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Join this 6-night small-ship cruise through Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands, beginning in Bali and visiting the islands of Sumbawa and Satonda en route to Komodo National Park. Here you can take guided walks on Komodo and Rinca islands to spot the legendary Komodo dragons and other wildlife. Shore excursions are also included to small villages and nomadic sea-gypsy communities, in addition to ample opportunities for snorkelling and swimming.
Arrive into Bali's international airport in Denpasar, where you will be met and transferred to the Away Bali Legian Camakila hotel for 1 night. (N)
Morning transfer to Amed in the eastern regency of Karangasem, an exotic royal Balinese kingdom of forests, mountains, rice terraces and beaches. Visits will be made en route to the village of Tenganan, a community with a unique village layout and traditional architecture; and the royal water palace of Tirta Gangga. Continue to the beachside Coral View Villas for a 1-night stay. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, with the chance to stroll around the nearby village or join a snorkelling session off the beach with the tour guide. In the evening there is the chance to relax with your fellow passengers at the seaside bar followed by a Balinese-style welcome dinner. (B, L, D)
This morning, transfer to the dock to begin your 7-night 'Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes' cruise. Depending on your chosen departure date, your vessel will be either the 12-cabin Ombak Putih or the 6-cabin Katharina. Raise anchor and cruise east towards Sumbawa across the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks the Wallace Line, part of the ecological boundary first described by the renowned Victorian naturalist Sir Alfred Russel Wallace. (B, L, D)
Awake this morning by the beautiful white sands of Kenawa island in West Sumbawa, where you can spend the morning snorkelling or swimming in the ocean or relax on the island's beaches. In the afternoon, continue east to Bungin island, home to members of the Bajau minority ethnic group, also known as 'sea gypsies', who are famous for living in stilt houses above the water and living entirely off the sea. Spend the afternoon learning about this unique culture that has become a significant part of Indonesia's seafaring tradition. (B, L, D)
The ship arrives today at the island of Moyo, where you will visit the village of Labuan Aji to learn about island life and take a walk to a nearby waterfall. Continue to the island of Satonda, located a few kilometres off Sumbawa island. Satonda is an extinct volcano, the peak of which rises out of the sea with a stunning caldera in the centre, containing a crater lake and deformed trees. The afternoon is spent swimming and snorkelling in the seas around the island, which are rich with coral and colourful tropical fish. Later in the day you will witness the wonderful natural spectacle of thousands of fruit bats, or 'flying foxes', which take to the air at dusk to look for food on neighbouring islands. (B, L, D)
Cruise to the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 metres above sea level. Here you will go ashore to visit a small village and a local community of boat builders, who construct large vessels in the traditional phinisi style. Afterwards there is the chance to snorkel on the north coast of the island, where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, an interesting and uncommon sight. Continue to the island of Banta for an afternoon of swimming, snorkelling, walking or relaxing on the beach, before continuing east into Komodo dragon country. (B, L, D)
This morning, disembark on Komodo island, which gives the Komodo dragon its name. Part of the Lesser Sunda chain of islands, which includes Flores and Rinca, the island is in the Unesco-listed Komodo National Park, which protects several surrounding islands and their rich marine habitat. A desolate yet enchantingly beautiful place, the island supports a few small fishing communities and a population of Komodo dragons. Visit the ranger station at Loh Liang and from here begin a 2-hour hike into the island. The hike is accompanied by an expert local ranger, who will guide you to the dragons' dens and nests, and inform the group about this mysterious creature. Look out also for deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies and rare orchids among the strangler-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. Afterwards, make a short visit to the handicraft stalls of Komodo village, then cruise on to Makassar reef, where there may be the chance to snorkel with giant manta rays. End the day at the small island of Gili Lawa Darat to watch the sun set. (B, L, D)
Visit Rinca island today for another chance to spot Komodo dragons on a ranger-led trek through the island, with the opportunity to see monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer. The day ends with a visit to an uninhabited island, where you can enjoy your final night of the cruise with a beach barbeque accompanied by a raging bonfire and members of the crew singing and playing guitars. (B, L, D)
After a final breakfast on board, disembark at the dock in Labuan Bajo on Flores island, then board a coach to the inland village of Melo, where local strong men will perform a ritual whip-fight called the Caci. This ritual involves two rivals trying to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm played on traditional instruments. After the performance, lunch will be served back on the boat before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Bali. Stay overnight at the Away Bali Legian Camakila hotel. (B, L)
Transfer to the airport and fly back to the UK, arriving the following day. (B)
As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Cruises depart weekly from April through until the end of August. This itinerary also operates in reverse, beginning in Flores island and ending in Bali.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
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