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Travel Diary: Bali and Komodo Luxury Cruise

Set sail on an adventure from Bali to the islands of Komodo National Park onboard the exceptional Aqua Blu yacht.

Day 1 | Om Swastyastu (Hello) Bali!

In the tranquil oasis of Bali's Sayan Region, the 2023 Bali-Komodo Once-in-a-Lifetime Journey kicked off. Nestled in a river valley along the Ayung River and surrounded by verdant jungle, everyone was blown away by the luxury, quality, and beauty of the Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud. Members were welcomed on the first night with live music and an amazing performance of traditional Balinese dancing. Afterward, they enjoyed cocktails and a four-course dinner overlooking the valley floor while getting to know one another with stars twinkling overhead as a backdrop. The journey has begun!

Day 2 | Touring of Ubud

Our second day began with a revitalizing private morning yoga class. Breakfast was a work of art, leaving many Members in awe. We zipped through crowded streets with a private police escort, amazed by our drivers' dexterity, on our way to visit renowned local musician Gus Teja's workshop. The group received meticulously crafted flutes and was enchanted by his music. After, we headed to Tirta Empul, a sacred temple with healing spring waters dating back to 962. At Tegalalang Village, we enjoyed rice paddy vistas and learned about Balinese culture. The day concluded with a visit to the lively Monkey Forest, where uninhibited monkeys eagerly greeted us.

Day 3 | The Artists of Bali

The third day of the trip was spent heading south to see wood carvers and silver smiths before making our way to the Aqua Blu, our oceanic home for the next week.

Day 4 | The Island of Moyo

Our boating journey began with a visit to the Island of Moyo, where members had unforgettable diving and snorkeling experiences. The highlight was exploring the island itself. In the local village, we were warmly welcomed with traditional music and dance performances. A short hike led us to a breathtaking fresh-water waterfall, where everyone swam under the limestone falls, creating cherished memories amidst nature's beauty.

Day 5 | Swimming with Whale Sharks

The much-awaited highlight of our stop in Saleh Bay was encountering whale sharks. Local fishermen believe these giants bring good luck, and as they raised their nets, five enormous filter feeders graced us with their presence. Swimming, interacting, and capturing videos and photos with them was incredible — their size reaching up to 60 feet and weighing over 16.5 tons.

After this awe-inspiring morning, the Aqua Blu set sail north to Satonda, a Volcanic Island. Calm waters and abundant wildlife awaited us, offering diving, snorkeling, and sea kayaking in the extinct volcano's crater. The day concluded with a breathtaking flight of tens of thousands of fruit bats bidding us farewell as the sun set — an epic end to a great day.

Scuba diving off of the stunning island of Moyo
Members swam with gentle giants

Day 6 | Komodo National Park

At a ranger station not open to the public, we encountered the formidable Komodo Dragons up close. Some members observed the Komodo Dragons from behind a fence, while others ventured outside the gated area in small groups. The dragons were all surprisingly active, which is an uncommon sight. After seeing the world's largest fish, seeing the largest living reptiles on the earth continued to give the group the Once-In-A-Lifetime Journey experience.

Day 7 | Exploring Gili Lawa Island

Half the group woke before dawn for a serene sea kayaking session around Gili Lawa Island. Later, we indulged in unforgettable scuba diving and snorkeling at Crystal Rock and Shotgun sites, marveling at the vibrant colors and diverse marine life. Members declared it some of the best diving they had ever experienced. We capped off the day with a rewarding hike up Padar Heights, where the vista revealed three different colored beaches (pink, black, and white) all from one mountaintop vista. Each moment of this journey mesmerized us with its natural wonders.

A curious Komodo Dragon
Exceptional food along every leg of the journey

Day 8 | Enjoying the Colors of Komodo

On the eighth day of the trip, we ventured to where the Indian Ocean meets the Java Sea. The colder waters of the Indian Ocean create a nutrient-rich environment. Members saw rays, cuddle fish, a frogfish, sea apples, and a diversly different ecosystem than what we’d been enjoying. Our day ended with a relaxing afternoon on the famous Pink Beach. Members could snorkel from shore, enjoy the warm sand, purchase wears from the locals, and be served a cocktail from the bar the ship had set up exclusively for our group. It was a private beach, and many leaned into the relaxing setting.

Day 9 | Saying Farewell to the Aqua Blu

Our final day on the Aqua Blu brought us back to the warm ocean, where the dive group encountered eagle rays, turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and abundant marine life. The snorkelers were delighted to have spotted a Manta Ray.

The day ended with a special dinner on the ship. Affectionately called "adult camp," the journey had created lasting memories, and everyone was sad to see it come to an end.

Day 10 | Enjoying the Last Day

After we departed from the Aqua Blu, we flew back to Denpasar, Bali. Members checked into the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, where they indulged in the hotel's amenities and spent a leisurely afternoon on the beach. That night, we gathered for our final farewell dinner — an Indonesian street-themed market with local delicacies. The highlight was a private fire dance performance, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Finally, as the last day rolled in, we parted ways. Members will carry cherished memories, new friendships, and wonderful sea stories to share with loved ones.