Sailing the Banda Sea with a Total Eclipse
- Vessel: Katharina
- Where: Maumere, Indonesia
- Duration: 10 days
- Embark: Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara - 16 April 2023, 08:00
- Disembark: Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara - 25 April 2023, 13:00
Sail the Banda Sea of Indonesia to watch a celestial wonder from the water with pinisi vessel Katharina.
Join traditional Indonesian ship Katharina as she sails out over the eastern seas of Indonesia to witness a total solar eclipse in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s remote Banda Sea.
Watch not only one of the most profound of all nature’s celestial wonders, but also see and experience some of the very best culture, nature, and landscapes that Indonesia has to offer. Snorkelling some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and meeting the friendly locals as they show us their unique cultures ashore.
- Total Eclipse
- World famous Coral Reefs
- Rainforest trekking
- Private ensuite cabins
A day to day guide
D A Y 1
Arrive onto the island of Flores and the port of Maumere as your guide meets you from the airport and takes you to the boat. Today will be a chance to relax and get acquainted with Katharina, getting to know our fellow travellers and enjoying the tropical sunshine and breeze on our faces as we head east.
At sunset, we will enjoy cocktails on the deck as the sun sinks slowly into the west.
D A Y 2
Just after dawn, arrive at the small island of Batang, where we will have the morning to enjoy our first snorkel of the trip along the colourful coral reefs. The island has a small settlement on the northern side, so we may stop by for a visit and met the local people. Head east once more in the direction of Wetar, hopefully arriving in the morning.
D A Y 3
Waking up off the coast of Wetar, guests can head ashore and visit a local village and their school, where we will have a chance to meet the locals and be witness to a special cultural performance in our honour.
Later that morning we will go snorkelling on a nearby island in front of the village with good corals and lots of big fish. Early afternoon we will set off to Romang Island, enjoying sunset drinks and dinner on board.
DA Y 4
We will wake up off the coast of the beautiful island of Romang, already in the eclipse zone. Go ashore and meet the local people to catch a glimpse into their daily lives, as well as visiting the school where we can donate books and school supplies.
We will spend the afternoon snorkelling and visit a second local village (optional). We then move to a small island near Maupora for a great snorkelling and a relaxing day beach time before heading to our viewing spot at a small white-sand island just off-shore.
D A Y 5
Waking up, we will organise into groups for the commencement of the eclipse at around midday. Those who have set upon the island will be transferred to the beach, while those who want to stay on the boat can relax and wait for the festivities to begin, maybe even go snorkelling or exploring on the spectacular coral reefs.
This evening we will be having a large communal BBQ party on the beach with all the boats to celebrate this wonderful celestial event. After the party, we will head off back in the direction of Weter for a long crossing back to Wetar Island to start the return leg of our journey.
D A Y 6
Waking up exhilarated and not without a few sore heads amongst us, today will be one of relaxation. Depending on what time we finish the party and depart the night before, we will make landfall in the afternoon in Wetar where we will go snorkelling and have some beach time before continuing our journey westwards towards the island of Sika.
D A Y 7
We will arrive in the early morning in Sika, a small Island in the northern part of Alor, which has some fantastic snorkelling with lots of corals and sea grass habitat, a favourite location of the dugong. If we are extremely lucky, we may have the chance to spot one. From here we will cruise to the southwest of Alor to Lingal and Pantar Islands.
DA Y 8
Lingal has a beautiful white sandy beach located on the southwest part of Alor, and we will enjoy the snorkelling and swimming before cruising to the southeast part of Pantar island to visit Tamakh village, a place seldom visited by foreigners before.
In fact, our 2018 textile cruise was the first time all the villagers had ever meet foreigners. They will welcome us to the village wearing their beautiful bitil tube skirts, and will perform the Lego-Lego dance for us, and we will be invited to enjoy a bit of audience participation. We will then head back to the boat and cruise to Solor.
DA Y 9
After breakfast, it will be a good time for some water activities, kayaks and paddle boards for the keen, and swimming for the others.
From Lohayong we cross to Larantuka, a bustling little town situated at the foot of the imposing Ile Mandiri volcano, and a very nice example of urban island life. As we go ashore, we will be welcomed by local Lamaholot villagers who will show us in detail how they produce their fantastic earthy-brown ikat fabric, which are decorated with small white seashells. We will go snorkelling in the afternoon before heading off for an overnight crossing to Maumere.
DA Y 1 0
On this, our last day, we will visit Wuring village, a Bajau ‘sea gypsy’ settlement, a village built on the water of coral rocks and wooden poles. Living right the way across the waters of the Coral Triangle, this is a fascinating insight into a very traditional way of life. We well then head back to the boat to have lunch and to bid or final goodbyes to our crew before heading back to the airport for our flights back to Bali.
All voyages for Katharina
Guest berths: 14 Rig: Gaff Ketch
Built in 1995 on the Indonesian portion on the island of Borneo, Katharina was originally planned for use a commercial freighter but caught the eye of her current owner with her elegant sailing lines and sleek hull shape.
They saw her transformation into a charter vessel as an exercise to conserve her Indonesian authenticity and in 2014, employed local craftsmen to complete a beautiful interior refit. Working alongside her sister ship Ombak Putih, (larger but equally as beautiful!), they are both fine examples of some of the few original boats that still sail these waters.
Now led by Captain Ferdi, Katharina takes guests on skippered sailing holidays to explore the cultural heritage, natural wonders and wildlife of the Indonesian islands.
The top deck is a raised sun-lounging area sitting on the roof of the saloon and bar, giving guests secluded relaxation and stunning views. On the main deck, Katharina is rigged traditionally to make best use of the wind as the weather permits. A generous and comfortable saloon and bar sit to the stern of the boat while a large dining table sits under a canopy at the bows, perfect for alfresco dining under the stars.
Below decks, her interior refit has been to a high standard with spacious cabins and campion-ways. Hand-crafted beds using local timber and locally made soft furnishings give the boat an authentic Indonesian feel. There are six private ensuite cabins for guests in a combination of double beds, twin bunks and three berth cabins.
The galley sits to the stern and is really where this boat comes to life. With 12 crew on hand, you won’t have to a lift a finger with freshly-prepared meals showcasing the very best of Indonesian cuisine and hospitality.
Deck planMore about Katharina
Life on board
Indulge in a world of adventure as you discover the natural beauty of the Indonesian archipelago from the water. Walk barefoot along sandy shores, enjoy delicious local cuisine and wonder at the endemic wildlife species across the islands.
Life on-board Katharina is one of traditional Indonesian culture, from the welcoming local crew to the fresh local delicacies, fascinating endemic species and breath-taking Indonesian landscapes. The local people are at the heart of everything that Katharina does. From employing local people to sail her to the traditional craftsmen that built her, the networks and connections that have been nurtured by the crew are heart-warming. Visit remote villages where you’re greeted by running children, laughing and joking, sharing their local crafts. Dance around the fire, play music, exchange gifts and wonder their fascinating corner of paradise.
Sleeping and Relaxation
With six private, air-conditioned en-suite cabins full of traditional Indonesian charm, spacious communal area, alfresco dining areas and sun-lounge deck, Katharina offers plenty of seclusion and relaxation. There are kayaks, snorkel gear and SUP’s for guests to use and the crew can arrange extra activities ashore from kite-surfing to cookery classes.
There are a total of 12 crew on Katharina so you really won’t have to lift a finger. From home-made cocktails, freshly prepared Indonesian cuisine, there is even a host to take care of any extra excursion planning.
- Full board including all meals, soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks. (Starting and ending with lunch on first and last days)
- All Indonesian tour leaders
- All park fees, cultural performances, local guides and off-boat activities.
- Welcome drink, cold towel upon boarding and each time guests return from off-boat excursions.
- Daily room cleaning
- Two pieces of laundry each day
- Towels and linens
- Complimentary cotton backpack, luggage tag, fan and stainless steel water (which guests are encouraged to take home)
- First aid kit containing all major medicines
- Sunscreen lotion
- Soaps, shampoo and conditioner
- Beach BBQ
- Free wine, beer and selected cocktails at the beach BBQ
- Selected wines with special farewell dinner
- All port fee
- Use of on-board TV and multimedia facilities
- Library of books, kids games and TV documentaries
- Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games
- Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck
- All transfer to and fro the boats
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Domestic flights
- Transit hotels
- Alcoholic drinks outside of specials dinners and beach BBQ
- Crew and tour leader tips
- Incidental expenses on land (souvenirs, private purchases etc)
Are all meals included?
Yes - all meals are included in the price (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Hot Drinks)
Are there any added extra's?
No, unless you go ashore. Excursions are not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Vegetarian, halal, kosher, children’s fare, low fat dishes, allergies, etc. However, we must be notified in advance of any special needs so we can make arrangements.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
(All cabins are ensuites) 2 x double cabins, 2 x triple cabins (one double bed & one upper single bunk), 2 x twin bunk cabins.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
There are six ensuites with each cabin.
Is there WIFI?
No! Time to disconnect from the modern conforms and reconnect with nature!
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a need for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure. Ginger tea and biscuits also help with sea sickness.
Is bedding included?
All bedding and shower towels are included. Please bring your own swimming towels.