Aqua Blu, Indonesia Ambon & Spice Islands ex Ambon Return
Cruise Line Aqua Expeditions
Ship Aqua Blu
Destination Asia
Nights 7
Departure Date 07 Nov 2020
Description 7 Night cruise departing roundtrip from Ambon onboard Aqua Blu.

The Spice Islands consists of a cluster of seven major islands, including the populated Banda Neira, Banda Besar and Pulau Run. Such was the significance of a monopoly of the Spice Islands, the Dutch East Indies Company, also known as the VOC, had traded Manhattan (in today’s New York City) for Pulau Run (an island just over a square mile in area) with the British in 1667.

In fact, as you explore the remnants of the Islands’ colonial past such as cannons that stand literally side-by-side of traditional village homes, you might just be the first to stumble upon a long-lost relic or fort given how utterly undiscovered the Spice Islands are by the outside world.

The Spice Island expedition also gives the explorer the chance to kick back and unwind at some of the most scenic locations in the world. Molana and Pulau Run boast picture-perfect sandy beaches and are prime locations for swimming, fishing, snorkeling and diving as well as village tours and birdwatching.

On Banda Neira, the active volcano of Gunung Banda Api is more than just another photogenic backdrop. Also known as the ‘Fire Mountain’, Banda Api’s eruption and seaward lava flow in 1988 led to a rebirth of coral and marine life so quickly it astounded marine biologists everywhere. By 1994, they noticed that underwater thermal springs and nutrients of the cooled volcanic lava had kickstarted the growth of spectacular underwater gardens.

Today, the Spice Islands is home to one of the most colorful and diverse displays of coral and marine life in the East Indonesian Archipelago, including enormous fan corals, the Mandarin fish and the Ambon scorpionfish. The Molucca region, of which the Spice Islands form the southernmost part, is also ‘transition zone’ between Asian and Oceanic fauna and flora, and so the these islands include many species that are completely unique to the area.

Not only that, the region is also part of the migratory route for many birds and marine species. Cruising the Banda Sea aboard the Aqua Blu, discover fantastic reefs for snorkeling and diving as well as opportunities for sightings of spinner dolphins, orcas, and various other whale species. Meanwhile, both endemic and migratory bird species can be seen along the coast or while hiking the lush pockets of forest.

Aqua Expeditions’ Ambon & Spice Island cruise aboard the Aqua Blu cruise ship sails every year from October to November, the best season to discover the region. The cruise sets sail on 7-night itineraries, departing from the rustic port city of Ambon.

Come sail with us on the Aqua Blu and experience one of the most evocative and all-encompassing cruise expeditions on Earth.

Highlights of this cruise:

Arrive to a warm welcome in Ambon and board Aqua Blu at Laha Bay, a famous muck diving site. There are also opportunities for trekking and birdwatching inland.

Early morning, depart for the island outpost of Saparua, sailing along the scenic north coast of Ambon. Disembark en route at the coastal town of Hila to explore the old Dutch fortification, Fort Amsterdam. Continue onto Sarapua, where a host of water activities await. Discover local pottery-making at Ouw village, visit a local market, see European relics, explore bird habitats or go diving before departing Sarapua for an overnight crossing to Banda Islands.

Banda Islands & Banda Neira
Approach the Banda Islands as the sun rises, greeted by Kora-Kora war canoes as the boat enters the harbor. Stroll through history at the Dutch Fort Belgica on Banda Neira, once the most hotly contested island in the world in the 16th and 17th century, and learn about the colorful story of the Old World spice trade.

Banda Neira & Gunung Api
Spend the day exploring the oldest nutmeg plantations in the world, learning about the cultivation and history of the spice. Hike the active volcano of Gunung Banda Api. In this remote part of Indonesia, experience local life with traditions unchanged for decades before departing Banda Harbour at night.

Savour a sunrise breakfast on board against the backdrop of 300-metre tall cliffs of Pulau Manuk, a volcanic island rising 3 kilometres from the seabed. This is a haven for fish-hunting birds, as well as sea snakes and reef sharks flocking to enjoy the area’s underwater thermal springs. After sundown, cruise northwards to Pulau Run, a historic island traded by the British for Manhattan in 1667.

Pulau Run
Arrive at Pulau Run, the westernmost of the Banda Islands, at sunrise. Swim, fish, snorkel and dive in the crystal-clear waters, or go on village tours, trekking and birding. After finding the ruins of an old British fort, arrive at a pristine beach where a cocktail party awaits. Later, board the ship for an overnight crossing to Nusa Laut.

Nusa Laut & Molana
On the north side of Nusa Laut, bike through the scenic fishing villages of Ameth and Akon. This is also home of the dugong, the Southeast Asian cousin of the American manatee and a vulnerable species. Cruise to Molana Island, a small but heavily forested island with fantastic reefs.

Awake to the bustle of Ambon and disembark after a sumptuous breakfast.
Sailing Dates
  • 17 Oct 2020
  • 24 Oct 2020
  • 31 Oct 2020
  • 07 Nov 2020
  • 14 Nov 2020
  • 21 Nov 2020
  • 16 Oct 2021
  • 23 Oct 2021
  • 30 Oct 2021
  • 06 Nov 2021
  • 13 Nov 2021
  • 20 Nov 2021

Cruise Itinerary

1 07/11 Ambon Island, Indonesia
2 08/11 Saparua, Indonesia
3 09/11 Banda Islands, Maluka Islands, Indonesia
4 10/11 Banda Islands, Maluka Islands, Indonesia
4 10/11 Gunung Api, Indonesia
5 11/11 Maluku Islands, Indonesia
6 12/11 Pulau Ai, Indonesia
7 13/11 Nusa Laut, Indonesia
8 14/11 Ambon Island, Indonesia
All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

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