D a y 1
- Today after our flight from Bali that overflies most of our cruise route, you will be met at the airport by your tour leaders, mid-afternoon, and taken to the beachside resort. Here, parents can relax by the pool, while our tour leaders take the kids (and parents, if they wish) out to practise or learn how to snorkel in the shallow water off the beach.
- At sunset we will gather for dinner and get to know each other. You will meet wildlife experts and real-life Spider Hunters, Ray & Angela, for the first time and be presented with your activity packs for the trip, including an animal and fish identification book. The Hales and our tour leaders will explain all about the fun that awaits you over the coming week as we island-hop all the way to Bali.
D a y 2
- After breakfast, we will drive for about 30 minutes high into the hills to visit the local Manggarai people in their traditional village, where they will welcome us into their tribal world and allow us to be witness to their fast and furious ‘caci’ whip dance, a test of strength and daring for the menfolk. The women will also show us their very challenging bamboo dancing, one that requires no less dexterity and light of foot to avoid being caught out. If we are lucky, we will be invited to join in the fun.
- Later in the morning, we will glide over the waves in our rubber tenders on the way to the Ombak Putih, our home for the next week. Once settled in, we will have lunch and head out into the Komodo National park for our first snorkel of the trip.
- In the early evening, at cocktail hour (for the parents), we will anchor off a local small island to see thousands and thousands of fruit bats emerge from their mangrove homes and fill the sky as they head off to the mainland in search of food.
- We will spend a quiet night at anchor as we learn about the sky above and the many stars we will see in the Milky Way.
D a y 3
- We wake up bright and early and after a quick breakfast, go ashore by tender to Rinca Island, where we will go trekking in search of Komodo dragons. With binoculars in hand, we will search for monkeys, deer, pigs, buffalo, birds and bugs, as Ray & Angela lead us through the forests and savannahs of this large island, keeping an ever-watchful eye out for the hard-to-see Komodos.
- Our encounters with giant animals are not over yet, and later we will go in search of manta rays as they feed in the current and circle the so-called cleaning stations, where small fish remove parasites from their skin and mouths. You can swim and float above these giant and noble beasts for as long as you like, taking in the amazing sights.
- With a lot more to see, we will cross to another nearby reef, which is a favourite hangout of sea turtles, and, nature willing, we will have a chance to swim with these gentle reptiles as they cruise along the shallow water of the reef.
- This evening we will have an island beach BBQ where we can sing and dance with our crew as they serenade us with classic Indonesian folk songs and sea shanties beside a roaring bonfire. The crew will surely invite you to return the favour with some songs of your own.
D a y 4
- This morning we will wake up off the coast of a deserted island with a beautiful white sand beach, where Ray and Angela will lead us on a bug hunt looking for creepy crawlies in the long grass. After that we will cool off with some snorkelling in the colourful corals just offshore, as well as enjoying some paddle boarding and kayaking.
- Over lunch, we will cruise across the sea, and if the wind is in our favour, you can help pull the sails up as we set course for a huge nearby volcano. Here on the beach, local villagers are in the process of building a traditional wooden pinisi boat, with the same pedigree and history of SeaTrek’s very own ships. Walking around this small village, you will get a feel for their simple way of life, chat with the locals and maybe buy some handmade textiles as a memento.
- We will snorkel on a vibrant coral reef just off the shore filled with fish and marine creatures from all shades of the colour spectrum, including a meadow of hundreds of glass eels.
D a y 5
- This morning, we will wake up off another volcanic island covered with jungle with a mysterious crater lake and a wishing tree at its heart. Ray and Angela will lead us on a jungle walk along the crater rim in search of wildlife as we learn all about the special habitats that the island provides.
- After our walk, we will visit the lake where we will swim in the warm water and have paddle board races. Back on the boat we will have lunch as we cross to another tropical island, where we will meet with local village kids as they take a walk through a village to a jungle waterfall for a swim, where our young guides will take the lead on a rope swing above a cool, deep jungle pool to show us how to enjoy the water ‘jungle style’.
- Along the way, Ray and Angela will be pointing out all the fascinating bugs and beasties that inhabit the forest as we keep our eyes peeled for all sorts of wildlife, big and small.
D a y 6
- This morning is another day for giants, but of a different kind: the massive but perfectly harmless whale sharks. We will wake up before dawn and our tour leaders will head off to check if the sharks are in the bay, and if we are in luck we will soon be heading off to swim with these mighty, but gentle, fish.
- We spend the afternoon on a nearby beach where we will snorkel, paddle, kayak and explore our jungle surroundings with Ray & Angela leading us on a bug and wildlife hunt.
D a y 7
- Today we will visit a very unusual kind of village, which belongs to the famous Bajau people, or Sea Gypsies, who have traditionally lived their entire lives in houses built on or over the water on stilts and coral. We will visit the local school, so get your best singing voices on as we trade voices and see how the other half lives.
- After lunch, another relaxing and entertaining afternoon awaits as we land on a nearby uninhabited island, where once again we will go in search of nature and enjoy snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding.
- Tonight you will once again enjoy some home-grown Indonesian hospitality as your crew host a beach barbeque in your honour this evening. On offer is plenty of good food, music, dancing and frivolity as we sing and dance the night away next to a bonfire under a clear tropical night sky.
D a y 8
- On our final morning, we will wake up at anchor off the coast of Bali in the shadow of Bali’s Mt Agung, the mother mountain of all the Balinese people. We can enjoy an early morning swim or snorkel before saying a fond farewell to our crew and heading off for the final, yet very exciting, activity of the journey – Coral Gardeners, where we will learn all about how the coral is being restored on the reefs. We will all have a go at creating and placing our own coral fragment on the racks in the sea.
- Later in the afternoon we will reach our final destination and go our separate ways, having had the most fun-filled trip of a lifetime and leaving Indonesia with a whole new way of looking at the world.