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Wonderful Komodo Cruise (Katharina)

Wonderful Komodo Cruise (Katharina)

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Description

This five-day inclusive voyage of discovery on our 12-passenger boat, Katharina, provides a wonderful opportunity to experience what the Komodo Islands have to offer both on land and in the sea. The natural beauty of these islands and the surrounding waters will unfold before you, from the highest ridges of Rinca Island to the minutest details within the colourful coral reefs. Our focused tour of the small group of islands and atolls around Komodo includes a ranger-led trek through the Komodo National Park in search of the famous Komodo Dragons, and visits to local villages, as well as ample time for snorkelling and viewing the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard will add yet another dimension to your nature explorations. The cruise also includes a ranger-led trek through the park looking for an encounter with the prehistoric Komodo Dragons. The Komodo National Park archipelago is not only home to the dragons but also to an incredible diversity of marine life found in the rich, current-swept reefs and the surrounding open water.

Note: The price of this cruise does not include any domestic airfares to and from our start and end points. If you are booking flights by yourself, do not book any flights before checking with us first.

Trip Name
Wonderful Komodo Cruise (Katharina)
Days
5
Overview
Vessel Type: Yacht Length: 40 metres Passenger Capacity: 14 Built / Refurbished: 1995 / 2014 The Katharina is a traditional Indonesian pinisi, built in 1995 in Kalimantan using only the very best grades of ironwood. Her slim hull was originally being planned for commercial sailing carrying freight before we spotted her in the making. We bought her and fitted her out as a cruising vessel, and then again in January 2014, the Katharina was the subject of a major interior refit. Working with the unique heritage this vessel represents, her transformation is a conservation exercise back to authenticity, using only the best traditional materials, shaped by highly skilled Indonesian craftsmen. Yet, what goes on behind the scenes is the use of the most up-to-date technology and she is now equipped with a super yacht grade AC station and we are optimizing our systems to the latest safety standards. Not only is the Katharina very elegant on the water, she is also fast becoming a classic yacht, as very few of these original designs remain. Katharina’s overall length is 40 metres, providing comfortable accommodation for up to 14 guests in six cabins located below decks. All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities including double beds or twins, private en-suite bathrooms, natural light, safety boxes, individually controlled air-conditioning and storage space including a safe. Led by Captain Iwan, the Katharina is catered to by an all-Indonesian crew of 12, with each member dedicated to making your stay aboard truly memorable.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Labuan Bajo
After arriving at Labuan Bajo Airport, we will travel by private bus into the interior of the island, taking a winding road uphill to the village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After our visit to Melo, we will return to Labuan Bajo where you will get your first glimpse of our beautiful boat, Katharina and we will head off out into the beautiful waters of the Komodo National Park, stopping along the way for some snorkelling at a small island of Pulau Pempe, before settling in for sunset with a cocktail as thousands of flying foxes head out from their mangrove forest homes to head to the mainland to feed. We will then head off to Rinca Island for a quiet night at anchor.
Day 2 - Day 2 Rinca Island
Today we will wake up before dawn and visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island from where we will head off on a ranger-led nature trek in search of Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Hopefully the ranger will be able to show us the dens and nests of the dragons. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. After our trek, we will move on to a fantastic snorkelling spot at Turtle Point at Siaba Besar Island – with over 1,000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons. We will head to the famous Pink beach for more snorkelling, and after dinner will head to Loh Liang, where we will spend the night at anchor, floating beneath the Milky Way.
Day 3 - Day 3 Komodo Island
Today we will visit the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for another early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for yet more Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring dragons – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs and the largest species of lizard on Earth – in their natural habitat. We may also spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangler-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. Back aboard Katharina we will crossing over to Makassar reef where we hope to find a school of manta rays and go snorkelling with these mighty beasts. Back on Katharina we will have lunch as we head to the island of Gili Lawa Darat for an afternoon of snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and at sunset we can climb to the top of the island to enjoy the day’s end. We will then move to Mesa Island.
Day 4 - Day 4 Mesa
This morning we will visit the island of Mesa to meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ the Bajao people. Originally from Sulawesi and formerly fully nomadic, living on their boats, the Bajao nowadays often occupy more permanent settlements, building their homes on stilts over the sea. At Mesa we will get a glimpse of how the Bajao have adapted to life in a static village. Nevertheless, still being so close to the water, the tribe’s dependence on the sea is not lost. Their children are introduced to the sea at a young age and grow accustomed to living and playing within the ocean environment. After a stroll through the village we will cruise onwards to the island of Sabalon, where you will be treated to a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests - on this deserted island with your feet in the sand, under the breathtaking expanse of an Indonesian star-studded night sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of our memorable voyage. Late in the evening Katharina will cruise back towards Labuan Bajo and anchor off Biddadari Island.
Day 5 - Day 5 Biddadari Island to Labuan Bajo
After a final early morning dip off Biddadari Island, we will bid our sad farewells to the crew of The Katharina, disembarking the boat at the end of our wonderful waterborne experience. Time permitting we will visit the market or wander around the centre of Labuan Bajo before seeing everyone off to their next destination. It will be hard to believe that it’s all over but please rest assured, the gentle sway of the ocean currents may stay with you for quite a while yet.
Day 6 - Please Note:
Every effort will be made to carry out our cruise itinerary as planned; however, our itineraries are subject to change at the captain’s discretion. When touring at sea, weather, currents, and even harbour masters don’t always co-operate with our planned itinerary, which sometimes make our planned schedules challenging or even impossible to carry out. For that reason, our written itineraries must be approached with reasonable flexibility. We reserve the right to make alterations due to circumstances beyond our control and/or other factors, in the best interests of all. It’s all part of the adventure.

Trip Dates

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Inclusions

    • Discover the Komodo Island and its infamous Komodo Dragons. Due to its fearsome residents, this 390-square-kilometre island was once a place of banishment for local people who had to share their lives with the fearsome dragons. Nowadays, Indonesia’s living dinosaurs have their very own national park, and the much-visited Komodo and Rinca Islands are places where Komodo dragons pose for visitors’ photos on a daily basis.
    • See other species of the Komodo & Rinca Islands, including over 1,000 species of marine life and the resident giant manta rays.
    • Enjoy the full experience of kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and snorkelling the magnificent coral reefs.

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