Rabu, 23 Juli 2008

Bali Cruises - Sea Safari Cruises

where volcanoes rise from the sea, where time stood still, there is a world of breathtaking beauty, a world of exotic cultures, a world of stunning sceneries, a world waiting to be discovered...

It was not so long ago that only the most determined explorers would venture into the mysterious eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago. Today it is perfectly possible to undertake such an expedition in splendid comfort.

Sea Safari Cruises organised the first leisure expedition in 1989. We were the pioneers and we remain the ultimate experts. These are not just journeys of exploration, these are not just dream holidays, these are lifetime experiences...

Travel into the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago is always an unforgettable and rewarding experience and always an adventure, but it can be tough. Roads are usually in poor condition. Ferries are often unreliable and accommodation is always primitive. Yet it is one of the most charming parts of Asia, it has an incredibly rich and varied cultural life and wherever you go, you find yourself as safe as can be.

Sea Safari leisure expeditions to these out-of–the-way islands east of Bali are the perfect solution and from the very moment that you step aboard one of our wooden schooners you will know that you made the right decision by booking a cruise.

The formula of Sea Safari is as simple as it is attractive. Your home-away-from-home is a spacious sailing vessel and you have a comfortable cabin with your own en-suite bathroom. An attentive but discrete crew takes care of everything.

At night, while you sleep, we cover the distances and every morning when you wake up you find yourself at anchor in another bay or in front of another island, every one of these spots a little gem. Our Cruise Director knows the territory inside out and every day you go ashore to make another miraculous discovery. You land on deserted beaches and uninhabited islands. You visit remote fishing communities. You go snorkeling over an underwater wonderland. We take you to the dragons…

This is one journey you will never forget.

" I had never imagined that the ship would be so spacious and comfortable..."

Seven Days - Six Nights Bali-Komodo-Bali

The classic Komodo expedition

Day one Bali
Embarkation on to the Sea Safari in Benoa harbour. Departure at 09:00 AM. Lunch will be served as we pass by the majestic Agung volcano on the northeastern part of Bali. After sailing out of the Lombok Strait the vessel settles on an easterly course and we enjoy the first of many sunsets as we pass the Gili Islands off the northern coast of Lombok.

Day two Moyo and Satonda
In the early morning we make our first landfall on Moyo, a small island off the north coast of Sumbawa. We stop at one of several fine snorkeling sites along its west coast and go ashore at the village of Labuanhaji. Around mid-day we hoist the anchor again and a few hours later we reach the uninhabited island of Satonda, which is separated by a narrow strait from the Tambora volcano on the Sumbawa mainland, the site of the largest eruption in recorded history. Going ashore we discover that Satonda itself is a small volcano as well and that a salty lake fills its crater. We spend the remainder of the afternoon swimming and snorkeling. At sunset we find that the island is home to a large colony of fruit eating giant bats, or flying foxes, and after dinner we set sail again.

Day three Banta and Misa
As the day breaks we realize that we are at anchor in front of a stunningly beautiful beach and looking on the chart we find out that our captain has moored the vessel off Banta, another uninhabited island which lies at the entrance of the Sape Strait right on the boundary between West and East Nusa Tenggara provinces. We spend the morning swimming and exploring the island and if we are lucky we may spot some of the giant turtles that are known to congregate near Banta. Around noon we go underway again and in the course of the afternoon, once we have entered the Linta Strait, we anchor off the small island of Misa and visit one of the two colonies of the Baju, the “sea gypsies”, the indigenous people from this area. In the early evening we arrive at our final destination when our ship anchors in the calm and peaceful Bay of Komodo.

Day four Komodo
Early in the morning we go ashore where a park ranger will escort us across the island (about 4.5 km there and back) to a viewing spot where we can safely watch the “Komodo Dragons”, the giant monitor lizards, at close range. Komodo National Park is the only place on earth where one can see the dragons in their own habitat. After this encounter with the species from the Jurassic Age, we will spend the remainder of the day beachcombing and snorkeling on the beautiful “red beach” of Komodo with its amazing marine gardens. After dinner we hoist the anchor and go underway again.

Day five Bima and East Sumbawa
As the sun rises we arrive in the busy traditional harbor of Bima, which is situated at the end of a long inlet deep in the heart of Eastern Sumbawa. We spend the morning exploring the town and the Donggo Highlands west of Bima Bay. Around lunchtime we leave the quay and after sailing out of Bima Bay we go on a westerly heading again for our overnight passage to Lombok.

Day six Lombok
In the course of the morning we anchor at Amoramor Bay on the north Coast of Lombok, where we go ashore for an excursion to the Sendang Gile Waterfalls in the lush foothills of the Rinjani volcano. After the sunset the crew will prepare a BBQ dinner on one of the beaches near our anchorage. During the night the crew will raise the anchor again to proceed to the Gili Islands of West Lombok.

Day seven Bali
We spend a last morning snorkeling and swimming anchored off one of the Gili Islands. Around noon we set sail and we arrive back in Benoa around 17:00. Disembarkation.

Cruising through Indonesia one encounters an incredible variety of indigenous sailing craft and the best known are the Buginese schooners. Until today several thousands of these keep plying the inter-island trading routes of Indonesia carrying cargo.

In the old days these schooners were pure sailing boats and consequently they were sometimes becalmed in windless seas for weeks on end. Although the “Phinisis” have retained their sailing rigs, since the late sixties virtually all of them have been motorized and nowadays they could best be described as motor-sailers. Traditionalists would not even call them schooners anymore as the aft masts have generally become smaller than the foremasts. Nowadays they are in fact ketches while the one masted ones should be referred to as cutters.

What has not changed however is the thousand year old boat building tradition of the Bugis, who are indigenous to South Sulawesi and have been known throughout the ages as the sailors, the traders and the pirates of the archipelago.

All Sea Safari vessels have been handcrafted by Bugi master carpenters, who were allowed to use only the very best, well seasoned, “ulin”, or ironwood, available. What sets them apart is that at the same time, Mr. Zainal Abidin, owner and chief architect of Sea Safari, has been incorporating his experience as a builder of tugboats into the final designs of all the vessels himself. They are sturdy ships with an easy motion that offer a level of comfort, otherwise only found on the very largest yachts.

Sea Safari maintains the youngest fleet in Indonesia. The oldest ship currently in operation was launched in 1997.

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