The East Indies Spice Island Exploration
with SeaTrek Sailing Adventures
SeaTrek offers the chance to explore the vast reaches of the eastern Indonesian archipelago from the deck of a traditional Indonesian wooden pinisi boat, filling your days with adventure and unique experiences as you discover the many cultures, wildlife, and landscapes of this vast volcanic island nation.
This journeys starts in the east in Flores, before heading north to follow the outer volcanic arc of island up to the Banda Archipelago (the original spice islands of old) before finishing in Ambon. This is a terrific trip that brings culture and history and remoteness together under the one umbrella.
Your ships: Katharina & Ombak Putih
Cabins of both ships are all individually air-conditioned and have private en-suite bathrooms. There are double bed cabins, twin bunk cabins and 2 x triples (an extra single bunk above a double bed for a family of three. The modern ships include amenities to offer you comfort while on board and easy access to your destination.
Katharina has six cabins total. Two of them with double beds, two cabins with twin bunks, and two triple cabins for families (with a double bed and a single).
Ombak Putih has 12 cabins total. Six with double beds, four with twin bunks, and two triple cabins for families (with a double bed and a single).
Day 1 : Maumere
After arriving in the early afternoon from Bali, you will be meet at Maumere airport by your SeaTrek tour leader and be taken directly to the boat, where you will meet your fellow passengers and your crew. We will cruise out of the harbour and head off to the east giving you a chance to become familiar with your new home for the next 12 days, stopping for a snorkel and a swim along the way, before sunset cocktails and dinner cruising into the night.
Day 2 : Flores
The morning will find us moored offshore of the capital town of Flores – a Christian dominated island as a result of Portuguese influence – where you will go ashore and see the five Catholic churches and the ‘Stations of the Cross’ along the waterfront. During lunch cross to a neighbouring island where you will visit a small local village and the ruins of an old Portuguese fort dating back to the 16th Century. Later in the afternoon, get out our snorkelling gear and explore one of the richly vibrant nearby reefs.
Day 3 : Lembata Island
Wake up on Lembata Island in a bite-shaped bay under the gaze of a massive live volcano called Ile Api – Island of Fire. You will be welcomed ashore in a local village with singing and dancing, and be witness to the production of their famous local textiles. After lunch on the boat, sail across the bay to snorkel on a vibrant local reef and to swim and paddle on a local beach. This evening, the crew will set up for a beach BBQ and party under the stars before heading off that night for your overnight cruise to our next destination.
Day 4 : Marisa & Alor Islands
Today visit a traditional village up in the mountains, where you will be welcomed by the chief and be witness to a ceremonial war dance in honour of your visit. See their traditional ‘Moko’ war drums and intricately designed ‘Ikat’ fabrics, which have been woven and dyed using age old techniques, and used in local bridal dowries for centuries. The ship weigh anchor and cruise east enjoying lunch on board, stopping in the late afternoon at a picturesque tropical island to snorkel and swim on a coral reef.
Day 5 : Forgotten Islands
Wake up in a lovely bay on Wetar Island and go ashore to a local fishing village to meet the locals and see their way of life as they dry their catch on the beach. Spend the day swimming and beaching, snorkelling and exploring, and indulge in a bit of local culture by way of ‘sopi’, a strong alcoholic drink made from a local palm tree. Later in the afternoon continue your journey east.
Day 6 : Romang Island
This morning go ashore on a small island and be welcomed into a remote village where the locals will share their way of life as farmers and fishermen. After lunch continue cruising, stopping off at another tiny island, this one deserted, to swim, kayak, snorkel over the reef and relax on the sand. This evening the crew will set up for a beach BBQ and you can dance and sing our way into the night before heading off again for an overnight cruise to our next destination.
Day 7 : Damar Island
Today is another day of cruising and exploring in one of the remotest parts of Indonesia. Visit a very simple village where the people’s houses are made using the products of the sago palm, the staple crop in this part of the world. The villagers will demonstrate how they process the heart of the sago palm into the edible product that sustains them. After lunch cruise around the island and stop off to explore the beaches and reefs, where you will snorkel along the way.
Day 8 : Manuk Island
Today you will pass four spectacular volcanic sea mounts, explicit examples of Indonesia’s place along the Ring of Fire. One of these islands is uninhabited by people, but home to tens of thousands of sea birds, (brown and red-footed boobies, and frigate birds), who will likely come out to encircle the boat in great numbers on our approach. If the tide allows, we will go ashore and investigate, and surely have a snorkel. In the late afternoon we will proceed north to the fabled Spice Islands.
Day 9 : Banda Islands
By dawn we should have the Banda Archipelago ‘Spice Islands’ in our sights, original home of the nutmeg and the scene of much bloodshed between the colonial powers of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries over control of the spice trade. We will go ashore and go ashore and visit Fort Revenge, built by the Dutch, before snorkelling on the local reef. Later head across to the main island group, and the main town, and anchor in the beautiful enclosed anchorage under the imposing gaze of a 600-metre-high volcano. If we get there in enough time before nightfall, we will go ashore and explore the town.
Day 10 : Banda Islands
Today is a day of exploring the history and beauty of the Spice Islands with a visit to the main town of the Spice Islands and its fort overlooking the harbour. Wander through the streets and markets of this bustling town and meet the local people. After lunch on the boat we will take a local boat over to the biggest of the islands, where we will walk among the vast nutmeg plantations, visit another Dutch fort, talk with the locals and visit one of the last ‘perkineers’, the farmers who still run the larger plantations on the island who will tell us about life on the islands. Later in the afternoon we can snorkel on a local reef and have a chance to see the rare and multi-hued Mandarin fish, who only comes out at dusk to mate. Dinner will be had ashore at a local restaurant that offers traditional and delicious local dishes.
Day 11 : Banda Islands
This morning we have time for a final stroll around the town or a last snorkel before we say farewell to the Spice islands around lunchtime and head north. We will have lunch on the way, passing another major seabird island, before settling in for a relaxing afternoon on board as we scour the horizon for migrating whales.
Day 12 : Ambon
Wake up just south of our final destination and our last few hours will be spent enjoying the majesty of the ocean, and we may very well see more whales along the way. As we drop anchor in the harbour, you will say farewell to our crew and tour leaders and be taken to the airport for our onward journeys, ending a magical 12 days of exploration and adventure.
SeaTrek aim to provide the best experience possible for guests given the current conditions and when unexpected opportunities for adventure may present themselves along our cruise routes. Sometimes weather conditions, tides or other local factors dictate the need to vary from the published route, and at times there are special opportunities to explore and discover new locations, events and activities. These explorations will always be a definite enhancement to the published itinerary and will be undertaken after discussion and agreement among guests. Ultimately, the boat captains and your tour leader will make decisions to maximize trip safety and your overall enjoyment, so please come prepared to be flexible!
Pricing (per person), NZD
|5 Sep, aboard Ombak Putih|
|6 Sep, aboard Katharina|
• All meals and soft drinks, tea, coffee, snacks
• English speaking Indonesian tour leaders
• Port fees
• All National Park fees, cultural performances, local guides, and off boat activities
• Two pieces of laundry each day
• Complimentary cotton backpack and stainless steel water bottle, which guests are encouraged to take home and keep
• Wine, beer and selected cocktails at beach BBQ
• Selected wines with special farewell dinner
• Use of all facilities on board
• Transfers to and from the boat
• Transit hotels
• Alcoholic drinks outside of special dinners and beach BBQ as listed
• Personal expenses on land
• Travel insurance
• An additional US$400 per person fuel surcharge applies
- Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise if you are pleased with services provided
- Suggested tipping amounts are US$30 – US$50 per passenger per cruise day which is shared amongst all crew; and US$20 – US$30 per passenger per cruise day which is shared between all tour leaders
• Please enquire for triple cabin rates
Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions