Spice Islands and Coral Triangle Expedition

Spice Islands and Coral Triangle Expedition

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Focal point of the global spice trade in the 16th and 17th century, this region is endowed with well-preserved European relics alongside vibrant local traditions. Enriched by lava flows from the immense active volcano of Gunung Banda Api, nutrient-rich underwater gardens flourish in a kaleidoscope of colors.

Trip Name
Spice Islands and Coral Triangle Expedition
Vessel Type: Yacht Length: 198 feet / 60 meters Passenger Capacity: 30 Built/Converted/Refurbished: 1968/2006/2019 Presenting a brand-new cruise experience in the pristine East Indonesian Archipelago, Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht sailing the region’s most prized destinations, including Komodo National Park, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on unforgettable 7- and 12-night itineraries. Where modern luxury meets naval heritage With a grand legacy as the former British Naval Explorer HMS Beagle and later as the private yacht of a European aristocratic family, Aqua Blu is a compelling maritime statement. A 2019 refurbishment overseen by Dutch yacht design maestro Cor D. Rover brings the vessel to world-class cruising specifications. Guests can expect to embrace an distinguished sense of history and seafaring evolution when they set foot on this one-of-a-kind cruise ship. Inside the four-deck, 15-suite Aqua Blu, Cor has tastefully paired with a brass-and-ivory interior theme with generous and inviting indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a sun deck. Unlocking access to the Earth’s most intriguing destinations Faster, further, greater safety and comfort — Aqua Blu’s naval pedigree makes it the perfect vessel to navigate East Indonesia’s vast seas. Having attained the highest international classifications (RINA, SOLAS, ISM) in safety, the vessel is additionally equipped with Quantum Zero Speed stabilizers for optimal comfort at rest or while sailing. Aqua Blu’s range stands heads and shoulders above that of its peers in East Indonesia. Able to cover vast distances in a short span of time — and in any sea condition — the vessel enables explorers on board to experience the most varied, enjoyable and rewarding coastal cruise itineraries in this wild and stunningly beautiful region of the world. On Board Living and Social Areas Sun Deck with Outdoor Seating, Lounge Sofa and Barbecue Bridge Deck with Jacuzzi, Outdoor Lounge Area, Spa and Exercise Zone Forecastle Deck with Outdoor Dining and Seating Area, Indoor Lounge Bar, Library and TV Room Main Deck with Outdoor Seating, Salon and Dining Room


Day 1 - Day 1 Indonesia Ambon
Arrive to a warm welcome in Ambon. Board Aqua Blu and enjoy a delicious dinner onboard, curated by renowned chef Benjamin Cross. Settle into your cabins and bid farewell to the harbor as you set sail along the scenic northern coast of Ambon.
Day 2 - Day 2 Indonesia Hila
Head out for your first excursion to explore the historical Dutch fortification, Fort Amsterdam, in the coastal town of Hila. Sail through the afternoon and learn about the incredible history of the spice trade. Next, enjoy a sundowner as Aqua Blu continues sailing to the Banda Islands. While traveling through the deep expanse of the Banda Sea, enact an old naval tradition – ‘hands to bathe’ – where you jump into the water and swim, floating over depths stretching thousands of meters.
Day 3 - Day 3 Indonesia Banda Islands & Banda Neira
Approach the Banda Islands at sunrise, greeted by Kora-Kora war canoes at the harbor. Stroll through history at the Dutch Fort Nassau on Banda Neira – which used to be most hotly contested island in the world back in the 16th and 17th century. Walk through ancient passageways now bustling with modern life, yet still showcasing a treasure trove of history. After lunch, head out for a snorkeling or diving excursion, and end the evening with a sundowner at Fort Belgica.
Day 4 - Day 4 Indonesia Banda Besar & Pulau Hatta
Spend the day exploring the oldest nutmeg plantations in the world on Banda Besar. Learn about the history of the spice and the wars which were fought over it. Resume sailing at lunch to Pulau Hatta, for a dive and snorkel along beautiful walls inhabited by corals and schools of tropical fish. Return to Aqua Blu for a screening of the Ring of Fire documentary, followed by sunset drinks and the remarkable cuisine of chef Benjamin Cross.
Day 5 - Day 5 Indonesia Pulau Manuk
Savor a sunrise breakfast against the backdrop of the 300-meter-tall cliffs of Pulau Manuk – a volcanic island rising 3 kilometers from the seabed. For those wishing for an early workout – ocean-swimming from Aqua Blu towards the island’s active volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Pulau Manuk is a haven for fish-hunting birds, as well as sea snakes and reef sharks which flock to enjoy the area’s underwater thermal springs. At sundown, take the tenders out to sea and enjoy drinks at our makeshift floating bar.
Day 6 - Day 6 Indonesia Pulau Ai & Pulau Run
Arrive at Pulau Ai & Pulau Run, the westernmost of the Banda Islands, at sunrise. Swim, snorkel, and dive in the crystal-clear waters, where you’ll discover stunning coral gardens and reef fish. Afterwards, head ashore to Pulau Ai for a guided tour of Fort Revenge and its nutmeg store houses. Spend the afternoon at a pristine beach on Pulau Run, which was traded for the island of Manhattan in 1667 by the British and the Dutch. Witness the sun setting into the sea while enjoying a cocktail party on these historic sands.
Day 7 - Day 7 Indonesia Nusa Laut & Molana
Head out for an early morning ocean swim, followed by a diving or snorkeling excursion. On the north side of Nusa Laut, discover the scenic fishing villages of Ameth and Akon. This is also home of the dugong, the Southeast Asian cousin of the American manatee. Enjoy a cooking lesson before lunch, and cruise to Molana Island — a small but heavily forested island with fantastic reefs.
Day 8 - Day 8 Indonesia Ambon
Awake to the bustle of Ambon and disembark after a sumptuous breakfast for your outbound flight.
Day 9 - Please note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Banda Islands Exploration: Discover the historical spice islands with their stunning coral reefs, colonial architecture, and rich marine life. Enjoy diving, snorkeling, and exploring cultural landmarks in Banda Neira and Banda Besar.
    • Cultural and Natural Wonders of Ambon: Begin and end your journey in Ambon, experiencing its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and lush landscapes. Don’t miss the local markets and historical sites that showcase the region's unique heritage.