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Beautiful and exotic white sand beach in Bali, Indonesia

Cruise to Benoa, Bali

Things to do in benoa.

View of the Nusa Dua Beach on a sunny day in Bali, Indonesia

View of the Nusa Dua Beach on a sunny day in Bali, Indonesia

The beaches at Nusa Dua are known for being some of Bali's cleanest and most beautiful, as well as its least crowded. Relax in the white sands at Pantai Geger — the water temperatures here are among Bali's warmest. Then, take the boat out to Turtle Island, where you can see the area's cutest aquatic animals in a protected conservation area.

Uluwatu Temple Pura Luhur in Bali, Indonesia

Say Your Prayers

Uluwatu Temple Pura Luhur in Bali, Indonesia

You don't need to be religious to feel divine upon arriving at Uluwatu Temple, a famous oceanside Hindu shrine that's only a short drive from Benoa. Gawk at the scenic views you enjoy from the top, or make friends with the mischievous monkeys who call the temple grounds home.

A sculpture depicting Indonesian history in a local Bali art museum

Learn Local Culture

Speaking of Balinese heritage, stopping in Benoa also puts you in easy reach of the Pasifika Museum with your Bali cruise. Here, you can discover artwork both from renowned local Balinese artists and notable European immigrants, as well as historical artifacts from the greater South Pacific region.

Traditional Seafood Satay and Rice in Bali, Indonesia

Local Cuisine

Hindu Bali is notable as the only island of an otherwise Muslim Indonesia. That means that pork is served, and Babi Guling — whole roasted pig, Balinese-style — is the traditional preparation. But other great eats aren't far away, either. Try satay, grilled meat skewered and served with an accompanying sauce: Seafood versions like prawns are popular here. Vegetarians can enjoy tofu dishes or sayur mesanten , veggies braised in coconut milk.

Traditional henna and arts on the crafts in Bali, Indonesia

Benoa doesn't have a central shopping area, so you'll need to visit the gift shops of local hotels for the best souvenir shopping. Popular choices include Melia Bali and the Goodway Hotel, where you can buy colorful Batik fabric or traditional Balinese incense during your Bali cruise.

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Bali (Benoa), Indonesia

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This exquisite island is known for terraced rice fields, beautiful beaches and volcanic mountains. Its lush countryside is home to iconic stone temples and mischievous monkeys. Historic sites like the Cliffside Uluwatu Temple mesmerise visitors. Soak up the atmosphere of villages filled with beautiful arts and crafts. From scenic vistas to cultural performances, there's bound to be something to invigorate your mind and body.

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Island Explorer Cruises and has been established for more than 10 years growing at a steady pace, owned and operated by Australian and Indonesian partners to give you the best of both worlds. This company has been named by a prominent newspaper as "the specialist in marine tourism in Bali".

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Boat Transfer by Bali Fun Ship : Departs Benoa : 09.00 AM Departs Lembongan : 15.30 Transfer By Fast Boat : Departs from Benoa / Sanur : times on request Depart from Lembongan       : time on request

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  • Cruise in Bali: Explore The Island Like Royalty

beautiful wooden cruise in an ocean

Among the best islands in the world, Bali is always a surreal experience. From its traditional temples, to giant volcanic mountains, and coral reefs; the Indonesian island caters to the needs of diverse travelers. Those who want to explore its diverse flora and fauna must take a cruise in Bali, because the true heart of Bali lies in its waters. These cruises, much like the scenery in Bali are distinct and offer umpteen choices to travelers.

Read below to choose from the popular Bali cruise tours and see what suits you best as you float on and journey into the balmy waters.

Popular Bali Cruise Tours

1. dinner cruise on traditional wooden boat.

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A small group cruise on a traditional Indonesian wooden ship, this Bali cruise tour is an approximate three hour trip which includes live Indonesian music and dance, and a hearty buffet meal. Savor the night breeze on the deck as you sail through the calm waters across the magnificent Bali coastline.

Cost: From INR 4,000/- onwards Ideal for: Old souls who love tradition and culture

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Stay at luxurious private pool villas and resorts, Experience thrilling water sports – parasailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling – or take a sunset dinner cruise. Get best holiday deals for Bali offered only by TravelTriangle.

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2. Dolphin Watching Tour

Two dolphins diving in water during sunset

The Dolphin Watching Tour is amongst the most popular Bali day tours. The tour begins at Lovina beach, which is known for its black sand, coral reefs, and dolphins. Traverse through the placid sea waters on a traditional small boat as you spot these massive mammals in their natural habitat.

Cost From INR 800/- onwards

Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers who are looking for adventure

Suggested Read: 10 Bali Temples That Look, And Feel Like Magic Woven With The Stones

3. Sunset Dinner Cruise

young couple eating food on a cruise while a lady serves

Embrace nature in its most pristine form as you embark upon this sunset cruise Bali. Offering a peaceful and romantic setting, this cruise also includes an international buffet dinner, live music, and cultural shows or dance performances. Watch the myriad shades of the Sun saffron, yellow, and orange from amidst the refreshing ocean.

Cost:- From INR 4,000/- onwards Ideal for: Couples who wish to spend a cozy and romantic evening

4. Lembongan Island Catamaran Cruise

blue colour island water

The Lembongan Island is among the best places to visit in Bali for honeymoon, and a Lembongan Island Cruise promises a day full of adventure and merriment. Partake in thrilling water sports such as snorkeling, kayaking, banana boat ride, fishing, swimming, and soak up the Sun on golden sand beaches. Explore the aquatic wilderness with your loved ones for an indelible holiday experience in cruises around Bali.

Cost: From INR 6,000/- onwards Ideal for: People looking to soak up the Sun and indulge in pleasurable water sports

Suggested Read: 34 Best Beaches In Bali For An Exotic Mix Of Serenity, Seclusion, & Snorkeling!

5. Full Day Island Hopping Tour

bali guy standing in paddy field holding grass

This full day tour covers many islands around Bali, including the Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, and Ceningan Island. The cruise ship to Bali includes a hotel pickup and drop, a beach side buffet lunch, watersports, and snorkeling equipment. Indulge in thrilling water sports such as canoeing, flying fish, and snorkeling for an unforgettable holiday.

Cost: From INR 7,000/- onwards Ideal for: Wanderers who love living life on the go

While booking your next vacation to Bali, make sure to include a cruise that suits you best, in your customizable Bali tour package.

Further Read: The Best Of Cruise Travel Around The World, Inclusive Of All Luxuries!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruise In Bali

Which are the popular water sports in Bali that one can indulge in?

Surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, rafting, sea walking, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, and banana boat are the popular water sports in Bali that one can indulge in.

What type of ship is used by Quicksilver Cruises Bali?

Quicksilver Cruise Bali makes use of the Wave Piercing Catamaran which can seat approximately 500 pax.

Which are the cheap sunset dinner cruises in Bali?

Bali Hai Sunset Dinner Cruise, and Bounty Sunset Dinner Cruise are among the cheap sunset dinner cruises in Bali.

Where can one enjoy the nightlife in Bali?

1. Nightlife in Kuta: Sky Garden Rooftop Lounge, Bounty Discotheque, VH Bali, Pyramid Club, Stark Beer Garden 2. Nightlife in Seminyak: Ku De Ta Bali, Potato Head Beach Club, Motel Mexicola, Mirror Bali Lounge and Club, Frankenstein’s Laboratory 3. Nightlife in Ubud: Ubud Royal Palace, Laughing Buddha Bar, Laka Leke Garden Restaurant, The Melting Pot Saloon, Kafe Bunute

Which are the most popular local delicacies that one must try in Bali?

Satay varieties, Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur, Bebek & Ayam Betutu, Babi Guling, Pepes and Tum, Lawar, and Nasi Goreng are the most popular local delicacies in Bali that one must definitely try.

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Ombak Putih

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Adventure Cruises in Bali

On Bali cruises , visitors will not only experience highlights of this most popular of the Indonesian islands, but they will also be treated to the less-travelled outlying islands of Nusa Penida. The smallest of the country’s provinces, Bali packs a cultural and natural punch, its shores lined with white and black sand beaches and its interior rippling with volcanic mountains and blanketed with lush forestry. Bali is also a Hindu enclave known for its traditional dance and stunning religious sites, including the cliff side Uluwatu Temple. Given the island’s unique beauty and culture, any sailing trip from Bali begins on a high note.

Top things to do and see from a Bali Cruise

Bali serves primarily as a departure point for Indonesia luxury cruises headed to Lombok, Flores, the Kangean Islands and Sumbawa. Despite this, some small ship cruises of the area will include one or more of the Bali highlights listed below, allowing visitors to enjoy the so-called Island of the Gods!

Amuk Bay , conveniently located near Padang Bai, the departure point for many Bali sailing cruises, features crystal blue waters and white sand beaches largely undiscovered by travellers reluctant to make the two hour trip from the busier, more popular resorts of southern Bali. Here, visitors can relax on the beach or snorkel the unusually clear waters before setting out on their cruise of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Nusa Penida is an archipelago of three small islands off the eastern coast of Bali, including Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida itself, the largest of the trio. Visible from Sanur, Nusa Penida is the secret Bali, offering the island experience many travellers dream of but fail to find on the more crowded resorts of Kuta and Legian. Its coast is dotted with quiet, secluded beaches, while karst formations and caves allow for exploration between naps by the surf. The island also serves as an unofficial bird sanctuary and one of the only places to spot the endangered Bali sparrow.

Nusa Lembongan is the most popular of the Nusa Penida islands, and it’s not difficult to see why. Visitors on a Bali island cruise will be presented with the white sand crescent of Mushroom Bay, so-called for its offshore mushroom coral, making it a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling. Venture further south and visitors will come to the aptly named Dream Beach, known as one of the prettiest in Bali.

Pulau Menjangan is where you go to feel like Robinson Crusoe, if only for a day! Part of Bali Barat National Park, access to the island is controlled and now overnight stays are permitted. Though its name means “Deer Island”, its most prized wildlife is found under the waves: Pulau Menjangan is known for its world-class snorkelling, its waters home to angelfish, clownfish and giant clams, among many others. It is no wonder why the island is a favourite part of any Bali cruise package.

Sanur , the oldest resort town on the island of Bali, serves as the meeting point for many Indonesia cruises, but it is worth arriving early enough to enjoy its long beaches, shady palms and artsy vibe.

Top Tips for visiting Bali

  • No Bali cruise should be undertaken without a good camera and a few extra memory cards; this is a wildly photogenic region!
  • Bali’s beaches and coves are key spots for snorkelling, so pack your bathing suit and gear. This is especially true of Pulau Menjangan.
  • Expect prices on Nusa Penida to be slightly higher than on Bali, given that it must boat in much of its food for lack of freshwater.
  • If you have the time, don’t miss out on Sanur! It’s a great spot to shop and relax before your Bali cruise adventure begins.
  • Note that, as a protected natural reserve, Pulau Menjangan has no shops or restaurants, so pack accordingly.

Best time to cruise Bali

As a year-round destination, there truly is no best time to visit Bali. Visitors should plan, however, as the weather and season can have an impact on their favoured activities.

November to March in Bali is the rainy season, but even then the rains typically only last a few hours in the afternoon. The rainiest period lasts from December to February.

From June to August the weather tends to be cooler and the humidity drops, making it more comfortable for visitors unaccustomed to the tropical climate.

Note that Nyepi, the Balinese New Year, is known as a day of silence. The day before Nyepi is celebrated with a colourful and raucous parade, but on the day itself the entire island shuts down.

Where do Bali cruises depart from?

The majority of Bali island cruises depart from either Sanur, Padang Bai (also called Padangbai and Padang Bay) or Amed, on the east coast of Bali; or if the itinerary visits the Komodo National Park  your trip may start from Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores and finish in Bali.

Cruises leaving from Padang Bai or Amed are serviced by shuttles from the resort town of Sanur, commonly used as a meeting point by Indonesia cruise operators. The ride from Sanur to Padang Bai is approximately 1-1½ hours, whilst Amed is around 2½ hours and quite picturesque.

Sanur is a twenty-minute Blue Bird taxi ride from Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, on the island of Bali.

If your Indonesia cruise departs from Labuan Bajo, on Flores, you will still fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport, on Bali and, from there take a connecting flight to Flores.

Ngurah Rai International Airport is a hub for Southeast Asia and the rest of Indonesia and well served by most major airlines.

Our reservations team can help you book your next adventure cruise to Bali, Indonesia. Contact us today.

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One excursion to a traditional village in Bali was interesting, but not a particular highlight

Diving Bali in July on the Ombak Putih

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island cruise in bali

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Cruises to Bali and the Komodo Islands

Departing from bali and flores, our sensational 7-night komodo cruises offer in-depth exploration of the legendary komodo national park and moyo island of east indonesia..

island cruise in bali

With over 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago, the country has no shortage of beaches . From the picture-perfect savannahs of Komodo to the breathtaking rice fields of Bali, there’s something new to discover on every shore aboard Aqua Blu’s cruises to Bali and the Komodo Islands.

Good things come in small packages and the little island of Bali is no different. The westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali is less than half the size of Hawaii but has won countless awards as a top-notch destination. With its pristine white beaches, technicolor sunsets, and numerous adventure activities, there is something for every kind of traveler. This region is best explored aboard the Aqua Blu, one of the best cruises Bali has seen.

On this itinerary, Aqua Blu sets off for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park, an incredible natural wonder spanning 669 square miles. It comprises three main islands — Komodo, Padar and Rinca — and 26 smaller islets best relished aboard. Several of these are inhabited by prehistoric creatures such as the native Komodo Dragon – the largest lizard species walking the Earth.

island cruise in bali

Its picturesque coastline and green-capped hills are so iconic, they’re even featured on Indonesia’s 50,000 Rupiah note. The island brings together a unique landscape of three crescent-shaped beaches with pink, black, and white sands. It’s a rare sight you can look forward to on our cruises to Bali and the Komodo Islands.

island cruise in bali

Rinca Island is home to the largest population of the famous Komodo dragons which are indigenous to this Indonesia archipelago. Rinca is also a wonderful spot to snorkel alongside tropical fish and rays. Discover Rinca Island on Aqua Blu, the most luxurious cruise ship Bali has to offer.

island cruise in bali

A quintessential part of Komodo cruises is to explore the volcanic hills and savannah of the region, surrounded by clear turquoise waters. Thousands of species of fish call Komodo’s bays home, and visitors can spend hours swimming with them while sailing with us.

island cruise in bali

Situated between Bali and Komodo National Park, Moyo Island is a Nature Reserve generally unknown to most tourists and is best explored aboard our cruises from Bali. Featuring nature and marine habitats virtually untouched by outside influences, explorers are presented with a large variety of flora and fauna including Mata Jitu, a magical, cascading waterfall.

Komodo Cruises: A Diver’s Paradise

Komodo National Park is located in the Coral Triangle between the major landmasses of Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east. The flowing currents from the Indian Ocean and the Indonesia seas enriched with volcanic nutrients have created a super vibrant marine environment home to more than 1,000 species of marine life.

The sheer biodiversity of sea life and underwater environments make this region some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the world. Divers and non-divers alike will be spoilt for choice with so many sensational reefs around.

It’s an unreal experience being up close and personal with incredible marine life such as manta rays, sea turtles, whale sharks , as well as over 260 beautiful species of corals. Guests aboard Aqua Blu’s cruises to Bali and the Komodo Islands can look forward to this in their preferred method; whether it be instructor-led diving, snorkeling, or even on a kayak.

Sail off on our dream cruises to Bali on the exceptional Aqua Blu and enjoy the stunning scenery of the untouched Indonesian seas.

The voyage of a lifetime in East Indonesia

island cruise in bali

Bali Cruises: Soak in the Colorful Cultures of Indonesia

Home to 300 ethnic groups who speak over 700 languages among them, Indonesia is a melting pot of culture and tradition. Traveling across its islands is sure to be an eye-opening experience as visitors observe the different ways of life that have become common over time.

island cruise in bali

Those visiting the islands on cruises from Bali may be able to experience various Indonesian festivals depending on the time of year and islands visited. A notable one is the Nyepi Festival, or Day of Silence, celebrated in Bali.

The most important Hindu holiday in Bali, this festival marks the Balinese New Year. In essence, it’s a day of low activity and quiet for introspection, a stark contrast to the boisterous New Years celebrated by other cultures. The day of the festival itself may be quieter but on the days before and after, those visiting may have a chance to witness loud parades and other rituals that do not mandate silence.

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Discover Indonesia on Aqua Blu, the Most Luxurious Cruise Ship Bali has to Offer

island cruise in bali

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, growing to the size of a city bus. Despite their intimidating size, whale sharks are actually non-predatory and rather gentle. Less than 10% of whale sharks born survive to adulthood, but those that do may live to 150 years old. Don’t miss the chance to swim with these sweet-natured giants on Aqua Blu’s cruises from Bali.

island cruise in bali

A mix of three vibrant colors, the early British visitors of Papua literally could not believe a bird so beautiful could exist. The aptly named bird, also called Cendrawasih, is a triple threat – on top of beauty, this species can also sing and dance. Unfortunately, a combination of poaching and deforestation has led to the species being endangered. Seize the opportunity to possibly spot them on Aqua Blu, the best cruise ship Bali has seen.

island cruise in bali

Indulge your inner child’s mythical fantasies by going out in search of the ancient Komodo Dragons. Native to the Komodo Islands, they are the world’s largest reptiles and will eat almost any prey unlucky enough to walk by. Witness these majestic creatures in their home territory as we take you on one of the most epic cruises Bali has ever seen.

Sail on a Thrilling Adventure with Us

As far as Bali cruises go, our superb Aqua Blu expeditions are unlike any other. Everyday is a new adventure, led by our team of expert naturalist guides, committed to showing you the region’s most incredible sights.   Seize the day and explore the sparkling waters of the Komodo Islands aboard our Bali cruises where every shore has something different for you to experience. One day you could be visiting fishing villages en route to a magnificent waterfall and the next, swimming with a gentle whale shark, and even kayaking in the middle of an extinct volcano!   With a maximum of 30 guests and an exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, you’ll be able to sit back and relish a highly personalized experience, curated to your desires.   You can have the adventure of a lifetime on Aqua Blu’s cruises from Bali while surrounded by luxury. The interiors of Aqua Blu’s cabins have been meticulously designed to exude elegance and class with the finest amenities, including a jacuzzi, a spa, and an entertainment room. To top it off, our world-renowned chef, Benjamin Cross, has curated the best of Indonesian cuisine for your dining pleasure.   Embark on a life-changing sail on our Bali cruises to explore the best of Indonesia on both land and sea.

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Aristocrat lembongan island cruise - Bali Hai Cruises

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Aristocrat lembongan island cruise

Booked the aristocrat cruise. We were picked up on time & staff were very professional & friendly. The boat itself was very comfortable. However we were unlucky that there were ocean swells that day & we couldn't do any of the activities. We initially saw other tour operators operating banana boats etc & thought badly about Bali Hai till 3 huge waves swept onto our pontoon. That really got us to understand what we were up against & I truly appreciate Bali hai for putting safety first. The staff did their best to try & accomodate the activities & apologized profusely. I do however think that this is probably a regular feature & Bali Hai should plan some contingency activities at the resort (given that there is no refund). The pool at the resort had deep sections which were not marked clearly for kids - no tubes or life guards around. The buffet was good with a couple of good vegetarian options. Would recommend that one avoids days close to full moon. A good set up but should be made better to plan for nature's contingencies

Dear hsheila Thank you for joining our Aristocat Sailing Cruise and sending us feedback. We are happy to hear you had a good time. We at Bali Hai are very pround of our safety record. Since the day we started, over 26 years ago, we never had an incident, and we work very hard to keep it that way. On the pontoon we have a minimum of 4 lifeguards, on the beach we have 2 and 1 lifeguard on the pool of the Beach Club. We at Bali Hai Cruises wish to welcome you back on board with us soon. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

We were so looking forward to this day trip after a few days in the jungle and Gamma and his team really made us feel like long lost friends. Really the staff make this experience worth it. Really enjoyed the atmosphere and activities. First time scuba diving and aquanauting and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dave was a great instructor and was really patient. I felt i was in good hands and I really enjoyed the diving experience. The food on the beach was very good. I agree with other reviewers though that the day is rushed. I am careful not to say 'feel rushed' because it is genuinely rushed, and it's such a shame. Not the kind of rushed that you feel when you have fun and don't want it to end but the kind of rushed when the boat staff ask you to board the ship 40 minutes before the scheduled departure time. We really could have done with an extra hour on top of the 40 minutes lost because we boarded early. We left about 20 Minutes early. I get that you have to board earlier than the departure time but 40 minutes is a bit excessive. If they extended the scheduled advertised times I understand it would mean long days for the staff and maybe that's one of the reasons but maybe if they use a shift system or something to improve the experience for their customers, it would greatly add value to the experience itself. The 'rushed comment' keeps coming back...and other passengers said the same thing on the way back. We didn't have time to go snorkelling (having already fitted in two activities) but didn't feel like we were missing out seeing that this was a very crowded activity) TIPS: it seems that the pontoon day was cheaper than the beach day (not sure because it was the same price through the third party we booked). My tip would be to book the cheaper one if you plan on doing the activities as it seems most of them are run from the pontoon. However, if you don't plan on doing any sports activities the beach would be the more scenic option. Overall a great day out. Not cheap though, but we are glad we stretched our budget a bit as we have amazing memories despite the rushed feeling. I would still recommend this activity and if you manage your expectations regarding timing you won't be disappointed.

Dear oneluckytraveller Thank you for joining our Beach Club Cruise. The dive team is very happy to hear that you had such a great time. I can understand that being on the beach club and taking part in so many activities makes a full day. Usually we suggest the Reef Cruise for people who like to take part in lots of activities and the Beach Club Cruise for those who like a relaxing day at the beach. The price for both cruises are the same. Following the day cruises Bali Hai offers dinner cruises. Delaying the day cruise woula result in a delay for the Sunset Dinner Cruise as well. We at Bali Hai Cruises wish to welcome you back on board with us soon. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

The sunset cruise was a joke. As the sun set we were travelling in the opposite direction. Thought we were heading to open sea but no, our cruise did circles in the bay for 3 hours! Dinner was not announced so we headed down to find people already at the buffet. There was "special good for the indians". Didnt realise so was lined up at the wrong part of the buffet. One of the waiters soon shooed me away. Problem was no one had told the Indians so they were lined up at the food for the rest of us and were eating that. Just made the whole thing seem very segregated. Not nice at all. Have to say that the whole night was a let down with nothing positive to say about it. Not enough staff to serve drinks or take plates away. And not the friendliest staff either. Food was average. I wouldnt recommend this to anyone. Sorry Bali Hai.

Dear DinerDJW Thank you for joining our Sunset Dinner Cruise. I'm sorry to hear your experience did not fully satisfy you. Our top deck offers a perfect 360 view over Nusa Dua, Serangan, the ocean and the sunset. The open ocean is not suitable for a calm dinner. We do not want our guests to trip when getting their food or dancing. We hope to see you next time to be able provide you with a better experience. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

The trip out to lembogan island and pontoon was quite rough with many suffering sea sickness including my wife. Tip 1...Take sea sickness tablets if that way inclined or get to the top deck. The pontoon its self was ok with snorkeling, banana boat rides and a slide, You ca do parasailing for an extra A$35. For mine at $450A for 2 Adults and 2 kids its dear for what it is. Yes you get lunch but drinks are extra. The trip to the island and the tour is good. Wouldn't do it again

island cruise in bali

Dear 2211mays904 Thank you for joining our Reef Cruise. I'm sorry to hear your experience did not fully satisfy you. Water, tea and coffee are served on the Bali Hai II through out the day and free of charge. Yes, We do charge for soda and alcoholic drinks. We do offer a family package for 2 adults and up to 3 children. We hope to see you next time to be able provide you with a better experience. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

We booked on the Aristocat Sailing Catamaran (although the sail is just for decoration as the boat is powered by its engine the whole way...) which is the most expensive of the Bali Hai Cruises and we were quite disappointed for a number of reasons. The day feels very rushed, you are picked up at around 7:45am for a 9am departure and it takes 2 hours to get to the island. You only have just over 4 hours on the island with lunch in the middle of it. To fit in activities as well leaves hardly any time for relaxing on the beach and we couldn't even fit in all the activities we had wanted to (we didn't get a chance to go on the banana boat or parasailing). We went on the snorkelling trip where a boat takes you around to the pontoon and you have around twenty minutes in the water but there are sooo many people in a tiny roped off space so you are constantly being kicked. There are some lovely fish but I have seen much better snorkelling elsewhere (e.g. Egypt) and before you know it it's time to get back on the boat to go back to the beach club. My boyfriend wanted to go on the village tour to see the seaweed farmers - I wasn't sure as I had read some reviews online saying it wasn't worth it but I thought we'd go along anyway. DO NOT GO! Total waste of 45 minutes! You get driven 10 minutes to a few shops where the vendors are very pushy, I understand they need to make a living but one man was right up in my face, I felt very intimidated, which is not something I encountered at all during the rest of our Bali trip. This is when you are told, "this is where they used to farm seaweed, but there is no more seaweed because of the pollution from the new hotels." And then you're just left there for around 20 minutes with nothing to do, wasting time when you could be back at the beach! I don't understand why they even have the village tour on the itinerary any more now there is no seaweed farming apart from to try and pressure you into spending money in the shops... The barbecue lunch was tasty but make sure you reapply your bug spray if you have been in the water as I was absolutely ravaged by insects in the 15 minutes we were sitting down eating. There is a band of local men playing who take requests for songs and they were very good. There is an awful smell of sewage from the toilets near the reception, pool and barbecue area though so I think the beach club needs to do something about this. We didn't have time to go in the pool at all but it looked nice, and I don't know if we were just there on a bad day but the sea is very very choppy, I tried to go in and couldn't, I didn't even manage to get in as far as my knees before the waves knocked me over and there were lots of sharp rocks being chucked around by the waves so my feet and ankles got cut a lot - beware if you have children, definitely not a beach for paddling in! You are provided with snacks (a cracker with cheese) on the boat on the way back but they are inedible as they taste very strongly of petrol! The whole inside part of the boat smells very strongly of petrol too but if you sit up on deck you avoid the fumes. All in all I would say it was worth doing for the experience as I hadn't been on a catamaran before and the beach is very pretty but it just feels like you have hardly any time to enjoy it before you come back again (you depart at around 3:30pm) so a later departure would be better, and all the above disappointments make us wonder whether it is worth the money (we paid around £90 each). I am sure there are other operators out there but the other two cruises we had considered (Sail Sensations and the Bali Hai II (fast boat)) turned out to be run by the same company and leave from the same place with the same programme so Bali Hai Cruises seem to have the monopoly on the trips to Nusa Lembongan which is a shame!

Dear 123_Charlotte_123 Thank you for joining our Aristocat Sailing Cruise. I'm sorry to hear your experience did not fully satisfy you. Bali Hai Cruises offers a huge variety of cruises and each cruise is special in its own way. Aristocat Sailing Cruise has the focus on having a nice trip from Bali to Nusa Lembongan and back. We also offer a cruise specific for the Beach Club only, which gives you more time at the beach. For snorkeling we suggest our 3 Island Cruise or Reef Cruise. The Aristocat has to leave to Bali on time, as we have an evening cruise on the same vessel. We do offer people from our Aristocat Sailing Cruise an option free of charge to stay at the beach longer and return on our Ocean Rafting. But we can only offer this, if the Ocean Rafting is not already fully booked. Another option is to extend your stay and stay at our own resort on Nusa Lembongan. Staying at the resort grants you access to all our facilities and activities. We hope to see you next time to be able provide you with a better experience. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

Took the aristocrat sail boat day trip to lembogan island.Start of the trip we were told that the departure from the island will be at 5 pm but we had to leave the island at 3.15 pm. On the boat scene could have been better as the music was so low that it can't be heard from the back or front deck. The island lunch was pathetic my wife had a stomach infection and we lost that evening bcoz of that. As we paid 30 million IDR for the trip I believe it's way way over priced it's always better to hire a ferry to lembogan to enjoy the trip by itself.The amount of time they allote in the island is soo less one can't enjoy anything properly.

Dear rajarshis2013 Thank you for joining our Aristocat Sailing Cruise. All our guests recieve a program of the day with the schedule on it. I am sorry if there was a missunderstanding, the boat leaves at 4pm and returns to Bali by 6pm. Our BBQ lunch is very well liked among the guests, we are very sorry to hear that it was not to your liking. The price for the Aristocat Sailing Cruise is 3 million IDR for 2 persons. I did check our system and this is also the price you paid. We hope to see you next time to be able provide you with a better experience. Warm Regards, Vanessa Hanni Bali Hai Cruises

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Komodo Luxury Boat Trips & Cruises

Spanning 669-square-miles and 29 islands in the Indonesian archipelago ’s western regions, World Heritage-listed Komodo National Park is one of the world’s most pristine and incredibly beautiful areas. Ancient volcanic activity has created dramatically diverse terrain, from mountainous hillsides and tropical rainforests to dazzling white sandy beaches. The park is also the sole native habitat of the awesome Komodo Dragon and, embedded within the Asia Pacific Coral Triangle , boasts some of the planet’s richest marine environments with astonishing biodiversity extending to over 260 coral varieties.

Whether aboard a Flores -Komodo cruise from Labuan Bajo or Bali -Komodo cruise from Benoa, you’ll cruise through the Komodo National Park to witness the legendary Komodo Dragons in the wild and enjoy some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling sites imaginable. With such wonderful wildlife encounters above and below the waterline, a luxury Komodo boat trip by liveaboard, yacht, or traditional (kapal) phinisi boat promises to be a truly unforgettable voyage.

island cruise in bali

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Why Choose an Indonesia Cruise

Indonesia small ship cruises include a range of itineraries including classic Komodo and Bali cruises as well as farther-flung routes. Experience the karst islands and underwater kaleidoscope of the Raja Ampat archipelago; the history and markets of the Spice Islands; the art and culture of Papua New Guinea; and the jungle waterfalls, unique wildlife and quiet coastal villages of lesser-known Indonesian islands.

Our Indonesia cruises epitomize small, sustainable travel in the region. As Indonesia cruise experts, we are your ultimate resource. Browse our well-rounded small ship cruise selection and let us help you sort through the options to ensure you get on the best trip for your interests. What this diverse island nation offers is unlimited, so don’t miss out. Book an Indonesia cruise for a remote, adventurous and incredible trip!

Experience the best of Indonesia travel aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih or the 12-guest Katharina sailing vessels. This 10-day round-trip cruise from Sorong, West Papua, explores the natural splendor of Raja Ampat, home to the world's most biodiverse coral reefs.

On these Indonesia cruises between Australia and Indonesia aboard 102-guest National Geographic Orion, discover a region lost to time and enveloped in lore. Visit remote archipelagos, uninhabited islands and local villages. Explore by Zodiac, kayak and paddleboard, plus snorkeling and diving.

Sail, snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard along Indonesia’s spice route. Learn the history, culture and ecology of the Spice Islands on this Banda Sea cruise aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih sailing vessel or 12-guest Katharina ketch.

Cruise Indonesia

Indonesia is freckled with remote islands that encompass intriguing traditional cultures, empty white-sand beaches and unique landscapes. Underneath these karst limestone islands is a vast, biodiverse environment of colorful corals and sea life ripe for exploration—and your captain knows the exact location for the best underwater experiences. With only a few airports within this archipelago, small ship cruising is the ideal mode of transportation, allowing visitors access to a variety of stops in this otherwise seldom-reached destination—a place well worth the effort to get to. Options include sailing along the popular island of Bali and extend as far off as New Guinea, with many historical, cultural and wildlife-filled spots in between. There is no shortage of places to explore; let our expertise be your guide to booking an unforgettable Indonesia cruise.

Cruise Indonesia with AdventureSmith

AdventureSmith’s cruises let you experience Indonesia’s wide expanse of islands in an active, efficient way. From the Spice Islands to Bali, let our experienced team guide you through the wide array of small ship itineraries. Why choose to cruise Indonesia with us?

Personalized

Work with one dedicated U.S.-based specialist to purchase & prepare for your Indonesia cruise.

We can match you with trusted Indonesia small cruise ships, all intimate at under 120 guests.

Our relationships & on-the-ground travels result in tried & trusted, reputable cruises.

Our Indonesia cruises include guided snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking & skiff rides.

A two-masted Indonesia sailing ship sits at anchor in bright blue water with green tree leaves in the foreground

Cruising Indonesia from Raja Ampat to Bali & Komodo

Cruise far beyond the reach of what most travelers to Indonesia see. Our Indonesia small ship cruises sail isolated coastlines, remote reef and karst islets, all in a safe, unique, exciting and carefree way. Experience Raja Ampat’s famed underwater world scuba diving or snorkeling alongside skilled naturalist guides, sail safely along the remote island of Sulawesi along the Wallace Line or island hop between Bali and Flores, with a stop at Komodo National Park to see the world’s largest lizard. Our team is here to assist you choose your perfect Indonesia cruise.

“Our Indonesia small ship cruises focus on activity, wildlife & exploring remote islands.”

Temperature & Rainfall

Year-Round Indonesia Cruising

Indonesia cruises are available every month of the year, but ships often follow the trade winds and weather patterns to sail certain locations during their drier, less-windy months. If you are seeking to visit Raja Ampat, for example, plan your trip in the winter months (roughly, October through February). If your course is set on a Bali cruise, you can look for most sailings running from March through September. Climate data listed above is from Denpasar, Bali.

Seeking More Details about Weather, Regions & Wildlife?

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Small Ships & Yachts Sailing Indonesia

Sailing Indonesia has never been better thanks to a growing number of small ships in the region. These range from traditional Indonesian sailing vessels to new luxury yachts and expedition ships. After a wonderful day out exploring in the sun, in the water snorkeling with manta rays or on land searching for birds-of-paradise, having a perfect refuge that includes a cold beverages, warm meals and a refreshing shower is unfettered luxury.

Small ships through Indonesia provide travelers an expedition that is simply incomparable to travel on larger vessels. They can navigate more precisely than larger cruise ships with deeper drafts, and follow less strict, more active itineraries. Our variety of craft will hold anywhere from 14 to 120 guests at a time; it just depends on what kind of experience you are searching for.

The 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih combines traditional and modern design to bring authenticity and comfort to her itineraries in the Ring of Fire region stretching from Bali to the Philippines.

The 120-guest Coral Adventurer Australian expedition ship offers a wine cellar, open galley, private balconies and efficient ship-to-shore operations.

The Aqua Blu carries her 30 guests in high luxury, comfort and safety while sailing through Eastern Indonesia. Embrace history and luxury on this unique cruise ship.

Katharina is a 12-guest sailing vessel whose adventures explore the Ring of Fire, the string of volcanic islands that stretch out from Bali east to the Philippines.

Indonesia Small Ship Cruise Reviews

What is it like to take a small ship cruise through Indonesia? Experience sailing a traditional Indonesia style ship through the eyes of small ship experts who have traveled aboard these classic vessels. Plan your perfect trip with insider information from a variety of Indonesia cruises and Indonesia small ships. Read on for all of our Indonesia cruise reviews.

AdventureSmith's Director of Sales & Operations reviews his Raja Ampat cruise aboard the 24-guest Ombak Putih. Follow his adventures swimming with stingless jellyfish and seeking out the famed bird-of-paradise.

AdventureSmith sails Indonesia's most remote reaches, along the eastern coast of Sulawesi. Learn our insights on this trip and the highlights of a Sulawesi cruise.

Learn about the food, cabins, crew and more from AdventureSmith experts who've been aboard these unique Indonesian sailing vessels.

An AdventureSmith cruise expert goes aboard in Australia to write this ship review of the 120-guest Coral Adventurer. Read about her favorite features and cabin insights.

An intimate look at island hopping in Indonesia between Bali and Flores. Learn why this trip is the perfect fit for AdventureSmith's style of cruising.

Cruise Indonesia with Our Guidance & Tips

What are the essentials for cruising Indonesia? How to choose which route to take? When is the best time to visit? Our AdventureSmith travel experts have put together Indonesia cruise guides that will help you learn more about traveling in this destination and to get you excited for your trip, along with tips on the small ship style of travel worldwide.

With upwards of 18,000 islands, a variety of ship types and so much to see, it can be hard to know the best way to cruise Bali, Raja Ampat and beyond. We've got you covered with this in-depth Indonesia cruise guide.

Small ship travel has gained popularity for convenience, adventure and to explore the remote places of the Earth. Learn all the unique possibilities an expedition ship can offer, and why you should get aboard.

Tips every savvy traveler should know when researching how to charter a yacht. This 7-step guide gives you insight from AdventureSmith's many years of arranging charter cruises to exotic destinations worldwide.

There is more variety in cruise ships than most think. Some ships focus on kayaking and hiking, others on onboard waterparks. Learn which type of cruising is right for you in this handy comparison between small ships and big ships.

From a birthday cruise to celebrating an anniversary or 7th continent reached, milestones are simply a fun way to plan your travel and ensure you have something to toast on your journey. Take it from AdventureSmith’s founder himself, who got married on the bow of a small ship in Alaska! These stories & more ideas on how to plan your own special celebration cruise.

What Travelers Say About Their Indonesia Cruise

Fantastic boat with an amazing crew. What a great adventure exploring the small islands of Indonesia. The snorkeling was the best I've experienced anywhere in the world.

The quality of the guide, the crew and the ship were far above our expectations. The itinerary was very enjoyable. The early trip to Komodo island was very rewarding and the timing and variety of snorkeling was excellent.

The trip overall was unforgettable. One of the best parts was not having to figure out every step of the trip after/during planning a wedding. Knowing that AdventureSmith was in charge of the major details and 10 days of our trip, as well as internal flights were all organized was an important load-lifted off our shoulders.

Great guides together with the very enthusiastic and helpful crew made it a great voyage. If you like small boat cruising and snorkeling, this is the trip for you with the unique Komodo Dragons as a special plus.

We went to untouched places that we didn't know existed in Indonesia. We were able to still see all the hot spots in Bali on our own before we took this cruise, but this offered something entirely different than any of our friends had ever experienced in Indonesia.

Overall trip was amazing. Absolutely no issues logistically. Unless you have months on your hands to stumble around foreign countries and really figure it out on your own, a quality specified travel agency like Adventuresmith is absolutely necessary for a trip of this caliber.

Fantastic boat with an amazing crew.  What a great adventure exploring the small islands of Indonesia. We most enjoyed Rinca to see Komodo dragons!  The snorkeling was the best I've experienced anywhere in the world.

Meals Review

Great food and great crew!

Traveler Advice

Sea was a bit choppy the first couple of days, but not much you can do about that!

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

They helped us organize all our flights.  Even reached out to check in on us when there was an airport closure due to volcanic activity. 

The quality of the guide, the crew and the ship were far above our expectations. The itinerary was very enjoyable. The early trip to Komodo island was very rewarding and the timing and variety of snorkeling was excellent. Also really enjoyed the trip to the active volcano and exploring the local shipbuilding village there. The trip to Rinca was short, I thought we could have been given the option to spend some more time there.

Accommodations Review

The ship was beautiful and kept in excellent shape by the crew. A memorable experience to sail on Katharina. My only complaint was that the sails were not able to be put up.

The chef on Katharina was INCREDIBLE. Loved the food and the variety. Rotation of meals over the week was also highly enjoyable. 

Crew & Guides Review

Ari far exceeded our expectations. He knew so much about the local culture, the history of the area, the boat and the wildlife given his more than 20 years of experience. He also made sure that we had the best guides wherever we went. In addition, he was professional, friendly, approachable and organized.

We had excellent communication with our AdventureSmith contact Nick. He answered all of our questions in a timely fashion and we were well prepared for the trip.

We had an excellent trip aboard the Ombak Putih for our honeymoon. One of the best parts was not having to figure out every step of the trip after/during planning a wedding. Knowing that AdventureSmith was in charge of the major details and 10 days of our trip, as well as internal flights were all organized was an important load-lifted off our shoulders. The trip overall was unforgettable. Misool was beautiful- loved the jellyfish lake and cave exploration. The snorkeling, beach and view of Wayag was just idyllic and my favorite place of the trip. The oyster farm we visited was neat but the bay we stayed in wasn't the best- filled with plastic and felt less remote and beautiful with the oyster farm surrounding us. Loved getting to know the knowledgeable, like-minded travelers aboard. One of the best parts of the trip! This trip had a lot of snorkeling, which was great, but could have had a little more variety in activities. I know this was the action and adventure departure, but it was unclear that that just meant more snorkeling.

The Ombak Putih is a rad ship! We felt like we were pirates exploring the islands. I also feel that the traditional pinisi boats (as there were a few around) just fit right into the landscape, whereas the more yachty or modern boats seemed out of place.

Lots of variety. Loved the lemongrass flavorings. Could have more Indonesian foods, felt odd seeing a lot of red meat, cheese and smoked salmon when we can tell these items had to travel far to get there.

Great people. Fun to be around. Could fine tune their presentations and become stronger speakers for the evening presentations, but did a great job making everything run smoothly and keep us occupied.

Transportation Review

Our internal flights were arranged for us, as well as transfers to and from the ship which made our Indonesia domestic travel flawless.

The packing lists, online forms and the arrangements made were all excellent and timely. My friends and family would love to experience the magic of small ship travel that AdventureSmith offers.

If you get cold in the water bring a wet-suit top at least. The water is warm, but for us who tend to be cold just a little extra layer can make it so much more enjoyable. Also some people had long, thin rash-guard pants which were great protection against the annoying sea lice and jellyfish that we would encounter.

Great guide together with the very enthusiastic and helpful crew made it a great voyage. The snorkeling was excellent; many fishes together with turtles, rays and manta rays. [We also enjoyed] seeing the Komodo dragons. The fellow travelers were a very nice diverse group who mixed well.

Cabins were small but quite adequate. Food was very good and the bar prices very reasonable.

The food was delicious and there was always a choice of fish, meat and non meat dishes.

Ari made the trip a great success. Very knowledgeable and experienced. Organized everything extremely well.

If you like small boat cruising and snorkeling, this is the trip for you with the unique Komodo Dragons as a special plus.

What a trip and amazing ship! It was a special way to see Indonesia. We went to untouched places that we didn't know existed in Indonesia. Lots of snorkeling. Visited so many remote villages and had the children hold our hands as they took us around their town. We were able to still see all the hot spots in Bali on our own before we took this cruise, but this offered something entirely different than any of our friends had ever experienced in Indonesia and we feel like we really saw a "real" view of the country.

The Ombak Putih is a special ship. We were in awe of all the beautiful wooden touches - rare to find in the modern ships of today! Stairs are on the steeper side on the ship, so we made good use of the railings when at sea.

We ate like kings. Lots of healthy options, salads and fresh fish, but many treats and temptations to overeat too. A bit too many fried options for my taste, but others on board enjoyed and much was authentic to Indonesia - lots fried banana for snacks! 24/7 coffee and tea much appreciated and honor system tracking to grab your own drinks aboard and pay for at the end.

The crew was friendly and helpful, always with a smoothie ready when we came back on board in the heat of the day. We loved our guides Arie and Kees, who provided the perfect combination of education and adventure with their lectures and their snorkeling skills.

We would never have found this ship, or chosen this unique route, if it wasn't for AdventureSmith's advice and recommendation! Happy to have them as our sounding board for how to access the world's remote locations by small ship (we've done 3 trips). Their recommendations for us have always been spot on.

If you like to drink, take advantage of the opportunity to bring your own booze aboard to make your own cocktails! Bring a short wet suit or heavier rash guard top and tights as the water was on the cold side in certain locations.

Overall trip was amazing. Absolutely no issues logistically. We had a couple of days in Bali on our own prior to boarding the ship which made it easier to adapt to the weather, time change etc. SUP-ing into isolated islands with no one else around. Visiting remote villages that hadn’t seen any tourists since the last time our boat was there a year  ago. The genuine excitement of the kids wanting to show us around there village and home. The uniqueness of this trip was what really made the experience. It is a true adventure, there are no guarantees. Every day the group is coming up with plans based on weather, sea conditions, time frames, local advice and recommendations etc. You must be flexible and able to coordinate with the group, but this is what made it so fun. Of course the guides and the Captain had the final say. You could do this trip multiple times and never have the same experience (which some people on board had). There is a rough itinerary, but there are so many cool options and dynamic environment that it could easily change. Marine life, snorkeling, birds and komodo dragons. Truly Epic. Some people commented on a little too much time at sea. I enjoy boats and moving around but I would agree that it seemed a little hurried in 10-12 days to do the route we did. A few more days would allow for some flexibility and spending time at the more desirable locations, especially if we encountered inclement weather. [ AdventureSmith note that the itinerary was extended to 14 days in duration after this traveler's trip. ] We had a good group, however group dynamics on a small boat can play a role in activities. I personally would have liked a few more adventurous off boat excursions, however we did stay busy with fun activities daily.  No bad experiences.

The ship (Ombak Putih) was a beautiful, traditional, completely dialed Indonesian sailing vessel. The quarters below were not huge, but very clean, comfortable and as beautiful as the rest of the ship. Just the amount of hard work that went into this boat was breathtaking. We were lucky to have a small group (9), so there was plenty of deck space around to relax and not feel cramped. Even though this boat was equipped to sail if need be, we motored 99% of the time. We sailed 1 afternoon for fun, but there was no way we were going to cover the ground (almost 1000 miles) sailing the whole time.  Motor noise/exhaust was no issue at any time, night or day.

I couldn’t even think of anything I would change food wise. Amazing. Every stop we made, or local fisherman we saw, fresh fish and local goods were acquired. No food illness, water was processed on the boat etc. Beer was very reasonably priced. Cheaper than Mexico.

Unless you have months on your hands to stumble around foreign countries and really figure it out on your own, a quality specified travel agency like Adventuresmith is absolutely necessary for a trip of this caliber. Having firsthand knowledge of the ins and outs of small ship/remote world travel you’re in good hands. All connections and logistics where handled and everything operated smoothly. No problems.  Having spent so much of my life on the ocean, I love boats, marine life and accessing coastlines via a small boat or ship.  To me it really is the best way to travel. Whether you tie up in a large bustling port city, or anchor off a remote beach, it’s a whole different perspective than land travel. I look forward to another amazing boat trip with Adventuresmith in the future. 

Ari was our main guide. He was exceptional. An Indonesian and Sulawesi local. Though we had people from all over the world on the boat, English was primarily spoken and Ari was absolutely fluent. No missed communications, or misunderstandings, he was 1 step ahead all the time, with the safety of the group the priority. There were times we didn’t swim, go ashore, or go to certain areas because the Captain and Ari deemed it unsafe, mostly due to ocean conditions. Spending most of my life around the ocean, I understood and respected what they were talking about. This was very comforting to know how attentive they were.  Due to our remoteness on this trip, there was no margin for error or injury.  This isolation became evident not long after we set out, and the crew operated accordingly.  There was no hot dogging or showing off, it was all business.  One instance in particular we were snorkeling around a deep water reef with a lot of current.  We had 2 zodiacs in the water tending to the swimmers.  A large, Rogue dive boat trying to track across the channel started to get swept toward us under full power.  Ari in the zodiac recognize this immediately, drove the zodiac in front of the dive boat and started screaming at the captain.  The boat turned, got swept down current and had to come up the long way to the anchorage.  Without his quick response the boat would have come very close to us.  I was watching it all unfold and would have swam out of the way, but I can’t say that for the rest of the snorkelers, focused on the sea turtles!  Kees was also another exceptional guide.  Having moved to Jakarta from Europe 20 years ago he knew the culture quite well.  His expertise in birding was an eye opener for me.  Most nights he put on informative presentations regarding the next day’s adventures.  Another very smart, professional guide we enjoyed very much.   

Featured in this Traveler Review

  • Sailing Indonesia: The Undiscovered Frontier
  • Ombak Putih

Deals on Indonesia Cruises

For deals on Indonesia small ship cruises, contact the AdventureSmith experts. Our talented team can help you find the latest discounts, explain the ins-and-outs of the landscape and help you secure your top choice at the best rate. AdventureSmith recommends that you plan ahead for your small ship Indonesia cruise to take advantage of early-booking discounts, but we’re here to help those planning last-minute travel save as well.

Book your select 2023-2025 Southeast Asia cruise aboard Aria Amazon, Aqua Nera, Aqua Blu or Aqua Mekong to save 20-30% per person.

Solo travelers! Take your pick from a variety of 2023 & 2024 expedition cruises worldwide and pay no single supplement fee.

Book your family small ship expedition cruise in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and beyond and children save 25% on adult rates.

Solo travelers! Book your select 2024-2025 Southeast Asia cruise aboard Aria Amazon, Aqua Nera, Aqua Blu or Aqua Mekong and the single supplement fee will be waived.

Save 20-30% per person when you book a 2023-24 or 2024-25 season departure of the below-linked Southeast Asia cruises aboard Aria Amazon, Aqua Nera, Aqua Blue or Aqua Mekong.

Offer valid on new bookings only, subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. See all cruise deals for a comprehensive list of current savings on this and other adventures.

  • Aqua Blu Raja Ampat Cruise
  • Aqua Blu Ambon & Spice Islands Cruise
  • Aqua Blu Komodo National Park Cruise
  • Aqua Mekong River Cruise

Pay no single supplement as a solo traveler when you book your select 2023 or 2024 departure of the below-linked expedition cruises worldwide.

Offer valid on new bookings only, subject to availability and cannot be combined with other offers. See all  small ship cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on these and other adventures.

  • National Geographic The White Continent
  • National Geographic South Georgia & The Falklands
  • Best of Chilean Patagonia: From Torres del Paine to Cape Horn
  • Patagonia: Chilean Fjords & Argentina’s Staten Island
  • Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife Cruise
  • Polynesian Discovery: Exploring Tahiti, Bora Bora & The Tuamotus
  • Fiji & Tahiti Adventure: Vibrant Reefs & Cultural History
  • Pearls of the Pacific: Exploring The Society & Tuamotu Islands
  • Rites & Relics: Fiji Firewalking, Vanuatu Volcanoes & Beyond
  • Jewels of The Java Sea: An Exploration Between Bali & Singapore
  • Exploring Indonesia: Bali, Raja Ampat & Papua New Guinea
  • Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands
  • Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey
  • Roots of the Pacific: Exploring New Zealand & Melanesia
  • Southern Odyssey: New Zealand & The Sub-Antarctic Islands
  • Kimberley Expedition: Northwest Australia & Indonesia
  • Coastal New Zealand: Scenic Fjords, Māori History & Abundant Wildlife
  • A Southern Migration: From The Channel Islands to Baja California
  • Baja California: Among The Great Whales
  • Baja California: A Remarkable Journey
  • Baja California Holiday Voyage: A Living Sea & Desert Isles

Children aged 4-14 at time of travel save 25% on select departures of the below-linked cruises in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.

Offer valid on new bookings only, for a limited time upon availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. See all small ship cruise deals  for a comprehensive list of current savings on these and other adventures.

  • Cape York & Arnhem Land
  • Great Barrier Reef Cruises
  • South Australia Cruises
  • Western Australia Cruises
  • The Kimberley Cruise
  • Coastal Wilds of Tasmania Cruise
  • Islands of Indonesia
  • Raja Ampat & Spice Islands
  • New Zealand by Sea
  • Frontier Lands of New Guinea

Solo travelers! Pay no single supplement when you book your select 2024 or 2025 departure of the below-linked Southeast Asia cruises aboard Aria Amazon, Aqua Nera, Aqua Blue or Aqua Mekong.

Our Experts Are Your Ticket to Cruise Indonesia

Need help narrowing down all the Indonesia cruise options? Our experts are just a phone call or email away to assist you. Contact us to receive a personalized-to-you recommendation on the best Indonesia cruise for your travel style, budget and timing needs. Still want to research yourself?  Head to our Indonesia Cruise Finder .

island cruise in bali

Explore the Waters of Komodo National Park aboard the Aqua Blu

Bali to Komodo Expedition Cruise

Indonesia, Bali

From $8,715

Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

Located in the Coral Triangle between the major landmasses of Sumbawa to the west and Flores to the east, the waters of Komodo National Park are embraced by fast flowing currents from the Indian Ocean and warm tropical Indonesia seas enriched with volcanic nutrients. The result is a vibrant marine environment that's home to more than 1,000 species of marine life, including the manta ray, sea turtles, and mola mola (ocean sunfish), as well as over 260 species of coral. From shore to shore, the sheer number of marine life and a variety of different underwater environments make this region endlessly rewarding for both divers and non-divers alike. Cruising is an ideal way to discover the region. Built to world-class luxury cruising specifications, the speed, stability and long-range capabilities of the Aqua Blu cruise ship guarantees five-star comfort, utmost exclusivity, and an unrivalled immersiveness in the Park's natural wonders. You'll be able to access otherwise hard-to-reach marine sites and hiking trails where nature and wildlife flourish, often without another boat or human in sight.

island cruise in bali

Arrive: Benoa, Bali (or reverse)

Depart: Labuan Bajo, Indonesia (or reverse)

  • Discover the marine extravaganza of Komodo National Park, with some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the world
  • Island hikes to waterfalls, local villages, along a ridgeline, and to see Komodo dragons in the wild
  • Visit iconic Pink Beach, with its coral-tinged sands

island cruise in bali

Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.

Dates & Pricing

Payment & cancel schedule.

At time of reservation: $1,000 105 days prior to departure: Balance *Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

Minimum fee: $500 per person 91-120 days prior to departure: $1000 per person 90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

  • All meals onboard
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • Selected wines and beer with dinner
  • Accomodations on board
  • All excursions with guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Onboard lectures
  • Use of watersports equipment
  • Entertainment
  • Boat/airport transfer in Komodo

Not Included

  • Boutique purchases
  • Massage services
  • Optional gratuities

Accommodations

Listed below are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

island cruise in bali

Days 1-7 (7 nights)

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest , and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Launch boats are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to view wildlife. Options for swimming, snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, and paddle boarding are available.

Client Testimonials

"Our family thoroughly enjoyed this special trip. The staff were all very friendly and kind. The activity filled days were well planned out and explained by the cruise director. The food onboard was the best we have ever had on a trip and featured a range of cuisines. We appreciate the opportunity to explore nature at its best in secluded and remote locations. The whole experienced was phenomenal and memorable!"

Repulse Bay, Hong Kong

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island cruise in bali

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island cruise in bali

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Book your trip today

Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

Submit the form below to download itinerary

Trip Download Itin

Trip Levels

With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

Level 1 – Easiest

Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

  • Royal Rajasthan and Villages of India
  • Small ship cruises

Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

  • Our African safaris
  • Costa Rica Wildlife

Level 3 – Moderate

Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

  • Tuscany & the Cinque Terre
  • Argentina: Hikes and Estancias of Patagonia
  • Palau Snorkeling & Sea Kayaking
  • Some trips with minimal hiking but rugged travel conditions or long drives, such as  Tribal Ghana, Togo & Benin,  are Trip Level 3.

Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

  • Ultimate Patagonia
  • Hiking the Spanish Pyrenees

Level 5 – Strenuous

Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

  • Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Everest Lodge to Lodge

Level 6 – Very Strenuous

Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

  • Everest Base Camp
  • Climb Kilimanjaro!

island cruise in bali

Katie Caf Travel

Komodo Islands Boat Tour From Bali I 2023 ULTIMATE Guide

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Planning a trip to Bali and thinking of visiting the amazing  Komodo National Park ? This MASTER GUIDE to sailing Komodo has you covered!

I just got back from my second sailing trip to the Komodo Islands and I loved it  so much  that I started planning my second trip the second it ended! 

Keep reading this guide for  everything  you need to know about taking a Komodo Boat Tour from Bali to have the perfect trip!  ⤵️

island cruise in bali

🏆 The BEST Komodo Boat Tour!

If you’re looking for a tour recommendation, I suggest this tour which has both luxury & budget options 👉 Check Rates & Dates Here!

Kelor Island viewpoint in Komodo National Park is one of the many stops you'll make on a Komodo Boat Tour!

All About Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is a famous UNESCO world heritage site in Indonesia that became popular around 10 years ago with travelers looking to go beyond Bali to find pristine beaches and adventure. 

Komodo National Park is composed of almost  thirty separate islands,  some huge and some  super tiny. 

Each island in Komodo is incredibly distinct and worth a visit, and while you could just pick one island and stay as there are a few 🏨 Resorts in Komodo National Park , most people choose to go “island hopping” and stay overnight on a boat instead. 

This is what I did on two separate trips to Komodo, and to be honest both trips were the  best  experience of my life up until this point. 

I might be biased because before going sailing in Komodo the “best experience of my life” title went to the Nile River Cruise I took in Egypt, so maybe that’s just me and I love boats – but everyone I talked to after our trip agreed!

Sailing in Komodo National Park was the best thing they did in Indonesia, if not in their entire lives. 

I’m so excited to share everything about my Komodo Islands Boat Tour with you all because it was an endlessly  special  experience that I loved SO MUCH that I had to immediately do it again! 

This Guide Is About Two Different Komodo Boat Tours:  Skip To Section  ⤵️

  • 💸 Budget Backpackers 3-night/4-day Cruise  
  • 🥂  Luxury Komodo 2-night/3-day Cruise  

Looking To Stay In Komodo? Search For Resorts In Komodo National Park Here!   👉 -> Click HERE to Explore Resorts in Komodo! <- 👈

Indonesia's Pink Beach is just one of the many stops you'll make on a Komodo Island Boat Tour.

Which Komodo Boat Tour Is Right For You?  

🚨  NOTE!!!!  In this guide I’m going to be talking about   two separate Komodo Boat Tours  I took – One sailed from the island of Lombok, through Komodo National Park, and then landed in Labuan Bajo which is the port city in Flores. 

I’m calling this boat tour the  “Backpackers’ Komodo Boat Tour”  in this guide, it’s not the official name but it’s  definitely  the “backpackers option” because it’s super cheap! ▶️ Skip To Section For Backpackers’ Boat Tour

The other Komodo Boat Tour I took was much more luxurious, even though it was still  really  cheap (by Bali standards). I’m calling this one the  “Classic Komodo Boat Tour”  or  “Luxury Komodo Boat Tour”  because I had a proper bed and cabin, and in the “Backpackers’ Boat” I was sleeping on a mat on the floor with 30 other people. ▶️ Skip To Section For Luxury Boat Tour

Which  Komodo Boat tour  is right for you? Keep reading till the end of this guide to find out! 

They’re both an AMAZING choice depending on your budget, how many days you can spend in Komodo National Park, and whether or not you feel like partying or relaxing. 

Explore The Different Komodo Boat Tours You Can Book Online ⤵ 👉 -> Click Here to Explore Komodo Sailing Trips! <- 👈

🚢 The 5 Different Types Of Komodo Boat Tours 🚢 

There are almost 30 islands in Komodo National Park , and a bunch of different tour options of different cruises you can take that suit every budget. Here are the main Komodo cruise types and their differences: 

island cruise in bali

1. Backpackers Boat Tour From Lombok To Flores  

The Boat Trip from Lombok to Flores is affectionately known as the “Backpackers’ Boat”. It’s dirt-cheap (like $45 per person, per day, all inclusive), 4 days/3 nights, and you sleep on a mat on the floor with 20-30 other people. 

While it’s super cheap and no-frills, the backpackers’ boat is FUN. Everyone is drinking, jumping off the boat, and making lifetime memories. I recommend this boat to solo travelers or people who want to socialize because you get super close with your fellow passengers over the 4-day cruise! 

A komodo boat tour sailing through Komodo National Park.

2. Classic Komodo Boat Tour To/From Flores

I’m not sure what to call this one, so I just called it the “Classic” Komodo Boat Trip! 

Taking a 3-day/2-night cruise on a 14-person boat with a proper bed (and AC!) is the standard Komodo Boat Trip most people take. 

I was lucky enough to be able to take a 🛳  Luxury Komodo Cruise  that embarks and lands in Labuan Bajo, Flores,  as well as  the backpackers’ boat that travels over open water from Lombok to Flores – and they’re both amazing experiences in their own way! 

You get way nicer food, a real bed, AC, and an overall more luxurious experience taking a Luxury Komodo Cruise over the Backpackers’ option. I recommend 🚢 this boat tour to couples, honeymooners, or people who don’t necessarily want to “party”, but are still on a budget – since the Backpackers’ Boat from Lombok to Flores is also known as the party boat! 

a luxury Phinisi boat sailing through Komodo Islands national park.

3. Luxury Komodo Sailing Trip On A Phinisi Boat  

A  Phinisi  is a traditional Indonesian sailing boat that dates back at least 100 years.  

Today, they’re motor-operated rather than actual sailboats just like the other Komodo Cruise ships – but the Phinisi boats are the gold standard for luxury cruising in Indonesia. 

If you take a ⛵️  Phinisi Boat tour of Komodo National Park  you’ll go to mostly the same stops as the cheaper cruise ships, but you’ll do so in style! The Phinisi boats are gorgeous and I highly recommend taking one for your Komodo cruise if you have it in your budget. ⤵

💡 Note:   This Tour is actually the best price I’ve ever seen for a luxury Phinisi Boat Cruise!

A scuba diver in Komodo National Park with a manta ray on a Komodo Boat tour from Bali.

4. Diving Liveaboard Boat Trip 

Full disclosure:  I don’t know how to dive.  I keep meaning to get my certification… and I just never get around to it. However, I have some friends who did a 🤿 Diving Liveaboard  trip in Komodo National Park and said it was   amazing . 

I’m SO jealous because typically the liveaboard trips are longer than the typical boat tours of Komodo National Park – they also go to less touristic places, and overall are just kinda reported to be  better . 

So, if you know how to dive I highly recommend taking a liveaboard Komodo Cruise. ↴

island cruise in bali

5. Take A Private Komodo Boat Tour 

If you’re traveling with your family or a larger group I would recommend chartering a boat for a 🚢 Private Komodo Cruise  for a more customized experience. 

You can choose to charter the boat for up to 12 people for a 3-day tour. 

Book A Private Komodo Tour! ⤵️

a komodo dragon sleeping at Komodo national Park in Indonesia

Is Komodo National Park Closing In 2023? 

🚨 2023 UPDATE!!!  🚨 Since I wrote the draft of this post a few weeks ago, the Indonesian government has decided to scrap the idea to raise prices to Komodo Island! The entrance fee remains 550K ($35) for foreigners and 250K ($16) for Indonesians! 

There have been some issues in the past few years about the future of tourism in Komodo National Park. 

In 2019 Nine men were arrested for  stealing and trafficking Komodo Dragons  to sell overseas, which is both highly illegal and  terrible  for the natural Komodo Dragon population. 

The Indonesian government first planned to completely shut Komodo Island off from tourism as a response, and the locals who live off of the tourism generated by the park protested. 

The new plan is to raise the cost of entrance to Komodo National Park from what it is now, around 550K ($35) for foreigners, and 250K ($16) for Indonesians, to around 3.75 million Rupiah ($244) in January 2023. 

Locals from Labuan Bajo and the Komodo Islands who depend on tourism have been actively protesting the price hike, as they see it as a direct attack on their economy – as of right now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens! 

What does seem certain at this time is that even if they increase the admission price to Komodo National Park, the Indonesian government seems to have lost interest in closing the islands for tourism completely. 

✔️  Indonesia Quick Guide  – ⛵️ Tours:  I like to book tours through  Viator  when possible, but there are more options available in Indonesia through  Klook .   –  🏨 Hotels:   Booking.com ,  Agoda , &  Hostelworld  are what I use for hotels and hostels in Indonesia. – 🏥  Travel Insurance:  I use  SafetyWing Travel Insurance  while in Indonesia, travel insurance came in handy when I was  bit by a puppy in Bali  and needed a rabies vaccine! 

island cruise in bali

RELATED ARTICLE 🏝 BEST Things To Do In Flores

Where Is Komodo Island Located?

Komodo Island is located in Komodo National Park, which is a cluster of islands off the coast of Flores.

Flores is an island in the Indonesian Archipelago that belongs to the East Nusa Tenggara Province. You can see on the map that Komodo & Flores are far east of the island of Bali, where most travelers fly into.

The islands of Lombok and Sumbawa lie between Bali and Komodo National Park, making overland transport between the two islands difficult.

Padar Island, Komodo National Park

How To Get To Komodo From Bali

Depending on Which tour you take, your Komodo sailing trip will either be departing from the island of Lombok or the island of Flores. 

  • The “Backpackers Boat” departs from Lombok , and most travelers choose to visit the Gili Islands first as a stopover from Bali. 
  • The Classic Komodo Cruise   departs from Labuan Bajo , in Flores. The only way to get there from Bali is by flying. 

Keep reading for how to travel to the starting locations for each Komodo Tour from Bali. ⤵️

the ferry from Bali to the Gili Islands and Lombok is the first step to take for a Komodo Cruise from Lombok to Flores.

For The Backpackers’ Boat:  How To Get To Lombok From Bali 

My favorite way to get to Lombok from Bali is to take a fast boat to the Gili Islands from Padang Bai ferry port in Bali, spend a few nights in the Gilis, and then from there you can travel on to Lombok. 

It’s a short 10-minute ferry from the Gili Islands to Senggigi Ferry Port in Lombok, and then from there, you drive roughly 3-4 hours across the island to Kayangan Sea Port.  

The Komodo Boat Tour company arranges the shuttle from Senggigi Ferry Port to Kayangan for you, and some companies also arrange the ferry ticket from the Gilis to Lombok (but that ticket is only a few dollars either way). 

If you want to go straight to Komodo without stopping in the Gilis first, you can take a ⛴  fast boat straight from Pandang Bai  in Bali to Senggigi ferry port in Lombok, where you get picked up by the boat company. ⤵️

island cruise in bali

RELATED ARTICLE 🛵 Ultimate Bali Transportation Guide

For The Komodo Cruise:   How To Get To/From Bali To Flores

There is currently no direct ferry option from Bali to Flores, where the Komodo Boat Cruise embarks from, so your only way to get from Bali to Flores & Komodo is by flying there.

Flights from Labuan Bajo, which is the port city in Flores where your tour ends, to Bali run every day at 1:30 PM. Tickets are around $50 each way, and it’s only a 1-hour flight back to Denpasar Airport (DPS) in Bali. 

🚨  Note!!  Regardless of which Komodo tour you take, the Backpackers Boat or the standard Komodo Cruise, you will need to fly back from Labuan Bajo to Bali – so budget for at least one flight!

a komodo boat tour setting sail from flores.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Komodo National Park?

Indonesia doesn’t have winter, spring, summer, and fall – instead, they only have two seasons: the dry and the wet.

You’ll want to visit Komodo National Park during the dry season which stretches from April – October.

I sailed in Komodo at the beginning of the wet season in November and didn’t have any problems with the weather personally, but the people who sailed the weekend before me in mid-November had it rain the whole weekend! 

So it’s better to go in the dry season if you can. 

a girl on top of Padar Island in Komodo National Park.

Do You Need A Tour To Visit Komodo National Park? 

YES – You 100% need a tour to enter Komodo National Park. It’s actually  illegal  to visit the Komodo Islands without a guide, plus they can only be accessed via boat. So, it’s not a DIY kind of tourist location and you need a tour. 

A boat tour that sails for multiple days from flores to Komodo National Park in Indonesia, pictured at sunset. Many people choose to sail the komodo islands as an add on tour on their trip to Bali.

How To Book A Komodo Boat Tour

How to book a spot on the different tours that visit Komodo National Park:

How To Book The Backpackers’ Boat

The Backpackers’ Boat sailing trips that go from Lombok to Flores do not have an online booking option. They operate through word of mouth and usually only accept cash. I recommend the company Wanua Adventure, which you can email to reserve a spot. 

📧 >>[email protected]

When I did my Backpackers’ Boat trip from Lombok to Flores they had me pay in person on the first day of the tour. There were ATMs on the Gili Islands so I didn’t have to worry about not having cash. 

💰 The Komodo Tour from Lombok to Flores costs 2,800,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($185) total, and includes entry tickets to Komodo National Park.

You have the option to book a general admission spot, which is basically just a mat on the deck, or a private cabin.

The private cabins only cost $30-60 more than sleeping on the deck with everyone else, but they’re right above the engine and can get really hot and noisy.

Note – There’s no AC on the Backpackers’ Boat!

How To Book A Classic Komodo Cruise

The classic Komodo Cruises that start and end in Labuan Bajo, Flores, can be booked online ahead of time. 

These tours can be “Open Tours” which means you’re just booking a spot. Usually, the open tours have up to 12 passengers on a boat. 

Or, you can book a 🚢 Private Boat  tour where you charter the entire boat and crew for larger groups or families.

As a solo traveler, I just booked a spot on an “Open Tour” . You have the option to get a room with bunk beds, usually a room of four, or a private room for a higher fee. ➡ This Luxury Cruise is the same price as the Backpacker’s Boat!

💰 The luxury Komodo boat tours aren’t fixed rate and vary in price by the type of boat and room you book.

My Luxury Komodo Cruise was only around $250, only $50 more than the backpackers’ option, but it was a 2-night tour instead of 3, and I was sharing a room with three friends.

🚨 Note: Most of the tour companies related to Komodo Cruises are actually travel agents that work with independent boat owners – So make sure you see photos of the actual boat you’ll be staying on before you book !

💡 Tip: You need to bring cash to pay the entrance fee to Komodo National Park! As of 2023, it’s 550K Indonesian Rupiah ($35) per person.

Snorkeling on the Backpackers' budget Komodo Boat tour from Lombok to Flores.

About The Boat From Lombok To Flores – The “Backpackers’ Boat Tour”

So, the boat from Lombok to Flores is bare-bones, with absolutely no frills – I can’t state this enough! There’s no AC, you sleep on a mat on the floor with 20-something other people, and the toilet has to be flushed with a bucket of water, (there are also only two toilets, for 30-some people!). 

That being said, it’s a lot of fun, and no one on the tour is there for the quality of the boat. If you want a luxury Komodo Cruise, there are a ton of options that depart from Labuan Bajo, but the cruise that departs from Lombok and sails over open waters is just for backpackers! 

💡  Tip:  If you want something more luxurious, I recommend taking the 🚢 Komodo Island Cruise  that starts and ends in Labuan Bajo! I did both this one and the backpackers’ boat from Lombok to Flores. 

island cruise in bali

“Backpackers’ Boat” 4-Day / 3-Night Boat Trip Itinerary

This itinerary changes depending on if you depart from Lombok or Flores! Coming from Lombok, which is the most common route, it goes like this: 

  • Set off from Lombok ferry port
  • Hike to Kanawa Island’s viewpoint 
  • Watch the sunset on Kanawa Island from your boat 

Day 2 

  • Wake up at 6 AM to snorkel with the wild whale sharks! 
  • Free swimming and jumping off the boat 

Day 3 

  • Go to Komodo Island to see the Komodo dragons in the morning
  • Go swimming at Pink Beach in the afternoon 
  • Hike to Padar Island’s viewpoint for sunset 

Day 4 

  • Go snorkeling in the morning 
  • Climb to the viewpoint at Kelor Island
  • Dock at Labuan Bajo 

Watching the sunset from the deck of the budget Backpackers' Boat from Lombok to Flores.

10 Reasons You Should Take A Komodo Boat Tour from Lombok To Flores • Backpackers’ Boat

I have been full time traveling for over a year at the time of writing this and there have been so many “Instagram vs. Reality” disappointments that I felt myself getting  kinda  jaded. 

I’m happy to report that not only did the Komodo National Park sailing trip live up to my expectations, but it also  surpassed  them.

The trip to Komodo from Lombok is now my favorite tour I’ve ever taken in a year and a half of full-time travel! 

Every. Single. Day of the 4-day tour was a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience – I’ve never done anything like it before, and it’s left me with a need to start exploring Indonesia’s other amazing islands outside of Bali stat .

Here are ten reasons you should take a Komodo Sailing Trip from Lombok to Flores on your next trip to Indonesia! 

Swimming With The Wild Whale Sharks in Komodo National Park on a Komodo Boat Tour.

1. You Get To Swim With Wild Whale Sharks (!!!) 

Swimming with the wild whale sharks was the highlight of the whole trip for me, and the reason I originally picked the tour that goes from Lombok to Flores over the one that sails around Komodo National Park (and then I turned around and did that one right after!). 

At 6 in the morning, the whole boat wakes up to the most GORGEOUS sunrise and a  giant  whale shark swimming around the boats. 

Our tour guide was honest with us, these are wild animals – sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not. Occasionally there will be up to 5 whale sharks at once, other times none! 

Swimming With The Wild Whale Sharks in Komodo National Park on a Komodo Boat Tour.

I think we were pretty lucky because there was one whale shark present for our encounter, and one was honestly enough for me! 

Even though whale sharks are considered “gentle giants”, I think having a 5 swimming all over would have been kinda intimidating because they are  huge .  

The whale shark was very curious and was swimming up to get fed and then going all around the boats and people snorkeling. 

🚩  Ethical Issues  – In reference to animal welfare, whale sharks are fed for this experience. I’m always conflicted about “animal encounter” things.  It’s slightly comforting that Whale Sharks aren’t predatory animals, they filter plankton and other super small fish, so by feeding them people aren’t  necessarily  making them unequipped to survive in the wild – but it’s still something to keep in mind when deciding to participate in the activity or not! 

The Pink Beach in Komodo National Park. The Pink Beach gets its name from its pink sand, which is colored by ground up coral! You can visit the pink beach as one of the many stops on a Komodo Boat Tour.

2. Snorkel On The Famous Pink Beach 

I’ve been all over the world at this point (sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe that’s true!) and with complete honesty – the Pink Beach at Komodo National Park is the BEST snorkel spot I’ve been to so far! 

Most people come to Pink Beach to take photos on the famous pink sand, and I’ll admit that’s all I did the first time I went to Pink Beach – but since I did two Komodo cruises I decided to just swim the second time around. 

The coral was super colorful – I saw parrot fish, one giant puffer fish, and lots of Clown Fish in their anemone (just like in Finding Nemo!).  It’s amazing!! 

I’m sure if you’ve been to one of Indonesia’s other famous spots, like Raja Ampat, Pink Beach might not be  so  impressive – but to me, it was an amazing experience. 

The Pink Beach in Komodo National Park is  actually pink. 

Everyone gets disappointed when we first see the beach because it looks like normal white sand from the boat, but as you get closer you can see the whole strip of beach by the water is  bright pink! 

If you want to find a good snorkel spot at Pink Beach, once you dock you’ll want to go towards the right of the beach. If you want to see where the sand is the pinkest, go left! 

🛶 When I took the nicer Komodo Cruise my second time going they had kayaks available for us to use at Pink Beach and it was  so much fun! 

the sleeping quarters on the komodo boat trip from lombok to flores that most backpackers choose to take. you sleep on mats on the floor.

3. Get  Really  Close With 30-ish People 

I do need to mention that if you take the backpacker’s Komodo Cruise from Lombok to Flores through Wanua Adventure you will be probably sleeping on a mat on the floor with  roughly  30 other people. 

There are around 6 private cabins available on each boat for a small additional fee (I think it was around $30 per person to get a private cabin), but they’re right above the engine and most people actually report a better sleeping experience in the common room. 

There’s no AC, and while the cabins and common room are unbearably hot in the daytime, you’re going to be doing activities outside of the boat anyway! 

The good thing about the kinda cramped conditions on the boat is that it allows you to make friends  fast  with your boat mates. That’s why I recommend taking the Backpackers’ Boat from Lombok to Flores to solo travelers! 

sleeping room on a boat from lombok to flores with mats on the floor. The "Backpackers" Komodo Boat Tour from Lombok to Flores is cheap for a reason!

4. It’s An Extremely Cheap Trip (Even By Bali Standards!) 

💰For my 4-day / 3-night Komodo Islands Cruise from Lombok to Flores, I only paid 2,800,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($180 USD), or roughly $45 per day. This included all meals, accommodation, tour guides, activities, and the 550,000 entrance fee to Komodo National Park. 

Of course, it was so cheap because I was sleeping on a mat with 30 other people, the toilet flushed with a bucket, and we were eating mostly rice, tofu, and cabbage,  but still!!!!  Taking the backpackers’ cruise from Lombok to Flores is a very affordable option.

💡  Budget Tip:  My Komodo boat trip from Lombok to Flores actually included a ferry ticket from Gili Air and Gili T, and then cross-island van transportation to the port in Lombok where the tour set off – making it the  perfect  addition to any Bali > Gilis > Komodo itinerary. 

Komodo Boat tour at sunset at kanawa island.

5. You Can Sleep Under The Stars On The Open Ocean 

So, the sleeping arrangements on the backpackers’ boat aren’t ideal – I’ll admit that. I was sandwiched between my one friend who was elbowing me in the face all night and another traveler who I didn’t know that well (but who had no qualms about taking up half my mat as well as his own!). 

The mats have 0 space between them, so unless you sleep like a mummy with your hands crossed over your chest or by your side it can get a  little  cramped. 

After the first night people started bringing their mats outside to sleep on the deck, which freed up some (much-needed) space in the main room for everyone else and was also a  super cool  way to spend the night.  

💸 When I took the nicer Komodo Island Cruise a few weeks later I had a proper comfy bed  with  AC , but no option to sleep under the stars. If comfort is a priority for you I would recommend booking a 🚢 Luxury Komodo Cruise for the same price!

backpackers jumping off the boat on the komodo islands boat tour from lombok to flores.

6. They Let You Jump Off The Boat! 

My favorite part about the backpackers’ cruise from Lombok to Flores is that they didn’t really care what you did. Is that bad to say??? Haha. 

Basically, it went like this: 

“Can I jump off the boat?”

*Shrug*”sure” 

“Can I jump off the roof of the boat?”

“Go for it”. 

On some nicer (i.e. more expensive) boat tours, they might be fretting about the passengers’ safety, worried about bad reviews, etc, but on the backpackers’ boat, they  just didn’t care . 

a girl steering the boat on the komodo boat tour from lombok to flores.

As long as you weren’t going to do something  really  stupid or dangerous, the tour operators were chill about things like jumping off the boat, which wound up being one of the most fun memories from the trip! 

a komodo dragon on the beach on komodo island. Komodo island is one of the stops you will make if you take a boat tour of komodo national park.

7. See Komodo Dragons Up-Close 

This is part of every Komodo tour, and I’m going to be 100% honest – I t’s the most disappointing part of the trip. 

I’ve been to Komodo Island to see the dragons  twice  now and I can say with complete and total honesty that it’s the  worst  activity you do on a Komodo Island Cruise. 

People come from all over the world to see the dragons, but they’re mostly just sleeping on the beach while throngs of tourists line up to pose behind them for a photo op. 

tourists vying to take pictures of a komodo dragon on komodo island. Komodo island is one of the stops you will make if you take a komodo boat tour.

The locals on Komodo Island have  really  leaned into tourism, so after your photo opportunity you get harassed endlessly to buy some dragon-shaped trinkets, overpriced Bintangs, or t-shirts that say  “I survived Komodo Island.” 

It’s a cool experience to like tick off a list, but if you’re going to do a Komodo National Park boat trip, do it for the  amazing   nature , swimming with whale sharks, giant manta rays, and seaturtles – the Komodo Dragons are kinda just  there . 

someone drinking a bintang beer at Komodo Islands national park, in Padar island, Indonesia.

8. Enjoy Ice-Cold Bintangs In Beautiful Places!

Okay, so the super-cheap, super-dinky boat that goes from Lombok to Flores is known as the “Backpackers’ Komodo Cruise” as well as the “Party Komodo Cruise”. 

Enjoying an ice-cold Bintang while playing cards on the roof of the boat with Komodo National Park on either side is a fantastic memory I have of the trip. 

🍻 Fun Fact:  Bintang beer is essentially just Heineken beer that’s produced in Indonesia.  

The hike to the viewpoint at Padar Island in Komodo National Park is an essential part of any Komodo Boat Trip.

9. Hike To The Viewpoint At Padar Island 

Very few places in the world actually look as amazing as the photos on Instagram, but Padar Island is one of them! 

We got to climb to Padar Island’s viewpoint, which is about a 20-minute trek straight up, at sunset on our second day. 

The view from the top of Padar Island is AMAZING, I really can’t overstate it. 

💡 Tip: Pack decent shoes for this! People who just brought flip-flops were struggling on this half-hour hike.

sunset over Kanawa island in Komodo National Park.

10. Watch The Sunset At Kanawa Island

Visiting Kanawa Island was our first activity on the tour. We climbed to the viewpoint at Kanawa Island and then watched the sunset from the boat. 

Kanawa Island at sunset looks unreal, like a screensaver that’s an AI-generated photo of paradise. 

people hanging out on the deck of the boat and playing card games on their komodo boat tour from lombok to flores.

REVIEW: My Experience Sailing from Lombok To Flores With TravelWise 

🚨  Note! I didn’t receive any payment or compensation for either of my Komodo Tours, I paid for them both with my own money – so you can trust my review in this guide is my own opinion.

The backpackers’ boat is supposed to be a less-glamorous and rough time, but there were a few times during our tour that just made me sigh. For example, there weren’t enough cups on board – there were only like 8 cups for 30+ people. 

So, in the morning everyone would want coffee and tea they put out for the passengers, but you couldn’t have any… because there were no cups. 

Similarly, there weren’t enough (working) snorkels for all the passengers – which really sucked because snorkeling was a huge part of the trip! 

We also had a bit of a problem with the alcohol people brought to store in the cooler. Travel-Wise was having people operate on the honor system, as in “if you put 10 beers in the cooler, please just only take out 10 beers”, which is a bit hard to uphold with 30+ people drinking on a boat. 

On the last day, some dutch passengers were very upset when they found out someone had drunk their Bintangs. On the other boats, there was a system where you write your name on your items in the cooler that seemed to work better. 

food on the backpackers komodo boat tour from Lombok to Flores.

I was talking to a friend who did the tour with Wanua Adventure, and he said that his tour had none of these problems. 

It’s hard to know which company to go with because there’s very little written online about the Backpackers’ Boats that sail from Lombok to Flores. They’re not advertised online and mostly operate through word of mouth. 

For the reasons I listed above, if I was to do the tour again I would choose to go with Wanua Adventure. 

a girl wearing a long sleeved rashguard swimsuit on Indonesia's famous Pink Beach. A rashguard comes in handy while dealing with the sun in Komodo Island National Park.

What To Bring On Your Komodo Boat Tour

✅ Bintangs!  They don’t sell alcohol onboard the ships, and it’s quite a party boat – so you’ll want to bring your own Bintang beers and other drinks if you want to enjoy them onboard.  I also recommend bringing a sharpie to write your name on them so they don’t get confused with other passengers. 

✅  Reef-Safe Sunscreen  – I can’t overstate how  crazy  sunny it is in Komodo National Park, you’ll want to bring some  high- strength sunscreen from home.  They sell sunscreen in Labuan Bajo, but it’s insanely expensive and they don’t have any reef-safe options (which you’ll want! to protect the wildlife in Komodo) 🧴  I recommend this brand you can buy on Amazon.

✅  A Rashguard  – Similarly to the sunscreen, you’ll want a rashguard for swimming in Komodo.  Rashguards  are great for the environment because they are reusable and don’t pollute the ocean 👙  I’ve been using this one I bought on Amazon for the past two years & it’s great quality!

✅  Snacks  – The food on the boat wasn’t great, I was skipping the breakfasts they were providing because I thought they were kinda nasty (one day was just pineapple on wonderbread covered in cold margarine 🤢).  I recommend bringing some good snacks with you! 

✅  A Towel  – There’s a shower on board but towels aren’t provided. I’ve been using this 🧖‍♀️  Microfiber Camping Towel  for two years and it’s big enough to use as a beach towel! 

✅  Flippers + snorkel set  – If you’re taking the Backpackers’ Boat from Lombok to Flores they had  terrible  snorkels! And no fins. Sometimes the current is strong in Komodo and pretty much everyone wished they brought their own fins. 🤿  Buy a snorkel + fins set here!  

✅ Proper shoes!!!  You don’t need trekking shoes for the Komodo Island Nature Walk or the trek up to the viewpoint on Padar, but I really wouldn’t suggest only bringing flip-flops! The people on the boat who only brought flip-flops were  really  struggling on these small hikes.

The deck on a luxury komodo National park boat tour that departs from labuan bajo, flores.

All About The Second Komodo Cruise I Took – The LUXURY Boat! 

Want to travel the Komodo Islands in style with a proper bed, luxurious meals, and a private photographer to capture all your memories? Well, then THIS part of the guide is for you! 

I was in Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo Island National Park, for over a month, and during that time I tried out the backpackers’ boat mentioned earlier in this guide, as well as some of the more luxurious Komodo island cruises that depart from Flores. 

Keep reading to learn about the Classic 3/day-2/night Komodo Cruise! 

two girls kayaking at Pink Beach in Komodo National Park, in Indonesia. Kayaks are included if you take a more high-end Komodo Boat Tour.

9 MORE Things You Can Do In Komodo National Park On A Luxury Cruise 

There was some overlap in the two tours I took, they both went to Pink Beach, Komodo Island, and hiked up to the viewpoint at Padar Island. 

Here are 9 MORE things you can do in Komodo National Park, that were included with the second (“luxury”) cruise itinerary. ⤵️

Taka Makassar Sandbar

1. Visit Taka Makassar Island 

Taka Makassar is technically a sandbar in the middle of the Komodo Sea, and it would be paradise – IF it weren’t for the 100 other people there when we went 😅. 

Our boat pulled up at the same time all the other tours did, so it was a bit too crowded to be enjoyable. 

But I’ve seen some people take private tours to Taka Makassar that make it look like a true paradise! 

Watching The Bats Make Their Sunset Migration At Kalong Island from a komodo boat tour docked offshore.

2. Watch The Bats Make Their Sunset Migration At Kalong Island 

Every day at sunset the bats fly out from Kalong Island, where they all nest as a herd, to go hunt for the night. 

It’s truly an  amazing  experience to watch the hoards of bats fly out into the sunset! 

Around 6 PM you see the cruise ships, tiny fishing boats, and luxury Phinisis all dock to watch the migration.

At first, the migration just looks like a flock of birds, then when you look closely you see the distinct outlines of the bat wings 

While that sounds kind of intense, our guide told us that there are two types of bats on Kalong Island. There are large bats and teeny tiny ones. The large bats look scarier, but these are just harmless fruit bats.  

It’s the tiny breed of bats on Kalong Island that actually drink blood (creepy!), but they never attack people, just animals. 

🦇 Not Planning to take a whole multi-day boat tour? You can visit Kalong Island independently! ▶  Click Here to Book a Sunset Boat Tour of Kalong Island!

💡  Note:  If you’re afraid of Bats, don’t worry! The boats are parked at a distance. 

Giant Manta rays in Komodo National Park. The Manta Rays swim in an ocean corridor about 10 Meters under where the boats are docked from Komodo Boat Tours.

3. Swim With The Giant Manta Rays (!!!!) At Manta Point

Having the opportunity to swim with the Giant Manta Rays at Komodo’s Manta Point was the main reason I decided to take a second boat tour of the islands. 

When we set off to do this excursion on the second day, the guides were trying to prepare us from disappointment in case there weren’t any mantas around. They are wild animals after all, and while the tour operators know their migration patterns it’s not a 100% guarantee you will see them. 

I’m happy to report that this experience completely surpassed my expectations. 

I was swimming along with at least 10 giant manta rays in an ocean corridor where they flock to. 

island cruise in bali

Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? That movie was one of my favorites as a kid – there’s one scene where the main character Nemo and his little friends are off to school, and the “school bus” is a giant Manta Ray where all the little fish hop on. 

One of the coolest things to see was that this scene from the movie was based on real life!

There were a ton of tiny little fish swimming under the Giant Manta Rays in Komodo National Park – just like in the movie! (Although it was too far for me to see if any of them were Clown Fish, like Nemo). 

🚨  NOTE!!!   This activity is best for strong swimmers! You’re given fins and a life vest, but the current is very rough where the Manta Rays swim. It’s not dangerous, but if you’re not a strong swimmer you might only get a glimpse of them. 

🚩 Ethical Issues  – The Manta Rays at Manta Point in Komodo National Park aren’t fed, and you’re observing them from a good 10-20 foot distance, so   swimming with the Manta Rays was an ethical animal encounter! 

two girls kayaking at Pink Beach in Komodo National Park, in Indonesia. Kayaks are included if you take a more high-end Komodo Boat Tour.

4. Go Kayaking At Pink Beach

This was a fun add-on to the nicer Komodo Cruise I took – Not only did they have  working  snorkels (the luxury!) they also brought some kayaks for the guests to enjoy. 

My friend and I took out the kayaks at Pink Beach and there was no tide on the crystal-clear blue water, making it super easy for us to explore the whole bay. 

We kayaked around all the boats docked at Pink Beach and the photographer on our tour took some  gorgeous  drone shots of us while we were out having fun that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life <3. 

a wild sea turtle in komodo national park in Indonesia. sea turtles are one of the animals you can see while snorkeling on your komodo boat tour.

5. Spot Seaturtles While Snorkeling <3 

This isn’t so much an activity as just something you’ll run into if you spend time swimming around the Komodo Islands. The wildlife in Komodo National Park is so vibrant.

However, even though on our last day on the Backpackers’ Boat we stopped off at “Turtle Point”, I had way better luck spotting seaturtles at the snorkel spots the second boat tour took us to. 

Our guide was great about pointing out wild seaturtles to us, I think we saw  three  (!!!) while snorkeling from Manta Ray Point to Taka Makassar Island. 

Bioluminescent Plankton is just one of many things you can see in Komodo National Park in Indonesia on a Komodo Boat Tour.

RELATED ARTICLE 🏝 Travel Guide to Gili T Island

6. Experience The Glowing Bioluminescence While Night Swimming

Again, this isn’t even a part of a Komodo Tour – it’s just another AMAZING thing you will experience in Komodo National Park! 

Some people on the tour asked if we could go night swimming since the boat was docked. The guide replied,  “sure, but just so you know the water might glow”.  

THE WATER MIGHT GLOW?!?!? 

Our guide was  super  nonchalant about it but apparently, there’s a ton of bioluminescent algae in Komodo National Park that is very safe but makes the water and sand glow in the dark. 

I had experienced the bioluminescent algae in the  Gili Islands  a few years ago and didn’t even know it occurred outside the islands. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see it in Komodo!  

A girl on the bow of the boat posing for a photo on a komodo boat tour from Bali, Indonesia.

7. Take Photos With Your Private Photographer!

One of the super-cool things about taking the nicer and more luxurious Komodo Boat Tour was that it included a private photographer that would take pictures of us on the tour.

Most of my photos in this guide are from the second Komodo Cruise I took because we had a photographer following us around!

💡 Tip: If you’re taking a nicer Komodo Boat Tour make sure it includes a photography service! Most of them do.

The viewpoint at Kelor Island is one of the stops you make on a Komodo Boat Tour.

8. Hike To The View Point At Kelor Island

This was the last stop for both the Backpackers’ Boat and the Luxury Cruise, (but after partying for 4-days straight no one on the Backpackers’ Boat had the energy to hike to the viewpoint!).

Kelor Island is just 15 minutes away from Labuan Bajo, and on our last day, we stopped there to snorkel the coral reef and hike to the viewpoint.

While it’s only a 10-minute hike up to the top of Kelor Island, once you get there the view is literally a screensaver. It was the PERFECT way to end our trip!

a plate of crawfish and corn being served on a komodo boat tour. indonesia.

9. Eat Really Good Food!

The meals on the luxury Komodo Cruise I took from Labuan Bajo were all next-level. We had fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables, all presented and plated in a very high-end way.

It honestly blew me away how nice the meals were on the 🚢 Luxury Komodo Cruise . After the first Komodo boat tour I took where the food was comically bad I didn’t know what to expect!

I was beyond impressed with the quality of food on the Luxury Komodo Cruise!

💡 Note: Most of the tour companies related to the Luxury Komodo Cruises are actually travel agents that work with independent boat owners – So make sure you see photos of the actual boat you’ll be staying on before you book! Experiences may vary depending on your boat!

Padar Island Viewpoint at sunset in Komodo National Park

Komodo Boat Tour: FAQs

Common questions people have about Komodo National Park: 

Is Komodo Open For Tourists?

As of right now Komodo Island and Komodo National Park are 100% open for tourism, but there’s a bit of a push and pull from the Indonesian government (who wants to massively raise admission prices to the national park) and the citizens of Flores (who depend on the tourism to live). 

Because of this struggle between the people and the government, protests from the citizens of Labuan Bajo blocking the airport and roads are becoming more common. 

Can You Do A Day Trip To Komodo Island?

You can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you have other overland activities planned in Flores, like visiting Wae Rebo and Bajawa, it wouldn’t be worth the flight to Labuan Bajo from Bali. 

Instead of a day trip, I recommend taking at least a 2-night/3-day tour of the islands by boat – it doesn’t cost much more than the day trips and it’s way better value for the money! 

A komodo dragon on the beach in komodo national park.

Can You Stay Overnight On Komodo Island?

While there are some 🏨 Resorts You Can Stay In Komodo National Park , which is made up of 30 different islands, you can’t actually stay on Komodo Island. 

Instead, most people book a boat tour and sleep on the boat while sailing in the park. Some of the more luxurious boats are like floating resorts! 

How Many Days Do You Need In Komodo?

I took a 3-day/2-night sailing trip to Komodo National Park as well as a 3-night/4-day and I think  the longer the better. 

I see some diving liveaboard cruises advertising 7 days and I wish I knew how to dive so I could take that as well! There’s so much to do in Komodo, you’re not going to get bored! 

Can You Do A Day Trip From Bali To Komodo?

Unfortunately, no – you cannot do a day trip from Bali to Komodo. This is because the gateway to Komodo National Park is on the island of Flores, and the only way to get there from Bali is by flying. 

At a  minimum , you need to spend 2 nights in Flores to Visit Komodo National Park, but I recommend budgeting for three to four nights. That way you can arrive in Labuan Bajo, which is the port city where Komodo cruises depart, and then take a 2-night sailing trip to Komodo National Park.  

Is It Safe To Visit Komodo Island? 

Thousands of tourists visit Komodo Island every year with no mishaps, but you do need to remember that Komodo Dragons are wild animals and can be unpredictable at times. 

There are always local guides present around the animals at Komodo Island, and they’re all Komodo Island natives that know the animals and how they behave. 

That being said, there have been some mishaps, with the  most recent attack being on a young boy in 2007.  Before that, there hadn’t been an attack on a human since the 1970s. 

Komodo Dragons on the beach on Komodo Island

Is It Worth Visiting Komodo Island?

It’s 100000% worth visiting Komodo National Park for the gorgeous nature and vivid wildlife.

Komodo Island however is a bit of a tourist trap, where the only thing to do is take a picture behind a very sleepy-looking Komodo Dragon. 

If you would like a more authentic Komodo Dragon experience, I’ve heard good things about visiting Rinca Island, which is another island in Komodo National Park where the dragons naturally live, and it’s less touristy than Komodo Island. 

Can You Have A Komodo Dragon As A Pet? 

Nope! Don’t be fooled by their sleepy appearance, Komodo Dragons are vicious wild animals! They don’t have a history of attacking humans on Komodo Island however because they are kept well-fed. 

island cruise in bali

Labuan Bajo Guide 

Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo National Park where you will be starting or finishing your trip before flying back to Bali. 

Full disclosure, I was supposed to stay in Labuan Bajo for two days after my first Komodo Boat Tour ended, but I wound up staying  a whole month  because I fell in love with the town and the island of Flores! 

Labuan Bajo is a sleepy port city, but it’s a great break from the hustle of larger cities in Bali – plus there’s a ton to do from sailing Komodo to exploring the island of Flores overland. 

Keep reading for a short guide to Labuan Bajo ⤵️

🏨 Where to Stay In Labuan Bajo 

Seaesta Komodo Hostel & Hotel is one of the best hotels and hostels to stay at in Labuan Bajo.

RELATED ARTICLE 🏨 Best Hotels In Labuan Bajo, Flores

Labuan Bajo has become famous in recent years for having these  gorgeous  all-white Santorini-Inspired hotels.

The best hotel in Labuan Bajo is  Loccal Collection , but if you’re on a budget  Seaesta Hotel & Hostel  is also amazing! 

Fresh fish is caught daily & grilled to order at the Labuan Bajo fish market.

Where To Eat In Labuan Bajo 

After a lot of trial and error, my favorite cafe in Labuan Bajo (where I’m sitting and writing this post right now) is  Bacarita Cafe.  It’s in the center of town, kind of hidden above the Starbucks. 

They do great coffee, western, and Indonesian food, there’s wifi, and the prices are really good! 

I also loved eating at the  Labuan Bajo fish market  come nightfall. Lots of fish vendors line up their stalls and you order whole fish, which they then grill or fry fresh to order and serve with rice and sambal. My favorite was the grilled squid! 

Other Activities In Labuan Bajo & Flores 

I was in Flores for over a month and here are some other amazing activities I did while in and around Labuan Bajo: 

Rangko Cave is a half hour outside of labuan Bajo, the town that you will be dropped off at after you finish your Komodo Islands Boat Tour.

Visit Rangko Cave:   Rangko Cave  is a half hour outside of the town of Labuan Bajo and a very memorable experience. It’s a salt-water cave so you can float without effort, which made me love it even more than the  Cenote caves  I swam in Mexico.  

Rangko Cave has  crystal-clear  blue water you can swim in, and the only way to get there is by taking a tiny boat from mainland Flores so you do need a tour to visit. ▶  Click Here to Book a Tour of Rangko Cave!

💡Tip:  In the afternoon, the sun aligns with Rangko Cave to light it up naturally from within. Amazing, right? wellllllll, that’s what everyone else thinks too!  We got there at 10 AM and even though it was kinda dark we had the cave  all to ourselves  until 11 AM when the other tourists started flooding in and the small cave quickly felt crowded. 

Sunset Tour to See The Famous Kalong Bats

Take A Sunset Tour to See The Famous Kalong Bats:  Watching the  sunset bat migration  out of Kalong Island from our boat tour in Komodo National Park is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in Indonesia, and I’ve done some  crazy  things   here! ▶  Click Here to Book a Sunset Boat Tour of Kalong Island!

Wae Rebo Traditional Village is just one of the many amazing things you can do on the island of Flores after taking a Komodo Boat Tour.

Trek To Wae Rebo Traditional Village:   Wae Rebo is most usually visited on 2-day overnight trips  since it’s a difficult location to reach. You need to drive 4 hours outside of Labuan Bajo (over super bumpy roads), and then hike 1.5-3 hours uphill to reach the traditional village. Once you get there, you can experience one of the most picturesque traditional villages in Indonesia. ▶  Click Here to Book a Tour of Wae Rebo!

Cunca Wulang Waterfall in Flores is one of the many activities you can do after taking a boat tour of the komodo islands.

Visit Cunca Wulang Waterfall:  Full disclosure –  Cunca Wulang  is the most unhinged waterfall I’ve visited in Indonesia. You need to hike for around 20 minutes to a rope bridge (which is kinda falling apart), but the reward is a  gorgeous  waterfall with a natural pool you can swim in! 

I think Cunca Wulang’s infrastructure suffered during the pandemic, and it wasn’t really kept up with – but if you’re into an  adventure , the reward at the end of the path is a truly gorgeous waterfall with a natural pool you can swim in! ▶  Click Here to Book a Private Tour That Includes a Trip to Cunca Wulang Waterfall!

Two girls hanging out on the bow of the ship on the Backpackers' Komodo Boat tour from Lombok to Flores!

Komodo Islands Boat Tour: Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this guide to visiting Komodo National Park in Indonesia as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Just to recap, there are around 30 islands in Komodo National Park, and most travelers choose to visit via multi-day sailing trips that stop for day trips to different islands. 

Boat tours to Komodo depart from the islands of  Lombok and Flores  in Indonesia, in this guide I talked about the two that I took.

One, the  “Backpackers’ Boat” which runs from Lombok to Flores  and sails through Komodo, and the other more  Luxurious Komodo Cruise that starts and ends in Flores.  🚢 I Recommend This Luxury Cruise for the same price as the Backpacker’s Boat!

There are a bunch of different types of  Komodo sailing trips  you can take, from high luxury to ultra-budget. If you’re into diving, there are also  Divin g Liveaboard Cruises  that run out of Flores. 

If you’re interested in taking the backpackers’ boat, I recommend Wanua Adventures. For all other Komodo Cruises, you have the option to book online through  Klook , which is a popular tour provider in Indonesia. 

I hope you have an amazing time on your Komodo Sailing Trip! It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience I recommend to everyone planning a trip to Bali & Indonesia. 

-Katie 

Looking for more information on Indonesia?

I fell in love with Indonesia in 2019 and I’ve been traveling back ever since! If you’re planning a trip to Bali & Indonesia and looking for more information, consider reading some of my other posts:

– 4 Best Coffee Plantations in Bali – ULTIMATE Guide To Taking A Komodo Island Boat Tour – How To Get From Bali To Komodo Island – How To Visit Wae Rebo Traditional Village – Best Places To Stay In Labuan Bajo For Every Budget – Guide To Visiting Cunca Wulang Waterfall From Labuan Bajo – Bali Travel Tips: 50 Essential Dos & Don’ts – Complete Transportation Guide for Getting Around Bali – BEST Things To Do In East Nusa Tenggara & Flores

island cruise in bali

Katie Caf is a travel expert and the founder of Katie Caf Travel. She has been full-time traveling through North, Central, & South America; as well as Europe, Africa, and now Asia for three years. A former New Yorker, Katie grew up in the USA and frequently writes about her travels both close to home and abroad. Now living in Bali, she is an authority on all things Bali and Indonesia Travel Related. Her mission is to help her readers travel better, and more often by providing quality travel resources and first-hand accounts of what to expect while on the road.

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Sail Sensations Cruise – Lembongan Bali Daylight Cruise

 fantastic sailing cruise to lembongan island –  sail sensations cruise .

Sail Sensations Cruise is one of the daylight cruise experiences to visit  Lembongan Island using a luxury catamaran boat. This Sail Sensations Cruise will take you onboard using 27 meters long vessel of the sail-assisted motorized catamaran to cross Bali Strait. It sails to the tranquillity island with the golden sandy beach along the coastal area. Sail Sensations Cruise is one of the fantastic cruise trips in Bali serves you with an exciting cruise experience to explore the blue ocean. Meanwhile, you will enjoy the fun ship cruise with a sailing catamaran and friendly services from the professional crew that complete your experiences in Bali. This cruise is ideal for you who love the sailing cruise trip using a catamaran boat and going slow sailing to the serene island. There is no doubt that you can contact our team to book the spaces at daylight cruise Sail Sensations and get the confirmation soon.

Sails Sensation Cruise Explore Lembongan Island

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Sail Sensation Cruise (Code: BSI-CRU008) Special PRICE: Adult : IDR 1,512,000 net/person Children : IDR 931,000 net/child (Children age: 04 – 12 years old) Sail Sensations Cruise Inclusions:

  • 21% Government tax and service charge
  • Tea or Coffee throughout the day
  • Snorkelling
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  • Round trip hotel transfer
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Sail Sensations Cruise – Bali Daylight Cruise

The trip is taking from Waka Nusa’s private marina at Benoa Port to the stunning Nusa Bay, in Lembongan Island. Furthermore, the Sail Sensations Cruise will take you approximately one and a half hour sailing to Lembongan depending on the wind condition. The sailing catamaran takes guests on a leisurely cruise and enjoys the fresh of sea breezes. Meanwhile, the Sail Sensations Cruise will serve coffee, tea and pastries await guests after boarding indoor or outdoor seating areas. Moreover, the cruise allows the guests to travel in comfort while enthusiastic fishermen can join the crew throwing lines of the back of the boat. Sail Sensations Cruise Boarding Information

  • Depart from Benoa Port: 09.00 am
  • Arriving at Benoa Port: 05.00 pm
  • Boarding Time at least 30 minutes before departure

What to Bring on Sail Sensations Cruise?

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Sails Sensation Cruise – Terms and Conditions

  • The above rates of Sail Sensations Cruise are valid until 31 March 2020.
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  • Round trip hotel transfers are covering for the hotel area such as Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Kuta, Seminyak and Sanur Only. There will be any additional charge for pick up service outside of this hotel area.
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Cancellation fee will be charged if the cancellation is made within:

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  • This cancellation policy is valid for individual booking and not valid for group booking. Meanwhile, we will advise the cancellation policy for group booking on the confirmation sheet.

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A Balinese Youth Performance Jangger dances  Janger dances is one of Bali’s unique dances created in the 1930s. Batel Gamelan or Gender Wayang instruments playing in the background, and Janger is danced by 10 pairs of young men and women. The group of women is called Janger, while the men are called Kecak. They would […]

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Why The Gili Islands Are One Of The Greatest Trips You Can Take From Bali

Posted: November 5, 2023 | Last updated: November 5, 2023

  • Gili Islands are top small island destinations in Indonesia, close to Bali and Lombok, offering pristine beaches and abundant marine life.
  • Gili Trawangan is the most popular island with great scuba diving and snorkeling, while Gili Meno is quieter and preferred for honeymooners.
  • The main way to get to the Gili Islands is by ferry, with no motorized vehicles on the islands, offering horse and cart or bicycle as transportation options.

The Gili Islands are perhaps the top small island destinations in Indonesia. They are one of the top attractions for those visiting the much larger neighboring islands of Bali and Lombok. The Gili Islands are a trio of three small islands just off the coast of Lombok.

While they are some distance from Bali, the Gili Islands are also one of the top things to do while exploring in and around Bali . They are much closer to Lombok, a great alternative to the more commercialized and hectic neighbor, Bali . Here is what to know about the Gili Islands, and why you should visit them from Bali.

What To Know About The Three Gili Island Tropical Paradises

The three Gili Islands are Gili Trawangan (called Gili T), Gili Meno, and Gili Air. All three islands are popular tourist destinations with plenty of resorts with many tropical-style bungalows, swimming pools, bars, and restaurants.

Gili Trawangan (aka Gili T):

Of the three islands, by far the most popular destination and the "it" destination is Gili T. Gili T attracts crowds of international travelers to its pristine beaches with some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling (visitors are often stunned by the abundance of marine life and coral formations around the islands).

Gili T is the largest of the islands and is around 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) long and 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) wide.

Gili Meno is in the middle of the islands and is the smallest. The island is considered the quietest of the three islands and a preferred destination for those wanting to enjoy the islands without the large throngs of tourists that frequent Gili.

It is a popular destination for honeymooners and like Gili T, it has no motorized traffic.

Gili Air is the closest island to Lombok and is also popular for its pristine tropical beaches and its rich marine life (that includes turtles). The vibe of Gili Air is in between the crowded party atmosphere of Gili T and the more laid-back and tranquil atmosphere of Gili Meno.

Many tourists (or at least those with enough time) visit all three islands. They can either island hop and stay on each island or have their accommodation on one island and take day trips to the other islands.

Related: Prambanan Is The Largest Hindu Temple Complex In Indonesia (& This Is What It's Like To Visit)

Getting To The Gili Islands & Getting Around The Islands

The main way to get to the Gili Islands is by ferries, mostly small high-speed ferries. These ferries typically call into all three of the islands. The quickest way to get to the Gili Islands is from Lombok (around a 15-minute ferry ride) but most people come from the much more popular Bali Island (a 2 to 3-hour ferry ride).

  • There is no need to book the ferries from Lombok. The last ferry leaves Gili T for Lombok (stopping by the other islands) at 5:00 p.m.

One of the most startling first impressions of Gili T is the late morning 'rush hour.' This is when most of the visitors have checked out of their accommodation for the day and have gone to the harbor while at the same time when most of the new visitors are arriving. The harbor can be very busy around 11:00 a.m., but the crowd soon dissipates and disappears.

There are no motorized vehicles on the islands so the main form of transportation (at least for those with luggage) is by horse and cart (locally called a cidomo ). Otherwise, there are plenty of bicycles for rent on the islands. It only takes a couple of hours to completely walk around the islands.

Related: 10 Best Things To Do In Indonesia During The Summer Months

Activities Offered On The Gili Islands

Activities on the Gili Islands are somewhat typical for tropical island destinations. The islands are all about sunbathing on the beach, snorkeling or scuba diving along the coasts, and walking or cycling around the islands. They are places to relax cocktail in hand.

  • Activities On The Islands: Snorkeling, Scuba Diving
  • Activities Around The Islands: Boat Tours, Waterfall tours, Volcano Hikes

The main activities actually offered on the islands are scuba diving and snorkeling, but other tours are also sold on the islands. One common tour is guided hikes up the jungle-covered volcano Mount Rinjani that dominates the center of Lombok Island (this tour is normally offered as a 2-day / 1-night or 3-day / 2-night hiking trip).

There are also tours of the famous tropical waterfalls on Lombok Island .

Another of the popular tours is a 4-day / 3-night cruise from Lombok Island to Flores Island. Along the way, guests swim with whale sharks, go snorkeling, go on island hikes, and visit the famous Komodo Dragons (the largest living lizards on Earth).

Indonesia is a very large and diverse country with a countless range of attractions worth seeing. See everything from bizarre mythical faces carved into the sulfur-smoking cliff faces to the largest Buddhist temple ever built.

Why The Gili Islands Are One Of The Greatest Trips You Can Take From Bali

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Cruises to and from Benoa, Bali

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Bali Cruises

Spiritual and mountainous, ringed by white sand beaches, Bali is famous for its beauty, energy, and creativity. Bali cruises are a wonderful introduction to this enchanting island. With a rich Hindu culture and deep traditions coupled with an exciting culinary scene, Benoa is the gateway to the island’s beaches, rainforests, emerald rice paddies, and 10,000 temples. Visit the popular Tanjung Benoa Beach, explore arty Ubud, then watch an authentic Kecak fire dance before setting sail for some of Asia’s most iconic destinations. 

On cruises from Bali, you’ll discover lush tropical forests and dramatic limestone scenery on the island of Phuket, fringed by some of the best white sand beaches in Thailand. Enjoy authentic Malaysian street food at the Petaling Street market in Kuala Lumpur, and visit the holy Mahindarama Temple and British colonial Fort Cornwallis in Penang. Embark on an immersive cruise around southeast Asia to or from Bali with Celebrity Cruises.

Itineraries

View all cruises to & from bali, featured destinations on bali cruises, phuket, thailand.

Celebrity’s cruises from Bali include an overnight stay in Phuket, Thailand. This island is famous for its clear waters, breathtaking beaches, and lush surroundings, including mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, as well as the dramatic limestone scenery to the west. Travel to the top of Nakkerd Hill near Chalong to marvel at the iconic Big Buddha statue that overlooks the land and sea below. Find the perfect blend of relaxation and cultural interest at Rawai Village, nestled against the turquoise waters to the east of the island and known for its colorful longtail boats and sea gypsy community.

Penang, Malaysia

The port of Penang blends colonial and ancient history with natural beauty and a vibrant cultural scene. This destination includes an overnight stay so you’ll have plenty of time to explore here. Take a tour at the Tropical Spice Garden in Jalan Teluk Bahang, home to thousands of indigenous herbs and spices coveted the world over. Visit the visually enchanting Kek Lok Si Temple, one of the largest in Southeast Asia, famous for its Guanyin statue that towers at over 350 feet, and pays homage to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Kuala Lumpur

Explore the exhilarating Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll find world-class dining and attractions such as temples, nature preserves, and historic museums all within close reach. From gleaming shopping malls to bustling street food markets, you’ll find an intriguing balance of authentic charm and ultra-modern comfort in Kuala Lumpur. Head to the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Petronas Towers, once the world’s tallest buildings, then learn about the fascinating layers of Buddist history and culture at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, which still functions as a place of worship for the local Tamil people.

Our Ships Sailing To & From Bali

Why sail from bali with celebrity cruises.

Bali is one of the world’s most glamorous travel destinations, casting its spell on anyone who visits. You’ll sail on the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, a sophisticated, contemporary, and elegant ship. Enjoy exclusive dining, lounge access, and all-suite accommodations at The Retreat. Indulge in a soothing massage at sea at The Spa. Spend the afternoon basking by the pool before sundowners at the Sunset Bar, overlooking the ship’s wake as you head for the next port.

Celebrity offers thrilling itineraries departing from Bali and visiting some of the most exciting ports in Southeast Asia, each including two overnight stays. Your Bali cruises will take you to ancient temples, lush tropical jungles, unspoiled remote beaches, and vibrant city centers with luxury shopping and artisan markets alike. In addition, you will be able to enjoy Celebrity’s world-class service, accommodations, and dining. Discover the true wonders of the Balinese landscape, culture, and beyond on a luxury voyage with Celebrity Cruises.

Benoa, Bali Port Facilities & Location

The Tanjung Benoa cruise port is Bali’s principal port, buzzing with vessels of all sizes. It’s conveniently located just a short drive from the dreamy beaches of the south coast, the capital city of Denpasar, and artistic Ubud. You’ll find a recently updated terminal area with comfortable climate-controlled spaces, information desks, and easy access to transportation.

Top Sights & Attractions in Bali

Nusa dua beach.

Around Nusa Dua Beach, lined with luxury resorts, there are thrilling watersports, great local restaurants, and warm waters to swim in. There are many different types of activities and tours available from here, such as glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling adventures, biking tours, and more. Nusa Dua is a great place to relax, with many beachside food and beverage options that allow you to lie back and enjoy the sun as you sip a cocktail while listening to the waves.

Pasifika Museum

This family-friendly museum is the perfect place to visit and learn about the deep cultural and historical roots of both Bali and the larger Asian Pacific. The museum has hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from countries located all over the region and features over 10 pavilions and a beautiful fountain and garden area to relax in. The Pasifika museum is centrally located, and a great experience for children while visiting the area.

Caow Eng Bio Temple

Caow Eng Bio is a Chinese Buddhist temple famous for its traditional red facade and ornate Chinese architecture, not commonly found in Bali, which is mainly Hindu. The temple is located at the far end of the Tanjung Benoa peninsula.

Learn More About Asia Shore Excursions

Top things to do in bali, visit a local spa.

Bali is famous for its warm hospitality and services that center around relaxation, inner peace, and comfort. Local spas in Bali embody the island’s culture of wellness with traditional healing practices and serene surroundings. Indulge the senses with a Balinese full body massage, provided with age-old techniques meant to stimulate the flow of “qi”, or energy.

Take a Balinese Cooking Class

Balinese cuisine is defined by fresh ingredients, vibrantly diverse spices, tropical fruits, and traditional variations of rice as a staple with each meal. Take a cooking class to learn how the Balinese cook with flavor and health in mind, utilizing techniques that have existed for millennia. There are many popular vegetarian dishes in Bali, as well as fantastic pork, duck, and seafood dishes that are native to the island and its culture.

Go on a Glass-Bottomed Boat Ride

The biodiverse waters off the shores of Bali are full of incredible species of sea creatures and a glass-bottomed boat ride is one of the best ways to see them. Look out for protected and endangered sea turtles, reef life, and a variety of colorful butterfly fish, clownfish, and angelfish from the clear bottom of a boat as you travel with a guided tour. You could also see a number of other local species. Keep a lookout for sea eagles, and try to spot the brightly-colored beaks of Balinese hornbills as you sail along the shore.

What should I eat in Bali?

Food in Bali is diverse, plentiful, whether you opt for one of the island’s high-class restaurants or fresh street food. Try the many variations of rice and meat wrapped in palm leaves, and a traditional babi guling (suckling pig) before heading back to your ship. Vegetarians will love the fresh Indonesian salad known as gado gado, made with tempeh, bean sprouts, and a peanut sauce.

What's the culture and history of Bali?

As part of a larger Indonesian cultural tradition, the people of Bali share many customs with other islands in the region. They also pride themselves on their own cultural niche; unlike the rest of Indonesia, Bali is a Hindu island, practicing Agama Hindu Dharma. The Balinese have a close relationship with nature and believe that all-natural elements have a symbiotic spiritual and human connection. 

Bali has a deep history of imperial, colonial, and independent rule that spans back to prehistoric populations on the island. Bali was ruled for many years by the Javanese Majapahit Empire, and in more recent times, colonized by the Dutch. Indonesia became independent in the middle of the 20th century and Bali is now one of its most famous vacation spots.

Where can I go shopping in Bali?

As an island that’s lured artistic and creative types for decades, Bali offers plenty of shopping opportunities. Shop at the Mertha Segara Samuh Art Market for hand-made souvenirs with bright colored tapestries and Hindu-inspired iconography available at practically any of the market’s stalls. Visit the Bali Collection complex for a more upscale experience, complete with dining and entertainment options to accompany you as you shop. Handmade jewelry, leather purses, natural products, beachwear, sarongs, batiks, and paintings are all great souvenirs of the island.

How can I get around Bali?

The easiest and most convenient way to get around the island on your Bali cruise is by private car or a metered taxi known as a “Bluebird”. Central tourist areas of Benoa such as Nusa Dua are walkable, but in the humidity of the tropics, you may find car transport more comfortable and convenient. If you’re in a group, you can ride with a private minivan (known as Bemo) service, or book larger shuttles and buses to accommodate more people.

What are the local currency and tipping customs?

The local currency in Bali is the Indonesian rupiah, and ATMs are abundant around both the main city center and surrounding beaches. Try to pay with cash when you can, and be careful when using a credit card at smaller stores, as they may not accept them. Tipping is not customary in Benoa, however, tour guides and restaurant workers are always grateful for a polite gratuity.

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    When you arrive at Benoa, it's like hitting the Bali jackpot: You get all the beauty of this exotic location in a quiet, uncrowded setting where you can really soak it all in. Cruise to Bali and head to the beaches at Nusa Dua, with their golden sands and rocky cliff sides, or head out on a kayak in the calm waves of Tanung Benoa.

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