An exclusive offer to the readers of Bali Update and balidiscovery.com : Join a once-in-a-lifetime 16-day cruise in comfort exploring the waters surrounding Komodo in eastern Indonesia.
Beginning and ending in Labuan Bajo, West Flores, a small group limited to 16 participants will depart on May 12, 2015 on board sailing vessel “The Seven Seas” – a custom-built Indonesia Phinisi outfitted to carry explorers in comfort to remote and seldom-visited corners of Indonesia.
The cruise itinerary will be centered on the Komodo National Park – a World Heritage Site situated in the straits between Sumbawa and Flores. Above sea level, the diverse geology of the region has fostered a unique collection of rare fauna, including the gigantic prehistoric Komodo Dragons found only in this area. Meanwhile, below the water line, divers and snorkelers will experience bio-diversity that has earned this area accolades as the “best diving and snorkeling sites in the world.”
Led by Travel Legend Mike McDowell
Mike McDowell began his worldwide explorations of Indonesia in 1985, leading focused diving groups to remote regions of Indonesia. Prior to that, Mike worked on polar travel expeditions with the famous Lindblad Explorer, making multiple polar visits as well as journeying to many islands and atolls in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and remote ports of Africa and South America.
By the 1990s, Mike had shifted his focus to deep ocean exploration and travel into space. With Deep Ocean Quest Mike took passengers in the deep-sea MIR submersibles to visit the RMS Titanic in over 3,700 meters of water in the Atlantic, and to the Bismarck that sank in over 4,700 meters of water resting on the side of an extinct underwater volcano. Mike has also organized visits for a privileged few to the abyssal hydrothermal vents of the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Mike was also included in the first group to dive 4,500 meter under the ice to reach the real North Pole in 2007. In 2012, Mike organized all the logistics and participated in the search for the elusive giant squid in the deep waters off the coast of Japan, which was filmed as a documentary for NHK TV Japan and Discovery Channel USA.
Greg Mortimer and Mike together were the first Australians to climb Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Mike has also climbed Mt Everest, to 8,000m.
Not content with splashing about in the ocean, dog sledding across Greenland and scaling difficult heights, Mike is involved in Zero Gravity Corporation that provides people with the opportunity to experience weightless flight. He is also involved with Space Adventures, the only company that presently can take private adventurers into space to visit the International Space Station.
In between, Mike loves to organize natural history and scuba diving expeditions in the remote equatorial regions of Papua New Guinea, Micronesia, Indonesia and Pacific Ocean atoll groups. Every trip is an adventure, and every time Mike says he is reminded of his great fortune in being able to travel to see such marvels.
Describing his coming May 2015 expedition to Komodo and eastern Indonesia, Mike McDowell said: “They say our world has shrunk, that global technology and modern travel have diminished remaining frontiers.
That’s never going to be true while there are people with enthusiastic hearts and a sense of curiosity. This dive trip around Komodo in May 2015 is a gentle, relaxing charter on a very special boat. Guests wishing to chill out on board, or hike along distant beaches, or come for a dive, are warmly welcomed.”
The well-equipped “Seven Seas” has eight air-conditioned staterooms – each with private en-suite bathrooms and hot water. Cabins are usually assigned on a first-come-first served basis with bed configurations comprised of double beds or bunk beds.
An experienced crew prepares delicious food. The ship has two shaded sundecks, an outside dining area, an open wheelhouse, a work area for camera preparations and editing, and a supply of DVDs’ books and local reference books.
The cruise itinerary is kept free and easy to accommodate the wishes of passengers and the wide variety of natural attractions offered by Komodo and it surroundings.
Participants can expect to:
• Hike in the park to see the Komodo dragons, wild deer, wild sandalwood horses, buffalo and a rich range of birdlife.
• Deserted beaches for idle sunbathing and evening cocktails.
• Slow tours exploring remote coastlines using the ships tenders or kayaks.
• Fishing in the pelagic fishing zone outside the National Park.
• Sunset BBQ on board the ship.
• On-board dive instructors familiar with the dive sites visited.
Cruise price per person is US$5,150 covering the ship component and covers all on board meals and permits.
For more information on the cruise program and the ship
Visit www.thesevenseas.net for details on the ship, sites, weather and what to pack.