Colors of Indonesia: Corals, Komodos, & Vibrant Cultures

enquire now 11 Days From NZD $17,435 pp twinshare
Small group
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Set sail from Bali on an expedition to discover Indonesia’s rich tapestry of cultures and lush tropical islands. Experience the thrill of spotting rare Komodo dragons in the wild; snorkel and dive at pristine coral reefs of the Moluccas, Raja Ampat and West Papua; take part in exuberant welcome ceremonies at the secluded villages we’ll explore along the way; and step back in time as we learn about some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific Theater during World War II.


• Encounter Indonesia’s vibrant cultures during traditional welcome ceremonies and visits to remote island villages and markets

• Swim, snorkel, and dive at spectacular reefs, isolated atolls, and ivory beaches of Kri Island, Misool and Waigeo Island in Raja Ampat and West Papua

• Search for Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park, prehistoric creatures that can reach nine feet


Map for Colors of Indonesia: Corals, Komodos, & Vibrant Cultures

DAY 1: Bali

Arrive in Bali. Check in to the Fairmont Hotel (or similar). Meet your fellow travelers this evening at our welcome reception. (D)

DAY 2: Bali / Embark National Geographic Orion

This morning we check out of the hotel and head off into the countryside and the artist’s town of Ubud—famous for silver working, wood carving, and batik. As we wind our way up into the hills, we’ll pass exquisite Hindu temples, lush forests, small villages, and the terraced rice fields cut into the cliffs. From water buffalo, to ducks, to harvest, learn how all the pieces of rice production flow together and nothing is wasted. Following lunch and free time to wander through the galleries in Ubud, we’ll head back to Benoa where we embark the National Geographic Orion. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: Satonda / Sumbawa, Lesser Sunda Islands

Our first stop is the uninhabited Indonesian island of Satonda—a small circular island that is an ancient volcanic cone. Spend the morning snorkeling or diving the vibrant reefs or hike inland to the island’s sacred lake. This afternoon visit the island of Sumbawa, where villagers welcome us with a lively cultural display. Witness a traditional wedding ceremony and a local boxing match. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Komodo Island

Explore Komodo National Park, home to the world’s largest living lizard—the Komodo dragon. Learn about the conservation of these prehistoric giants from park rangers, who will join us on a hike to spot the lizards in their natural habitat. Then enjoy an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or beachcombing at “Pink Beach,” named for the coral fragments that lend their color to the sand. (B,L,D)

DAY 5-6: Flores Island / At Sea

Flores was once an important Portuguese trading center for sandalwood. Known for producing some of the finest ikat weaving in the world, we’ll meet the people of this arid island at the weaving village of Watublapi. Whereas many other local weaving communities switched to industrially spun yarn and chemical dyes for the sake of saving time and money, the weavers of Watublapi still use the traditional, handspun yarn made out of local cotton, as well as local natural dyes. We’ll also see a cultural dance presentation. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Banda Neira, Banda Islands, Moluccas

Sail into the Molucca archipelago, also known as Maluku or the Spice Islands. In the heart of the Moluccas lay the Banda Islands, where a kora kora, or traditional war canoe, escorts us to the enchanted isle of Banda Neira. Banda Neira was once the center of the Spice Island trade and a hub of the Dutch East India Company. Stroll past Dutch architecture and visit Fort Belgica, built to protect the profitable spice trade. Next to Bandanaira, the near perfect conical volcano of Banda Api will be visible, quietly steaming away, and the crystal-clear waters provide us with some great swimming and snorkeling. (B,L,D)

DAY 8-10: Exploring Raja Ampat

Snorkel and dive one of the richest and most intricate marine regions in the world. Explore the steep coral walls and drop offs that are brimming with amazing life: colorful corals, giant clams, and literally hundreds of different fish species. Above sea level, the experiences are just as amazing, with lush islands, towering limestone pinnacles jutting out of the water, and hidden white-sand coves to discover by Zodiac or kayak. Birders may join a pre-dawn nature walk to try to catch a glimpse of the ethereal red bird of paradise. (B,L,D)

DAY 11: Sorong, West Papua / Disembark / Bali, Indonesia / Home

Disembark today in Sorong, West Papua. After a brief tour, board our charter flight to Bali, Indonesia, and connect to flights home, arriving the next day. (Day 11: B,L)

Please Note:

Itineraries are subject to change.

Ship Information 

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 103 metres

Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins)

Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014

Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration.

National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices.

National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.

Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.

While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non alcoholic beverages
• Experienced expedition team and leader
• All excursions
• Zodiac and kayak exploration
• Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
• Lectures and presentations on board



Images courtesy of Wild Earth Travel

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