There’s a sheer abundance of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, not to mention the countless mighty rivers that puncture the interiors of vast states such as Sumatra, West Papua and Kalimantan.

Therefore, boat travel is, to many Indonesians, as natural a process as waking up in the morning. Tourists, however, often avoid the giant ferries that ply the waters all the way from Sumatra in the west to West Papua in the east.

A far more visitor-friendly way of experiencing life at sea in Indonesia is to hop aboard one of the many cruises that operate in the country. Indeed, with so many sights to see and so much diversity to experience from island to island, there is arguably no better way of cramming in the best of the nation.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a multitude of itineraries to choose from. Vessels, meanwhile, range from giant cruise liners to boutique liveaboards, handcrafted in the style of the ships used by seafarers from across the archipelago. Routes vary from one or two stop voyages, to epic expeditions that extend all the way from Singapore along the length of Indonesia to Queensland in Australia. 

Special interest groups can be catered for and a wide variety of activities are available. From the more adventurous snorkelling, diving and kayaking, to the peaceful tranquility of yoga classes and massages. Gain a deeper cultural awareness as guests get the chance to undertake cooking classes or language courses, or simply enjoy specially prepared meals from your on-board chef.

With so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, choice spots for cruising include the Flores Sea between East Sumbawa and Komodo and Raja Ampat, a pristine group of islands in West Papua province.

FEATURED TRIP

RAJA AMPAT EXPEDITION ON ALILA PURNAMA (7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS)

Escape to the lesser-known islands of West Papua Indonesia on a seven-day cruise on board the Alila Purnama and discover the beauty of pristine Raja Ampat. Snorkel or dive among incredible marine life, immerse in the stunning nature of mangroves, birds of paradise and other exotic birds along with tropical plants and stunning sunsets.

  • Be pampered on board a seven-day Alila Purnama with spa treatments & stunning service from its crew.
  • Snorkel or dive among incredible marine life, see stunning mangroves and diversity of birds and tropical plants.
  • Be treated to a romantic meal under a sky full of stars on private white-sand beaches with stunning views around.

READ ON FOR MORE CRUISING INSPIRATION

  • Spice Islands

Situated just below West Papua on the map, the Spice Islands, known locally as the Maluku Islands, form an archipelago within Indonesia’s waters. Cruise these fascinating old historical trade routes, and discover the tranquil waters surrounding the Banda Islands. Stroll through the world’s oldest nutmeg gardens, and visit private colonial mansions, before snorkelling or diving in the beautiful multi-hued underwater gardens formed by centuries of lava flow.

These extraordinary islands offer overwhelming possibilities; from one of the world’s riches marine environments, Komodo Island, to the fantastically diverse islands of the Sawu Sea. Immerse yourself into the local cultures and discover fascinating ikat textiles, traditional war dances, or even the simplicity of the local fisherman’s lives, as you swim, snorkel, dive and stroll your way through this dramatic and unforgettable landscape. 

Discover the breathtaking wonder of Raja Ampat, and see the majestic limestone cliffs of remote Misool Island. Reveal the enchanting world beneath the water, home to around 70% of the world’s coral species, and explore the world’s second largest rainforest in Papua, set against a striking mountain backdrop. Finally, visit the Baliem Valley, once mistaken for the mythical Shangri La. 

Don’t let the above recommendations limit any cruising inspiration in Indonesia. Our travel consultants are always ready to offer tailor-made experiences for your guests needs. Simple contact them at [email protected]  or simple drop us an enquiry below. 

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