Set sail with Tim Flannery and Kate Holden on a literary cruise like no other

Posted: 22 June 2017

As the UWRF17 draws to a close, internationally acclaimed climatologist and conservationist Tim Flannery will cast off for the Komodo Islands in the latest of the Festival’s famed literary cruises from 31 October to 4 November.

Flannery has a long history with the Komodo National Park, first writing about it in his 2004 publication The Future Eaters. Along with his pioneering achievements in climatology, the former Australian of the Year is also renowned for his work in mammalogy and palaeontology. Flannery will also be joined by his wife and fellow writer, Kate Holden, author of memoirs In My Skin and The Romantic.

The chance to sail the pristine seas of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Coral Triangle, snorkel in the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on the planet, and encounter Komodo Dragons with Flannery and Holden is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Hosting celebrated author Amitav Gosh and Lonely Planet Co-founder Tony Wheeler on previous voyages, the UWRF’s literary cruises give passengers the chance to journey through an extraordinary part of the world alongside literary greats.

Walking the secluded beaches, uninhabited islands and ancient landscapes of the National Park will be followed by star-lit conversations aboard the majestic two-masted phinisi sailing ship, the Plataran Felicia.

Plataran is a homegrown Indonesian hospitality group with a vision of contributing to Indonesia by showcasing its rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage. Aboard their luxury ship housing just six cabins, the voyage will be an intimate affair, with ample time for both intellectual and creative nourishment and relaxation.

“The chance to sail through this spectacular region – which is as beautiful above water as it is below – with a scientist of Tim Flannery’s standing and a storyteller like Kate doesn’t come along very often,” said DeNeefe.

“Not only will we be immersed in the Komodo National Park’s stunning surrounds, we’ll hear insights about the environment, flora and fauna that no guidebook could ever offer.”

31 October – 4 November An exclusive opportunity for 8 guests only, spanning 5 days, 4 nights. Early Bird Tickets just AUD $3500pp cabin share. Get in touch with our team to BOOK NOW

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Labuan Bajo to Sabolon Island Guests will fly from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo. Plataran staff will welcome passengers at Labuan Bajo airport with car transfer to the Plataran Felicia. One hour sailing north to uninhabited Sabolon Island will be followed by snorkeling.


Day 2: Komodo Island, Komodo Village and Pink Beach


After breakfast passengers will disembark on Komodo Island for an encounter with its legendary wildlife, a tour through Komodo Village and then snorkeling at its famed Pink Beach.


Day 3. Manta Point to Gili Lawa Darat


Manta Point is the Komodo National Park’s most popular location for manta ray sightings, but its reefs are also home to hundreds of other marine species. After snorkeling the Felicia will sail north to Gili Lawa Darat for a spectacular sunset. After a short trek to the island’s highest point, take in the view of Sanghiang Island to the west, an active volcano island.


Day 4. Rinca Island to Papagarang Island


A second opportunity for a Komodo Dragon encounter awaits passengers on Rinca Island, followed by a tour of the Bajau and Bugis fishing communities on Papagarang Island.


Day 5. Kanawa Island to Bidadari Island, return to Labuan Bajo


After snorkelling off tiny Kanawa Island, and then Bidadari Island, the Plataran Felicia will return to Labuan Bajo. Guests will fly from Labuan Bajo to Denpasar.


The Vessel

Plataran Phinisi Felicia is the largest in the fleet with two master cabins and four twins, offering unsurpassed luxury and space to relax in while sailing the islands and bays of one of Indonesia’s most spectacular regions, including the Komodo Islands and the areas surrounding Flores.

Inclusions & Ticketing

  • 4 nights, 5 days aboard the Plataran Felicia sailing ship
  • Return flights from Denpasar to Labuan Bajo
  • Entry ticket to Komodo National Park
  • All food aboard the boat

Early Bird Tickets are available at just AUD $3500pp cabin share until mid-August. Full price tickets are available at $4500pp cabin share. 

To reserve your place aboard this once in a lifetime cruise, please email your interest to

31 October – 4 November An exclusive opportunity for 8 guests only, spanning 5 days, 4 nights. Early Bird tickets just AUD $3500pp cabin share.  Get in touch with our team to BOOK NOW