Monday, November 17, 2008

In the footsteps of Joseph Conrad in Indonesia

I would like a boat trip following Joseph Conrad around Indonesia. It need not be luxurious - possibly a cargo boat taking passengers. Is there still such a thing and is the area safe from pirates? - Simon Cottrell, Woodbridge, Suffolk

Times travel expert Julia Brookes responds: I couldn't find a cargo boat, but SongLine Cruises (00 62 21 787 5021, operates a fleet of Bugis Pinisi schooners, the wooden vessels of the Bugis people of Sulawesi who captured Conrad's imagination.

It runs voyages to ports throughout the archipelago, covering the Bali-to- Komodo crossing. Cruises range from budget to luxury, with diving and wildlife-watching options, and start at £210 for a five-day trip from Lombok to Komodo aimed at backpackers. The cost covers full board plus use of canoe-fishing and snorkelling equipment.

You sleep on a mattress on deck - a cabin is extra. Five to ten-day trips on a schooner start at about £1,140pp.


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