20 Oct 2019
Signed up for the Full Day Package on their online webpage about a week before the tour and received confirmation about a day later. Was informed that the pick-up at my hotel at 530am in the morning and was instructed to get a packed breakfast the day before.
On the day of the tour, we were waiting at our hotel at the instructed time but they were not there. We had to call them and was only picked-up at 610am. Was very disappoint about the late pick-up and the lack of communication.
Alba Cruise docks at one of the hotel and not at the harbour. On that day of we had the smaller speed boat and toured with another group of 5 people.
Was informed about the itinerary of the day which was Padar island, Pink beach, Komodo Island, Kanawa Island and finally Kelor Island.
The highlight of the trip was really Padar Island, and Komodo Island. For those who love snorkeling, pink beach was good too. The other two destinations wasn’t much of a highlight. Kanawa Island corals wasn’t very good and the waves kept pushing us back to shore. As for Kelor Island, everyone on the boat was too tired for the final destination.
The boat was clean but it felt slightly stuffy in the late morning. Also, I believe after reaching our first destination, one of the engine was down so we took slightly longer to reach our destination on the remaining journey. I could see the captain fiddling with the engine controls throughout the journey.
The guides helped to take photos and gave a brief introduction to the places.
Overall, the tour on Alba Cruise felt more like a transport company than a tour where staff brought you from one destination to the next. In addition, would have loved to be on a bigger boat.
BEWARE - Not as advertised. It was supposed to be a small group but they put us on a much bigger boat ran by another company. The itinerary was more or less the same but our boat got beached and we missed the last two destinations. No refunds offered. They have a good website but please use another company!
Really enjoyable sunset cruise
Review of: Sunset Dining Cruise in Labuan Bajo with Alba Cruise
We booked this tour last minute and am glad we did. Yes, it was more expensive than other tours, but I felt that it was probably worth it. The views from Kelor Island after a somewhat difficult climb are overrated and not worth it in my opinion. I was disappointed in the lack of time spent at Rinca Island. We saw plenty of komodos, but these were mostly around the buildings and having been to Rinca previously, the walk we were taken on was about 15 minutes and definitely not one of the full walks shown on the maps. But people that had never been before seemed to enjoy this experience more. Seeing the flying foxes and the beautiful sunset was great. Plenty of food was provided including lunch, afternoon snack, fruit and a 4 course dinner which was delicious.
Sunset Transport Service
I joined the Sunset Dining Tour as a solo traveller. Surprisingly there are only 2 travellers on the tour with me.
The 3 of us set sail from Laprima Hotel. This was not informed in any of the communication prior to the tour. Something which can and should be improved- communication. It serves me as rather lucky, though, since I was staying at the same hotel.
We had lunch on the boat. Chicken with rice. Not bad.
First stop was Kelor Island. A beatiful island with crystal clear waters and white sand. Our guide did not make it clear and explain well of our destinations and what we will be doing, how much time allowed etc. This does make the tour seem more of a transportation company. We had to be the one proactive in asking questions.
It was not made clear that we would be hiking to quite a slippery and steep hill. 2 of us were having difficulties. We only had a bit of time left to enjoy the beach on the island.
Second was snorkeling. Abundance of fish and coral.
Third was Rinca to see the komodo dragons. Saw a few, plus other wildlife.
We were caught in the rain afterwards. But oddly, the boat ride is still mesmerising.
During sunset, we stopped to see the migration of fruit bats. A spectacular scene.
Dinner was served next. Starter and dessert was average, but a whole steamed fish for 1 person as the main course was tasty.
A memorable trip
We booked the Sunset Dining Cruise trip after searching internet, having not booking anything prior to our arrival in Labuan Bajo. A friend of us recommended this company for being the most trusted one in Labuan Bajo and also the pioneer of daily trip programs too. So why not ?
Turned our that they put the Sunset Dining Cruise as their main program now.. and what a program !
What not to like, from majectic view from the top of the hill in Kelor Island, the beautiful scenery of Rinca Island (yes...we prefer the scenery rather than seeing the dragons itself) to the most memorable one, a great sunset scenery with thousand of bats flying above our head). Never saw something like this before.
The boat itself is new and enjoyable with so much space for 12 of us the passengers onboard. And the dining, well, IMO it’s quite good actually but as taste preference by each person may vary, we prefer not to make any long subjective comment here.