Arriving Soon: Incredible New Journeys for 2023 & 2024!
With its iconic skyline, ebullient people, and dynamic culture, it’s no wonder Sydney often ranks among the most livable cities in the world. Experience a slice of life here as you tour the Sydney Opera House, cruise the Sydney Harbor, stroll along the historic yet hip precinct of The Rocks, and bask in the brilliant blues of sea and sky at Bondi Beach. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore the city’s museums and parks, along with the region's exceptional biodiversity and jaw-dropping beauty. Since you’ve traveled all the way to the Land Down Under, don’t miss this opportunity to explore this spectacular harbor city!
Board a flight to Singapore
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Singapore.
Cross the International Date Line
You’ll cross the International Date Line today, so you’ll arrive in Singapore around midday on Day 3.
Arrive in Singapore and enjoy a Welcome Dinner
Selamat datang! Welcome to Singapore! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before a welcome briefing later today. Tonight, join your fellow expeditioners for a Welcome Dinner.
Explore Singapore’s cultural diversity on a full-day tour
Singapore is known by many names, the "Garden City" and the "Lion City" among them, and you’ll get insight into these monikers as you explore the city’s beauty and dynamism today. During your full-day guided city tour, you’ll see the Cricket Club (cricket is a major sport here!), historic Parliament House, Supreme Court, City Hall, and Merlion Park — featuring impressive views of Marina Bay and the city's futuristic architecture. Then, delve a little deeper into Singapore’s diverse culture during visits to the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Little India, and the Yong Gallery, which displays handcrafted woodcarvings and artworks by Chinese artists.
After a visit to the 161-year-old, UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, you’ll sample Singapore’s flavorful Chinese influence during a dim sum lunch at a local restaurant. Dim sum literally means “touch the heart,” and perhaps yours will be filled by some fluffy, pork-filled bao buns; mouthwatering shumai dumplings, savory shrimp cheung fan rolls, and more. Then, board a traditional bumboat for a cruise down the Singapore River, where you can marvel at the city’s iconic skyline from the water. Following your cruise, we’ll drive through Little India. This colorful and aromatic district is a feast for the senses, and you’ll have time to explore before returning to your hotel.
Visit Singapore’s SkyPark, Gardens by the Bay, and embark the Ocean Odyssey
After breakfast, you’ll depart for a half-day city tour, featuring sweeping views of Singapore from the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay nature park. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant during the tour.
Then, it’s time to embark the Ocean Odyssey! After settling in, take some time to explore the ship and its amenities. Take a walk around the sun deck, meet your Destination Manager to arrange a spa appointment, then convene in the dining room for your first dinner on board — one of many memorable meals on this expedition! This evening, the Ocean Odyssey sets sail toward Indonesia.
Thanks to the small size of your ship, in many ports we’ll be able to dock right onshore, giving you easy access to your destination. However, please note that other ports may require anchoring offshore and tendering inland, which will require a certain level of agility.
Enjoy a day at sea as you cruise into Indonesia
Enjoy a day at sea as you cruise toward the Belitung Islands. This is an ideal opportunity to make good use of the Ocean Odyssey’s plentiful amenities. Grab a book and head to the sun deck. Make an appointment at the spa. Head to the observation deck for bountiful views of passing islands — Indonesia has more than 17,000 of them, and 6,000 are uninhabited. This afternoon kicks off our curated lecture series, which will offer more insights into your journey into Indonesia.
Lunch with locals and snorkel in Pulau Lengkuas, part of Belitung Island
Arrive in Pulau Lengkuas today, just one of the gorgeous destinations that await you on this journey. You’re on Belitung Island, which is known for its pepper and its tin, in addition to the pearly sand beaches and turquoise waters. After breakfast, get ready to Zodiac to shore for a sightseeing tour of the island. During a home-hosted visit, you’ll be invited to try the local cuisine and watch a traditional performance. Your afternoon is at leisure, and you’ll want to try some snorkeling! With shallow shorelines and little current, this is an ideal opportunity to explore the vibrant fish and coral reef of Belitung’s undersea realm.
Head to Borneo, and spend a day at sea
Enjoy a day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way to Borneo. Visit the lounge, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy the fabulous cuisine our chefs are offering. You’ll also deepen your understanding of this region with another onboard lecture, the second in our series.
Arrive in Borneo and explore UNESCO-listed Tanjung Puting National Park
Enjoy breakfast this morning as the Ocean Odyssey arrives to Kumai, part of the Kalimantan province of Borneo island, which actually belongs to three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. We’ll anchor along the Sekonyer River and board Zodiacs into the UNESCO-listed Tanjung Puting National Park, famous for its robust orangutan conversation program. You’ll explore the park in your Zodiac boat, which offers panoramic views of its various tributaries and rainforests. You’ll enjoy some light trekking into the rainforest to visit the orangutan feeding area. Lunch is at a local restaurant before we return to ship for an afternoon at leisure with an enthralling traditional dance performance before dinner!
Tour Borneo’s Arut River and visit the Yellow Palace
Today’s morning tour takes us along the Arut River, where you’ll get a tranquil glimpse of local life. Marvel at the traditional klotok houseboats floating on the river. Witness residents going about their daily lives on the rivers, including the local fisherman. You may even spot some wildlife, as orangutans reside here, too! Then, visit the Istana Kuning, or “yellow palace,” which is not very yellow at all, but was once traditionally draped in yellow fabric. Once the sultan’s main residence, the palace is now a replica after it was burned down in 1990. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the ship, which will depart for Java this afternoon.
Discover paradisiac Kura Kura in Java
Hear the third lecture in our curated lecture series on Indonesia this morning as the Ocean Odyssey cruises into Java. After lunch on board, we’ll board a boat bound for nearby Kura Kura island, where we’ll be greeted upon arrival with cocktails and traditional snacks. Fringed with white sand beaches, Kura Kura is actually a private Javanese island home to a luxury eco-resort that offers a true model for sustainability and is the only real business on the island. Don’t expect to find any Wi-Fi here, either — this is a rare chance to disconnect and live in the moment. Explore the island and enjoy some leisure time at the resort to snorkel, lounge on the beach, swim, or even take in some scuba dives — see the Destination Manager for details on planning activities.
Explore UNESCO-listed Borobudur and Candirejo Village in Java
This morning you’ll wake up in Semarang, Java — the jumping off point for our explorations today. We’ll disembark and transfer by motorcoach to UNESCO-listed Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple in central Java and one of the world’s most spectacular Buddhist monuments. As we make our way to Borobudur, you’ll get a good look at Java’s interior countryside, as well as glimpses of its smoldering volcanoes, rainforests, and verdant green paddy fields. Once in mesmerizing Borobudur, we’ll stroll through the complex, noting the detailed stone carvings and 504 Buddha statues peppered throughout.
We’ll enjoy lunch here before visiting nearby Candirejo, a lush, leafy, and traditional village that you’ll tour by horse cart. Navigating through town, you’ll catch glimpses of local life, including families making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan, and harvesting and drying vanilla and chiles.
Make landfall on the turquoise utopia of Madura Island
Enjoy a morning at leisure as the Ocean Odyssey arrives in Madura Island just after lunchtime. Madura is known as one of Indonesia’s most traditional isles — don’t be surprised to see locals in traditional sarongs and peci. We’ll make landfall by traditional boat for a half-day tour that includes the capital, Sumenep. Unlike most capital cities, you’ll find that Sumenep is a relaxed little town with a gilded 18th century mosque, which we’ll view on our way to visit the Sumenep Palace and Museum.
Visit Probolinggo and a local market, then be awed by Mount Bromo
Discover Probolinggo, on Java’s eastern side, on a city tour today. This fishing town is the gateway to Java’s Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and the Gunung Bromo volcano, which will captivate us later this afternoon. But first, we’ll explore the city, stopping by the Tri Dharma Pagoda and embarking becaks (cycle rickshaws) for a ride to a market to see what fruits, vegetables, and goods that the locals are buying and selling. After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll board motorcoaches for an inland ride to Mount Bromo and the volcano, which we’ll visit from a safe distance and be able to photograph. The volcano is an important site for the local Tengger people — one of the few remaining Hindu communities on Java — who believe that the volcano is the site of a fertility sacrifice from a legendary king and queen. You’ll hear more about the legend today!
Arrive in Bali and discover Singaraja’s black sand beaches and Pura Beji Sangsit temple
True bliss awaits today as we reach Bali. This island is the epitome of paradise, a place where everyone seems to have embraced a tropical state of mind and its lovely people are just the icing on the cake. It’s an all-around Shangri-La. At Lovina Beach, discover the island’s black sand beaches and embark on a tour of Singaraja, which includes visits to the lush Pura Beji Sangsit temple, dedicated to the rice goddess Dewi Sri. After, we’ll make our way to a local market and stop by a museum for more local history. Lunch at local restaurant, after which you’ll have an afternoon at leisure to return to Lovina Beach, perhaps to deepen your tan, or wander as you please.
Explore Bali’s Uluwatu Temple
After breakfast on board, you’ll disembark ship in Bali for a tour of Uluwatu Temple, a gorgeous clifftop spectacular that your cameras will love! The temple is inhabited by cheeky Macaque monkeys who are notorious for snatching sunglasses, cameras, and other goods off tourists — so, be mindful! After this enchanting visit, lunch is at a local restaurant. We’ll then return on board for an afternoon at leisure.
Luxuriate on the beaches of the Gili Islands
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning as you take in the breathtaking views of turquoise waters and pearlescent beaches. Located just off the northwest coast of Lombok, the triplet Gili Islands are a hotspot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and free diving thanks to the abundance of corals and marine life here. We’ll visit either Gili Trawangan or Gili Meno for a day of enjoyment — if you like, approach your onboard Destination Manager beforehand to reserve a set of snorkeling masks and fins. You may even spot turtles in the shallows!
After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy your ship’s Deluxe amenities, or relax on the beach before dinner on board.
Admire Sumbawa’s local traditions
Today you’ll anchor at the port of Badas and travel inland to the village of Pamulung, where you’ll learn more about the cultures and traditions of Sumbawa. Rice-based farming is a mainstay of local culture, and you’ll see how villagers pound the dried grains by hand to dehull them. Then, observe how local women weave their colorful traditional textiles and enjoy a performance of traditional song and dance that usually takes place at a wedding procession.
Your visit is topped off with a traditional buffalo race. In addition to their usual plowing duties, farmers’ buffalo also provide entertainment while helping to mix the soil and mud in freshly irrigated paddy fields. Make sure to have your camera ready! After lunch at a local restaurant in the town of Sumbawa Besar, return to the ship for an afternoon at leisure.
Embark on a quest for “dragons” at Komodo National Park
Get ready for one of the highlights of your cruise today as we glide into the waters of Komodo National Park! We’ll board the ship’s Zodiac boats and tender to shore on Rinca, one of the main islands of this nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, a park ranger will guide us on a trek around the protected areas of the island in search of the Komodo dragon. At up to 10 feet and 150 pounds, these fearsome creatures are the world’s largest reptiles, capable of killing deer, horses, and water buffalo.
After lunch on board, unfurl your beach towel on Komodo island’s legendary Pink Beach and enjoy the sweeping views, or grab a snorkel to admire a stunning rainbow of fish and corals underwater. We return to the ship at sunset for dinner.
Spot the wild horses of Sumba, then see one of its most magnificent beaches
Enjoy a splendid day discovering the island of Sumba on a full-day tour. Despite periods of colonization by the Portuguese and Dutch, Sumba remains one of Indonesia’s less-developed islands and lies under the tourist radar. From the main port of Waingapu, we head to the vast undulating hills of Bukit Warinding, where many of the island’s wild horses roam. Along the way you may also spot some Sumbanese traditional thatched houses and megalithic tombs.
Savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant at Maramba Beach, a popular resort area, before heading to Puru Kambera Beach for an afternoon of bliss. With its calm waters lapping at pine-fringed white sands, this is easily Sumba’s most picturesque beach.
Revel in Sawu’s unspoiled natural beauty
Sawu is one of the most remote stops along this adventure-filled cruise, and you’ll see why it’s worth being among the rare few who have set foot on this island! The waters around here form the Savu Sea Marine National Park and are host to 18 species of whales, along with dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles, and over 500 species of corals. We’ll tour the island’s main town of Seba before heading to its main beach, where you can swim and snorkel to your heart’s content. Later, enjoy lunch on board and an afternoon at leisure.
Behold Kelimutu’s color-changing crater lakes
Today we dock at Ende, Flores and transfer to the nearby mountain of Kelimutu to witness a natural phenomenon that has fascinated scientists and tourists alike. The Kelimutu lakes are three crater lakes on the mountain believed to hold the souls of the departed, and their colors vary from brilliant emerald to onyx to — at times — blood red, depending on the chemical composition of volcanic gases and minerals present in each lake.
After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy some free time to explore Ende. Perhaps you’ll stroll through the markets and observe some haggling in action, or pick up some colorful ikat sarongs and shawls, which are renowned for their handwoven intricacy.
Discover the whaling heritage of Lamalera
Lamalera is one of the world’s last few communities of subsistence whalers, and you’ll learn more about this incredible practice today as a Zodiac boat takes you from the ship to the shores of Lembata island. Your first stop is a local barter market, where your expert guide shares some insight on local communities. Then, at Lamalera, watch a demonstration of how villagers hunt sharks, rays, dolphins, and sperm whales as a group using long wooden boats and an arsenal of bamboo harpoons. After your tour, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to ship. Tonight we’ll sail on to Kalabahi, Alor.
Explore Alor, the “Island of a Thousand Mokos”
Take your time over breakfast and relax as we sail into Kalabahi, Alor’s only town. With its location on the far end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, it remains a mystery how Alor become known for its moko, or bronze kettledrums, which can be traced back to the Bronze Age Dong Son culture of Vietnam. These prized heirlooms served as currency for building a house and for a bridal dowry, and thus many valuable moko were often buried or hidden. You’ll visit the Museum 1000 Moko to admire a collection of these drums, explore Kalabahi’s thriving main market, and tour nearby Takpala Village, where you’ll get to meet the island’s indigenous Abui people and learn about their proudly traditional ways.
After lunch back on board the ship, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure. Don’t miss this chance to go snorkeling. Alor’s waters are said to be superior to the Caribbean and comparable to those of Raja Ampat — you may even spot the rare and famously alien-like Mola mola (ocean sunfish)!
Set foot on the fortress-like island of Kisar
Enjoy a morning at leisure as we sail toward Kisar, a small hilly island ringed by limestone cliffs and ancient reefs. After lunch on board, set off on a leisurely panoramic tour to see the island’s sacred freshwater springs and spot the neighboring islands of Wetar and Timor. We’ll return to the ship in time for dinner.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Enjoy a full day at sea to relax and revel in the luxurious amenities of the brand-new Ocean Odyssey. Pamper your body with a relaxing massage, a facial, or a soothing soak in the hot tub after an onboard lecture about your experiences so far. Perhaps you’ll even meet friends for drinks in the lounge as you sail down under. . . to Australia!
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and explore Darwin
This morning you’ll disembark the Ocean Odyssey in Australia — we hope you enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience on Vantage's second 5-star ocean cruising small ship!
Beneath Darwin’s laid-back nature lies a steely resolve. The city has had to be rebuilt four times over the past 120-odd years due to cyclones and World War II. A historical tour takes you around the city’s highlights, including the George Brown Botanical Gardens and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, with lunch at a local restaurant.
Later, upon transferring to your centrally located hotel, you’ll have the entire afternoon to relax before joining your expert local guide for a sunset photography walk along Darwin’s scenic coastline. Return to your hotel with your fellow travelers and toast to your adventures at a Farewell Dinner.
Discover the riches of Kakadu National Park
Covering over 7,600 square miles and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, Kakadu National Park has also been home to Aboriginal peoples for at least 40,000 years. You’ll explore this impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site with a full-day excursion that includes a stop at Burrungkuy, a rock art site known for its intricate paintings in various styles. Your guide will explain the various figures depicted, as well as how the paints are made with natural pigments. Then, enjoy a boat cruise through the wetlands of Yellow Water Billabong, where you’ll spot an abundance of birdlife, buffalo, and saltwater crocodiles. Make sure to pack your binoculars or a camera with zoom lens!
You’ll return to your hotel after lunch for a well-deserved rest, with dinner at your hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the Darwin airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining our post-trip extension to Sydney, you’ll stay on for four more nights!
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.