A Luxury Sea Voyage to the Spice Isles
An idyllic & privileged twelve days sailing on board the luxury Tiger Blue to the volcanoes, beaches and tribal villages of Indonesia's Banda Islands
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Aboard the Tiger Blue: all meals, soft drinks, house beers, excursions and activities, equipment for watersports and diving, and housekeeping.
- All private ground transfers
- All tours specified in the itinerary description
At a glance
This eleven night journey of discovery runs from Maumere to Ambon exploring the rarely visited Banda Islands, with the opportunity to dive in marine rich waters, gain insights into ancient traditions and explore a part of the world that most people will never get to see.
Part of the Maluku province in the east of Indonesia, a group of ten soaring volcanic islands rise out of Banda Sea make the Banda Islands archipelago. With warm waters rich with marine life and vibrant coral, the dive sites here are some of the best in the world. Steeped in Dutch and Portuguese Colonial history, up until the 19th century these islands were the world’s only source of nutmeg and mace and are known as the ‘spice islands’. Visit colonial homes and towns from this era and also authentic and remote villages living to strong traditions cultural heritage.
Example Trip Itinerary
Upon arrival to Maumere you will be met and transferred to Tiger Blue. Set sail and explore the islands in the Maumere bay, Babi Besar Island, Pangabatang. Discover the white sandy beaches and spend time enjoying the vibrant underwater life. Your first evening will be spent on a secluded beach with a bonfire, barbeque and sundowners.
This morning will be spent at the idyllic Maumere Bay with diving and water sports.
After lunch, venture onto land to reach the summit of the Kelimutu Volcano to see the three beautiful crater lakes or varying colours followed by an afternoon drive to Moni, a little town at the base of the volcano. Take the time to explore the town and pick up some local, traditional fabric known as Ikat. Spend the night in a hotel in Moni.
There is the option this morning to rise early at 4am to drive and hike up to the coloured lakes to watch the stunning sunrise over the volcano. After hiking the lakes and enjoying the views, enjoy lunch and taste the special local dishes followed by an afternoon drive back to Tiger Blue. The rest of the day is spent at leisure with opportunities for diving and water sports. Overnight sail to Lembata Island.
Option to spend the day diving, snorkeling or relaxing on deck or visiting the
authentic whale catching village Lamalera on Lembata Island. Whale hunting dates in Lembata back prior to 1643 and remain exempt from the international ban on whaling in consideration to the traditional manner, on flimsy boats with just hand held spears, that this is done, the ritual of the islanders and that the meat sustains the villager’s subsistence economy. Overnight sail to the Alor Straight, separating Alor and Pantar Island.
Anchor in a pristine bay south of the Alor Straight and enjoy an incredible and relatively undiscovered spot for divers. Warm crystal clear water, unspoiled reef and ancient coral walls between the Australasian and Asian submarine ridges are the making for a fantastic dive; look out for swarming schools of barracudas, dog toothed tuna, monster groupers and sharks.
Less confident divers can spend time kayaking on this pretty strait between the two islands, try your hand at deep sea fishing, enjoy water sports or venture onto Alor Island to trek.
This evening sunset sail to Kalabahi, the main village of Alor island.
Morning visit to the Alor tribe. A past of headhunting and strong tribal traditions have kept these islands secluded and remote; this island has a strong cultural heritage and is a fascinating visit. Discover the traditional lifestyle and watch a performance with traditional Moko drums.
In the afternoon, explore the north of the Alor straight with opportunities for diving and water sports.
Overnight sail to Reong Island, north-west of Wetar.
Spend the day enjoying the beauty of Reong Island, above and below the water.
Dive and snorkel the unforgettable reef and endless marine life. Overnight sail to Gunung Api Island.
Head to Gunung Api - a lonely volcano peak rising up in the middle of the Banda sea, which is rich in bird life, including the Frigate bird more commonly seen in the Galapagos, and famous for snorkelling and diving with its crystal clear waters and swarms of non-
aggressive banded sea snakes. Spend the day diving, exploring and enjoying water sports.
Overnight sail to Lucipara.
This morning arrive at Lucipara - a large atoll with four idyllic islands rich with wild vegetation and fringed with white sand. Enjoy marine life at its best with great opportunities for diving and snorkeling in a calm and tranquil sea. Vast drop offs to enormous depths are a guarantee for big pelagic fish like mackerel, tuna and giant trevallies.
During lunch, sail to the three islands northeast, Penyu Island or Turtle Island for some turtle spotting, diving and other activities.
Overnight sail to the Banda Islands.
Arrive at the town of Banda Neira around noon and have to option to go ashore for a tour of the former nutmeg colony. Visit Fort Belgica and Fort Nassau, former strongholds of the Portuguese and Dutch colonists and explore the various historical homes and buildings that are open as museums. Tiger Blue is anchored in the bay at the base of the volcano overnight.
On your second to last day you will have the option to visit Banda Besar and explore the village of Lontor, before hiking up to Fort Hollandia, a 17th century fort which sits on the cliff overlooking the bay. The fort sits inside a nutmeg plantation that is over 200 years old. Return to Tiger Bluein the afteroon and sail to the utterly undeveloped Ai Island with picture perfect beaches and Run Island to explore the tiny village with a strong spice history. Here there are more opportunities to dive the waters before setting sail to Ambon.
Arrive in Ambon in the morning to end your journey and depart the Tiger Blue.
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A Luxury Sea Voyage to the Spice Isles
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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.