Best of Indonesia: Manado to Bali

Indonesia Cruise

  • Caledonian Sky
  • Expedition Ship
  • 100 Capacity
  • 18 Days
  • 2015 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Feb 24 Tue Offer
  • Price from
  • $14,980

Summary : Indonesia adventure travel offers an exotic blend of culture and nature, showcasing the incredible diversity of this enigmatic archipelago. Search for colorful birds in Tangkoko Nature Reserve and investigate the waters of Bunaken National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site. In the highlands of Toraja view unique boat-shaped architecture and cliff-side graves marked by life-sized effigies. Spectacular underwater wonders await snorkelers and divers off Sulawesi’s coastal islands, including the Banggai Islands whose waters harbor “the mother of all living reefs” according to Alfred Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin. Step ashore on Komodo Island to view the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, and end with a magical Bali tour—legendary for its verdant landscapes, beautiful temples, and vibrant art scene.

Activities : Birding, Diving, Snorkeling

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Itinerary
Day 1 – 2
Depart USA / En Route

Board your independent flight to Singapore. Lose a day crossing the International Date Line.

Day 3
Singapore

Arrive in Singapore and transfer to the Crown Plaza Changi for an afternoon at leisure. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and briefing.

Day 4
Singapore / Manado, Indonesia / Embark

Board your flight to Manado and enjoy a short tour of this port city. Embark the Caledonian Sky in the early afternoon.

Day 5
Bunaken National Marine Park / Siladeng Island

The phenomenal biodiversity of Bunaken has been protected as a national park since 1991 and its crystal-clear waters offer some of the best snorkeling and diving in Indonesia. Spend the morning here, exploring the reefs and drop-off walls adorned with myriad soft corals. Dense schools of blue-striped and yellow-tailed fusiliers are some of the 100 species of fish you may spot here. After lunch, visit Siladeng Island for additional snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Day 6
Lahaga Island / Tangkoko Nature Reserve / Bitung

Spend the morning snorkeling or diving off the lovely beach of Lahaga Island. Return to the ship for lunch and continue to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, one of Indonesia’s most important conservation areas. Its 21,000 acres are among the last habitats for crested black macaques and cuscus, a lemur-like, slow-moving possum. Or, tour Bitung and the private wildlife center to view tarsiers, the world’s smallest primate. The reserve is also a haven for an incredible variety of birds, including the endemic Sulawesi hornbill, varied lorikeet, blue-breasted pita, and the finch-billed myna. There is also a chance to visit with the residents of Swangan.

Day 7 – 8
Togean Islands

Explore the remote and picturesque Togeans, a 56-island archipelago surrounded by an ancient coral reef and the clear warm waters of Tomini Bay. Volcanic and covered in lush foliage, the islands harbor a variety of endangered wildlife, including Togean macaques, babirusa, and hanging parrots. Their beaches are the breeding grounds of hawksbill turtles and the rare dugong, and diving and snorkeling forays reveal spectacular corals teeming with colorful fish. Several ethnic groups reside in 37 villages throughout the Togeans and during your visit you will meet the delightful locals and enjoy guided walks to search for the amazing birds and wildlife that reside here.

Day 9
Banggai Islands

Just below the arm of Central Sulawesi, at the convergence of the Banda and Maluku Seas, sit the 120 Banggai Islands whose waters harbor “the mother of all living coral reefs” according to Alfred Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin. An astounding variety of marine life inhabits the walls, caves, overhangs, and shallow reefs of this archipelago and snorkelers and divers have several opportunities to witness such species as ribbon eels, blue-ring octopus, anglerfish, and the endemic Banggai cardinal fish.

Day 10
Kokoila Island / Lunasualu Island

Colorful reefs and atolls offer further underwater landscapes to explore today. If the opportunity presents itself, you may go ashore to visit a local village.

Day 11
Buton Island

Dangling off the southeast coast of Sulawesi, Buton is part of the Wakatobi Island group. Today’s snorkel or dive excursions reveal an incredible array of marine reef inhabitants; underwater photographers will appreciate a bizarre macro world among corals as shallow as 20 feet. Highlights include colorful frogfish, octopus, marbled snake eels, cockatoo waspfish, flying gurnards, multitudes of crab species, and dazzling anemones.

Day 12 – 13
Palopo / Toraja, Sulawesi Island

An overnight excursion takes you 4,000 feet into the cool highlands of South Sulawesi to fascinating Toraja. Legends say that the early Toraja came from the north, possibly Indochina, and were blown off-course by a storm. Their boat-shaped houses reflect this seafaring legacy, with a soaring “prow” that slopes skyward. The Toraja bury their dead in graves chiseled into vertical cliffsides, in keeping with the belief that ancestors repose halfway between heaven and earth. Beside these honeycombed graves, gazing out over the valleys, are life-like wooden effigies, providing a receptacle for their souls to guard the gravesites. Walk through several villages and investigate the gravesites, markets, and ornate rice barns of the region. Meals and overnight are at our hotel in the highlands. The following day, tour more traditional villages and return to Palopo to board the Caledonian Sky in the evening.

Day 14
Selayar Island

Beautiful, warm waters encircle Selayar Island where you will spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving over kaleidoscopic reefs, home to angelfish, fairy basslets, and butterflyfish among hundreds of other species.

Day 15
Komodo Island

Komodo National Park is a sanctuary for the fabled giant monitor lizard, the Komodo dragon. Walk along a forested pathway to a viewing area for a close inspection of these prehistoric reptiles which grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds. The surrounding forest is home to Javan rusa deer, the favorite prey of the dragons, as well as elegant yellow-crested cockatoos. In the afternoon enjoy snorkeling or diving, off splendid Pink Beach, often described as “swimming in an aquarium.”

Day 16
Wera Island / Pulau Ular Island

This morning visit Wera Island to observe locals building wooden fishing boats according to ancient tradition. Except for the keel, these large seagoing vessels are constructed entirely of wood, including the nails. Then attend a welcome ceremony and cultural performance by the villagers. Return to the ship for lunch as you cruise toward Pulau Ular, also known as Snake Island due to the large number of sea snakes or “kraits” that populate the shores and surrounding waters.

Day 17
Benoa, Bali / Ubud

For centuries, Bali has captivated the imagination of artists, writers, and travelers with its landscapes of emerald terraced rice fields backdropped by the sacred volcano of Mt. Batur. Disembark in the port of Benoa and drive to Ubud, where a large artisan community displays their talents in painting, sculpture, silver-working, and batik. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy time at leisure to stroll among the countless galleries, small museums, and artisans’ workshops. Or, choose to visit a local farm to learn more about the ancient art of rice cultivation. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 18
Bali / USA

After a morning at leisure, transfer to the airport for independent flights, arriving in the USA the same day.

Notes

Included:
All accommodations in hotels and onboard as outlined in the itinerary, all meals onboard and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; emergency medical coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000)*; evacuation coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000)*.

Not Included:
All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, email/fax/telephone charges.

*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.