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Slideshow: Step Aboard the Indonesian Tall Ship KRI Dewaruci

"It's like Christmas in June," jokes Dr. Bangun Pramujo, as the marching band on the Indonesian tall ship KRI Dewaruci plays Jingle Bells

Ironically, just moments earlier, Dr. Pramujo confides that the most difficult part of being away from home for so long -- a total of 10 months -- is communication. 

The song is a reminder that while Indonesia is more than 10,000 miles from Maryland, some things like the love of the water and a familiar holiday tune unite the ship's naval cadets with the sea of smiling faces who greeted them as they landed in Baltimore's Inner Harbor June 13. The festive KRI Dewaruci is one of the nearly two-dozen tall ships that arrive for Baltimore's Sailabration, a festival to commemorate the 200-year-anniversary of the War of 1812. 

Prior to Jingle Bells, the marching band played Aku Bukan Bang Toyib, an Indonesian song about a man who works far away from home.

But Dr. Pramujo insists that he is not Mr. Toyib -- the man in the song --because he will eventually go home after 10 months away.

Making its second around-the-world trip, the 59-year-old ship made stops in the Marshall Islands, Pearl Harbor and San Diego. After Baltimore, it's off to Boston and St. John's in Canada.

How does Baltimore compare with other stops?

"It's beautiful," Dr. Pramujo says of Baltimore, noting the ubiquitous ships lined along Canton, Fells Point and downtown. "New York is not beautiful. A lot of tall buildings."

Take a look at a sliver of the KRI Dewaruci and its merry navy men as it sailed into Baltimore, as captured by Bmore photographer Steve Ruark. 

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