Sailing the Spice Trade routes of Indonesia
- Vessel: Katharina
- Where: Maumere, Indonesia
- Duration: 12 days
- Embark: Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara - 7 September 2023, 08:00
- Disembark: Ambon, Maluku - 18 September 2023, 13:00
Begin your spice trade exploration across the islands of Indonesia with traditional vessel Katharina.
Discover colourful kaleidoscopic coral reefs and trek across tropical islands for spectacular wildlife watching opportunities as you immerse yourself into this bucket list Indonesian adventure holiday.
Watch the sunrise over the stunning volcanic landscapes as you breathe in the fresh ocean air and spend 12 days discovering the Eastern Indies Spice trade routes, its history and plantation ruins.
- spice trade exploration
- World famous Coral Reefs
- Rainforest trekking
- Wildlife watching
- Local Culture
- Private ensuite cabins
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Sample menu
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
A day to day guide
D A Y 1
Arrive early into Bali as your guide meets you at Maumere airport and takes you to the boat. Cruise out of the harbour as you get familiar with your fellow guests and the boat. Katharina will stop for a quick snorkel and swim before sunset cocktails and alfresco dining.
D A Y 2
The crew will sail Katharina overnight so you’ll wake up anchored off the shore of the capital town of Flores – a Christian dominated island of Portuguese influence. Explore the five Catholic churches ashore and the “Stations of the Cross” along the waterfront.
During lunch, the crew will cross the boat to a neighbouring island where guests can go ashore to explore small village and the ruins of an old 16th century Portuguese fort.
D A Y 3
Wake up under the gaze of the giant active volcano of Ile Api – aptly named the Island of Fire on the island of Lembata. Guests are welcomed ashore to the local village with traditional singing and dancing and the production of their famous local textiles.
After lunch, sail across the bay to snorkel in the vibrant coral reef and make use of the boats paddle boards and kayaks. The crew will be setting up nearby for a beach BBQ, bonfire and party under the stars!
D A Y 4
Head up into the mountains today to a traditional village where we will be greeted by the chief and a local ceremonial war dance in honour of our visit. Their traditional Moko war drums are intricately designed with Ikat fabrics that have been woven and dyed using age old techniques.
Spend the afternoon aboard cruising east as guests enjoy lunch on-board before anchoring and exploring a picturesque tropical island and coral reef.
D A Y 5
After another overnight cruise, guests will wake in the bay of Wetar island, a local fishing village that still plays an important part in the way of life for the local people. Watch as they haul and dry their catch on the beach still using the traditional nets and methods.
Spend the day relaxing either on the boat reading a book, wandering the island of snorkelling the reef. Indulge in a little local culture and try the traditional “sopi” drink, a strong alcohol made from the sap of a local palm tree!
D A Y 6
Head ashore for a morning stroll through the local village where guests can meet and talk to the local farmers and fisherman, sharing their different ways of life.
After lunch, Katharina will continue cruising to another tiny deserted island with sandy shores and crystal clears waters perfect for snorkelling. The sandy beach here makes a great spot for an evening beach BBQ as the crew sing and dance into the night.
D A Y 7
Another day of island cruising and exploration sees us on one the most remote parts of Indonesia. Visit this simple village where the local houses are made using the sago palm tree, the staple crop of this part of the world. The local villagers will demonstrate how they process the sago palm into the products that sustains them here.
After lunch, Katharina will cruise around the island stopping off to explore the beaches and reefs along the way.
D A Y 8
Sail along Indonesia’s ring of fire where Katharina will pass four spectacular volcanic sea mounts. One of the islands here is uninhabited by people but is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, mainly red-footed boobies and frigate birds, who will likely come and circle the boat as we approach.
As long as the tide allows, we can go ashore here to explore and have a snorkel before continuing towards the fabled Spice Islands.
D A Y 9
Sailing overnight, by dawn, the Banda archipelago should be in sight. These Spice islands are the original home to the nutmeg tree and have seen much bloodshed between the colonial powers of Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries as they fought for control of the spice trade. Visit the Fort Revenge built by the Dutch before we relax with some afternoon snorkelling in the local reef.
Later in the day, Katharina will head across to the main island group where she can anchor in the formidable gaze of the 600m high volcano. If we reach here before nightfall, guests can go ashore to explore the town.
D A Y 10
Today is for exploring the history and beauty of the Spice Islands as guests visit the main town and its fort overlooking the harbour. Wander through bustling streets and explore local markets before taking the boat over to explore the nutmeg plantations on the biggest island. There is yet another Dutch fort here to explore and guests can visit one of the last “perkineers” the farmers who still run the plantations to this day.
Take a quick dip in the afternoon on a local reef where guests may get the chance to see the rare and multi-hued Mandarin fish that only comes out at dusk to mate. Dinner this evening will be ashore at a local restaurant that offers delicious local and traditional cuisine.
D A Y 11
A final stroll or last snorkel on the Spice islands before we pull anchor and head north for Ambon. Enjoy lunch underway as we pass another major seabird island and spend the afternoon keeping a look out for whales on the horizon.
D A Y 12
Wake up on anchor just south of our final destination as guests enjoy the final journey to port and bid farewell. The crew will take guests to the airport for their onward travel arrangements.
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.
Read more about what to expect from life on board Katharina.
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.
Read more about what to expect from your Indonesian sailing holiday aboard Katharina here.
- 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
- Fuel surcharge fee
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.
From: Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara
To: Ambon, Maluku
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.