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The Moluccas: Cruise the Spice Islands

A Spice Islands Cruise is truly like a travel back into colonial times. The Maluku Islands, also known as the Moluccas, offer a unique mix of colonial history, dreamy islands, buzzing ports and abundant ocean life.  The Moluccas lie in the eastern half of Indonesia between Sulawesi and West Papua, have once been subject of conflict between Portuguese, Dutch and English seafarers. This was caused due to their abundance of mace, nutmeg and cloves which were dealt as precious goods during that period. The dramatic and moving past of the Moluccas is still visible on many colonial buildings, forts and museums.

Season

October until mid December and mid February until mid May

Cruises

Off-the-beaten track adventures and Dive Liveaboards. Once a year, there are crossings available to and from Raja Ampat.

Airport

Ambon, Ternate or Tobelo Airport.

Departure Port

Ambon, Tobelo, Banda Neira.

Central Mollucca Island Cruise Highlights

A Moluccas island Cruise boats with a mix of extraordinary Land and Seas sites.The tropical islands are blanketed in lush forests, and the ocean surrounding them is teeming with life. Visit charming local villages throughout the Moluccas and stroll along pristine beaches. Cruising Highlights of the Central Moluccas are Dive and Snorkel sites of the Banda Islands and the harbour of banda Neira with a the option to hike the volcano for a extraordinary perspective over the islands. Explore Fort Belgica for nostalgic flaire or visit a nutmeg plantation – also featuring the huge Kenari trees.

Banda Neira habour Malukku Indonesia

The harbour bay of Banda Neira.

Ambon: Muck Diving in a historical habour

The Central Moluccans consist of the big island of Seram and the relatively small Ambon. The historic harbour city is the capital of the Moluccas. Situated in the center of the Moluccas island cluster, Ambon features a mountainous terrain covered in forests. The buzzing port bay of Ambon boasts with some of the world’s best muck diving with a great variety of critters to spot. It is also the major departure port for Spice Islands Cruise into the 5,000m deep Banda Sea.

spice islands cruises

While Ambon is the departure port for most spice islands cruises in the moluccas, towards the  south east  you can find the picturesque Banda-Islands.
Once centre of spice trade and subject to conflicts between different western seafaring nations. The Banda Islands still hold a lot of colonial evidence of the past. This contributes to the Islands’ nostalgic atmosphere. The charming Banda Neira is the capital island of a group of eleven dreamy islands. 

Banda Neira Malukku Diver and Vulcano

Coral Reef and volcanic rock on the foot of Gunung Api on Banda Neira.

Banda Islands Diving

The Diving around the Banda Islands is extraordinary! Expect high visibility and walls covered with huge sea fans, barrel sponges and orange soft corals. For the lucky ones among you, there is a chance to encounter hammerhead sharks. Pulau Ai, Run and Hatta Atoll are the hotspots, especially around October and November.

hammerhead banda islands liveaboard

The Moluccas are one of the fe places in the world where Divers can encounter large schools of Hammerheads.

Banda Sea Diving With Hammerhead

The Island of the Banda sea have become a hotspot in Indonesia for DIving with schooling hammerhead sharks. The Banda Islands, but also Koon island and Manuk are great spot for sighting these impressive predators.

Sailing Komodo

The Northern Maluku Islands also boast world-class surfing.

Cruising Northern Moluccas and Halmahera​

The Northern Moluccas (Maluku Utara) consist of the islands of Halmahera with the two small but historically important islands of Ternate und Tidore to the west.Hamahera’s landscape boasts with several active volcanoes, picturesque lakes, uncharted caves and plenty of idyllic off-shore islands.The island’s Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park is one of the most untouched and unvisited in all Indonesia.

Halmahera is inhabited by the highest number of endemic bird species of all Maluku islands and a large variety of reptiles and is also an astonishing group of islands in geologic terms They offer a broad variety of different dive site types. This diver’s paradise has remained unspoiled and uncrowded. Morotai in North Halmahera also offers excellent surf breaks and are a great destination for Surfing Charters.

Maluku Islands,Moluccas, Halmahera

The Banda Sea is dotted with more than 1000 islands.

Migrating Whales

The Banda Islands have a healthy population of resident Pilot Whales. Larger whales such as sperm whales and blue whales can often be seen on their migration routes thought the Banda Sea.

Liveaboard sperm whale

A Sperm Whale on her migration route though the Banda Sea.