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BANDA SEA

7-nights itinerary

For many years, the Spice Islands (also known as the Banda Islands) were renowned for their significance in the spice trade. Today, they are known not only for their history but also for their breath-taking landscapes.

 

With a mixture of history and natural beauty, abandoned forts, nutmeg groves and local markets, this region has plenty to see on land. Rising up from deep waters in steep mounts, the Spice Islands are surrounded by marinerich waters and remain one of the best spots in Indonesia for both large pelagic fish and macro life.

 

Crystal clear waters are one of this region’s greatest draws. Currents bring a boundless supply of nutrients up from the depths and at the right time of year, keen divers can find schooling hammerheads in deep oceanic trenches and the densest population of sea snakes in the world, not to mention countless vividly coloured healthy coral gardens.

Planning Travels
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DAY 1: AMBON

You will be met at Ambon airport by the yacht’s crew and transferred to the harbour. Once you have settled in onboard, the yacht will depart the harbour. This afternoon, plan your first snorkel or dive at one Indonesia’s most spectacular muck sites in Ambon harbour. Dinner will be served under the stars.

DAY 2: SAPARUA & MAMALA

Saparua is the largest island in the Lease chain to the east of Ambon. This morning you may head ashore to explore the small town of Saparua and visit the Duurstede Fort, built by the Portugese in 1676. While you enjoy lunch back onboard, the yacht will sail to Mamala Island, where you can explore underwater sites on the eastern coast, which offers some striking walls with overhangs, inhabited by an array of macro marine life

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DAY 3: BANDA NEIRA

Early in the morning, the Banda Islands will emerge on the horizon. This morning you can dive at “Bird Rock” at Suanggi Island, and on arrival at Banda Neira, you can head ashore to the historical town. Every building here could be a museum - there are cannons in the front of colonial houses and 17th century inscriptions on the walls. You’ll visit the impressive Fort Belgica, an old church and a former governor’s palace, a jail and local museum.

DAY 4: GUNUNG API

We invite the fit and ambitious to make an early morning ascent of Banda’s Gunung Api volcano. This is perhaps the most famous of the Banda Sea ‘Ring of Fire’ volcanos. First recorded in the 14th century, it last erupted in 1988. While this is a challenging climb up a narrow track to an elevation of about 640 metres, the reward when reaching the top of the ‘Fire Mountain’ is well worth the effort and you can revel in a stunning and unforgettable view.

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DAY 5: BANDA BESAR

This morning, head to Banda Besar to see the historical nutmeg plantations – once the most expensive spice in the world. Walk past ancient almond trees and take the opportunity to see how the locals make a living, while observing various species of endemic birds. After lunch, you can do one or two wonderful dives at Batu Kapal, and later visit a small village on Pisang Island, which is surrounded by the pristine beaches and beautiful reef.

DAY 6: RUN & NAILAKKA

Head ashore to Ai Island, where the ruins of Fort Revenge can still be seen deep in the jungle. We will also cruise to Run Island – the first British overseas colony. This tiny piece of land was once the subject of a long and bloody conflict between European colonial powers, and was transferred to the Dutch in exchange for New York! We will explore the island to see the forgotten ruins of old forts, enjoying picnic lunches and exploring the coral wall.

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DAY 7: HATTA

This morning you’ll visit Pulau Hatta – an island named after Indonesia’s first vice-president and a legendary fighter for this country’s independence, who was kept prisoner in Banda by Dutch colonial authorities. Diving here is equally magnificent, with walls covered in massive gorgonians, soft corals, barrel sponges and some very interesting swim-throughs. You will return to the yacht for lunch and continue cruising towards more dive sites at Karang Hatta.

DAY 8: AMBON

This morning, the yacht will approach Ambon harbour. After a final decadent breakfast on deck, your crew will assist you in disembarking the yacht and transfer you back to the airport to catch your flight.

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OTHER LOCATIONS

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Life Enhancing Moments.