The Spice Islands are made of over 1,000 islands in the Maluku region. It was once the center of the global spice trade which has left traditions and European relics from the sixteenth century. Banda Neira sits against the backdrop of Gunung Banda Api or Fire Mountain, an active volcano that is a paradise for bird watchers and hikers.
Underwater, the Spice Islands have a unique array of marine life. Lava flow from the Gunung Banda Api eruption in 1988 set off a massive rebirth of coral reefs. Today they are among the liveliest and most diverse marine habitats in the East Indonesian Archipelago.
Aqua Expeditions highly experienced river pilots and the most rigorous cruise ship standards ensure smooth travel and safety on the waters of the Indonesian Archipelago.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.
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. Dinner and overnight.
Recommended Flight: Jakarta to Ambon, Garuda Indonesia – GA646*
Early morning departure along the scenic north coast of Ambon sailing for the island outpost of Saparua. 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 the European relics, explore bird habitats or go diving before departing Sarapua for an overnight crossing to the Banda Islands.
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.
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.
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. Attempt to search for the ruins of an old British fort before arriving at a pristine beach where a cocktail party awaits.
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 for your outbound flight.
Disembarkation: 6:30 am
Recommended Flight: Ambon to Jakarta, Batik Air – ID 6171*
2020 Departures Every Saturday: Oct 17 - Nov 21
2021 Departures Every Saturday: Oct 16 - Nov 27
|Price Per Person in Double (USD): 2019 & 2020||Category 1 Bridge & Forecaste Decks (25-31 SQM)||Category II Main and Lower Deck (22-32 SQM)||Category III Main & Lower Decks (12-14 SQM)||Charter Rates - Normal Season||Charter - Peak Season: Jan 4, 19 & Dec 26, 2020|
|7 Nights - Saturday Departures||10,675||9,625||7,525||258,000||286, 650|
|12 Nights - Saturday Departures||16,475||14,850||11,600||398,000|
|USD Per Person in Double||Category 1 Bridge & Forecaste Decks (25-31 SQM)||Category II Main and Lower Deck (22-32 SQM)||Category III Main & Lower Decks (12-14 SQM)||Charter Rates - Normal Season||Charter Rates - Peak Season: Jan 2, 18 & Dec 25|
|7 Nights - Saturday Departures||10,955||9,870||7,700||265,000||293, 930|
|12 Nights - Saturday Departures||16,900||15,200||11,870||408,000|
There is plenty of room on the Aqua Blu to get together or to get away. There are indoor and outdoor bars and indoor and outdoor dining areas. You can relax in the lobby lounge and bar or take in the views on the observation deck. The ship is complete with an outdoor jacuzzi with lounge day beds, a library, exercise zone and spa. There is also complimentary internet (subject to location).
On board are diving equipment, kayaks, stand up paddleboards for passengers to explore independently. We also offer 2 Alson Flash tenders and 2 Zodiac RIB rescue boats for sports and discovery.
The ship was converted from a British Navy vessel to a private luxury yacht in 2006 and refurbished to join the exquisite Aqua Expeditions fleet in 2019. The vessel is powered by 2 660hp Lister Blackstones and develops a cruising speed of 12 knots. Electricity at 220V and 110V is supplied by 2 Volvo Penta 225 KW generators.
There are 15 Design Suites over 4 decks in three categories:
Cat 1: 25 - 31 sq meters or 269 ft sq (min)
Cat 2: 22 - 31 sq meters or 237 ft sq (min)
Cat 3: 12 - 14 sq meters or 129 ft sq (min)
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