Board the Aqua Blu for a highly-limited 13-day limited cross voyage, which opens up the opportunity of exploring multiple destinations in East Indonesia on a single expedition and discovering lesser-explored treasures of the enchanting region.
This cruise also includes one-of-a-kind excursions, including visits to the intriguing Abui tribe of Flores at Alor, journeys to the multicolored Kelimutu volcano crater lakes in Flores, and explorations of the stunning marine environments of southern/central Raja Ampat and Pulau Koon.
Discover local pottery-making at Ouw village
Explore bird habitats in Indonesia
Visit the oldest nutmeg plantations in the world
Snorkel, swim, kayak and spear-fish in the numerous blue pools
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, or discover local pottery-making at Ouw village, visit a local market, see European relics or explore bird habitats.
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.
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.
Snorkel, swim, kayak and spear-fish in the numerous blue pools and over the sparkling coral reefs on the Koon Island, also known as the Marine Superhighway because of its location along a migratory route. Kayak into the narrow waterway entrance in Manawoka of Gorong island to view shallow reefs and deep dropoffs. Set sail to Misool after dinner.
Savor a sunrise breakfast on board against the backdrop of 300-meter tall cliffs of Pulau Manuk, a volcanic island rising 3 kilometers 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.
A playground for snorkelers and divers alike, Serua Island showcases an impressive array of reefs, walls and incredible soft coral spots. Vast schools of fish thrive around here and there is always a chance of seeing schooling hammerheads.
The ship arrives in Damar by daybreak. Trek the active volcanos of Damar or kayak on a lagoon at Terbang Seletan when tides are favorable. Swim or snorkel next to the dazzling white sandy shore fringed by a shallow coral reef at Nusleur.
Day 10: Romang, Nyata, Telang ( The Forgotten Islands )
Dive around Nyata island in search of hammerhead sharks and rays. Romang and Nyata are not part of a National Park, therefore it is possible to fish here, both on the water and under the surface. Cruise south towards Telang for snorkeling and kayaking adventures. Spot rare silver-tip sharks here.
There is plenty to do and see along this rarely visited rugged coastline of Wetar, which features impressive wall dives to meet sharks, schools of pelagic fishes, majestic manta and mobula rays. Other activities include fishing and trekking. On this largest island of the Forgotten Islands, experience local life with traditions unchanged for decades.
Arrive in Alor, home to many picturesque fishing villages and surrounded by clear water over vibrant coral reefs that are a diver's and snorkeler's favorite. Centuries-old tradition comes to live in the traditional dance performances by the friendly Abui Tribe.
Day 13: Maumere (Flores) | Disembark
Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast onboard before your disembarkation at Maumere.
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Category III Suite
Averaging 12-14 square meters. Located on the Main Deck and Lower Deck. Featuring twin beds, en-suite bathroom, and porthole windows.
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Category II Suite
Averaging 22-31 square meters. Located on the Bridge Deck, Main Deck and Forecastle Deck. Featuring a King bed or twin beds, oval or porthole windows, lounge area in selected suites, en-suite bathroom, and interior sofas.
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Category I Suite
Averaging 25-31 square meters. Located on the Bridge Deck, Forecastle Deck, Main Deck or Lower Deck. Featuring a King bed, large windows, en-suite bathroom, and interior sofas.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.