The 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. Watch for unique wildlife both on land and underwater, and experience the rich local culture. Explore the Spice Islands of Indonesia from the luxurious Aqua Blu.
Discover local pottery-making at Ouw village
Stroll through history at the Dutch Fort Belgica on Banda Neira
Explore the oldest nutmeg plantations in the world, found in Indonesa
Watch out for wildlife while cruising like, fish-hunting birds
Arrive to a warm welcome in Ambon, and head to the Swiss Bel hotel located at Laha Bay. Refresh yourself in your day-use room before boarding Aqua Blu at lunch. After settling in, bid farewell to the harbor as you set sail along the scenic northern coast of Ambon.
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.
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.
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.
Savor a sunrise breakfast against the backdrop of the 300-metertall cliffs of Pulau Manuk – a volcanic island rising 3 kilometers from the seabed. For those wishing for an early workout – oceanswimming from Aqua Blu towards the island’s active volcano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Pulau Manuk is a haven for fishhunting 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 the makeshift floating bar.
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. Afterward, head ashore to Pulau Ai for a guided tour of Fort Revenge and its nutmeg storehouses.
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.
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: Ambon | Disembark
Awake to the bustle of Ambon and disembark after a sumptuous breakfast for your outbound flight.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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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.
Single Supplement: 25% in addition to the double rate as posted.
Third Person Rates: 20% discount for a third passenger sleeping on the sofa bed.
Children Discounts: Children under age 12 will receive a 20% discount. A child sleeping on the sofa bed as a third passenger in the room will pay $500 per night.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
TrustScore 4.6 | 105 reviews
TrustScore 4.6 of 5
Based on 105 reviews on
1 day ago
The ability (of Kassandra) to tailor a guided trip to my exact preferences is very valuable to me, as well as the ability (of Kassandra) to provide expert guidance on destinations and travel dates. I also appreciate the ability of the backup staff (Maria Ignacio, Exito Travel) to coordinate all the details to make the travel logistics easy for the customer.
1 day ago
Our Costa Rica trip was amazing! Kassandra planned everything and the excursions, hotels, overall organization were outstanding. Everything worked out smoothly, the excursions guides were knowledgeable allowing us to see so much of the fauna and flora of the country. The hotels were great as well, all in fantastic locations and with beautiful views.
1 day ago
This is our 7th trip Kassandra has planned and she is wonderful to work with. She is responsive, helpful, patient and knowledgeable. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to work together with her. We love Adventure Life!
2 days ago
Love Adventure Life, Mary is very experienced in the cruise department. Their post follow up after booking is great too.
2 days ago
Responsiveness and follow through along with staff being very personable.