Small Ship Cruises
Indonesia | Bali Sea Trek Trip Packages | Adult Only
Explore Bali’s crystalline bays, tribal villages, mountainous jungles, and the majestic waterfalls of Indonesia on this small-ship seaside adventure
8 days / 7 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
On this 7-day Bali adventure, breathe in the salty air of the Bali Sea as you explore remote beaches, coastal villages, mountain ranges of jungles, colossal volcanoes, sprightly rivers, sparkling waterfalls, authentic tribal rituals, mysterious lakes, and the legendary Komodo Dragons, of course! Immerse yourself in the colorful and diverse culture on the island of Bali, snorkel along the coast of the Gili Islands to discover the brilliant beauty of a tropical underwater world. Watch fiery sunsets over a panoramic view of rice fields stretching toward the sea on North Lombok, learn the secrets of hand-crafted boats from locals on Sumbawa, make a wish on the mystical volcanic island of Sotanda, and search for the legendary Komodo Dragon on the famous Komodo Island, all while enjoying the best in regional cuisine and luxurious accommodations on a custom-built Indonesian schooner, or a sleek Indonesian sailing yacht…Your home away from home in Bali.
- Swim, surf, kayak, and paddleboard along the beautiful white-sand beaches of the Gili Islands
- Tour the thatched houses and spice gardens of Senaru village with a local guide eager to share her insights into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people
- Visit the mystical volcanic island of Satonda to tie a rock to the “wishing tree” and to watch as thousands of flying foxes make their way at dusk to the mainland
- Relax under a 120-foot waterfall and snorkel over colorful coral reefs brimming with incredible aquatic wildlife
- Keep an eye out for the legendary Komodo Dragons, sulfur-crested cockatoos, and rare orchids on a ranger-led trek through Komodo National Park
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The art and culture: From traditional and modern dance to sculpture, woodworking, painting, and music, the Indonesian culture is known for its colorful traditions.
Balinese cuisine: One of the highlights of your trip will most certainly revolve around mealtime. Sample unique dishes, such as Bebek, Betutu, Nasi Kuning, and Lawar.
The wildlife and ecology: both above and below the water you'll encounter incredible diversity. From the colorful coral reefs to ancient dragons, you are sure to be delighted and intrigued throughout this trip-of-a-lifetime.
Denpasar, Bali DPS
Denpasar, Bali DPS
Arrive in Bali
In the morning we will all meet at the Puri Santrian Hotel in South Bali before boarding our minibus for our destination of Amed in the eastern regency of Karangasem – an exotic royal Balinese kingdom of forests and mighty mountains, emerald rice terraces, mystical water palaces, and pretty beaches. With our tour leader providing information along the way, we will stop at Tenganan Village, a community that still holds to the ancient ‘Bali Aga’ culture with its original traditions, ceremonies, and rules of ancient Bali, and its unique village layout and architecture. We’ll also visit the royal water palace of Tirta Gangga, a fabled maze of spine-tingling, cold water pools and basins, spouts, tiered pagoda fountains, stone carvings, and lush gardens. The final part of our scenic journey takes us through a magnificent terrain of sculptured rice terraces followed by spectacular views of a fertile plain extending all the way to the coast.
Guarded by the mighty volcano, Gunung Agung, your charming beachside hotel welcomes you with warm Balinese hospitality and traditional architecture, rich with hand-carved ornamentation. After checking in, you can relax and unwind with a swim in the pool or in the calm, clear waters lapping the shore just footsteps from your room. Or you may prefer a gentle walk, in the surrounding village and hillsides. This will also be an opportunity for those unfamiliar with snorkeling to have a lesson with our tour leader. In the evening, take time to get better acquainted with your fellow guests in preparation for our voyage ahead with sunset drinks in the seaside bar and a Balinese-style welcome dinner.
About The Coral View Villas
Picturesque bungalows are set within a sprawling tropical garden amongst hidden patches of fruit trees and vegetables, with the aim of supplying as much homegrown produce to the kitchens and guests as possible.
About the Hidden Paradise Cottage
This boutique resort was established in 1991 when the first bricks laid were nestled amongst cornfields. Hidden Paradise opens up to the black sand beach of Lipah Bay. Swim at the beach, suntan by the hotel’s pool, sip cocktails at sunset or dine at Tumpek.
Bali / Lombok Strait
We will wake in the morning at the resort, have a leisurely breakfast, and maybe an early morning swim before being transported the short distance to the boat, which will be waiting at anchor in the bay. Getting up early to see the sun come up with the boat in the background is something rather special. After we board the vessel, you will have a chance to settle in before we head off for a snorkel on the lovely reefs that the local area is famous for. Back on the boat, the captain will give the order to raise the anchor and we will head east in the direction of Sumbawa across the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary called the Wallace Line, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the renowned Victorian naturalist. Wallace noticed that the flora and fauna of the islands to the west are home to Asiatic animal and plant species, whereas the islands to the east of the invisible line have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. As we head east, we will enjoy lunch along the way and have plenty of time to relax and settle into our new ocean-going home for the next seven days. Sunset drinks on the back deck will be a highlight.
About The Katharina and Ombak Putih
Whether embarking on the 12-cabin Ombak Putih, a custom-built Indonesian schooner, or the sleek, 6-cabin Katharina, a slim-hulled Indonesian sailing yacht, your home away from home in Bali includes an expert Indonesian crew and amenities such as private en-suite bathrooms and individually controlled air conditioning.
Kenawa Island & Bungin Island
We will wake off the beautiful white sands of Kenawa Island in West Sumbawa, where after breakfast we will snorkel, paddleboard, swim, and explore the island’s beaches, grasslands, and corals throughout the morning. After lunch on the boat, we will set a course 10 miles further east to Bungin Island, home to a group of Bajau ‘Sea Gypsies’, famous for living in stilt houses above the water and living entirely off the sea. It is the second-largest Bajau settlement in Indonesia and will provide you with an amazing and rare opportunity to experience a part of Indonesian culture that is a huge part of the country’s seafaring tradition. Later in the afternoon, we will set sail for Moyo Island.
Moyo & Satonda
This morning we will moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshingly cool water. Our next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its center that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colorful tropical fish, so we will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling. Another highlight of our visit to Satonda will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. Immediately after sunset, we leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.
Pulau Sangean & Banta
We will wake up off the coast of Pulau Sangean, an active volcano that towers 1,800 meters above sea level. After breakfast, we will go ashore to a small hamlet, which, because of the active nature of the volcano, is only inhabited for short periods during the year when the local people come to tend their crops and small herds of buffaloes, which we can see swimming in the sea. Luckily for us, the local community of boatbuilders on the mainland has started construction of a brand new and very large pinisi boat on the beach at Sangean village. We will have the opportunity to see the process that built both the Ombak Putin and Katharina in action; truly an impressive sight and a marvel of engineering. We will then snorkel on both a nearby reef and a location on the north of the island where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the seafloor among the corals, a most interesting sight. We will then proceed to the island of Banta and its pure white sand beach, for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, and hill-climbing for the fit. Later that evening we proceed on to Komodo dragon country.
Komodo & Gili Lawa Darat
This morning, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulfur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids, and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. After returning to the onboard we will cruise around the coast and visit Komodo village, where we can buy some local handicrafts. Later we may head to Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life. Later, we will head to Makassar Reef, where we will look for manta rays, and if we spot them, we will go snorkeling with these gentle giants. We will then head to Gili Lawa Darat for some more snorkeling and a hill climb to watch a magical sunset.
Rinca, Siaba, Kelor & Kukusan
Today we will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where we will have another ranger-led nature trek in search of more Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes, and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon, we can go snorkeling on the beautiful Siaba Island, before perhaps visiting the lovely Kelor Island. We will also have the option of visiting the adjacent island of Kukusan where we will meet a settlement of ‘sea-gypsies,’ the Bajao people who build their homes on stilts over the sea. That evening we will go ashore to an uninhabited island and get our toes in the sand for a final night’s beach barbeque. With a raging bonfire, great food, dancing, and the crew singing and playing guitars, this end-of-cruise celebration under the stars is a quintessential SeaTrek experience.
Flores & Bali Departure
For those early risers, we will have time for one last swim and snorkel, before cruising into Labuan Bajo harbor. At about 9 am we will leave the boat for a trip to the village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning-quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After the performance, we will have lunch on the boat before transferring you to the airport for your flight back to Bali.
Arrival & Departure
An Austin Adventures representative will meet you in Sanur (Bali) in the morning of Day One and depart for Padang Bai or Amed, on Bali’s southeast and eastern coasts, respectively, where your ship will be anchored and waiting for you. On day 8, after a morning on the island of Flores, you will enjoy lunch aboard your ship before being transferred to the airport for your flight back to Bali.
- Hiking: Easy, 1-3 miles, ranger-led on trails.
- Swimming: Equipment provided, prior bike experience necessary
- Snorkeling: Equipment provided, no experience necessary.
- Paddleboarding: Equipment provided, no experience necessary.
- Kayaking: Equipment provided, no experience necessary.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy, individually controlled air-conditioned cabin, and private bath.
- All meals while onboard the Katharina or Ombak Putih.
- Fully trained, all-Indonesian crew, guides, and knowledgeable local partners.
- Any necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- All excursions.
- Transfer to/from vessel when arriving on recommended flights.
- Beverages (non-alcoholic) while onboard.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Guide & crew gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Boutique purchases and personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
As our resident Asia expert, Tim would love to connect with you about the kaleidoscope of landscapes, cultures, eco-systems, and crossroads that lay waiting in Asia. He's had the chance to spend years of his life living and traveling across India, Nepal, Thailand, Fiji, and the rest of Asia. This first-hand experience shines through in his passion for helping other people delight in the magic and mystery of Asia. Tim will listen to your ideas for a perfect trip and then lend his expertise to ensure we build the right experience for you, whether it's your first trip to the Asia-Pacific or your 10th.