11Days Island Life Flores – Banda – Ambon

We love Indonesia, with over 18.000 islands sandwiched between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It gives us a truly stunning variety of cultures, flora, fauna and marine biology. We are honoured to be able to share this with you in our traditional handmade boat.  Indonesia boasts the largest wooden fleet still in operation: the Bugis Schooners or Phinisi, vessels with a shallow draft requiring little maritime infrastructure and built to approach even the smallest islets at close range.

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Itinerary

Please note that all our itineraries occasionally may have to be modified, due to factors beyond our control such as unfavourable weather conditions or a delay in processing harbour clearances. Please do not plan tight air connections! The cruise director and captain of Bidadari will adjust the program accordingly in the best interest of all and keep you well informed at all times.

 

Day 1
You will fly into  Maumere airport where we will meet you and make sure you have a smooth transfer to KM Bidadari your home for the next 11 days of adventure. For those who may have arrived the previous day, in the morning after boarding the ship we will tour the small village of Watoblapi to enjoy a village dance and see a demonstration of their local traditional weaving. When all voyagers have arrived and settled in their cabins, we will then set an afternoon sail to Lembata Island. Time allowing we will stop for a first swim and snorkel in these beautiful waters.

Day 2
This morning we will arrive in  Lembata, the largest island of the Solor archipelago. and home to the only remaining whaling villages in Indonesia. Bordering the Timor Straits, the village is in an area long recognized as hunting-grounds on the nineteenth century British and American whaling voyages. Since at least 1836 these villages have taken various species of whales and manta rays. On the beach we will see the small craft used for the hunting of the sperm whales. The small-scale hunting (no more than 25 per year) is considered sustainable and exempt from international bans on whale hunting. If we are lucky we might see one of these small boats in action with  the harpoonist standing on the edge of the bowsprit. In the afternoon, we head towards Alor and more adventures.

Day 3
Today we cruise the coast of Alor stopping as we desire.  Alor is a volcanic island with a rugged terrain, the local residents practice a subsistence agricultural life dependent on vanilla, tamarind and almonds. We will explore a traditional village before re joining Bidadari. Alor produces Ikat cloth famous for its intricate patterns and bright colors, a great souvenir for you to take home. In the evening we will proceed further to the east and the western Daya Islands in the southern Banda Sea.

Day 4
Today we cross between the Lesser Sunda Islands group and the Moluccas of the region known as Maluku. Our first stop is Wetar, a small island only 50 kms from Timor. We will find a safe anchorage to allow us to explore. we will have time to photograph the  fishermen drying their catch on the beaches, find some great swimming/snorkeling and visit a village on the beach front. If you are game you might sample the  famous liquor of the islands called Sopi. Be warned! It’s basically fermented papyrus fruits. The people make it in drums and it is reputed to taste similar to rubbing alcohol and is indeed very strong.

Day 5
After an overnight sail we will reach Damar, the next island many in the ring of fire chain. This island, volcanic in nature, was one of the few islands outside of the Bandas that produced nutmeg.We will visit a small village consisting of simple huts made from leafs of the sago palm. Staple foods of the locals are sweet potatoes (ubi), bananas and fish. If you feel inclined we may hike to the other side of the island where we will rejoin Bidadari. After a refreshing swim and some snorkeling in the bay we will be heading further east.

Days 6,7
Our next two days see us heading towards the Banda Islands. Have your camera ready as we will pass four spectacular volcanic islands virtually standing alone and jutting from the clear blue ocean. These are known as strato volcanos, having been built up over successive millenniums by periodic and regular volcanic eruptions. The first is Teun Island, where Serawerna, its mountain/crater, has been recorded as active since the early seventeenth century. Next is the island of Nila with a cone rising some 780 meters above the ocean, while originating some three thousand meters below on the floor of the Banda Sea. Serua, the next in this extended chain of volcano, is home to one of the few villages, Jerili, in the chain. Time may allow a visit to experience this remote area and appreciate their traditional lifestyle. Since the eruptions in the sixties and seventies, many of these island populations have migrated to other islands in the Moluccas. We will see the small island of Manuk which is uninhabited by humans but home to thousands of marine birds and marine life. Frigate birds, gannets and other marine birds have their nests in the trees. If we catch the right tide we can land, if not, we will watch the bird life from the ship. In the late afternoon we proceed towards the Spice Islands.

Day 8, 9
This morning we arrive in the Banda Archipelago, famous for its natural beauty and its long cultural heritage from European trading times. We will anchor on the waterfront at Bandanaira, the only (small) town of Banda. Time will allow us to  stroll through the city, visit old fortresses and admire the planters’ houses from the old days. While we will provide dinner on board you might decide to eat in one of the local food outlets at your expenses. We will visit a few of the other islands of the archipelago, such as Ai, Revenge and Hatta and will see what remains of the ancient plantations, churches and cemeteries.

Day 10
We arrive in Nusa Laut, the smallest inhabited island of the Lease islands. Nusa Laut has 14,000 inhabitants spread across 7 villages and is rarely frequented by outsiders. We visit the remnants of Fort Beverwijk, one of the many strongholds of the Dutch East India company at its peak the 17th century. Our afternoon travels lead us towards Ambon.

Day 11
After an early morning arrival in the Bay of Ambon, we will have a short sightseeing tour of the city and we will visit Fort Victoria, another fort dating back to colonial days. We will then say farewell to the captain and crew of the KM Bidadari before being transferred to the airport for your onward journey.

Please visit our departures. Cruise 2017

Fares: On application

A “full boat” charter is available with a group of friends which is  a more economical way to enjoy the wonders of Indonesia. Please contact us for further information

Fares inclusive of:
Full board meals & snacks , English speaking guide service, free flow coffee and tea, use of our water activities equipment (snorkel, fins, goggles), Limited laundry

Fares exclusive of:
Personal expenses, Alcoholic drinks consumed from boat bar during the cruise, domestic airfares (unless mentioned included), travel insurance, accommodation pre and post cruise.

Special Note:
If you wish to dive (subject to weather conditions), this trip include 2 – 4 dives a day except first day and last day. Diving price US$80/day/person. We need a minimum of 6 divers per trip

We’ve been advised that any park fees is increasing significantly, please allow US$55 per person per day to cover this. The fees will be collected by our crew on board the ship.

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