Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Seabourn Encore: The Inaugural Cruise - Part VIII (Seabourn Ventures Expands- Komodo Island, Indonesia)

Seabourn started its Seabourn Ventures program on the Seabourn Quest with its very popular Antarctica sailings and then expended it to include the fjords of Norway and then the British Isles.

With the introduction of the Seabourn Encore, Seabourn is making an effort to expand its Seabourn Ventures program, but with a bit of a softer touch, so that more guests can enjoy it (and, to be honest, to create an environment where guests overestimate their abilities can safely and comfortably enjoy some adventure instead of just a normal tour).

Having previously visited Komodo Island, Indonesia and its famous dragons, I took the opportunity to try out the Seabourn Ventures' kayaking and then some snorkeling at Pink Beach.  The "venture" truly became an Ad-venture...and the Venture leaders did an excellent job reacting and keeping us safe.  But let's start at the beginning...

We anchored off of Komodo Island and were transferred by zodiac to a beach.  This gave me an opportunity to see how guests transfer to zodiacs from the Seabourn Encore...and it could not be safer or easier.

Seabourn Encore's Seabourn Ventures zodiacs
are extremely easy to board.
A short zodiac ride and we arrived at a quiet beach where the Ventures team had already staged the very comfortable and stable kayaks.

My friend Seabourn Ventures's Tua, gives me a warm welcome!

High quality single and double Wavesport kayaks are used
I shared my kayak with my new friend, Linda; a great kayaking partner...if you wanted to laugh a lot, but do most of the paddling.  (As she said, "If we were married, we would be divorced." and as I said, "No, I would be dead!".)  In other words, we had a great time.

I also met a really wonderful family from Australia including an absolutely charming mother with her lovely 12 year old daughter that also had a great time kayaking.  (Anyway, back to the story!)

But our great time had a bit of excitement.  As you can see from the photograph above, the water was almost a flat calm...and then, literally instantly, the water started rushing in (essentially a true tidal wave) creating rapids, eddies and whirlpools.  It came out of nowhere.

Fairly calm waters turned a bit turbulent, but the Seabourn Ventures
team saw it would get worse...
The Seabourn Ventures leader in the kayak immediately told us to paddle to a small island into calm water and the rescue zodiac (driven by my Cook Islander friend, Tua) was there almost instantly. With Tua literally being an expert at reading waters they took stock, made a plan, loaded us into the zodiac and delivered us...kayaks in tow...to Pink Beach, safe and sound.

...and it quickly did

Tua.  You will remember him!
Safely delivered to Pink Beach it was time to snorkel.  But before I get to those photographs, I must tell you the story of my plight to get a beer.

Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia

The Indonesian government would not allow Seabourn to provide any food or drinks other than water on the beach...and after saving Linda's life by guiding our kayak to the shelter of that island...having a beer did not look good.

However, some locals arrived and set up "shop" with some trinkets and, fortunately, beer.  But, alas, I had no money with me.  (Who knew I would need any?)   So Tua saved me a second time, loaning me 100,000 rupiah (or about US$7.00) so I could purchase a cold (actually merely not hot) beer.

The local woman - after negotiations - agreed to sell me two beers for the 100,000 rupiah but did not have a bottle opener.  She pretended to look for a bottle opener and then she handed me a rock. When that didn't work, she paused and then OPENED THE BEERS WITH HER TEETH!!!  Unbelievable and, frankly, quite impressive!

The coolest, if not coldest, beer I have ever enjoyed.
The local woman I bought it from opened it with her teeth!
I also enjoyed some really good snorkeling.  If the sun was fully out it would have been spectacular.

All in all Seabourn Encore's Seabourn Ventures program provided a very professional, diverse, safe and fun experience for young and old(er)!

Interested in a Seabourn cruise? Give Goldring Travel a call or drop me an email

United States:             (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:       020 8133 3450
Australia:                   (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:      +1 530-562-9232

Or email us at eric@goldringtravel.com.