The Best Places to See in Indonesia by Small Ship Cruises

Exploring Indonesia on small ship cruises allows you to access its remote islands, hidden coves, and vibrant marine life. Unlike large vessels, small ships can navigate narrow straits and reach secluded destinations, providing intimate cultural encounters and more authentic experiences. With fewer passengers on board, these cruises offer personalised service, expert-guided excursions, and opportunities for meaningful interactions with locals and fellow travellers.

From the enchanting Komodo National Park to the lush island of Borneo, here are the best places to see in Indonesia by small ship cruises.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is a mesmerising destination renowned for its unique biodiversity and stunning landscapes. While it's most famous for being home to the iconic Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard species, it also has pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling.

A small ship cruise to the Komodo National Park offers an intimate and immersive way to explore the park's wonders. These vessels can access secluded bays and remote islands, providing opportunities for exclusive wildlife encounters and fantastic snorkelling experiences. Witness Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, observe colourful marine life and marvel at breathtaking underwater scenery.

In addition, small ship cruises prioritise sustainability and conservation, minimising environmental impact while promoting sustainable tourism. During your visit to the Komodo National Park, you will have a chance to engage with knowledgeable guides and naturalists who offer insights into the park's ecology, wildlife conservation efforts, and local culture.

Another benefit of sailing in a small ship is the chance to forge connections with like-minded individuals, creating a sense of camaraderie and shared adventure. With limited passenger capacity, these cruises offer personalised service, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience.

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is an archipelago in the Indonesian province of West Papua, renowned for its marine biodiversity and natural beauty. Its pristine waters, lush rainforests, and breathtaking landscapes make it a must-visit destination for small ship cruises.

Raja Ampat's marine environment is the highest recorded marine biodiversity on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs, colourful fish, and rare marine species. Snorkelling and diving in these waters offer unforgettable encounters with manta rays, sea turtles, and exotic marine life.

Exploring Raja Ampat on a small ship cruise provides access to remote islands and hidden coves, where you can discover secluded beaches, limestone cliffs, and picturesque lagoons. Small ship cruises offer the flexibility to navigate Raja Ampat's maze of islands, ensuring unforgettable experiences and intimate encounters with nature and wildlife.

Furthermore, cruising through Raja Ampat offers opportunities to engage with local communities and indigenous cultures, allowing you to gain insights into traditional ways of life and supporting sustainable tourism initiatives.

With its unparalleled natural beauty, diverse marine life, and cultural richness, Raja Ampat offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travellers exploring Indonesia on a small ship cruise.


Despite being a tourist hotspot, Bali remains an enticing destination worth visiting on your small ship cruise of Indonesia. Offering a unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and diverse experiences, Bali lures visitors seeking adventure and relaxation.

Bali has a rich cultural heritage manifested in its majestic temples, religious ceremonies, vibrant markets, and colourful festivals. Exploring iconic sites like Uluwatu Temple or attending a traditional dance performance is the best way to immerse in the island's spiritual and artistic traditions.

With breathtaking natural landscapes, from lush rice terraces and cascading waterfalls to pristine beaches and volcanic mountains, Bali is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cruise excursions allow you to explore Bali's diverse geography, whether trekking through Ubud's jungle-clad valleys or snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters off Nusa Penida.

No visit to Bali is complete without experiencing its vibrant culinary scene, with a mouth-watering array of local delicacies and international cuisines to savour. From street-side warungs serving authentic Indonesian fare to upscale dining establishments, Bali offers a gastronomic journey for every palate.

Cruising on a small cruise ship in Bali allows travellers to explore beyond the beaten path, discovering hidden gems and off-the-beaten-track experiences. You'll also have a chance to engage with local communities, support sustainable tourism initiatives, and foster meaningful connections for an enriching travel experience.

Spice Islands

The Spice Islands, also called the Maluku Islands, are an enchanting destination steeped in history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Located in eastern Indonesia, these islands were once the epicentre of the global spice trade, coveted for their nutmeg, cloves, and other exotic spices.

Visiting the Spice Islands on a small ship cruise offers travellers a unique opportunity to explore remote and pristine destinations often inaccessible by larger vessels. Cruising through the turquoise waters of the Banda Sea, discover hidden coves, untouched beaches, and secluded villages nestled amidst lush tropical forests.

The Spice Islands are also renowned for their rich cultural heritage, with ancient forts, colonial-era buildings, and traditional villages dotting the landscape. Immerse in the vibrant local culture, participate in traditional ceremonies and sample authentic Malukan cuisine.

The Spice Islands boast some of the world's most spectacular dive sites, teeming with vibrant coral reefs, colourful marine life, and historic shipwrecks. Snorkelling and diving in these pristine waters offer unforgettable underwater experiences and encounters with rare and exotic marine life species.


Considered the world's third-largest island, Borneo offers a mesmerising blend of biodiversity, cultural diversity, and rugged landscapes, making it a fantastic destination for small ship cruises. The island has ancient rainforests home to various wildlife species, including orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and pygmy elephants.

Visiting Borneo on a small ship cruise allows travellers to access remote river systems and coastal regions inaccessible by larger vessels. In addition, these cruises offer opportunities for wildlife encounters, jungle treks, and visits to indigenous communities, providing insights into Borneo's rich natural and cultural heritage.

In addition, the island's pristine coral reefs and turquoise waters are a paradise for snorkellers and divers, boasting an array of marine life and fascinating underwater landscapes to explore.

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