BE PREPARED TO BE FLEXIBLE
Our mission is to provide the best experience possible for our 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 that we 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!
Depending on current airline schedules, to get to the start point of the river cruise in Borneo, guests will have to fly from either Bali or Jakarta on the day before the cruise’s official start date and stay overnight in a hotel or fly at 7am on the day of the trip. Please contact SeaTrek to discuss your flight arrangements into Indonesia before booking.
Some of these cruises are 14-days long and some are 13-days long. This is because the Orangutans and Dragons cruises are a combination of a Borneo riverboat cruise and a Komodo cruise and we need to match, and both boats have different schedules. Where those schedules align perfectly, the trip is 13 days. Where there is an extra day in-between the two boat trips, we have added a day. This extra day is spent in Bali at the Puri Santrian Hotel prior to flying to Komodo to board the SeaTrek boat, and guests are free to relax and enjoy the local surroundings.
The Itinerary on this page describes the 13-day journey. For the 14-day itinerary, guests will spend Days 4 & 5 in Bali.
The More You Know The More You See
Our tour leaders are a wealth of information on the regions we visit and will prepare you for each activity with on board talks and presentations to give you a greater understanding of the different experiences you will have each day. They will also act as your cross cultural bridges to all the people we meet along the way, so feel free to ask them to translate when talking to local Indonesian people on your travels.
D a y 1
- We will meet you either on arrival at the airport or in your hotel lobby. At 8 am we transfer you 40 minutes to the tiny village of Sei Gohong where we board local canoes to observe orangutans on the beautiful forested island of Pulau Kaja. The island is managed by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation or BOS. After observing orangutans in their island habitat, we then transfer to BOS’s nearby Education Centre in Nyaru Menteng for more information on their activities.
- Returning to Palangka Raya harbour, we board the Rahai’i Pangun for lunch and a short cruise through the city upstream. Boarding vehicles, we travel 30 minutes to the historic towns of Bukit Rawi and Sigi to see the magnificently painted sandungs, receive a Dayak welcome and learn about the history.
- We then return to the boat to start the cruise downstream to moor overnight in a quiet location.
D a y 2
- In the early morning, we will use motorised canoes to visit the extensive blackwater Lake Bagantung. This is a unique peatland swamp ecosystem where we have the opportunity to spot birds, the other wildlife and fishing activities by the villagers.
- Returning to the village of Pusaka, we learn the local self-defence or shadow boxing exercise. Try it yourself! Returning to the boat, we continue the cruise downstream to Tumbang Nusa village. On arrival, we will have a walking tour in the village to see some of their traditional livelihoods.
- The boat will continue to cruise downstream, passing the large forested Selat and Badak Islands, where it may be possible to spot orangutans. We then find a quiet place to tie up overnight.
D a y 3
- The boat continues downstream to the village of Pilang where we take a short walk in the forest area near the village to see the process of rubber tapping (Mamantat) and rattan harvesting (Manetes). Our village guide will also point out some local medicinal plants growing in the forest.
- We then have a walking tour in the village to see some of their traditional livelihoods. Watch the local ladies at their rattan weaving process and meet the villagers. Over a special tea and coffee, with traditional Dayak cakes, we will be entertained with a Kacapi (two-stringed instrument) performance.
- Escaping the heat of the midday sun, we will return to the boat for lunch. The boat will cruise downstream to find a quiet mooring place for overnight
D a y 4
We have a relaxed breakfast before our very special visit to the Sebangau National Park. For this adventure, we pack our bags and transfer to the car for the journey to Kereng Bangkirai village (40 minutes). Here we join a canoe to travel a half hour across the amazing reflections of Lake Sebangau to the tiny Koran River.
- Explore the boardwalks and forests on the eastern boundary of the park. We will visit the information centre established there and walk along boardwalks provided for visitors to more easily explore the area to catch sight of birds and perhaps wild orangutans.
We return to the village of Kering Bangkirai for a cool drink for transfer to the vehicle and return to the airport. Upon arrival in Bali, you will be escorted to your hotel for the night.
** If doing a 14-day journey, you will spend two nights in Bali with the extra day at your leisure.
D a y 5 - 6
-Taking the early morning flight from Bali, you will be met at the airport in Komodo by your tour leaders and be taken straight to your boat. And as you settle into your new home, we will head to our first snorkelling spot; a coral restoration project where you will see how the corals and fish populations have grown since they were first transplanted in 2014.
-Go ashore on Komodo Island in search of the fearsome Komodo dragons, found only in the Komodo National Park. This is the world’s largest lizard, growing up to a length of three metres and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms.
-Enjoy some magnificent snorkelling on some of the Komodo Park’s best reefs.
-Swim with manta rays as they feed on the current and circle the so-called cleaning stations, where small fish remove parasites from their skin.
-Snorkel at a favourite hangout of sea turtles, where we will have a chance to swim with these gentle reptiles as they cruise along the shallow water of the reef.
D a y 7 - 8
-Wake up off the coast of a beautiful uninhabited island with a beach of pure white sand with some sparkles of powdered red coral, creating the effect of a “pink beach”. We will spend the morning here, swimming, paddle boarding, and snorkelling on the beautiful coral reef that lies parallel to the beach.
-Over lunch, we will cruise to a nearby active volcanic island where we will see a large wooden pinisi boat with the same pedigree and history of SeaTrek’s very own ships being built on the beach. Walking around this small village, get a feel for their simple way of life, chat with the locals and maybe buy some handmade textiles as a souvenir.
-Spend the day at a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora catastrophically erupted in 1815. Here we will swim, kayak, and paddleboard on the lake, and the more adventurous can go trekking around the crater rim.
-Experience one of our famous SeaTrek beach BBQs under a night sky filled with millions of stars as you feast on the amazing local delicacies prepared by our chef, and all accompanied by live musical entertainment from our talented crew.
-Another highlight of our visit to the island will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that fly at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland.
D a y 9 - 1 0
-We will have chance for an early morning swim with whale sharks, the gentle giants of the sea. These massive but harmless animals have long congregated here in the bay but now, thanks to travellers like you, we have formed a mutually beneficial alliance with the local fisherman who have their traditional small floating fishing platforms in the bay that attract the sharks. We can’t make any promises, as we don’t have these wild animals on a leash, but fingers crossed we will see them.
-Spend the day on a beach located on a small limestone island nearby, kayaking, swimming and snorkelling, and exploring the local karst formations.
-We will cruise to Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo to visit the village and walk to a scenic waterfall where we can bathe in the refreshing cool water.
D a y 1 1 - 1 2
-Enjoy a unique snorkelling experience where volcanic gasses escape in the form of bubbles from the sea floor among the corals, with the metallic black volcanic sand below being home to an abundance of very interesting invertebrates.
-Entering the Komodo National Park again we will go drift snorkelling in one of the best and healthiest coral reefs in the park, and for those who want to take the land-adventure to another level, you can do a sunset hike up to a gorgeous viewpoint overlooking the other islands in the park.
-Visit Rinca Island, which is well known for its diverse wildlife, and maybe spot dragons, monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breath taking.
D a y 1 3
-After breakfast on our last day, we will take you on a scenic drive towards Melo Village, where you will witness the traditional Caci dance performance. Local strongmen perform 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.
-After lunch on the boat, we will say farewell to the crew and your fellow shipmates as you disembark and continue onto your next destination.