Maumere I Lembata I Alor I Savu Island I Sumba I Komodo
The diverse Lesser Sunda Islands, stretching eastwards from Bali, offer the most alluring landscapes and a glorious cornucopia of weaving for textile lovers. Together we will explore the extraordinary ancestral traditions of these islands where textiles are the predominant form of artistic expression, still playing a central role in every significant stage of life, especially marriage and death. Some islanders tell us, “Without cloth, we cannot marry.” However, change is underway in even the remotest villages, and weavers are no longer passing on their skills to the next generation. With this cruise, we will be given a unique opportunity to witness a dying art form before it is gone forever.
We will enjoy the luxury of cruising effortlessly from island to island, crossing a rugged, isolated region where travel by land can be difficult. Along the way, there will be time to enjoy the amazing volcanic scenery, meet the villagers, visit traditional markets, buy local textiles, swim and snorkel over psychedelic coral reefs, relax and have fun. This is a fantastic, adventurous way to travel, providing memories that guests will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Activities: cruise - live on board, sight-seeing, culture, nature, leisure & adventure.
TOUR SCHEDULE: NOT AVAILABLE
This is a cruise group tour, with a fixed itinerary and scheduled start dates.
After arriving on the morning flight from Denpasar to Maumere, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the Ombak Putih in time for a delicious welcome lunch on the deck. The ship will moor on the beautiful Bay of Maumere against the backdrop of the extinct volcano of Ile Kimang. After everyone has settled into their cabin, we will visit a nearby fishing village, built over the water on stilts where we will witness the lifestyles of the local Bugis and Bajao sea gypsies. In the evening, we will relax over cocktails while David and Sue give an introductory talk about the culture and textiles of the local Sikka region before enjoying dinner on the deck. Meals Included : lunch & dinner
We will disembark at Maumere for a short drive to the busy Wairkoja Friday market, where the vendors sell local ikat and a variety of weaving supplies. We will then drive up into the scenic Iwang Geté highlands to visit a small village where we will also hear welcome music and dance. After gaining our first insights into the local techniques of spinning, binding, dyeing, and weaving, we will have the opportunity to purchase some of the finished textiles. The adventurous among us will be able to try betel nut, tobacco, and locally distilled liquor. After lunch on board, we are going to head out to Ledalero for a brief visit to the oldest museum on Flores, the Blikon Blewut Museum, established by Father Verhoeven, a Catholic SVD missionary. Our final stop will be at a second Sikka village where we will see a different style of ikat, typical of the central Krowé region. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
This morning we will pass Larantuka, the capital of East Flores that located at the foot of the imposing Ile Mandiri Volcano. After breakfast, we will go ashore and see in detail how local Lamaholot villagers produce their fantastic earthy-brown ikats decorated with small white seashells. We will then be guided around this picturesque well-kept village before returning to the Ombak Putih for lunch. Then, we will sail to some small islands close to the northeast coast of Adonara Island for swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing. We will moor nearby overnight. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
Today, we will arrive in Lembata and drop anchor on the north coast below the towering active Volcano of Ile Api. We will go ashore to see some of the superb ikat textiles produced in this region. After a formal welcome and demonstration of local weaving techniques, there will be a selling exhibition of textiles, giving you the chance to add a fabulous bridewealth cloth to your collection. Later, during lunch, the boat will cruise across Waienga Bay to another small rarely visited weaving village and a nearby location for a refreshing swim or snorkel. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
After arriving in Kalabahi Bay on Alor Island, we will head east before driving up into the forest to the remarkable Village of Takpala, occupied by Papuan people belonging to the local Abui tribe. Dressed in colorful local textiles, the villagers will entertain us with their hypnotic ‘lego-lego’ circle dance, used to celebrate weddings and other lifecycle events. Afterward, we will explore the village market and take a look inside the villagers’ two-storey thatched houses. We will also see their excellent display of textiles and moko drums from across the island in Kalabahi Museum. As we enjoy our lunch on the deck, we will sail out of Kalabahi Bay into the Pantar Strait, heading for the small weaving village of Uma Pura on Ternate Island. On this small volcanic island, we will discover how dyes are obtained from sea sponges. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
This morning we will cruise into Labala Bay and go ashore at the unique whaling village of Lamalera with its row of thatched boathouses lining the beach. The resident weavers will be waiting for us in the village square to show us how they produce their stunning kewatek ikat sarongs. Later, we will go up the hill to the upper half of the village to see the church and the view over the lower village. After visiting a local school, we board the Ombak Putih to watch the whale hunters demonstrate the hazardous techniques they use to harpoon the sperm whales from their small outriggers. After making our farewells, we stop for a short swim before cruising due south across the Savu Sea towards Kupang in West Timor. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
In the seventh day, we will disembark at the colourful old harbour where Captain Bligh landed in 1789 and drive a short distance to the Museum of East Nusa Tenggara which has a fine collection of textiles and other artifacts from across the Lesser Sunda Islands. Then, we will head south through stunning scenery into the territory of the Amarasi tribe, to be escorted to a reception by the King and Queen of the Amarasi in their Royal Pavilion. One of the Princesses will demonstrate how she makes paper from local plants. Before returning to the boat for lunch, we will visit a small weaving cooperative that uses a wide variety of natural dyes. In the afternoon, we will visit a nearby village occupied by members of the Helong tribe who will give us an excellent demonstration of indigo and morinda dyeing before offering us a selection of their ikats to buy. In the evening, we will cruise towards the tiny remote Island of Savu. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
This morning we will go ashore at Napae Bay. A very scenic drive in trucks will bring us to our next group of weavers who live in a small hilltop village. These master dyers and weavers will demonstrate how they spin, bind and dye their cotton before weaving their unique ikat tube-skirts which locally referred to as ‘ei.’ After exploring the village and watch the ritual clan house where the heirloom baskets for textiles are kept, there will be time to select from a colorful selling exhibition of textiles. After lunch on board, the ship will turn landward to the Village of Namata. Here we are welcomed on the beach by local dancers and ikat-clad horseman, and we will see the local ritual where priests of the ancestral ‘Jingi Tiu’ religion use megalithic stone platforms to conduct rituals and sacrifice. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
Today, we will explore the small, rarely visited Island of Raijua. After landing on a sandy beach, we will look at the differences between the textiles of Raijua and neighboring Savu, and walk to a traditional fenced village that formally known as the seat of the Rajas of Raijua. After lunch on the boat, enjoy a relaxing afternoon by swimming or snorkeling, and perhaps we will have a memorable evening beach barbeque. Overnight, we make a short crossing over the Savu Sea for the first of our two days in East Sumba, one of the essential weaving regions in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
Arriving on the eastern coast of Sumba, we will land on the sandy beach at Melolo where local buses will take us to the Village of Umabara. We will find tall thatched houses and megalithic carved tombs, and come across to the nearby Royal Hamlet of Pau that is famous for its exquisite supplementary warp weaving or ‘pahikung'. A show from two finest local princesses will tell us about their work there. Then, we will be heading to Royal Village of Parai Yawangu, a place where the best warp ikat comes from. With its traditional houses and a magnificent line of tombs, it remains the seat of the Raja of Rindi, whom we will visit provided he and his wife are in residence. Back on board, we enjoy a late lunch while the Ombak Putih cruises north towards Waingapu. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
We are going to leave the harbor to visit a small workshop that produces some of the highest quality of ikat hinggi. Here we will see how the designs are created and transferred onto the warps and we will begin to comprehend the laborious process of binding that is necessary to produce such complex and intricately patterned cloths. A superb collection of ikat will be available to buy before we explore the neighboring royal village of Prailiu by foot and will be accosted by eager textile sellers at every turn. Next, we will have lunch, and we are going to meet with friendly ikat-cad warriors who greet us from horseback. After departing for Rinca, our guests are invited to dress lavishly in their finest ikat cloths for tonight’s farewell dinner party with the captain and crew, who will entertain us on deck with traditional Indonesian songs and dances. Meals Included : breakfast, lunch & dinner
On our final morning, we will moor close to the starkly beautiful Island of Rinca for an early breakfast followed by a short trek in the Komodo National Park led by a park ranger. No textiles here, just amazing three-meter-long Komodo Dragons – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs! Back on board, we will cruise to a small island for our final snorkel before heading for Labuan Bajo where we will have lunch before transferring to the nearby airport for our late afternoon flight back to Bali. Meals Included : breakfast
|Adult||Ombak Putih||Twin Bed Sharing||$7,450/Person|
MEET THE EXPERTS - DAVID & SUE RICHARDSON
David and Sue are passionate researchers and collectors of Asian textiles and since first visiting Indonesia in 1980, David and Sue have systematically visited every part of the archipelago, both overland and by sea using a variety of local vessels. Over the years David and Sue have assembled one of the finest and most comprehensive private collections of Indonesian and other Asian textiles, many of museum quality. They are members of the Textile Society of America as well as the Oxford Asian Textile Group, which is affiliated to the Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museums of the University of Oxford. The Oxford Asian Textile Group was until recently chaired by Dr Ruth Barnes, a leading academic expert on the textiles of Eastern Indonesia.
David has a doctorate in quantum physics from Cambridge University and in his early career he spent several years working with the Ministry of Education in Jakarta on two major government aid projects to completely re-equip the universities of Indonesia with scientific equipment. Sue is an English graduate who spent her career in training and human resources for a leading chain of British department stores.
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Maumere I Lembata I Alor I Savu Island I Sumba I Komodo
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