Explore the Waters of Komodo National Park aboard the Aqua Blu

Overview

Located in the Coral Triangle between the major landmasses of Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east, the waters of Komodo National Park are embraced by fast flowing currents from the Indian Ocean and warm tropical Indonesia seas enriched with volcanic nutrients. The result is a vibrant marine environment that's home to more than 1,000 species of marine life, including the manta ray, sea turtles, and mola mola (ocean sunfish), as well as over 260 species of coral. From shore to shore, the sheer number of marine life and a variety of different underwater environments make this region endlessly rewarding for both divers and non-divers alike. Cruising is an ideal way to discover the region. Built to world-class luxury cruising specifications, the speed, stability and long-range capabilities of the Aqua Blu cruise ship guarantees five-star comfort, utmost exclusivity, and an unrivalled immersiveness in the Park’s natural wonders. You'll be able to access otherwise hard-to-reach marine sites and hiking trails where nature and wildlife flourish, often without another boat or human in sight.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1, Saturday
Benoa / Embark on Aqua Blue

Arrive at Bali to a warm welcome. Board Aqua Blu at 4:00 pm and cruise to Moyo Island as the sun sets.

Day 2, Sunday
Moyo Island

Arrive in Moyo, a remote hilly island with a handful of fishing villages. Located between Bali and Komodo National Park, the secluded island of Moyo is an unspoiled paradise. It sits at the mouth of Saleh Bay off the northern coast of Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara, and offers the explorer sparkling coastlines, a wealth of underwater life, and a photogenic cascading waterfall in its interior that is accessible with a short hike. Along the way to the waterfall, the wildlife of Moyo reveals itself, from butterflies to wild oxen. Moyo Island is also a paradise for bird lovers. Of the 124 bird species found in Sumbawa, 86 are found on the island. Among the rarer bird species are yellow-headed parrots and megapodes. The latter is a chicken-like bird unique for building a large mound of debris to incubate its eggs, aided with the heat of decomposing matter within the debris.

Day 3, Monday
Saleh Bay, Sumbawa

Arrive at Saleh Bay. Depending on the time of the month, you’ll have the chance to encounter friendly whale sharks up close while guided by Conservation International Rangers. In the evening, witness a dramatic flight of the fruit bats at Sattonda.

Day 4, Tuesday
Gili Banta, West Komodo

Enjoy a spectacular sunrise and breakfast with Sangeang volcano as the backdrop and arrive at Gili Banta, a remote haven for beach lovers, snorkelers, and divers alike. Or hike the Eastern Ridge for stunning views.

Day 5, Wednesday
Linta Strait / Padar

In the morning discover Linta Strait, a famous spot for drift snorkeling and diving. Large pelagic fish are very common as well as manta rays, giant trevallies, and big schools of barracuda. Here, water from the Indian Ocean meets the Flores Sea. The convergence results in a nutrient-rich, life-giving concoction that that gives life to marine creatures. Some of the most famous dive sites in Komodo National Park lie within the Linta Strait.

In the afternoon, arrive at picturesque Padar Island. No Komodo dragons reside here, but what Padar does have is one of the most spectacular natural vistas on Earth that’s also easily accessible. The hike to the viewpoint across the park’s distinctive savanna terrain takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your fitness. Either way, Padar’s perfectly curved bays and beaches flanking both side of the island, framed by the cobalt blue of the surrounding sea, is an unbelievably breathtaking sight and a photographer’s dream.

Day 6, Thursday
Horseshoe Bay / Pink Beach

After a morning sailing through a spectacular sea passage, arrive in Horseshoe Bay, a dramatic curvature of land that is the remains of an ancient volcano caldera. Visit sea eagles' and Komodo dragon’s favorite haunts aboard Aqua Blu's skiffs or choose to dive or swim (well-known dive sites include Cannibal Rock and the Yellow Wall of Texas). In the late afternoon, the iconic Pink Beach awaits. One of the seven pink beaches on the planet, the aptly named Pink Beach on Komodo Island gets its characteristic color from microscopic creatures called foraminifera that produce a red pigment, which then gets left behind on coral reef. Over time, tiny fragments of the red coral get washed up and combine with the white sands of the beach to produce a soft pink hue that is particularly beautiful in the evening light. Pink Beach is also one of the best spots in Komodo National Park for snorkeling and diving. Hike, witness the flight of bats, visit the local village, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 7, Friday
Rinca, Gili Lawa Laut

Discover Komodo National Park's largest Komodo dragon population on land at Rinca, the second largest island in the Komodo National Park. Rinca is a grassy and windswept environment that is one of the few places once can spot Komodo dragons in the wild (while accompanied by an official park guide). Look out for watering holes where these wild creatures hunt for prey. You'll then sail to Gili Lawa Laut, an islet that features expansive beaches and shallow reefs for kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding. Meanwhile, diving and snorkeling sites offer the chance to spot turtles.

Day 8, Saturday
Labuan Bajo

Depart Gili Lawa Daut anchorage for Labuan Bajo and disembark for your outbound flight.

Reverse Itinerary-in-Brief

Day 1: Arrive in Labuan Bajo and embark the Aqua Blu.
Day 2: Explore Gili Lawa Lau and sail to Rinca for first up-close views of Komodo dragons.
Day 3: Stroll through history at the Dutch Fort Belgica on Banda Neira, and learn about the colorful story of the Old World spice trade.
Day 4: Drift snorkel or dive at Linta Strait and hike on Padar  Island.
Day 5: Snorkel, dive, or hike at Gili Banta, sail to nearby West Komodo to encounter Komodo dragons in the wild.
Day 6: Horseshoe Bay and Pink Beach.
Day 7: Hike to a waterfall on Moyo Island.
Day 8: Disembark in Benoa, Bali.

Highlights

Highlights

Discover the marine extravaganza of Komodo National Park, with some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the world
Island hikes to waterfalls, local villages, along a ridgeline, and to see Komodo dragons in the wild
Visit iconic Pink Beach, with its coral-tinged sands

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $7525  
Arrive: Benoa, Bali
Depart: Labuan Bajo, Indonesia
Lodging: 7 nights aboard a 30-guest expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Special Interest, Photography, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

8-day cruise, swimming, snorkeling, diving, cultural explorations, and walking tours