Indonesia Cruises (Ombak Putih)
Welcome to Indonesia Cruises
Come sailing on a beautiful traditional schooner that takes you in splendid comfort into the remote eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago and treat yourself to a lifetime experience that you will never forget…
East of Bali there is a world of exotic cultures and breathtaking natural beauty. This area is as enchanting as it is remote. You will sail by smoldering volcanoes that arise from the sea and you will go ashore on uninhabited islands. Our leisure expeditions will take you to quaint historic harbours, superb tropical beaches, and pristine coral reefs and to places where time has literally been standing still, such as the last remaining domain of the prehistoric Komodo dragon…
The Ombak Putih Experience
When you ask the inhabitants of the many islands in the eastern Indonesian archipelago for the name of a sailing ship that regularly comes calling at their shores, the first name they invariably remember is Ombak Putih. In the Indonesian language “Ombak Putih” means “White Wave” and her gracious beauty makes her instantly recognizable. More than any other traditional “Bugis Schooners,” she is a familiar sight from Bali to Papua and from Sulawesi to Savu. Having logged close to a hundred thousand miles over the past ten years, her captain and crew know more about the remote islands of Indonesia than any other people alive and there are very few bays in this part of the world where she has not anchored yet…
The formula of Ombak Putih is as simple as it is attractive. Your home-away-from-home is a spacious sailing vessel and you have a comfortable cabin with your own en-suite bathroom. Whenever possible more than six hundred square meters of sails are raised, but there are long periods of very light winds so we also do rely on our engine to safeguard our schedule. An attentive but discrete crew takes care of everything. Most of the sailing is done at night and while you sleep, the captain is on the bridge to take you to yet another splendid anchorage or another lovely harbor. Every new day you will wake up to another surprise.
We dare to say that our galley is one of the very best cuisines in Indonesia east of Bali, a reputation we have had since many years and that we are determined to keep. Our chefs were trained by a well known Bali restaurateur and all meals are prepared with the freshest and best ingredients available: vegetables, fruits and poultry from the highlands of Flores, fish freshly caught by local fishermen and bread specially baked by a master French baker in Bali. Our cruises are of course on full board basis. Bottled water, coffee and tea are free of charge and available on self service basis 24 hours per day. There is a well-stocked bar on board from which you may order a selection of alcohol and wines at reasonable rates. At the end of the cruise you only need to pay for beer, wines and spirits consumed during the cruise.
On every leisure expedition there is an experienced European cruise director on board. These are seasoned professionals who live most of their time in Indonesia, speak the local language and are very knowledgeable about the areas we visit. Their task is to organize the shore excursions and they are on board to assist you and to answer any questions. Daily radio/satellite telephone contact with the head office in Bali guarantees that both the guests and the crew are kept up to date with current events and everyone can be reached in case of emergencies.
Our office can also arrange all domestic air tickets and can assist you in organizing your pre- and post cruise arrangements like accommodation, excursions or packages.
Ombak Putih’s main deck is dominated by the 25m tall mainmast and a large deck table where you can have dinner under the stars. On the deck house level on the aft side of the boat, a spacious sun deck (with canopy for some shade) overlooks the sea. Here you can read in a comfortable deck chair or dream away on one of our comfortable day beds.
Your accommodation is below decks, where you will find twelve cabins, four with double beds and eight configured as twin-bunks. Unlike typical ship accommodation, your cabin provides ample space to store your stuff and still move about with ease. All cabins are air-conditioned (individually controlled) and have private bathrooms with warm and cold water. Obviously, we provide all hotel amenities you may require.
We know from experience that during a cruise in the tropics some of our guests discover the pleasure of sleeping under the stars and there is plenty of room to sleep on the upper deck. Mattresses as well as light blankets are available for that purpose.
The Ombak Putih is a mix of traditional and modern design. Her hull and rigging are traditional, while the deck house and interior were custom designed to adapt to Western tastes of space, privacy and comfort. While Indonesian traditional sailing vessels are customarily referred to as Bugi Schooners, strictly speaking she is rigged as a Ketch, the foremast being higher than the aft mast.
Specifications & Deck Plans
- Construction: Kalimantan, Indonesia, 1996/7
- Registry: Indonesian flag
- Length over all: 36 meters (118 feet)
- Beam: 10 meters (33 feet)
- Draft: 2.8 meters (10 feet)
- Decks: 1 main deck, 1 sun deck, 1 cabin deck
- Main engine: Detroit Diesel, 8 cylinder
- Generators: 3, 2 x 17,5 KVA, 1 x 50KVA
- Desalinator capacity: 2500ltr/day
- Sails 2 masts, 7 sails, total 600 square meters
- Max. speed: 10‐12 knots under sail
- Crew 16 Indonesians, one European cruise director
- Capacity: 12 cabins for 24 passengers
- Safety: inflatable life rafts, life buoys, life jackets
- Navigation: radar, GPS, depth sounder
- Tenders: 2 (with 60 & 25 HP outboards)
Constructions & Design Parameters
The construction followed age old and well established design principles. First, traditional methods were use to determine the final dimensions of the ship. Throughout Asia the Buginese people from the island of Sulawesi are well- known for their shipbuilding skills and what is most remarkable is that this huge handmade structure (36m length, a beam of 10m and a draft of 3,5 m) was made without any drawings, fully relying on the intuitive craftsmanship of its builders as passed along through many generations. A Dutch naval architect was hired to recalculate and verify all dimensions for ultimate seaworthiness. He designed the interior and the deck house.
A second design principle we insisted upon was that we wanted the ship to be as safe as possible. This meant that only first quality timber was used and therefore the hull is considerably thicker than most other wooden vessels (ranging from 10cm down below to 6cm near the deck). The entire hull from the keel up to the deck level was made from carefully selected and seasoned ironwood (ulin). Other safety measures include a ‘work horse’ Detroit Diesel engine, a brand that has proven its durability and reliability over the last fifty years (most ships of the US Navy have Detroit Diesel engines), anchor chains instead of wire rope, and many safety features demanded by the Australian coast guard for ocean going vessels.
A third design principle was that we wanted ample space for both guests and crew. We designed and built a large deckhouse that was low enough to maintain the original sail plan, while still providing sufficient sleeping and living quarters for the crew. There is a spacious lounge and a large galley. Behind the bridge on top of the deck house, there is a large sun deck, partly covered by an awning to also provide some necessary shade under the tropical sun.
Safety and Seaworthiness
The vessel is fitted with all internationally required safety and communications equipment such as SSB and VHF radios, life jackets, life rafts, and satellite telephone. Experienced navigators consider it an axiom that the seaworthiness of a vessel depends on the seaworthiness of the crew. Our ship has a well trained and well seasoned Indonesian crew of sixteen, complemented by a multilingual European Cruise Director. We are proud of the fact that most of the crewmembers that joined us when the vessel was launched are still on board today.
On deck, the spacious lounge overlooks the sea. You can either have your breakfast, lunch or dinner in the lounge or outside around the large central table on the main deck. In the daytime you can either relax on one of the teak deck chairs or have some lazy hours under the canopy or the sun deck. Below decks you find privacy in a spacious cabin. Each of them brings back the romance of the old sailing days, with either single bunk beds or double beds, and equipped with modern comfortable facilities such as individually controlled air‐conditioning and an en suite bathroom with toilet and shower. There is plenty of storage room.
- Spacious twin shared cabin with twin bunk beds or double bed
- Each cabin has a private bathroom with toilet and hot shower
- Washbasin and soap toiletries in your cabin
- Cabins have individually controlled air conditioning
- Towels and beach towels that are regularly changed
- Valuables and travel documents can be stored in the ship’s safe
- Dining in spacious air conditioned lounge
- Teak wooden furniture in lounge, cabins and on deck
- Spacious sun and semi-covered decks
- Free tea, coffee and mineral water
- Excellent food and snacks (vegetarian food on request)
- Excellent wine selection, cold beer and other alcoholic drinks for sale
- Fresh water on-deck shower
- Chilled towels and a welcome drink upon arrival
- Outdoor sleeping facilities
- Professional European cruise director
- Main tender with 60 hp. outboard engine takes 24 passengers
- Auxiliary tender with 25 hp. outboard takes 10 passengers
- Unlimited use of our snorkeling equipment and 2 sea canoes
- Organize scuba diving in Komodo National Park (optional)
- Television, VCD and music centre in lounge
We offer cruises all year round. Please see our Leisure Expedition program for the details. The Ombak Putih does most of the sailing in the afternoon or at night, which leaves plenty of time during the daytime to visit the islands, to get to know the various cultures of this fascinating country, to enjoy the beautiful nature or to simply stay on board and relax. We have been traveling throughout the region for many years and we like to show you the very best on every island.
Traveling by boat gives you the opportunity to reach places, where there are no roads and that are truly “off the beaten track.” From the feared Jurassic dragons and beautiful coral reefs at Komodo island to the rich traditional cultures and historical heritage of the Moluccas and New Guinea, the Ombak Putih will take you there in perfect comfort and show you the very best. However please do keep in mind that due to unexpected weather and sea conditions, local authorities and government regulations, availability of safe anchorage and other factors beyond our control, occasionally itineraries might slightly be modified.
As a result of the shift from the East to the West Monsoon and the change of the general sea conditions during the course of the year we vary our sailing itineraries in order to offer the best possible combination of islands to visit and a comfortable voyage while at sea. From April to November we mainly cover the Bali – Komodo – Flores route with an occasional foray into the Savu Sea. In November we move to the Eastern part of the archipelago to explore the Spice Islands, the Moluccas and New Guinea. In February we take the vessel into dry dock for her annual maintenance and refurbishing.
- Condition of Online Booking
From the moment you have made this reservation request we will hold your booking for 10 days, during which time you should arrange the payment. Unfortunately many banks consider Indonesia as a weak link in the international system of credit card payments and the “Sign on File” procedure usually results in failure so it is best that you make a bank transfer to one of our accounts. The costs of this transfer must be borne by the booking party. Beyond the 10 day period the space will only be held if we have received a faxed or scanned bank transfer statement or if you have contacted us to advice of a different arrangement. Final confirmation will only be given once we have received the payment. At that point we will also be sending you the necessary documents to board the cruise.
If you make a reservation for a departure date more than sixty days in the future, you need to make a down payment of 20% of the fare only in order to secure the reservation. However the remaining 80% should be in our account two months before the departure.
Prices are inclusive of accommodation in air-conditioned cabins with private shower and toilet, full board, tea and coffee, mineral water, excursions, use of towels, use of snorkeling equipment, use of sea canoes and the assistance of the European tour guide. Exclusive are airfares, alcoholic beverages, crew gratuities and the transfers to and or from the boat. Please note that children aged 12 or above are charged as adults.
By making a reservation the passengers certify that they do not have a physical condition that would create a hazard to themselves or other passengers.
It is essential that passengers arrange a comprehensive personal and baggage travel insurance to cover any eventuality, including charges arising from any flight cancellations. PT. Ombak Putih does not accept any liability for matters such as baggage loss or damage, expenses or inconvenience caused by delayed or cancelled transportation services, change of schedule, strikes or other conditions beyond PT. Ombak Putih’s control. A copy as proof of our Protection and Indemnity insurance is available on request.
If passengers have to cancel their cruise, PT. Ombak Putih will make a refund minus the following cancellation fees:
Outside 60 days prior to sailing 20% of the total amount.
From 60 days up to 30 days prior to sailing 40% of the total amount.From 30 days up to 7 days prior to sailing 60% of the total amount.
From 7 days up to and including one day prior to sailing 80% of total amount
Cancellation on or after the day of departure 100%.
In principle departures are guaranteed once two passengers have reserved a cabin, but in case PT Ombak Putih is forced to cancel any departure, for whatever reason, our liability is strictly limited to a refund of the fare already paid. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned, but sailing itineraries and daily programs are subject to change due to weather and sea conditions, availability of safe anchorage, government regulations and other factors. In addition program changes may take place during the cruise to take advantage of local cultural events, to adapt to sailing conditions, or in response to other factors. Should any cruise have to be aborted during its course, for whatever reason, PT Ombak Putih will take responsibility to transfer the passengers back to the point of departure or to the destination of the cruise but will only refund the amount pro rata for the days of the cruise that were not delivered.
PT. Ombak Putih reserves itself the right to apply surcharges in the event of extraordinary circumstances due to economical instability and governmental approved sudden Rupiah price increases or currency devaluation in the country. Any surcharges encountered, shall be announced by PT Ombak Putih and applied on all existing and future bookings within a time frame determined by the government’s policies application or within a two weeks time frame of any currency fluctuation.
- Safety and Health
Paramount for us is the safety of all aboard. The vessel is fitted with all internationally required safety equipment and all crew members have received comprehensive safety training. Shortly after the departure on the first day of the cruise the Cruise Director will do a safety drill with all the participants. The vessel is stocked with a well appointed first-aid box to treat all kinds of minor ailments. It is however always advisable for guests to bring their own first-aid box. We have an agreement with an air-charter company in Bali using a sea-plane in case of emergency evacuation. We recommend that all participants take out a personal travel insurance that would cover such evacuation.
The tropical sun in our cruising area is hard on white skins, all the more so because of the additional exposure due its reflection by the sea. Guests must make sure to protect themselves with a hat, sun lotion and we advise wearing a t-shirt when snorkeling.
Never let even the tiniest cut or coral bruise untreated as it can quickly get infected in the tropical climate. We have all that is needed on board to treat such cuts.
Guests should not be overly worried about seasickness. Waters in our sailing area are generally calm. Even in case of swell, seasickness usually passes quickly once one gets used to the motion of the boat.
We do not recommend the use of any prophylactic for malaria prevention. Malaria has very little incidence offshore. Besides, our guests will spend the better part of the voyage on board, where mosquitoes do not venture at all. Insect repellent is sufficient when going ashore.
- What To Take
Temperature in our sailing area varies little 27° to 33° Celsius year round – with mostly blue skies and light wind. We suggest you take light cotton / linen clothes – including a pair of long trousers for visits in the villages – as well as the following items: water shoes (booties or plastic shoes), hiking shoes, a plastic bag for your camera when disembarking, high protection suntan lotion, a hat, insect repellent, dive / snorkeling equipment if you have your own (we have plenty on board, too), as well as a sweater for cool evenings.
- Special dietary request
We can cater to special requests such as a vegetarian menu, children’s fare, diet dishes etc. However we must be notified in advance of any special dietary requests.
- Insurance and Liability Release
It is important that all passengers contract personal travel insurance in order to be covered in case of accident, sickness, flight cancellation, evacuation etc…
We do require all passengers to sign a strict and comprehensive liability release and scuba divers to sign an additional declaration of good physical condition.
Copies of these liability releases can be sent on request.
Voltage on board is 220 volts. There is a socket in each cabin suitable for European type plugs, but we do have a selection of adaptors for non European type plugs. Additional sockets are located in the saloon.
- Visa and Travel Documents
Guests have to make sure that their passport has a minimum of 6 months validity when entering Indonesia. Most foreign nationals can obtain 30 day tourist visa on arrival but the citizens of some countries do not enjoy this privilege and have to apply for visa in the country of origin or elsewhere outside of Indonesia. We recommend that all our passengers double-check on the requirements as they are in force at the time of their arrival.
During the cruise you will enjoy the incomparable service of 16 well-trained, efficient Indonesian crew members. It is a time-honored tradition on all cruise vessels of the world to tip the crew at the end of the voyage, provided of course the guests have been satisfied with their services. On the last day of the cruise, a special box will be passed around out for that purpose and its contents will be distributed evenly among all members of the crew. We believe that about 50 USD is an appropriate amount; however, this remains entirely up to the judgment of the guests.