Ambon & Spice Islands - Aqua Blu
Combine your love for exotic spices with unbelievable diving or snorkeling on this perfect combo of foodie voyage and adventuring.
Indonesia: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
Setting sail from the rustic Indonesian port city of Ambon, Aqua Blu cruises south across the Banda Sea to the Spice Islands, a destination steeped in historical significance and endowed with both unspoiled nature and culture. As the origin of the nutmeg, a spice that was worth more than gold in terms of weight, the Spice Islands (also called the Banda Islands) were the Holy Grail for famous Old World explorers. Today, setting foot on the Spice Islands is like entering a spectacular living museum where time appears to have stood still and centuries-old relics, such as Fort Belgica, exist alongside rich Indonesian local traditions such as nutmeg cultivation and kora-kora war canoe racing.
- • Snorkel or dive at Palau Run and witness jaw-dropping colors and marine beauty.
• Enjoy impromptu cocktails and treats on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
• Travel on a stunning private yacht with expert guiding and over-the-top cuisine with this eco-passionate operator.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
Book now and save 20%, $2,170 per person on select suites!
From $8,960 per person
Change your date anytime within the next 12 months after the original departure date. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
March, Sept, Oct and Nov Departures. Contact us with your date range.
March, Sept, Oct and Nov Departures. Contact us with your date range.
Trip Sustainability Awards
Local residents make up over 80% of employed staff
Rehabilitation of threatened paiche fish & taricaya turtle populations
Innovative closed-loop distribution system & waste separation implementation
Day 1: Ambon
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.
Day 2: Saparua
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. Discover local pottery-making at Ouw village, visit a local market, see European relics, explore bird habitats or go diving before departing Sarapua for an overnight crossing to Banda Islands.
Day 3: Banda Islands & Banda Neira
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.
Day 4: Banda Neira & Gunung Api
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 Harbor at night.
Day 5: Manuk
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. After sundown, cruise northwards to Pulau Run, a historic island traded by the British for Manhattan in 1667.
Day 6: Pulau Run
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. Later, board the ship for an overnight crossing to Nusa Laut.
Day 7: Nusa Laut & Molana
On the north side of Nusa Laut, bike through the scenic fishing villages of Ameth and Akon. This is also home of the dugong, the Southeast Asian cousin of the American manatee and a vulnerable species. Cruise to Molana Island, a small but heavily forested island with fantastic reefs.
Day 8: Ambon
Awake to the bustle of Ambon and disembark after a sumptuous breakfast for your outbound flight.
Activity Level: Guests should be in good physical health to be able to make the most of their East Indonesian expedition. The daily nature excursions may include walking on irregular terrain and getting in and out of the tenders occasionally which requires some physical effort. A shore excursion can be anything from spotting exotic wildlife along a jungle trail to climbing up an active volcano, from visiting a local village to swimming with whale sharks. They vary in level of difficulty, but most travelers who are reasonably fit will have no trouble participating in every activity.
Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht sailing the East Indonesia Archipelago's most prized destinations. 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 a distinguished sense of history and seafaring evolution when they set foot on this one-of-a-kind cruise ship.
Inside the five-deck, 15-suite Aqua Blu, Cor has tastefully paired a brass-and-ivory interior theme with generous and inviting indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a sun deck. 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. 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.
• Capacity: 30 guests
• Cabins: 15 Design Suites
• Specialists: 2 Naturalists, Dive Master, Award-Winning Chef
Travel & Leisure "World's Best" 2021
#5 River Ship in the 2020 Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards
Nominated for World Travel Awards "World's Leading River Cruise Company" 2020
"Feel like you're traveling on your own private yacht with one of the world's best chefs as Aqua Blu explores this colorful marine paradise. Spacious cabins, gloriously relaxing deck areas, beautiful lounges, and luxury amenities make this stylish ship perfect for a honeymoon, a family adventure or a personal getaway."
Life On Board
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I traveled on Aqua Blu's inaugural voyage and it was fantastic! This voyage offers a mix of history and bucket list-worthy undersea exploration.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: