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flossie009

Komodo Island

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Referring back to a previous thread on this topic, it appears that, following a change in policy, visits will still be allowed to Komodo Island but numbers will be limited and there may be a significant charge.

Here are some news reports on the subject:

BBC

Antara (Indonesia)

CNN

Guardian

 

Not sure how the latest decision (confusion?) affects any Regent cruises due to call in to the island?

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Well, the government is going to charge large amounts of money to visit the island.  So I see one of two options:

 

1) The cruiseline will make this a "premium" excursion, with the new fee as part of the shorex cost.

 

2) The cruiseline will still offer the standard "included" tour, but will find a way to increase the overall cruise fare to cover those costs.

 

Just as the tolls for transiting the Panama and Suez Canals is factored into the cruise cost, so this may be.

 

They won't be taking a loss.  Somebody has to pay, and it's not the folks at Regent HQ.

 

My two kopeks only.

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Having done the Komodo Island excursion (included) a few years' back on Voyager:  

 

This is one of those experiences which my wife and I will certainly remember.  I posted on this many, many Threads ago.  We were certainly rewarded with a positive experience because we took the necessary precautions as to clothing, time of day, and hydration.  Took the morning excursion.  Took two bottles of water, each.  Light clothing, but a long-sleeve (light) shirt for me; head cover, and repellant.  

 

Others in our group which tendered ashore did not.  Nor, did they take water bottles offered onshore.  So--as could have been predicted, the guy ahead of me on the trek on a path to the "really big ones" fell-out about 30 minutes in.   After uttering an expletive, he began walking back.  One of our many-guides had to peel-off and accompany him back.  No one was allowed to venture off by him or herself.  For obvious reasons.  Our efforts were rewarded by viewing--at a safe distance--those Dragons.  

 

Our dear friends, who will be with us on an upcoming Splendor cruise in March, took the afternoon excursion.   They reported similar experiences as to folks who did not prepare.  One man in their group fell down from the heat.  He had to be stretchered-back to shore for immediate return to the ship.  

 

What a way to mess up a cruise.  

 

We will be back in that neck of the woods in 2021.  Will eschew Komodo, if offered.  Older, and even less-tolerant of heat and humidity.

 

GOARMY!

 

 

 

 

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GOARMY  and FlyerTalker - you both brought up some really important points.  While one poster linked websites that address this issue, it is only what Regent decides to do that is pertinent.

 

It was about 114 degrees when we visited Komoto Island.   People that do not take water with them are behind the eight ball.  Seeing the dragons was quite an experience but not one that we would do again.  

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18 hours ago, flossie009 said:

 

 

Not sure how the latest decision (confusion?) affects any Regent cruises due to call in to the island?

Thanks for the updates. We are scheduled for a Circle Australia cruise in January and hope to see the Dragons, and will heed yor warnings -- 114 degrees....yipes! Komodo is still listed on Regent online and we haven't heard anything otherwise from Regent. 

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I just read that if you want to visit Komodo, there will be a $1000 charge pp. Apparently this will give you access for a twelve month period.

There will be a lesser charge to visit neighboring islands.

 

stay tuned

 

these aren’t Regent charges

Edited by tubeamps

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Bali and Komodo Island are on Regent's circumnavigation of Australia which means they want to offer Komodo to their passengers.

Luckily we went there on a relatively cool day. The hills were green. The second time, we had a storm and couldn't tender. The third time, it was brutally hot, the hills were brown and we remained on board. All of it was 'before'. 

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They were spectacular!  We were on the first visit of the day.  It was hot, but I’ve been hotter on other excursions.  (I’m talking about you, Valley of the Kings, Goa, Dubai!).   The walk is not terribly strenuous.   You do get to be a bit too close for comfort. 

1E7BDF91-CF5A-4861-B750-F07D72F24D4E.jpeg

24AEEF01-E4FC-4E85-B258-95310B74386E.jpeg

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gb58:

 

. . . and, do not wander from the path.  There are Dragons about looking for dessert.  

 

If you have the option of a morning or afternoon visit--recommend morning.  Temperature will probably not exceed 100 degrees.  And, opportunity to return (via tender) to the ship for a nice shower before lunch.  

 

Here is a little secret as to how the Guides keep the dragons at bay:  They are fed shortly before the tourists arrive in a large clearing for the main viewing.  My wife got some great pictures, from a safe distance.    

 

GOARMY!

 

 

 

 

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One other tip.  Be sure to wear good, solid footwear that can handle uneven rough terrain.

 

On one visit there, a number of ladies chose to wear their fashionable, minimalist, designer flip-flop sandals.  By half-way through the tour, they were busy complaining about why the paths weren't smooth and paved.  Then it rained, actually downpoured, and the paths turned into troughs of mud.  A few then were actually crying.

 

 

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Interesting debates, we are going to Komodo in Jan 2022 - thinking and planning ahead eh! on a Cruise from Sydney to Bangkok and this is one of the main reasons that I booked this Cruise as I have always wanted to see them. I have looked on the excursion list for this island and it is the only excursion available and it is "Free " ie included in my Cruise fare. So I expect it will be still on and no doubt the Cruise lines will have a deal to enable them to continue to visit.

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Whist I wouldn't say it was our main reason for booking this itinerary, we too recognised that this was likely to be the only chance to see the Komodo dragons and enthusiastically signed up for the tour.  Our experience remains one of our most memorable travel experiences and is one I wouldn't have missed.  The tour was well organised and on the basis of our experience, I too would go for the earliest tour I could manage, though clearly the weather is a significant factor beyond anyone's control and changed so quickly that it would surely be a good idea to go prepared for a downpour, just in case.  One man disembarking the tender just in front of us became very angry with the staff because his (very expensive-looking) camera was in danger of getting wet - the anxieties and emotions provoked by sudden changes in weather conditions can create nasty situations, another example of which @FlyerTalker mentions above.  

 

If you'd like to read about our day, it's here

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6 hours ago, forgap said:

This is how they keep the dragons in line....

 

Somehow, I wished they used a .357 or 9mm.  If only for peace of mind.  🙂

 

My other rule for Komodo.  I looked around our group and made sure that there was always someone between me and the dragon that I could easily outrun.

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Forgap beautiful photos and Gilly beautiful photos and narrative.

 

I agree with FlyerTalker about the clothing and weapons.

 

One thing we were warned about was the weather.  We were told it often rains and the paths can be slippery and of course muddy and often it is very hot and humid.  In fact, the warnings were so strong my wife stayed on the ship.  As it turned out it was hot and humid but no rain and the paths were relatively dry.  

 

It is a unique experience and glad we saw them.  I always wondered if one attacked how they would protect us with the sticks and hoping we wouldn't make the newspapers and the internet news if something went terribly wrong.  

 

Keith

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I also wondered about the “protection”.  Our guide said that the dragons can’t see very well and the sticks look like the forked dragon tongue.   When it is place before them, they think it is a bigger dragon and, intimidated, retreat.  It helps that they are well fed before we arrive.  

 

I was taking tons of pictures and the guide placed himself in front of me at one point because he didn’t like the way one of the dragons was tracking me.  My camera lens was moving around and he said that the dragon in question thought I might be a pig or a deer.  Since we had been on board for over a week already, a pig was a pretty good guess!

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It will likely be quite expensive to visit the dragons.  I would be surprised (and a bit disappointed) if Regent did not pass some of the $1,000/person fees onto their passengers that wish to see them.  After all, why should everyone have to pay (in their cruise fare) for something that they may have seen before and do not care to see again.  If I remember correctly, people with disabilities would not be able to view the dragons.

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22 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

My other rule for Komodo.  I looked around our group and made sure that there was always someone between me and the dragon that I could easily outrun.

Hahahahahaha!  I like the way you think.

 

 

 

 

(and I do the same thing)

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