Bandon, Saparua, Banda Islands, Banda Neira, Gunung Api, Pulau Manuk, Pulau Run, Nusa Laut & Molana
The legendary Spice Islands were once hotly contested by European powers for its lucrative nutmeg, mace and cloves production, at the times worth more than gold in terms of weight and their sweet spicy fragrance can be smelled miles far out from the sea, sought after by the great Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan.
Taken from a nearly forgotten chapter of the world history back to life, this remote Indonesian archipelago is now a living museum dotted with colonial forts, nutmeg cultivation, rural villages where time stood still, azure blue waters and great diving sites far from the beaten track.
The best time to visit the Spice Islands is October-November.
Upon arrival in Ambon, you will be transferred to Laha Bay to board your ship at 3.30pm. The bay is a renowned muck diving site, and if you would like you can also enjoy trekking or birdwatching activities.
Sail along Ambon’s northern coast towards the Hila to explore Fort Amsterdam. After water activities at Saparua, discover Ouw pottery village, a local market and European relics. Alternatively, you can spend some time exploring the bird habitats or enjoying diving activities. Thereafter, retreat to the sun deck to exchange stories with fellow travellers as the ship departs on overnight crossing to the famed Banda Islands.
Arriving into the Banda Islands during sunrise, the sight of Kora-Kora war canoes welcomes you as you enter the harbour. In Banda Neira, you will stroll the historic Dutch Fort Belgica and learn about the colourful history of the highly contested Old World spice trade.
After visiting the world’s oldest nutmeg plantation, we dedicate the day to hike Mount Banda Api and soak in the wondrous scenery of the seemingly unchanged Spice Islands since decades ago.
An expensive view of the Manuk Island’s 300-metre tall volcanic cliffs accompanies you during your sunrise breakfast. Plenty of wildlife frequents this area, including fish-hunting birds, sea snakes and reef sharks flocking into the underwater thermal springs.
After delicious breakfast, enjoy swimming, fishing, snorkeling or diving on Run Island’s crystal-clear sea, traded by the British for Manhattan in 1667. Alternatively, you can also go on village tours, trekking or birding. Search for a British fort ruin followed by a cocktail party at a pristine beach.
Bike through Ameth and Akon fishing villages at the north side of Nusa Laut. You might come across dugong, the Southeast Asian cousin of manatee. Head to the heavily forested Molana Island, blessed with breathtaking reefs.
After sumptuous breakfast, we bid farewell to Aqua Blu and disembark around 6am head to the airport for your departure.
Luxuriate in air-conditioned, contemporary suites courtesy of renowned Dutch yacht designer Cor D. Rover. Ranging from 12-31sqm with portholes or windows, each suite comes with private bathroom, hairdryer, organic natural hair and bath amenities. Facilities include an indoor lounge bar, outdoor dining and seating area, barbecue, jacuzzi, spa, exercise zone, library, TV room, salon and dining room. (Launched: 2019; Rooms: 15)View More
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