The Spice Islands in the Maluku region was once the center of the global spice trade. Centuries-old traditions and European relics on Banda Neira, once a booming spice hub, sit against the backdrop of Gunung Banda Api (“Fire Mountain”), an active volcano that’s also a hiker’s and birdwatchers’ favourite. Lava flows into the sea has created magnificent underwater gardens.
This journey takes guests south across the Banda Sea to The Forgotten Islands, where the world’s most remote and spectacular dive and snorkel sites can be found. Visit the intriguing village of Alor, home to the colorful Abui tribe.
Disembarking in Maumere, guests can visit the famed Flores’s famous Kelimutu volcano lakes before their onward journey.
• Sail across the Banda Sea to discover the fabled history of an Old World spice trading hub, as well as remote communities and dramatic marine habitats on an exceptional sea journey
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, 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.
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.
A playground for snorkelers and divers alike, Serua Island showcases an impressive array of reefs, walls and incredible soft coral spots. Big fish and schools of fish thrive around her and there is always to chance of seeing schooling hammerheads.
The ship arrives in Damar by day break. Trek the active volcanos of Damar or kayak on a lagoon at Terbang Seletan when tides are favourable. Swim or snorkel next to the dazzling white sandy shore fringed by shallow coral reef at Nusleur.
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 mobular rays. Other activities includes fishing and trekking. On this largest island of the Forgotten Islands, experience local life with traditions unchanged for decades.
Arrival 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.
Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast onboard before your disembarkation at Maumere.
All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.
05 March, 2022 to 16 March, 2022
15 individually-designed suites in 3 categories across four decks. 2 pairs of interconnecting suites available.
Vessel Type: Yacht
Length: 198 feet / 60 meters
Passenger Capacity: 30
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
All meals while on board
Beverages on board - Selected wines and beer, non-alcoholic drinks
• Group transfers to/from ship in conjunction with recommended flights
• Internet on board (limited connection, subject to coverage)
• Snorkelling equipment and wet suits
• Scuba diving
• All available non-motorised water sports
• NOTE: Transfers not included on itineraries embarking/disembarking in Bali
• NOTE: Scuba diving is limited to qualified scuba divers, aged 10 and above, only (PADI, SSI, NAUI, BSAC)
International and domestic flights
Passport and visa costs if applicable
Gratuities (Recommended USD20-30 per persom per day for crew. Guide gratuities additional)