shaped and glossy-leaved, growing to the height of twenty or thirty feet, and bearing small yellowish flowers. The fruit is the size and color of a peach, but rather oval. It is of a tough, fleshy consistence, but when ripe splits open and shows the dark-brown nut within, covered with the crimson mace, and is then a most beautiful object. Within the thin hard shell of the nut is the seed, which is the nutmeg of commerce. The nuts are eaten by the large pigeons of Banda, which digest the mace but cast up the nut, with its seed uninjured.” In the late afternoon we hoist the anchor for the 115 nautical mile crossing to Ambon.
On day twelve Ombak Putih will sail into the Harbor of Ambon and we will spend the day exploring the capital of the Province of Maluku. Ambon is a bustling city. There are many things to see and great markets from which to buy local crafts and produce. Perhaps we will search the markets for breadfruit. Wallace spent three periods in Ambon, between December 1857 and April 1861. His advice:” During the time I resided in this place Amboyna I enjoyed a luxury I have never met with, either before or since—the true breadfruit. It is baked entire in the hot embers and the inside scooped out with a spoon. I compared it to Yorkshire pudding….” In the evening we have a farewell dinner on the good vessel that took us a thousand miles through history.
Moluccan Spice Discovery: Ambon – Banda - Ternate
On day one when you arrive at the Ambon airport cars will be waiting to take you to the Ombak Putih at her mooring in the harbour. After you have settled in on the vessel and freshened up, we spend the rest of the day exploring this bustling capital city of the Moluccas. Ambon was built on a hillside overlooking the bay and there are many interesting sites of historical and cultural interest. Among them are the remnants of several old forts built by the Dutch East Indies Company during the heydays of the spice trade. To get a good feel of the local atmosphere, one can crisscross the downtown area in one of the numerous becaks (pedicabs). There are also great markets from which to buy local crafts and produce. In the early afternoon we will make the crossing to the Banda archipelago.
On day two we will first reach the first of the Banda Islands, Run. An amazing historical footnote is the fact that in 1667, under the Treaty of Breda, this small island was ceded by the English to the Dutch in exchange for Manhattan. After rounding Run we will reach the Island of Ai. Here we go ashore on a beautiful beach to meet with the villagers. A short walk brings us to Fort Revenge which was built by the English. Behind the fort we find the first nutmeg plantations. During lunch the vessel will move to the main Island of Bandaneira. With the Ombak Putih tied up to a palm tree on the waterfront, we will spend the afternoon strolling through the old town and get a feel for its incredible history viewing the restored planters’ mansions, fortifications and churches. We will find that Fort Belgica was an early blueprint of the Pentagon. Until today the population is an interesting mix of Malay, Arab, Dutch and Melanesian. At the end of the day we will spend a quiet evening in the lagoon.
On day three we invite the fit and ambitious to first come along for an early morning ascent of the Gunung Api volcano. While this is a challenging climb up a narrow track to an elevation of about 600 meters the reward to reach the top of the “Fire Mountain” is more than worth it: a stunning and unforgettable view over the Banda Sea, the surrounding islands and the crater itself. In the course of the morning we cross over to visit Lonthor, the largest island in the chain. On our way out the ‘Sonnegat’ (sun’s gap) between Bandanaira and Gunung Api we hope to be escorted by one or two so-called ‘Kora-Kora’, long sea canoes, rowed by over a dozen muscled men and used in ancient times to attack the invading colonists. In the afternoon the Ombak Putih goes on a Westerly course back towards the island of Ambon.
On day four we arrive in the vicinity of Ambon and pass through the Horuku Strait; explore the Bight of Hitu on the North Coast of Ambon Island, which was a favorite anchorage of the early navigators; and go beach-combing and snorkeling around the islands of Piru Bay (Kasa Island Natural Reserve). Once we round the southwest point of Ceram, we venture north for the Island of Kelang.
On day five at Kelang Island we will go ashore for a trek through small villages, vegetable gardens and tropical rainforest all the way to the top of the island; we will have a good chance to encounter wildlife and the view over the surrounding islands and toward Ceram and Buru is breathtaking. The coral reefs on the north coast of the island are exceptionally beautiful and we look for a spot to relax and enjoy the beach and water in the afternoon.
On day six magnificent scenery awaits us on Boano island: towering cliffs and a ‘karst’ landscape that is fringed by white-sand beaches. We will use our tenders to explore this beautiful coastline and stop in some of the fishing villages. In the late afternoon the ship takes a northerly course for an overnight passage across the Ceram Sea.
On day seven we spend the morning exploring jungle-clad Obi, one of the least populated islands in the archipelago. We’ll drop anchor in a secluded bay and go trekking to an inland lake, a two hour walk through mangroves and rainforest. During lunch we will move to Obilatu; we visit a remote settlement on the north coast or relax on one of the small islets offshore. In the evening we select a good spot for a BBQ on the beach.
On day eight during the night the captain will move the ship Doworalamo Island where we will spend the morning, snorkeling and beach-combing. During lunch we will move to the East Coast of Bacan near Sayoang or Babang from where we will drive across the island to visit the main town of Labuha and the old crumbling Fort Barnewald, originally built by the Portuguese .
On day nine we go ashore for an early morning trek from the village of Geti on the north coast of Bacan. We enter the rain-forest to try to spot some of the endemic species of parrots, cockatoos, lorikeets and perhaps even the elusive cuscus or a rare black macaque. The afternoon we will spend with exploring the strait between Bacan and Halmahera. It will not be difficult to find some great spots for snorkeling or diving.
On day ten once again the ship is underway at sunrise and in the course of the morning we make a stop on Muari Island for snorkeling or a walk ashore to one of the coastal villages. Shortly after noon we cross the equator and enter the northern hemisphere where we reach the Goraici group of islands. Most of these are the picture post card variety: uninhabited with palm fringed white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters.
On day eleven, early in the morning we will reach the island of Tidore. While having breakfast, sailing around the North- East coast of Tidore you will have a magnificent view of the perfect cone of the extinct Kiematabu volcano that dominates Tidore. When we reach the old town of Soa Siu, local vehicles will bring us high on the slope of the volcano to visit some age-old clove plantations. The afternoon we will spend with snorkeling and exploring around one of the adjacent islands.
On day twelve we reach the island of Ternate our final destination. This old city has been the center of the spice trade for several centuries, where the imprint of the Dutch and the Portuguese can still be seen. Here we will visit the ‘Kedaton’, the palace of the Sultan of Ternate. We hope to attend court-dances in the ‘pendopo’ (covered atrium). If we are lucky we may enjoy the presence of the Sultan and his family. We will be drinking tea and listen to a short introduction of the dances and the history of Ternate. After that we will go back to the boat to say goodbye to captain and crew and transfer awaits to either a hotel our the airport to fly back to Jakarta or Bali.
In the wake of Wallace III
On day two in the morning the crew will cast off the mooring lines/ raise the anchor and with the first light of dawn we will cross over towards the neighboring island of Halmahera. Halmahera (formerly also known as Jilolo or Gilolo) is the largest of the Maluku Islands. It is sparsely-populated and about half of its inhabitants are Muslim and about half are Christian. Throughout history the fortunes of Halmahara have long been closely tied to those of the much smaller islands of Ternate and Tidore. After a few hours of sailing we reach our first destination on Halmahera, which is the Bay of Jailolo, the site of an independent sultanate in the era before the Dutch East India Company colonized the entire archipelago. We go ashore in the village of Jailolo and visit the old ‘Controleur’s Huis’ and a local community house with a display of historical treasures. The village of Jailolo is on the slope of a stunning volcanic complex of the same name with plenty of geothermal activity. It has lava flows on the eastern flank, a small caldera at the west and southwest of the mountain and hot springs along the northwest coast of the caldera. An independent small volcano with a perfect cone, Kailupa forms the southern flank of the peninsula. Around noon we sail out of the bay again and during the rest of the day, the following night and most of the day that follows we sail along the Western coast of Halmahera. We see it is a wild and mountainous island, still largely covered with forests. We do pass some narrow beaches with small villages on the coastline but often sea conditions make landing difficult. In the early evening we pass the Bay of Loloda, another independent kingdom with a long history stretching from the 13th to the 19th century. While we are tempted to stop for the night, a study of the chart shows that the Bay is extremely shallow, so safety at anchorage prevails and we move on.
On day three we reach the Northern Loloda Islands. In the 13th Century when the sultans of Ternate and Tidore ruled the general area all the way to Papua these were know as “The Gate to the North”. The Sailing Directions of the British Admiralty, covering the harbors, coasts, and waters of the world, state: …”Vessels call at these islands for ebony. They have no definite anchorages, but anchor in the most convenient place for picking up their cargo…”. We find an anchorage in a small bay at the village of Kampung Dama on the South side of Pulau Doi. First we use our tender to explore a small inlet and look for the fabled waterfall that, according to local legend, spills rejuvenating water. Afterwards we go snorkeling on the reef that fringes
On day four as the sun rises, the crew raises the anchor and we round the northernmost cape of Halmahera on the way to Morotai Island. In the course of the morning we first drop anchor at Dodola Island. Dodola is surrounded by extensive white sand beaches which actually connect the neighboring islands of Dodola Besar and Dodola Kecil. The beautiful nature and the clear waters make it a great spot for swimming and snorkeling or simply relaxing. We will also search for Air Kaca, the so-called ‘mirror’ pond in the jungle of which the local people will tell us the true meaning. Afterwards we move to Daruba harbour on Morotai itself. During World War II, Halmahera was the site of a Japanese military base at Kao Bay and Morotai is famous for the role it played at the end of the Pacific War. On September 15 1944 Allied forces landed on Morotai occupied by the Japanese to create a bridgehead for attacking the Philippines. When we go ashore we may find remnants reminiscent of this era, but the contrast the current scenery presents could not be any greater; rustling palm-leaves, powdery white sandy beaches and a rippling turquoise sea.
On day five we sail back to the ‘mainland’ and first we make a stop at Tobelo, the capital of the regency of North Halmahera. It has a population of approximately 15,000. The town is predominantly Christian and a Protestant Church has existed in Tobelo since 1924. Then we depart toward Kau Bay in between the northern and northeastern ‘leg’ of Halmahera. In the afternoon we will reach Waisile Bay which is on the E side of Kau, immediately inside the entrance. We drop anchor at the small port of Subaim on the south coast.
On day six we go ashore at the break of day to make a trek into the Aketajawe-Lolobota National Park, a truly exceptional wildlife sanctuary. The vegetation of this national park consists mostly of lowland and mountain rainforest and its forest vegetation is characterized by an extremely high level of biodiversity. It is considered by Birdlife International to be vital for the survival of at least 23 endemic bird species. We will be guided by members of the indigenous Tugutil tribe, whose knowledge of the local environment is unsurpassed. We do hope to see the ‘golden cat’ (only found on Halmahera,) but in particular we hope to spot Wallace’s Standard Wing Bird of Paradise and the Giant Pitta, described by Wallace as ‘one of the most beautiful birds of the East’. With the sun setting we will sail out of the bay again northward. During the evening we veer off toward the NE, following the coast until we turn south again at Cape Lelai.
on day seven we will step ashore one last time on Halmahera near the village of Watam just South of Cape Wayamli. We are now in Buli Bay, an area full of coconut plantations. The villages on this Bay are among the most isolated communities in Indonesia because they have access by sea only and there very few roads. In the afternoon we go searching for good snorkeling spots nearby. As the sun sets we start an overnight passage crossing from Halmahera to the Raja Ampat archipelago. The Raja Ampat archipelago consists of some 600 Islands and islets that straddle the equator in the area off the “Bird’s Head”, the extreme north-western tip of the province of Papua. The name Raja Ampat literally means ‘the Four Kings’ and the name dates back to the time that the islands were ruled from the North Moluccan sultanates of Ternate and Tidore. (In those days each of the four larger islands in the group, Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool used to have an independent ‘raja’). Most of the islands have rugged and steep coastlines and are covered with virgin rain forest. The larger islands are lightly populated, but most others are uninhabited by humans.
On day eight when you come on deck you will feel that you have arrived in an extraterrestrial world. What looks like an armada of flying saucers around you is in reality a great number of tiny islets that over time have been eroded by the relentless motion of the tides. We have arrived in the Wayag islands and in the morning we go hiking to an amazing spot ashore from where we have great view over the area. In the afternoon we will explore the beaches around the bay, go snorkeling and in the evening we will have a superb seafood beach barbecue. Then we spend the night at anchor.
On day nine we go on a southeasterly course towards the largest of the Raja Islands, Waigeo. In the sailing directions we read: “Large schools of porpoises are sometimes seen in this passage and may be mistaken for dry rocks when motionless”… Waigeo lies North West of the West end of Papua and consists almost entirely of hills and mountains which rise steeply from the sea. The island is 110 km long; from east to west and 48 km wide from north to south. The highest elevations are on the N side of the island. We steer for Buffalo Horn (0°05'S.130°45'E.), a 958 meter high mountain peak about midway along the N. coast reported to be a good landmark. When we reach Latitude zero we go on a course due East and follow the equator until we reach
On day ten we will reach the island of gam before day break we start a one half hour trek to the location where when dawn arrives and the jungle awakes we hope to witness the red bird of paradise. A viewing station is positioned in an area known to be frequented by this unique bird. Various morning bird calls attract your attention and many other species are sighted while walking the paths. Weather may be the obstacle though, as rain seems to negatively affect the bird’s movements.
On day eleven we proceed from Gam to the island of Wai. Here we will enjoy our last
On day twelve after a short crossing to Sorong, we say goodbye to captain and crew of the Vessel and after our transfer to the airport, we board our plane back to Bali or Jakarta.
Raja Ampat: Sorong – Sorong 10 Days/9Nights
On day one upon arrival at Sorong airport we immediately transfer you to the harbour where Omak Putih is waiting. Once you are aboard our cruise director will first give you a general briefing to familiarize you with the vessel and our safety procedures. Then we cast off/raise the anchor and the vessel goes on a Northerly course into the Dampier Strait. Our first destination is Kri, just east of slightly larger Mansuar Island. Here we will enjoy our first experience of white-sand beaches, clear waters, and iridescent reefs with the backdrop of heavy rain forest. We spend the night at anchor.
On day two during the morning we take you snorkeling. It will be a great introduction to the underwater splendor of Raja Ampat because this very area is considered to have some of the richest reefs in the world. In the afternoon we will proceed to the South coast of the island of Gam. Here we will go ashore and make a trek inland in an attempt to spot the red Bird of Paradise. In the evening we will depart for an overnight passage of some sixty-five miles. Sometime during the night we will cross the equator for a 24 hour foray on to the Northern hemisphere….
On day three, when you come on deck you will encounter a unique phenomenon: a great number of tiny islets whose bases over time have been eroded by the relentless motion of the tides. We have arrived in the Wayag Islands. The landscape is typical of ‘karst dissolution’ so the chain of islands was cut into a series of coves and lagoons, narrow channels and inlets, caves and jagged rocks as well as countless shaded beaches. In the morning we go hiking to an amazing point of view ashore. In the afternoon we will explore the beaches around the bay, swimming and snorkeling, and in the evening we will have a superb seafood beach barbecue. In the course of the evening we raise the anchor and go on a southerly course again.
On day four, around noontime we first make a landfall on the North Coast of Kofiau Island and we find a sheltered anchorage off the village of Deer, on a small island separated from Kofiau by a clear channel. We go ashore and use our tenders to explore the area. The water around these islands is clear enough to see the bottom everywhere. In the course of the afternoon we proceed to the Boo Islands. This is a group of small islands with extremely rich vegetation and a true birdwatcher's paradise. We drop anchor in between the islands and go snorkeling in the lagoon of Boo Kecil. There are no permanent human settlements on these islands. Apart from parrots many seabirds fly past. We spend the night at anchor.
On day five we leave at sunrise and start our passage towards Misool. This island, also known as Batanme, is located about 40 miles southwest of the Doberai (Vogel Kop) Peninsula. Flat lowlands cover the coastal regions except in the South, which is hilly and mountainous; the hills in the central part of the island reach an elevation of 3,250 feet. The climate is hot, with heavy rainfall; seasonal streams flow seaward from the central highlands, where there are dense hardwood forests. The island is sparsely populated. In the afternoon we reach the village of Lenmolas on the Eastern end of the north coast. We spend the rest of the day ashore to get the feel of this remarkable island and to hear about its long history.
On day six we first round Cape Yamtu and we follow the east coast southward. In the afternoon we reach the east-coast of Misool Island. Few areas in Indonesia can lay claim to such unsurpassed natural beauty as this part of the Misool archipelago. We base ourselves off the Farondi Islands and go swimming and snorkeling in surroundings that are truly magnificent.
On day seven we move again a little further south to the archipelago that extends south from Cape Forongketo. This is another large cluster of uninhabited islands. We will spend another splendid day using our tenders to explore the beaches and the reefs in the neighborhood of Kalig and Fiabacet.
On day eight we move to the Kepulauan Penyu (the Schildpad Islands), 16 miles NNE of Misool for a last day of swimming and snorkeling. These are a group of eight islands covered with high trees and quite different from what we have seen before. In the course of the evening we start our passage to return towards the mainland.
On day nine, in the early morning we make a landfall on the southern coast of Batanta Island. In the course of the day we proceed to Markhesa Bay, close to Sorong and spend some time ashore to meet the people in the local village and listen to their stories. We hope to hear of their adventures in nature and of their secrets of life and death.On day ten, after breakfast, we take you across the Bay back to the mainland and once you have said farewell to the captain and crew we transfer you to the airport for the return flight to Bali or to any other destination.