At a dinner with friends, after more than a year with no travel, we all reminisced about our best holidays. Mine were by far the time my family and I spent in Indonesia aboard Adelaar in 2019!
We were lucky enough to find a moment when all generations could take time-off school and work and join this incredible cruise that took us to Komodo islands directly from Bali.
Arriving in Bali
Traveling from Switzerland, the flight was long but comfortable. The arrival in Bali international airport was the first memorable moment of the trip. The aircraft landed on what seemed to be a path right in the middle of the ocean. As soon as you get off the plane, a smell of incents and flowers combined with the warm, humid temperature gives you a first-hand vacation taste! Stepping inside the corridors leading to the luggage area, Balinese people welcome you with a smile that I have seen nowhere else on earth.
As we wanted to make the most of our time in Indonesia, we asked Adelaar’s reservation team to help us find an eco-resort located in Bali, where we decided to spend a few days before embarking, and another one in Flores, where we stayed after the cruise before heading back to Europe.
The Island of Gods is an example of the Asian hospitality. When it comes to luxury resorts, choices are so wide that it is hard to make up your mind. We listed our criteria and asked Adelaar’s team for advice. In addition to organizing our tailor-made cruise, they ended up finding places for us to stay at. They shortlisted resorts, each more stunning than the last. We decided to go for the “glamping” option in North Bali first, then on a beach eco-resort in Flores after the cruises. Both stays exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort and service.
Our floating home
After a relaxing time on the coastline of the Menjangan National Park in Bali, we headed for Serangan harbor, for an early embarkation on Adelaar. As soon as we stood foot on this 125-year-old lady, we knew we had made the right choice! The kids felt like they were on a pirate ship; my husband and I were just stunned by the quality of materials, and the high maintenance of this vessel, which seemed to come straight out of a novel. As for my mother, I was a little anxious I must say, as it was no easy task convincing her to join a trip on a moving boat across the world! Yet, the library, the wood ceilings, marble bathrooms, comfort of the bedding, everything made it easy for my mother to settle in.
We were introduced to the crew, which is certainly one of the most important aspects when you travel in such remote and isolated areas of the world. These 11 sea men know their job and made us feel safe from day one. The steward Nyoman is just amazing, always around the corner when you need help, a drink, a snack, or just for a chat! All along these 12 days on Indonesian waters, we have got to know each of these incredible individuals, all with different stories but one and unique common goal, make your journey unforgettable!
Our entire itinerary had been customized according to our wishes and criteria: destinations, activities at sea, excursions etc. and they really stood by it. We were not bored for a moment as the rhythm between activities and time-off was ideal for all generations!
There are no suitable words to describe the landscapes we have sailed across. Indonesia is just as fantastic above as beneath the surface. We learned that it is the archipelago’s location on the Ring of Fire and the Coral Triangle that makes it a sanctuary for species diversity and impressive topography.
The local populations that we have met on our way to Flores, through Sumbawa, Moyo, Satonda and Sangeang, have very diverse backgrounds and religions. Adelaar’s Cruise Director, Reto, has over 20 years of experience cruising and diving Indonesia and is very knowledgeable. Get ready for long evening talks about marine life, science, and history if you feel like it!
Last days in paradise
We disembarked the ship on Sebayur island, just a few miles away from Labuan Bajo, where the harbor and airport of Flores are located. We spent our last few days in Indonesia in Komodo Resort, on a paradisiac island surrounded by turquoise waters. It is heavy-hearted that we watched the boat sail away after such a great adventure but happy to have so many memories to bring home!
This trip held a lot “firsts” for the kids, who cannot stop talking about Manta rays and Komodo dragons ever since we got back. My mother is absolutely pleased with her first long-distance travel experience. As for my husband and I, well, we are considering booking another trip next year, with our friends this time!
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