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Indonesia Batik, Silk, Ikat
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Few areas in Asia can match the cultural and natural diversity to be found following the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands east of Bali. Towering active volcanoes, jungle clad mountain ranges, alternated by dry savannah lowlands, all teeming with wildlife… quiet coastal villages, emerald seas, megalithic cultures, colorful market places, tribal rituals and in addition a world of kaleidoscopic beauty under water.
This leisure sailing expedition includes the the islands of Komodo for a couple of days of snorkeling, beach combing and hiking through one of the most beautiful National Parks of Indonesia.
Entering the Flores Highlands you have an opportunity to hike to some remote villages and witness the intricate process of ‘ikat’ weaving, practiced amid unsurpassed scenery of gigantic volcanoes, bamboo forests and intriguingly multi-colored crater lakes.
It is the very best introduction to the soul of Indonesia.
Click on the itineraries below for more detail.
Katharina: Cruise Summary
Komodo National Park and the Lesser Sunda Islands that surround it are a highlight of Indonesia and of this 9-day inclusive cruise aboard the Katharina. This journey will provide a perfect opportunity to see the infamous Komodo Dragon in its native habitat and beyond that to truly witness and experience some of the most diverse cultures, marine life, and landscapes Indonesia has to offer.
As you journey through this lightly-developed stretch of the archipelago the ship will make stops at white sandy beaches, Satonda Crater Lake and visit the Bugis Boat Builders in Sumbawa who practice the centuries old art of building large Phinisi sailing vessels, like the Katharina, completely by hand. Awakening each day to the sounds of life on this water world, there will be daily opportunities for guests to snorkel the colorful coral reefs and experience cultural offerings such as vibrant local dances and village marketplaces.
Indonesia boasts some of the most diverse waters in the world and this cruise showcases the unique attributes of this island world and its unparalleled marine environment. This cruise includes numerous opportunities to swim, snorkel and to take advantage of the stand-up paddle-boards and sea kayaks on board.
NOTE: The Katharina will be available for charter only in 2016 so if you are hoping to join a scheduled departure of this fantastic cruise, 2015 is your chance!
NotesNote: Airfare is included in the cruise price and will be booked on your behalf, either from Bali to Labuan Bajo or reverse, depending on which cruise you join. Dates can be adjusted to suit your travel plans should you wish to extend your stay on Flores - please ask your Symbiosis consultant how.
Ombak Putih: Cruise Summary
Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes
Bali ~ Komodo ~ Flores & Flores ~ Komodo - Bali
Immerse yourself in the Komodo and Lesser Sunda Islands from an intimate perspective, voyaging through a panorama of islands experiencing fresh discoveries daily.
This adventurous 7-day inclusive excursion aboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih offers a cross-section of uninhabited islands, quiet coastal villages, jungle clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, tribal rituals, and a visit to Komodo National Park to get a look at the infamous Komodo Dragons.
As always there will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of this underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddle-boards and sea kayaks on board add yet another dimension to your nature explorations.
NotesAirfares are not included in the cruise price but we are happy to assist you with local flight reservations to or from Labuan Bajo, depending on which cruise you join. Symbiosis would also be pleased to help you plan an extension to your trip in Flores or beyond.
The Katharina is a traditional style Pinisi schooner, completely refurbished to a high standard of comfort in 2006.
The Bugis people of south Sulawesi, once feared as pirates, have always been the most skilful ship builders and sailors of Indonesia. Their vessels, the pinisi, were and still are hand-crafted entirely from timber, and have been used for centuries as cargo-carriers, plying the ancient trade routes between the islands of the Malay Archipelago, carrying anything from lumber to coca-cola crates.
Pinisi are elegant two-masted schooners with mainsails, top-sails and three jibs. Today, while still hand-built by native craftsmen and fully laid out in tropical hardwood with traditional rigging, they usually include an engine in addition to the sails.
The Katharina was conceived and equipped to accommodate small groups of passengers for cruising though the Indonesian archipelago, offering an excellent standard of reliability, safety and comfort.
Although Bugis people are famous for the skill in building vessels without the need of any paper or calculations, relying only on their ancestral knowledge, THe Katharina is a product of a joint effort between western naval architects and traditional Bugis skills. Much attention is given to the vessel's maintenance, heeding to an annual docking period and periodical checks to the all major technical installations on board.
The spacious air-conditioned, en-suite cabins, the dining/ recreational area and the large deck-space with comfortable deck chairs and sun benches make the Katharina perfectly suitable for extended exploratory or leisure cruises.
On board there are games, sea kayaks, body boards, deck-mattresses, snorkeling equipment, fishing gear and two tenders with outboard motors to make excursions to the islands.
The Katharina is fully equipped with the latest in navigational equipment: radar, depth sounder, GPS, VHS, all band radios and satellite telephones. For personal safety, she also carries life-jackets, inflatable life-rafts, buoys and for the communication of emergency conditions beacons, flares and IPIRB.
The Katharina boasts 7 cabins:
Lower deck: 2 twin cabins with one upper & one lower single bed and 4 double cabins with one double lower and one upper single bed.
All private bathrooms are laid out in marble, granite and mosaic, while the cabins have newly installed amenities such as a private safety box, a pair of binoculars, intercom for room service and soft lighting.
Upper deck: 1 large (family) cabin with a king size (lower) bed, a single (upper) bed and a children’s bedstead/bench (daytime). Space allows for an extra bed if desired. This cabin is aimed to provide a more spacious cabin for a group of friends, families or honeymooners.
The Ombak Putih
The Ombak Putih is an almost traditional Pinisi sailing schooner, furnished to a high standard, and offering 12 double air-conditioned cabins, each with its own private bathroom.
The ship's main deck is dominated by a 25m tall mainmast and a large deck table where you can have dinner under the stars. On the deck house level on the aft side of the boat, a spacious sun deck (with canopy for some shade) overlooks the sea. Here you can read in a comfortable deck chair or dream away on one of the comfortable day beds.
Accommodation is below decks, where you will find twelve cabins, four with double beds and eight configured as twin-bunks. Unlike typical ship accommodation, your cabin provides ample space to store your stuff and still move about with ease. All cabins are air-conditioned (individually controlled) and have private bathrooms with warm and cold water.
The Ombak Putih is a mix of traditional and modern design. Her hull and rigging are traditional, while the deck house and interior were custom designed to adapt to Western tastes of space, privacy and comfort. While Indonesian traditional sailing vessels are customarily referred to as Bugis Schooners, strictly speaking she is rigged as a Ketch, the foremast being higher than the aft mast.
Specifications and Deck Plans
Construction: Kalimantan, Indonesia, 1996/7
Length over all : 36 meters (118 feet)
Beam: 10 meters (33 feet)
Draft: 3.5 meters (11.5 feet)
Decks: 1 main deck, 1 sun deck, 1 cabin deck
Motor: Detroit Diesel, 8 cylinder
Sails: 2 masts, 7 sails, total 600 square meters
Max. speed: 10-12 knots under sail
Crew: 16 (Indonesians), 1 European cruise director
Capacity: 12 cabins for 24 passengers
Safety: inflatable life rafts, life buoys, life jackets
Navigation: radar, GPS, depth sounder
Voltage: 220 Volt
Tenders: 2 (with 60 and 25 HP outboards)
Safety and Seaworthiness
The vessel is fitted with all internationally required safety equipment such as SSB and VHF radios, life jackets, life rafts, and satellite telephone. Experienced navigators consider it an axiom that the seaworthiness of a vessel depends on the seaworthiness of the crew. Our ship has a well trained and well seasoned Indonesian crew of sixteen, complemented by a multilingual European Cruise Director. We are proud of the fact that most of the crewmembers that joined us when the vessel was launched are still on board today.
• Spacious twin shared cabin with twin bunk beds or double bed
• Each cabin has a private bathroom with toilet and hot shower
• Washbasin and soap toiletries in your cabin
• Cabins have individually controlled air conditioning
• Towels and beach towels that are regularly changed
• Valuables and travel documents can be stored in the ship's safe
• Dining in spacious air conditioned lounge
• Teak wooden furniture in lounge, cabins and on deck
• Spacious sun and semi-covered decks
• Free tea, coffee and mineral water
• Excellent food and snacks (vegetarian food on request)
• Excellent wine selection, cold beer and other alcoholic drinks for sale
• Fresh water on-deck shower
• Chilled towels and a welcome drink upon arrival
• Outdoor sleeping facilities
• Professional European cruise director
• Main tender with 60 hp. outboard engine takes 24 passengers
• Auxiliary tender with 25 hp. outboard takes 10 passengers
• Unlimited use of our snorkeling equipment and 2 sea canoes
• Organize scuba diving in Komodo National Park (optional)
• Television, VCD and music centre in lounge