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Islands of Indonesia

Sulawesi Circle (Makassar to Makassar), 20 Nights

Seafaring Kingdoms

Indonesia is the world’s biggest archipelago, with over 17,000 islands. Each one has its own allure and its own story. The diversity of the cultures among the Indonesian archipelago is only matched by the diversity of the wildlife. The marine parks are home to the most biodiverse reefs in the world, and the rainforests are home to unique creatures both large and small. Many of Indonesia’s islands are relatively untouched and new to tourism. Sometimes difficult to get to, they are little gems of paradise and a cruise by small ship is the perfect way to see them.

On this voyage, sail around the island of Sulawesi, which is famous for remote regions of cultural heritage, and inhabited by rare species such as the group of small primates known as Tarsiers, the Sulawesi hornbill, the Maleo and the Celebes Macaque. Visit the Bajo people, known as sea gypsies, in their stilt villages built over the water, and dive beneath the surface at the world-renowned reef locations of Bunaken and Lembeh. See the traditional Phinisi boats being built on the beach at Tana Beru, and encounter sun bears and orangutans in Kalimantan.  Over 20 nights, experience another world from the comfort of the Coral Adventurer.

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12 March 2020

Bridge Deck Suite $29,990 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $21,990 n/a
Explorer Deck $19,990 $29,985*
Promenade Deck $17,990 $26,985*
Coral Deck $16,990 $25,485*

Prices are listed in Australian dollars * Limited sole use occupancy available

Optional Charter flights: $850 per person each way. Darwin to Makassar and/or Makassar to Darwin. Limited seats available, call our reservations team to confirm your booking.


the itinerary

Embarkation: Board at Makassar Port at 4:30pm for 6:00pm departure
Disembarkation: Arrive and disembark at Makassar Port at 08:30am

The below itinerary is indicative. No two cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same, with each expedition crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.


Included in your cruise is one night accommodation in Darwin, a welcome event, and coach transfers to your charter flight to Makassar.

Day 1: Makassar

Welcome to Indonesia! Explore the ancient seafaring city of Makassar and the Dutch Fort Rotterdam. This bright and friendly city has a blend of nationalities and many historical sites, making it a not to be missed destination.

Day 2: Parepare

Be welcomed to Pare Pare with a colourful traditional dance. Experience the local Buginese village life and handicrafts. View tombstone carvers and blacksmiths at work. Visit the small village of Batu-Batu to visit Sao Mari – a large pole museum housing a collection royal regalia, antiques, ceramics and weaponry. Enjoy a taste of the local cuisine and mingle with the local people.

Day 3: Balabalagan

Arrive at the tranquil islands of Balabalagan in the Makassar Strait. Here you will enjoy snorkelling, diving, and just relaxing at the ideal tropical location.

Day 4: Balikpapan

We visit the large and cosmopolitan city of Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo and journey to the Samboja Lestari Rainforest. Here we encounter the endangered Sun Bear (Helarctor malayanus), the world’s smallest bear. The Sun Bear Centre is dedicated to saving rescued bears. Walk to the adjoining Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation to see the iconic primates. The BOS Foundation rehabilitates orphaned or injured orangutans, as they are taught to survive in the wild in the surrounding rainforest.

Day 5: Samarinda

Samarinda is the capital province of East Kalimantan, located about fifty kilometres upstream from the mouth of the mighty Mahakam River.  A trading town established in 1730, Samarinda holds an intriguing history of Sultanates and traditional Dayak tribes, and the region has a wealth of ecological and cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforests of the world’s third’s largest island.

We are welcomed to Samarinda by the traditional dance Dayak Kenyah. Travel to Pampang where you will experience the culture of the Dayak tribe at the Lamin traditional Longhouse. Enjoy a guided walk to gain a deeper understanding of the life and history of the tribe. Enjoy a visit to a weaving village and 400-year-old mosque is next.

Day 6: Samarinda

Today we enjoy our second-day discovering Samarinda, journeying upriver in the Xplorer tenders upriver for some deeper exploration into the heart of this province.

Day 7: Samarinda

Spend your last morning in Samarinda, with a visit to the Grand Mosque Darussalam, the second largest mosque in the southern hemisphere. This magnificence building’s minaret is the highest point in the city. Enjoy a visit to the Cita Niaga market to shop for souvenirs and handcrafts.

Day 8: Tolitoli

Toli Toli is the city of cloves. Many high-quality spices are cultivated in the steep rolling hills around the township, while fishermen live in stilt houses along the coastline. The centuries-old local folklore traces the history of the people.

Your tour of Toli Toli will take you through the traditional fisherman’s village in becaks (local pedi cabs) to the community house Rumah Adat to view a cultural performance, including Maragai and Mamanuk Tau Panau dances. Enjoy fresh young coconut and local cuisine while browsing local handcrafts. A walk through the village passes the tombs of Toli Toli kings and visits the old mosque before returning to the harbour.

Day 9: Saronde Island

An expedition stop on a picturesque island. Possible snorkelling and beach activities.

Day 10: Bunaken

The most famous snorkelling and diving location in Indonesia, perhaps even the world, Bunaken is a bucket list destination. The underwater world is magnificent with an incredible diversity of marine life.

Bunaken is known for the clarity of its water, and the precipitous reef walls which create an otherworldly diving experience.

While some areas are more suitable for experienced divers, there are many places where snorkelling and beginner diving is possible.


Day 11: Lembeh

Once again, enjoy underwater activities at Lembeh, also known for its reefs and marine life, or simply relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.

The Lembeh Strait is famous all over the world for its unrivalled macro and muck diving. Home to some of the most weird and wonderful marine creatures, Lembeh is a location that you won’t quickly forget.

Day 12: Gorontalo

Go ashore to explore Gorontalo. You may see traditional village buildings, cultural performances, enjoy forest walks, or go kayaking in the harbour. There is the possibility of swimming with whale sharks if they are present in the area.

Day 13: Togean

Pulau Togean is a paradise on earth. It is the home of the Bajau people, whose traditional stilt houses sit above brilliant turquoise waters. Known as ‘sea gypsies’, who live from and on the sea, the Bajau are very welcoming. You will enjoy meeting them and discovering their unique way of of life.

Enjoy water activities such as snorkelling, diving, or kayaking in this beautiful location.

Day 14: Togean

Pulau Togean is like a paradise on earth. The home of the Bajau people, where traditional stilt houses sit above brilliant turquoise waters. Known as ‘sea gypsies’, who live from and on the sea, the Bajau are very welcoming. You will enjoy meeting them and discovering their unique way of of life.

Enjoy water activities such as snorkelling, diving, or kayaking in this beautiful location.

Day 15: Banggai

Dive and snorkel at another group of picturesque islands. You may see the famous Banggai cardinal fish.

Day 16: Kendari: Labengki Island

Located 30 miles from the city of Kendari, Labengki Island is sometimes known as a mini Raja Ampat. The conservation area, which consists of two islands surrounded by little groups of islets, is formed by rocky karst overgrown with various types of orchids.

With white sandy beaches and some small reefs suitable for snorkelling, the area also provides various types of activities including kayaking around the lagoon, village visits and cultural experiences including a visit to the lighthouse, nature hikes and bird watching. A short hike rewards you with an awe-inspiring view towards the pinnacle of the island and over the lagoon.

Day 17: Wakatobi National Park

Enjoy a cultural visit at Liya Village, WangiWangi, before enjoying water activities in this well-known diving destination.

Day 18: Wakatobi National Park

Enjoy a cultural visit to the Bajau community on Kaledupa Island before enjoying water activities in this well-known diving destination.

Day 19: Bau Bau

Coral Adventurer docks in Bau Bau Harbour for official clearance and formalities. Be welcomed by a traditional dance performance, before being whisked away in local petepete transport to tour Buton Island. Visit a traditional market, a fisherman’s village, the Buton Fortress, Kraton (palace), and Wolio Cultural Centre. See cultural performances, and ikat weaving. Enjoy this day in the historical centre of the Buton Kingdom.

Day 20: Tana Beru

This is is the famous place where Phinisi boats have been crafted by the Bugis boat builders since the 14th century. There are ceremonies involved in each stage of the boat building, and the boats are scattered along the coast in various stages of construction. Learn about the traditional construction methods, unchanged for centuries, and climb into a boat to explore its size and the craftsmanship of the boat-builders. Phinisi boats were used by the Makassans to travel as far as Australia and Madagascar.

Day 21: Makassar

Arrive in Makassar to disembark at 8:30am. Dependent on charter flights, a city tour may be included.

March 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
12 March 2020 12 Mar 2020 01 April 2020 01 Apr 2020 $16,990 to $21,990 $16,990 to $21,990 Coral Adventurer Available Book

April 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
12 March 2020 12 Mar 2020 01 April 2020 01 Apr 2020 $16,990 to $21,990 $16,990 to $21,990 Coral Adventurer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • One night accommodation pre-cruise, with welcome event
  • Pre-cruise  and post-cruise transfers
  • All meals
  • House beer and wine during lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour tea and coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours in tender vessels
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Charter flights
  • Post-cruise accommodation
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases

Tipping not required:

Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Adventurer, our crew has no other agenda than your delight.

Now that you’ve chosen your cruise, our reservations specialists are on hand to assist with all of your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

To speak to our reservations specialists contact us during business hours on freecall 1800 079 545 (within Australia), or by email

Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.


Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. It should also include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.

We recommend Travel Insurance by SureSave.

SureSave, is an Australian company who specialise in travel insurance designed for travellers. SureSave provides world assistance through a customer support team, a claims team and an in-house 24/7 Emergency Assistance division. Underwritten by Lloyds of London, you get peace of mind knowing your security is guaranteed.

Please note: SureSave Travel Insurance policies may only be purchased by Australian residents. For international travellers, please discuss your policy requirements with your local insurance provider.