Best of Indonesia

Davao to Bali Aboard the Caledonian Sky

Best of Indonesia route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $14,980  
Length: 18 days
Arrive: Manila, Philippines
Depart: Benoa, Bali
Lodging: 2 nights hotels, 13 nights aboard 114-passenger expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 14-day cruise, snorkeling, cultural exploration and walking tours


  • Experience intriguing cultures: the unique ceremonies of the Flores islanders, Bali’s rich artistic heritage, and a special overnight excursion to discover Toraja’s complex ancestor worship
  • Snorkel or dive among dazzling tropical fish and colorful corals—these waters are some of the most biodiverse in the world
  • Step ashore on Komodo Island and enjoy close encounters with its namesake dragon
  • Search for endemic species such as the Sulawesi hornbill, crested black macaque, and the diminutive tarsier, the world’s smallest primate
  • Enjoy numerous nature walks and Zodiac cruises revealing stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and luxuriant tropical landscape

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Indonesia offers an exotic blend of culture and nature, showcasing the incredible diversity of this enigmatic archipelago. With the Caledonian Sky as our comfortable home base, we search for colorful birds in Tangkoko Nature Reserve, investigate the waters of Bunaken National Marine Park, a World Heritage Site, and step ashore on Komodo Island to view the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. On Sulawesi, we explore the rich cultural heritage of the highlands of Toraja as we 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. We end our incredible journey with a magical tour of Bali—legendary for its verdant landscapes, beautiful temples, and vibrant art scene.


Days 1-2, February 24-25, 2015
Fly to Manila, Philippines

Fly to Manila, losing a day crossing the International Date Line. Arrive in Manila and transfer to the our group hotel for a Welcome Dinner and trip briefing.

Day 3, February 26
Manila / Davao / Embark Caledonian Sky

Fly to Davao and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then embark the Caledonian Sky in the early afternoon.

Day 4, February 27
At Sea

Attend lectures today as experts highlight the natural and cultural wonders of Indonesia.

Day 5, February 28
Bunaken National Marine Park, Sulawesi / 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. We 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 just one of the 100 species of fish we may spot here. After lunch, we visit Siladeng Island for additional snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Day 6, March 1
Lahaga Island / Tangkoko Nature Reserve / Bitung

We spend the morning snorkeling or swimming 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.

Days 7-8, March 2-3
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 our visit we will meet the delightful locals and enjoy guided walks to search for the amazing birds and wildlife that reside here.

Day 9, March 4
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, March 5
Kokoila Island / Lunasualu Island

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

Day 11, March 6
Buton Island

Dangling off the southeast coast of Sulawesi, Buton is part of the Wakatobi Island group. Our snorkel or dive excursions today reveal an incredible array of marine reef inhabitants, and 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.

Days 12-13, March 7-8
Palopo / Toraja, Sulawesi Island

An overnight excursion brings us 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. We 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, we tour more traditional villages and return to Palopo to board the Caledonian Sky in the evening.

Day 14, March 9
Selayar Island

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

Day 15, March 10
Komodo Island

Komodo National Park is a sanctuary for the fabled giant monitor lizard, the Komodo dragon. We walk along a forested pathway to a viewing area for a close inspection of these prehistoric reptiles that 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, March 11
Satonda Island / Sumbawa Island

This morning we stop at deserted Satonda, a small circular island that is the cone of an ancient volcano. Snorkel or dive over enchanting reefs that boast more than 64 species of coral, or ascend the ridge to view the island’s interior sacred lake. We enjoy lunch on board as the ship cruises to Sumbawa Island.
Soaring above the landscape on Sumbawa’s north coast is the massive Tambora Volcano, whose 1815 eruption was the largest in recorded history. Zodiacs take us ashore to the small village of Kenanga, home to about 500 traditional Muslim fishermen and their families, where we are greeted with drumming, dancing, and a pole-climbing competition.

Day 17, March 12
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. We disembark in the port of Benoa and drive to Ubud, surrounded by the sacred Monkey Forest, where a large artisan community displays their talents in painting, sculpture, silver-working, and batik. After lunch at a local restaurant, we enjoy time at leisure to stroll among the countless galleries, small museums, and artisans’ workshops. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.

Day 18, March 13
Bali / Depart

After a morning at leisure, transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

Post-Cruise Extension: Jewels of Java

Join an optional excursion to Java, famous for its magnificent monuments, rich cultures, and artistic endeavors.

Day 1, March 13
Disembark / Yogyakarta, Java

Enjoy a morning at leisure and lunch onboard. Disembark and transfer to the airport for our early afternoon flight to Yogyakarta. Check in to the Phoenix Heritage Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2, March 14

Today we'll visit the architectural gems near Yogyakarta. Built in the 10th century and surrounded by emerald fields, Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple complex in Java. Observe vibrant scenes of the Ramayana epic carved into the gallery encircling the temple. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Ratu Boko Palace complex. Return to Yogayakarta for dinner, then attend a performance of the traditional Ramayana Ballet. Return to the hotel for overnight.

Day 3, March 15
Yogyakarta / Borobudur

This morning, visit the Sultan’s palace, also known as the Kraton, founded in 1755 and located in the center of Yogyakarta. Tour the ornate reception halls as well as the large open-air pendopos, built for gamelan performances. The nearby Tamansari (also known as the Water Castle) was built by the prince in 1758 as a "place of pleasure" for the prince and his harem. A short drive brings you to Kota Gede, the center of Yogya’s silver industry since 1930. Here you will visit both a batik factory and silversmith to observe these ancient arts. Enjoy free time to explore the narrow alleyways and browse the high-quality handicrafts. Continue to Borobudur for dinner and overnight at Plataran Borobudur.

Day 4, March 16

Rise early this morning to watch the sunrise over Borobudur Temple, the largest single Buddhist monument in the southern hemisphere. Built in the 9th century, the entire monument was conceived as a Buddhist vision of the cosmos in stone—starting in the everyday world and spiraling up to Nirvana. Return to the hotel for breakfast, then set out for the Mendut Temple complex, whose three central figures are often hailed as the supreme manifestations of Buddhist art. In Candirejo Village, board horse-drawn buggies to view traditional farms and plantations, mingle with the local people, and visit a local home for a gamelan lesson and performance. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5, March 17
Borobudur / Yogyakarta / Jakarta

After breakfast, depart for Yogyakarta to catch our short flight to Jakarta. A 500-year-old history that includes Hindu kingdoms, Islamic sultanates, and 350 years as the center of the Dutch East India Company has created a labyrinth of vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Check in to the Sheraton Bandara Jakarta in time for lunch, then join a city tour that includes the Indonesian National Monument and the impressive Istiqlal Mosque. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.

Day 6, March 18
Jakarta / USA

Board your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

Cost: $2,980 per person, double occupancy; $4,160 single occupancy.

2015 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated 1, Easy. For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for snorkel and dive activities and excursions ashore. You must be able to walk moderate distances along beaches and sometimes on rough or slippery terrain. Some stairs may be uneven and without handrails. Temperatures will range in the 80sºF, with the possibility of some days reaching the low 90sºF, though high humidity can make it feel warmer.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Future dates have not been set for this itinerary. Please contact us if you would like to be notified of trip dates once they are available.

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Category 1 $14,980
Category 2 $15,980
Category 3 $16,780
Category 4 $17,580
Category 5 $18,780
Category 6 $20,980
Single Cabin Category 2: $19,980
Single Cabin Category 4: $21,980

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 25% of trip cost
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $750 per person
180-120 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
119-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
59 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan


Cabin Descriptions

All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.

  • Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 240 square feet and have three portholes.
  • Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 230 square feet with large picture windows.
  • Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 220 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 220 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 240 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
  • Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 215 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 45 square feet.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All gratuities
  • Accommodations in hotel and on board the Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary
  • All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore, including house wine, beer or soft drinks with lunch and dinner onboard
  • 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
  • $50,000 of medical expense coverage and $75,000 in emergency evacuation insurance

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

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 other than listed above, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges.

Expedition Details

A valid passport is required for traveling on this trip.  Be sure to check the expiration date.  Your passport must be valid for six months after the conclusion of your trip.  It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.

A visa is required for travel to Indonesia.  Please call for details.

We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at should you have any international health concerns.

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before your trip.  Also, the CDC does have suggested vaccines to consider when traveling to Southeast Asia.  Be sure to consult with your physician or a travel doctor about it.

Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2012, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, library, and gym. Outside decks feature a rear sun deck where meals are served in pleasant weather, and the promenade deck is available for scenic photography as well as wildlife and seabird viewing. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en-suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. Wireless internet access is available throughout the ship. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs for excursions ashore.