For the last two years I have been working with a Bali-based company called SeaTrek to create a luxury, adventure cruise along a portion of the ancient Maritime Silk Route, which linked the East and West for more than a millennium in a continuous flow of goods and ideas—from the Chinese and Byzantine empires to Persia and Venice. Among the sites we will be visiting on this 12-day adventure will be the exotic, western islands of Indonesia, as well as the vibrant port city of Singapore; the east coast of Sumatra, where we will go in search of the lost kingdom of Srivijaya; and the site where an Arab dhow laden with Tang Dynasty gold and ceramics wrecked in the 9th century, which I wrote about for National Geographic Magazine. The Maritime Silk Route was not just about trade. It was also the conduit for religions and ideas. And we will be visiting the two greatest temple sites in the world – Borobodur and Prambanan – as well as a smaller temple site on Sumatra. Westbound cruises will sail from Semarang on northern Java to Singapore, via Belitung and Banka Islands and the east coast of Sumatra. Eastbound cruises will sail from Singapore to Semarang. Our floating home will be The Katharina, beautifully converted ” penisi” schooner, the traditional Indonesian vessel that has plied there seas for thousands of years. It’s no gas-guzzling cruise ship. It sleeps 12-14, and has a crew of 16 to take care of your every need. As well as the cultural elements, there will be plenty of time to lounge on deck on squishy cushions, reading or just watching the lapis blue sea float by; or snorkel the amazing underwater world of Indonesia’s coral reefs. Berths are filling up fast, so if you are interested, please contact us without delay. See you on board the Katharina!