Depart / Denpasar, Bali
Fly independently to Denpasar, crossing the International Date Line en route. Our home for the night is The Fairmont Sanur. (Meals Aloft, D)
Sanur Beach / Bali Barat National Park
Spend a full-day exploring the countryside of Bali en route to Bali Barat National Park on the western tip of Bali. Take a restorative stop in the springs at Pura Tirta Empul or Tampak Siring Temple, where a sacred spring believed to have been created by the god Indra has curative properties. Mount Batur is Bali’s most active volcano and surrounded by picturesque villages and lakes. Continue to the Bali Bird Park, a lush tropical garden filled with 250 species, including birds of paradise, green peafowl, Asian pied hornbill, Javan kingfisher and Bali starling. A private local ornithologist will accompany the group through the park. Finally, we stop at the rarely visited Pura Beji, a 15th century subak temple. Carved of pink sandstone, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Dewi Sri who protects the rice fields. Spend the next three nights at the Manjangan (B,L,D)
Bali Barat National Park
A local park guide leads an exploration of Bali Barat National Park. The park is home to black monkey, leak monkey and macaque, as well as Java deer, buffalo and wild pig. Bali Barat’s coastline is home to 19 species of mangrove. Spend our afternoon discovering the distinct cultures of Western Bali while visiting villages and local gardens. The Catholic faith first arrived in Bali with Dutch missionaries in the 1940s, and the stunning church in Palasari features Balinese architectural touches. Stroll through a garden featuring cocoa and wild coffee before visiting a nursery specializing in exotic fruits such as dragon fruit and durian. En route to the Palasari Dam, also call on a local home, there production of palm sugar is a cottage industry. Taste delicacies while mingling with these charming locals. (B,L,D)
Bali Starling Project & Pulau Manjangan
Start out our day with a tour of the Bali Starling Project, which has played a large role in bringing this critically endangered bird back from extinction. This striking white and sapphire blue bird has not expanded its range since scientists first discovered and recorded it in 1912 — it can only be found in the wild on Bali. The Bali Starling Project’s captive breeding program has successfully released the starlings into the wild and worked with local villages to protect the birds in the wild. Head out to uninhabited Pulau Menjangan – Deer Island – to snorkel amid unspoiled coral reefs. In this calm, shallow water, you are sure to spot purple parrotfish, silvery jacks, butterfly fish and more amongst the enormous barrel sponges and sea fans. There is even an old shipwreck off the western tip of the island! The rest of your day is at leisure. (B,L,D)
Bali Barat / South Kuta Beach Beach
En route to South Kuta Beach, the next stop on our Bali tour, enjoy a full day of exploration. At the Reef Seen Turtle Project, discover how local villagers are being included in the efforts to conserve and protect sea turtles. Travel to Lake Bratan to tour the 17th-century Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple.
While strolling through the colorful Candi Kuning Market, savor tropical fruit like snake fruit, mangosteen and jackfruit before stopping at stalls filled with flowers and spices. Spend tonight at Patra Jasa Bali Resert. (B,L)
Embark Bali Cruise
After breakfast, fly to Labuan Bajo, where we board our home for the next seven nights the eight-cabin WAOW. Enjoy a welcome drink while meeting our attentive crew. (B,L,D)
Enjoy the next six days onboard the WAOW, cruising through the spectacular scenery of Indonesia and Komodo National Park. During our guided nature walks and while snorkeling in the rich waters, you discover famed wildlife and a landscape which seems almost frozen in time. Following are some of the islands and sites we plan to visit. (B,L,D Daily)
Set out on a nature walk to explore Rinca Island, one of the two preserved habitats of the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. While as hatchlings, Komodo dragons hunt insects, rodents and small birds, within two years they are able to bring down a small deer and even water buffalo. Rinca is also home to crab-eating macaques, wild water buffalo, Rusa deer, horses and pigs. During our early morning stroll, watch for macaques frolicking along the shoreline. Our naturalist leads an easy walk in the vine forest, pointing out birds, monkeys and dragons. More adventurous guests can continue for sweeping vistas of the bright blue bays of Rinca and the park. Make our way back toward our ship, stopping at mangroves near the jetty which provide shelter for brilliant kingfishers, flycatchers and cuckoos. In Nusa Kode, Rinca’s southernmost bay, the upwelling of the Indian Ocean provides nutrient-rich waters which attract marine life such as fire urchin and Coleman shrimp. The main attraction is the stunning reef, covered with both hard and soft corals, crinoids, sea apples, sponges, black coral, sea fans, whip and wire coral.
Enjoy a ranger-led exploration of Komodo Island. The bulk of our time is spent observing Komodo dragons during our nature walk, but this is also a wonderful time to learn about the island’s flora. Along our path, spot lontar palms and bright-pink vanda orchids. Watch for megapode birds, which lay their eggs in piles of rotting leaves to utilize the heat of composting for incubation. In trees near the water hole, search for forest birds such as flowerpeckers and sunbirds feed, and along our path, Rusa deer are common. Komodo Island is located in the region known as Wallacea, denoting the overlapping of Australian and Asian bio-geographical areas. This overlapping ensures an interesting mix of bird species including yellow-crested cockatoos and friarbirds of Australian origin, and monarch flycatchers and kingfishers originating from Southeast Asia.
Red coral fragments have turned the beaches of Komodo National Park’s third large island and lovely pink color. Despite its inclusion as part of the park, there are no longer Komodo dragons on Padar; however, there is still a wealth of birdlife, including orange-footed scrub fowl, and the snorkeling is incredible!
Watch for schools of large bumphead parrotfish, giant trevally, black tip reef sharks, great barracuda and 20 or more manta rays while snorkeling through this tiny collection of rock islands.
The reef is packed with bronze and rust colored sponges and soft tree corals. As we snorkel around the shallows, watch for anthias, damselfish, large cuttlefish, pyramid butterflyfish, hawksbill turtles and red octopus.
Disembark / Sanur Beach
Say goodbye to our friends aboard the WAOW and board flights to Denpasar. Check into The Fairmont Sanur before a festive farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Denpasar / Depart
Transfer to Denpasar to meet your independent flight home. (B, Meals Aloft)