There’s no denying that Bali makes for a wonderful holiday destination, but with over 18,000 islands, there are plenty of other places to explore in Indonesia, offering unspoiled island scenery and authentic cultural encounters.
Indonesia is also an ideal destination for liveaboard or adventure cruises – places like Komodo or Raja Ampat are best explored on a boat, allowing travelers to seek out the remotest islands and best scuba and snorkeling locations, without having to worry about tourist crowds.
Yet, until recently, planning an Indonesia cruise required a fair bit of forward planning. Many local operators don’t have a website, and there’s no way besides word of mouth to find out who to trust. True, you can always book onsite – but if you’re planning to head off the beaten track, you may be stuck for days waiting for a boat.
But companies like Nowboat.com are solving this. Nowboat is the first all in one seafaring platform, collecting over 900 trusted local operators worldwide and allowing travelers to get in touch with them and book at 0% commission.
Indonesia is one of the top countries featured on the platform, with over 160 yacht charters and adventures available – here we’ve selected for you our five favorite Indonesia cruise adventures, available to book on nowboat.com for this summer!
5 Amazing Sailing Destinations in Indonesia
Surf the Moluccas
Serious surfers will almost certainly have the Moluccas on their bucket list. These islands located between West Papua and Sulawesi have long been known for their perfect beaches and reliable winds, offering swells to die for.
A surf cruise of the Moluccas is truly the best way to enjoy these dreamy breaks – having your own charter allows you to chase the best winds and surf conditions, choosing between the West Coast from Morotai and Halmaherarn or the East Coast from Halmahera until the Buli Islands.
Kite Safari Between Lombok and the Gili
Indonesia is not just about surfing – the reliable winds also make it a wonderful destination for kite lovers! Winds from Australia reach the Lombok/Gili area during the Australian winter, making it the ideal region to visit.
This kite Safari travels to some of the most idyllic Gili Islands – not just the famous Gili Air and Gili T, but also hidden gems like Gili Nanggu, Layar and Renggit. If the group includes non-kiters, this is not a problem – there are excellent snorkeling and swimming opportunities every day!
Image credit: Fred Bigio
Dive Alor and Wakatobi
The most popular activity to combine with an Indonesian cruise is definitely diving – after all, Indonesia is home to some of the best scuba destinations in the world!
One of them is Alor, known for having the highest anemone concentration in the world – say hi to Nemo everyone! Nowboat offers a liveaboard expedition travelling from Alor all the way to Wakatobi in Sulawesi, known for their stunning underwater seascapes and hiking opportunities on land.
Meanwhile, the boat will also call at several small islands in the Flores Sea, another great and little-visited Indonesia scuba destination!
Image credit: Christian Gloor
Dive Raja Ampat
Have you ever heard of Raja Ampat? If not, Google it – and you’ll fall in love for sure! This is an archipelago comprising of hundreds of jungle-covered islands, and known for its beaches and coral reefs rich with marine life.
The Raja Ampat Archipelago is not just home to spectacular seascapes, a unique culture and the famous Bird of Paradise – it’s also an incredible diving destination, second to none in terms of biological diversity.
For this reason, Raja Ampat makes for a great live aboard destination – Nowboat offers a 10day cruise of the southern part of Raja Ampat, taking in top dive sites like Southeast Misool famous for its large gorgonians, and the Dampier Strait where manta rays can often be seen.
Image credit: bubusbubus
Jurassic Cruise in Komodo
There are so many reasons to love Komodo! The stunning Pink Beach, the amazing Komodo National Park, the many hidden beaches and untouched swimming spots throughout the area. Ah, and the diving of course!
A 5 day ‘Jurassic cruise’ in a traditional Indonesian phinisi (wooden boat) is a great way to explore Komodo, enjoying the best dive sites and the highlight of the trip – a hike on Rinca Island to see the last ‘dinosaurs’, the famous Komodo dragons!
Image credit: Gary Campbell-Hall
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