Circumnavigation of Sumatra – 19 Day Indonesia Cruise

Circumnavigation of Sumatra – 19 Day Indonesia Cruise

From AUD $16,520


Join us on our inaugural Circumnavigation of Sumatra expedition onboard Coral Geographer as we delve deeply into the biological and cultural diversity that forms the fabric of Indonesia’s largest island. Explore hard to reach small fringing islands, follow historical trading routes and the trails of early explorers, meander along the coastal ecosystems and into the labyrinth of islands of the western Indonesian maritime border. Join local rangers for guided walks and tours through Ujong Kulon and Tambling National Park as we engage with researchers and learn about Javanese Rhinoceros and sub species of the endangered Sumatran tiger not found anywhere else in the world. Engage in a community initiative providing employment opportunities for local villagers in remote North Nias. Enjoy sunset drinks at zero degrees latitude and cross the Sunda Straits to discover the volcanic history of Anak Krakatau. Thrill to a traditional becak ride through the old town of Medan, and deepen your understanding of the devastating 2004 Tsunami in the province of Aceh. This expedition offers an unforgettable adventure uncovering and connecting you with the ethnic mosaic that is modern day Indonesia.

Trip Name
Circumnavigation of Sumatra - 19 Day Indonesia Cruise
Vessel Type: Expedition Passenger Capacity: 120 Built: 2020 Expedition capabilities > Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers and facilitate comfortable shore excursions > Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration > Lecture lounge for daily expedition briefings and expert presentations > Small onboard library featuring books on destinations and wildlife > Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems allowing access to locations closed to large cruise ships Marine immersion > Navigator lounge in the bridge > Over 1000 square metres of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views > Engine room tours and a high level of crew interaction with guests Food and wine features > Single seating dining with communal table serves buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners > Showcase galley with viewing window creating fresh small-batch cuisine featuring Australian and local produce > Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the sundeck for sunset drinks > Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds Guest comfort > All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; the majority have a private balcony > Active stabilisers to dampen sea motion > Well-equipped gym > Passenger elevator > Wi-Fi available in all guest areas


Board Coral Geographer at 4:00pm at the Harbourfront Passenger Terminal and settle into your stateroom before our departure at 5:00pm as we sail south towards Belitung on our clockwise circumnavigation of Sumatra.
This itinerary includes a total of 3 days at sea to reach these destinations. During sea days, relax or join our Expedition Team for a fascinating program of interactive workshops and informative presentations. Join the Captain for welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow travelers as the sun sets.
Today we arrive at Belitung Island off the east coast of Sumatra. Board the Xplorer before a short trip over to Tinggi Beach, known for its serene and picturesque white sand, turquoise waters, and granite rock formations. Here we will swim, beachcomb, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll to the headland along the shoreline to explore the unique rock formations.
Today we spend the day at sea learning about the interesting history and landscapes of the region we are passing. Learn of the HMAS Perth, originally commissioned as HMS Amphion, a Leander class light cruiser used by the Royal Australian Navy during World War II. After being transferred to the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, she was torpedoed and sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Sunda Strait, resulting in the loss of over half her crew. The wreck of the ship was discovered in 1967 and, over the years, has been partially stripped by unauthorized salvagers. We will pay respect and partake in a remembrance ceremony at the location of the sinking of the HMAS Perth, as we cross its final resting place in the Sunda Strait this afternoon. Also located in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, is Anak Krakatau (or “Child of Krakatau”), one of four islands that emerged due to the volcanic activity in this archipelago. Learn more about the history of Krakatau, which exploded in August 1883 causing devastation across the region. This eruption was so huge that the island of Krakatau was almost destroyed, where what we see now are the few remaining fragments of the original islands. In the centre a new growing volcano named Anak Krakatau emerged in 1927. This new volcano is very active and last erupted in 2018 losing 250m in height at the time. Due to its young age, the island is one of several in the areas that are of interest to, and the subject of extensive study by volcanologists.
Located in the southwestern tip of Java, this national park encompasses the Ujung Kulon peninsula, offshore islands, and the famous Krakatau reserve. It boasts the largest remaining area of lowland rainforests in the Java plain, hosting a rich variety of plant and animal species, including the endangered Javan rhinoceros. The park showcases diverse marine habitats, such as rocky shores, mangrove swamps, coral reefs, and sea trenches, offering captivating glimpses into the underwater world. In small groups we will be guided through this relatively inaccessible National Park by Park Rangers along an easy 1.2km trail through the towering pristine rainforest. Along the way we will learn about unique geological features, rich biodiversity, conservation efforts and the challenges and threats this park faces. Our guides will also explain the intricate mangrove ecology of the area and visit the Ciduan grazing ground, looking out for rhino footprints and other flora and fauna species.  Tip: We highly recommend you bring your binoculars along for this excursion – we hope to see an array of birds and other wildlife in the park.
Today we will travel to the south-western tip of Sumatra, where the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation awaits us. Established to protect endemic species such as tigers and sunbears, this nature conservation area covers 45,000 hectares of land and includes a 14,082-hectare area of marine park. The center focuses on preserving the habitat of wild tigers, rehabilitating, and releasing tigers as well as contributing to the conservation of tigers and other wildlife. Trading our safari jeeps of the sea (the Xplorers) for real safari jeeps, today we venture into the surrounding jungle to spend a full day exploring this nature conservation area. Learn about the sub species of Sumatran tiger, not found anywhere else in the world as we visit their enclosure and hear about the plight of rehabilitated and remaining tigers. We will also learn about the local community projects aiming to reduce poaching and habitat loss for not only the Sumatran tiger but other wildlife including siamangs and wild sambar. There will also be time to visit a local village to see where the produce that supports the center is grown and meet the researchers to hear about the jungle patrols to keep poaching at bay.
About 100km southwest of Sumatra, one of the 92 outlying islands of Indonesia is Enggano Island. The Enggano people are one of the oldest tribes of Sumatra. Ethnically, they are closely related to the indigenous tribes of Java and Sumatra, from where migration flowed directly to Enggano Island. Today we will enjoy the pristine waters and white sand beaches as we snorkel and swim from the beach at Dua Island. We will also enjoy a swim at the unique freshwater spring Bak Blau, which translates in English to ‘a blue eye’. We may also have the chance to explore a local village before soaking up the sunset views from this isolated island.
Formed in 1968 by separating an area from the province of South Sumatra, Bengkulu has a rich history with influences from the Buddhist Srivijaya empire, Portuguese and Dutch colonisation, and British presence. Bengkulu is home to various indigenous ethnic groups, with the majority being Rejangs, followed by Javanese, and other minority groups, as well as non-indigenous ethnic groups from different regions of Indonesia. Today we will trace the history of early Bengkulu, from Kampung China to the 19th century British Empire and Sir Stamford Raffles on a tour with local guides that weaves history through the city’s architecture. Visit local markets and learn about the ingredients in the traditional medicine of Indonesia – with the opportunity to sample Jamu, a health drink made with turmeric and ginger. Later, visit the Besurek Batik village to explore the combination of Arabic calligraphy motifs and Rafflesia flowers, which are the distinctive symbol of the Bengkulu Province.
Today we arrive in Padang, known for its long history as a trading centre, with pepper and gold being major commodities during the pre-colonial era. The Dutch gained control of the city in the 17th century, with intermittent periods of British rule, until Indonesia gained independence. This city has been influenced by the Minangkabau people, an ethnic group known for their matrilineal descent system and conversion to Islam in the 16th century. This morning we will explore the city on a cultural walking tour, taking in the incredible Dutch, English, Chinese and Minangkabau architecture along the old port – the seat of trading and reason for Padang’s success as a trading location. Be sure to take in the spectacular scenery of the aquamarine waters of the open ocean and verdant, jungle-clad volcanoes towering above. We will also visit the bustling local morning markets and one of the most unique mosque constructions in Indonesia – the Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat. This afternoon we will travel to nearby Sikuai Island, with tropical forests, white sand beaches and exceptional coral reefs. Explore the walking tracks along the island or climb to the highest peak to enjoy the sunset view from the heights.
Today we arrive at Siberut Island, known for its rich biodiversity including various primate species and fringing coral reef system. The island’s geography features diverse coastal areas, mangrove forests, Barringtonia forests, hilly interiors, and swamp forests, contributing to its unique ecosystem. Spend the morning swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the underwater marine spectacle at the southern end of Siberut island home to diverse marine life, including coral reefs and colorful fish. After lunch onboard Coral Geographer, depart on an Xplorer cruise to Katurei Bay, home to the remote local villages that call this island home. Here we will engage with the locals, fish is their mainstay and learning about foraging for jungle produce.
Today we board the Xplorer for a cruise through a section of the Tanahbala Channel, separating Tanah Balah Island from Tanah Masa Island, surrounded by coral reef. Enjoy the opportunity to see coastal villages, rock and reef formations as well as birdlife, as this area is only accessible by small sailing or local boats.This evening as the sun sets enjoy beach drinks on Marit Island at zero degrees latitude. This point is exactly halfway between the North pole and South pole, separating the earth into two equal hemispheres.
Today we arrive at the island of Nias off the western coast of Sumatra. Known for its cultural individuality, this isolated chain of islands has been trading dating back to prehistory, with some historians citing the local culture as one of the very few remaining megalithic cultures still in existence today. Nias, alongside its cultural significance, is known for its great diversity of festivals and celebrations, including the most-commonly noted Stone Jumping. Here, stone jumping is a manhood ritual where young men leap over two-meter stone towers, previously known to be covered with spikes or sharp bamboo. Another notable cultural distinction here is the music of Nias, which is performed mostly by women and acknowledged widely for its haunting beauty. Visit Bawomataluo Village, a UNESCO recognised historic site and a masterpiece of local culture with its megalithic monuments, traditional houses, rituals, and celebrations. Learn more about the unique history and culture this island holds. This evening enjoy a special Cultural Festivity at South Nias Island with immersive traditional dance and music performances as we enjoy the plentiful offerings of traditional local cuisine.
This morning we return to Nias to explore the considerably less visited northern area which has only become accessible in the last 20 years. Be greeted with a traditional welcome (Tari Moyo – Eagle Dance) from the village of Sisarahili Teluk Siabang community and try local sweets. Meet our local interpreter and guide as we wander the mangrove forest and learn about the newly established community initiatives, with long-term aims for this remote fishing village. This afternoon we will make an expeditionary stop at Sena Island, with the potential to beachcomb along the shores, swim, snorkel and explore the two lakes on this small island.
Aceh is the only province that has special privileges and wide-ranging autonomy to govern itself within Indonesia. Sharia law in Aceh is only intended for every Muslim resided in Aceh, however the observance of respectful and conservative dress by guests is well received by locals. Simeulue locals are known for their interesting dance art, with colourful costumes and dynamic movements. Some dances are performed using live percussion to hold the rhythm. Here we visit Aluan, a sustainable organic coconut oil producer. Join a guided educational tour to learn about the sustainable supply chains from forest to consumer. We will also see firsthand that forests and wildlife are disappearing, fueled by ongoing demand for unsustainably sourced palm oil. Visit Sinabang Arts and Cultural Centre to experience and learn about Nandong, one of the most popular oral tradition and icons of Simeulue (oral poetry) and Kedang (drum) performances. After lunch Coral Geographer will reposition to Simuat Island, dominated by coral beaches and towering cliffs. Although there is still some damage from the 2004 Tsunami, many coral gardens have recovered. Here we will snorkel and swim from the island, enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
This morning we will come alongside in the city of Banda Aceh, well known as the city that was hit by the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Learn about the events of that day and visit the remarkable museum and memorial park for a moving symbolic reminder of the devastation affected on the local people. Following this there will be time to explore the city and purchase souvenirs. Tonight during dinner onboard we will enjoy a display of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Practice of the Saman Dance specific to the region, with a fast-paced rhythm and common harmony between dancers without musical instruments.
Medan is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra. Take a guided tour of this city that exemplifies the multicultural fabric of Medan. Enjoy a cultural performance, try the exotic and confronting Durian fruit, see the splendor of the Sultan of Delhi’s Palace, take time to photograph Dutch and English Art Deco buildings still standing today and learn more about the history and culture of the Batak Karo people. Get a taste of local life with a becak tour of the old town. 
The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water 800km long between the Malay Peninsula to the northeast and Sumatra to the southwest, connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. One of the busiest and most important trade and strategic routes in the world. Named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the strait between 1400 and 1511, over 120,000 ships now pass through the Strait every year, a billion-dollar highway carrying goods such as oil, gas and manufactured products and accounting for a 3rd of the worlds trade and 50% of its oil shipments. Spend the day relaxing before we complete our circumnavigation and arrive back in Singapore the next morning.
This morning we arrive in Singapore at 7:00am. Farewell your Master, crew, and fellow guests before disembarking at 8:00am.
Day 19 - Please Note:
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-03-2024AUD $0-
23-11-202411-12-2024AUD $16,520Coral Deck
23-11-202411-12-2024AUD $19,820Promenade Deck Stateroom
23-11-202411-12-2024AUD $26,440Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
23-11-202411-12-2024AUD $35,520Bridge Deck Balcony Suite


    • Take a guided walk with local rangers in Ujung Kulon National Park, one of the last remaining habitats of the Javan Rhinoceros
    • Engage with researchers and join local rangers for a guided walk through the Tambling National Park, learn about the sub species of Sumatran tiger not found anywhere else in the world as we visit their enclosure and hear about the plight of rehabilitated and remaining tigers
    • On a city tour, trace the historical and architectural influences of early Bengkulu, from Kampung China through to the 19th Century British Empire era of Sir Stamford Raffles
    • Join the traditional fishing community in North Nias to participate in a collaborative community initiative that provides employment for the local villagers and explore the rituals and belief systems with expedition style visits to a range of small island communities
    • Enjoy sunset drinks at Zero° latitude
    • Experience a moving memorial service at sea at the site of the HMAS Perth and cross the Sunda Straits to site the volcanic spectacle of Anak Krakatau
    • Deepen your understanding of the 2004 Tsunami and its devastating effects with a guided visit to the moving Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh
    • Experience the local means of transport with a becak ride through the old town and market precinct of Medan
    • Enjoy an evening feast with immersive cultural dance and music entertainment as we share and enjoy traditional local cuisine