Indonesia, with its vast archipelago, offers incredible cruising experiences that are divided into two distinct seasons. From October to April, the northern regions, particularly Raja Ampat, are the preferred destinations for cruising enthusiasts. On the other hand, from April to September, the focus shifts to the southern regions, encompassing Komodo and Bali.
During the northern cruising season, which spans October to April, Raja Ampat takes center stage. This remote and pristine region located off the coast of West Papua is often hailed as one of the world's most captivating cruising destinations. With its rich marine biodiversity, crystal-clear waters, and endless islands to explore, Raja Ampat offers a dreamlike experience for sea lovers. The tropical climate during this time creates ideal conditions for cruising, as it is the dry season with moderate temperatures and calm seas.
As the weather patterns change, the southern cruising season begins in April and extends through September. This period is characterized by expeditions to the iconic destinations of Komodo and Bali. Komodo National Park, home to the famous Komodo dragons, stunning underwater landscapes, and vibrant coral reefs, attracts adventurers from around the globe. Bali, renowned for its picturesque beaches, cultural heritage, and lively atmosphere, further adds to the allure of this region as a cruising destination.
The shift in focus from north to south is due to the differing climate conditions between the two regions. As the northern season transitions into the wet season, marked by higher chances of rainfall and stronger winds, it becomes less favorable for cruising. Simultaneously, the southern regions experience a drier period, making it more suitable for sailing, snorkeling, diving, and other water activities.
Regardless of the season, cruising in Indonesia offers an extraordinary opportunity to witness the country's natural beauty, encounter diverse marine life, and immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage that each region holds. Whether exploring the enchanting reefs of Raja Ampat or setting sail to witness the dramatic landscapes of Komodo and Bali, Indonesia's cruising seasons promise unforgettable adventures for any seafaring enthusiast.
Passports & Visas
All travellers to Indonesia must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six (6) months from the date of DEPARTURE from Indonesia, and have proof (tickets) of onward or return passage.
Since 2022, Indonesia offers short stay Visa On Arrival (VoA), for tourists who are nationals of more than 160 countries, including most Asian and European countries, Canada & the USA, and Australia & New Zealand. The tourist VoA is valid for 30 days, it is extendable for 30 days, and it cannot be transferred to any other type of stay permit.
Citizens of a small number of countries, however, do not enjoy this privilege and have to apply for a visa in their country of origin prior to arrival. If you are not sure whether your passport entitles you to a VoA , or if you wish to stay longer than 60 days, we recommend you consult the following Indonesian governmental website for more information and e-visa application:
Please assume full responsibility for checking and verifying any and all requirements in regards to a passport, visa, vaccination, or any other entry requirements before travelling to Indonesia. We only provide information and advice on such general matters as climate and clothing in good faith and as a courtesy to you.
Insurance: travel & medical
Our rates never include travel, medical or dive insurance. We strongly urge you to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation. We also strongly advise you to obtain a comprehensive policy with medical insurance, including an emergency evacuation policy (Medivac).
First Aid & Medication
Most vessel operators carry a comprehensive first aid kit and a selection of over-the-counter medication to treat all kinds of minor ailments and injuries. However, it is always advisable to bring your own first aid and medical kit and to bring an ample supply of any prescribed medications you may need.
Never leave even the tiniest cut or coral bruise untreated as it can quickly get infected in the tropical climate. We have the means to treat such cuts and abrasions on board, but it is advisable to bring your own preferred brands of antiseptic ointments and basic first aid materials.
Remember that medical care beyond basic first aid, due to the sometimes-remote regions visited, is not always immediately available. Therefore, if you have a physical, dietary, or any other condition for which you may require special attention, please inform us in writing when the booking is made. If you require medicines such as insulin, or hardware such as asthma inhalers or epi-pens, please make sure you have a sufficient supply at hand.
While all crews are trained in first aid and will do the very best to act, the vessel operators assume no responsibility for any medical care provided to you.
Most of the time the waters in our sailing areas are calm. However, even if you think that your stomach is rock-solid, a squall could turn up and make you feel sick. If you are prone to seasickness, we advise you to consult with your pharmacist or doctor at home to advise the best seasickness tablets for your specific condition.
Locally produced seasickness pills are available in Indonesia. These are most effective, and it is best to take them at least one hour before departure and to keep taking them for at least the first couple of days of the trip. For most people, seasickness usually passes after a day or two once they get used to the motion of the ship.
Malaria has very little incidence offshore and you will spend the better part of the voyage on board, where mosquitoes do not venture at all. Still, on quite a few of our itineraries, we do visit areas on land that are prone to malaria infection.
Overall, the best remedy against malaria is to avoid being bitten, so if you have the experience of easily attracting mosquitoes, we advise you to wear long trousers and shirts that cover up the skin during island visits and treks. Apart from that, you should bring enough stock of good quality mosquito repellent and use it before each trek and shore visit, especially in the early morning and the late afternoon.
If you want stronger protection, you can take malaria prophylactics in tablet form. We recommend you check with your local doctor at home what they recommend and what is best suited for you.
PACKING YOUR BAGS
A day backpack is essential for day hikes to carry things such as your water bottle, insect repellent, and rain jacket. A waterproof wet/dry bag is a good idea for your phone, camera etc.
The short version is less is more! The everyday dress on a yacht is very casual and the tropical climate of Indonesia means you can safely leave all your warm weather gear at home.
In general, pack clothes that are comfortable for walking/trekking and suitable for wearing on the boat, such as cool cottons, T-shirts and shorts, and choose fabrics that dry easily. In respect of the local cultures and customs, bring some clothes that cover your shoulders and knees for village visits.
Ladies: beach throwovers, kaftans and sarongs are always useful. Also, bring a lightweight sundress or two – the boat offers a great setting for a photo shoot, live it up!
No matter what the season, rain is always a possibility in the tropics, so bring a lightweight waterproof jacket; it can sometimes be a bit windy on the boat and this will also help keep you warm. Likewise, a lightweight fleece could be useful for pre-dawn trekking or if there is a cool wind on the boat – even if you don’t need it onboard, it will surely be useful on the plane.
Finally, you might want to bring at least one smart-casual outfit for a sunset cocktail, a festive evening meal on the ship or the unexpected formal occasion.
Pack comfortable trainers, trekking sandals or walking shoes for hikes and walks. Bring socks to wear inside your walking shoes to avoid getting blisters.
You might also want waterproof sandals or reef shoes for wet landings and water activities. Flip-flops (aka thongs or sandals) are great for the beach.
Don’t forget your swimsuit/bikini/shorts/trunks/Speedos - and preferably more than just one swimsuit, so that one or two can be drying while you are wearing another.
Snorkels, masks & fins in many sizes are provided complimentary. However, if you are an avid snorkeler, you may prefer to bring your own fins, mask & snorkel.
If you’re new to snorkelling, you might want to try our Subea Easy breath full-face snorkel masks: it’s an easier option for beginners and you’re welcome to use ours at no charge (available in small/medium and medium/large sizes).
The water is warm but a rash guard (or a wetsuit) will protect you from the sun, abrasions and stings when swimming or snorkeling.
You’ll be spending plenty of time out in the scorching tropical sun, so be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen with a high enough SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, all the more so because of the additional exposure due to the sea breezes and the reflection of the sea.
Cover-ups, sarongs, sun shirts, and other such clothing will ensure that you come back from your trip with just happy memories and photographs – and not sunburn. Just in case you fail to avoid getting sunburnt, bring an aloe-based lotion to soothe burned skin.
A good hat is essential; a wide-brimmed hat or cap will keep the strong equatorial sun off your face and neck.
Sunglasses keep your eyes protected and a strap to hold your glasses can be a good idea for more active adventures.
Skin & Hair Protection
Ladies, it’s important that you take good care of your skin and hair. The sun, seawater and salty air may be beautiful to experience but it can be tough on your body and will wreak havoc on your locks.
Bring moisturizing lotion to soothe skin parched by the sun and the saltwater; bring a leave-in conditioner to de-tangle your hair with ease because the water, mask, and hair-ties will leave it in knots.
Also, consider bringing a scarf or headband to hold back unruly hair, or hair-ties/pins to keep your hair off your face and therefore prevent water seeping into your mask when diving or snorkeling.
General Packing Advice
Essential items and valuables should be packed in your carry-on luggage. Documents, medications, cameras, and even some spare underwear should not be checked in case your bag does not arrive with you. We suggest you make copies of your tickets and the photo page of your passport, just in case.