The Maluku Islands, also known as the Moluccas, offer a unique mix of colonial history, dreamy islands, buzzing ports and abundant ocean life. A Spice Islands Cruise is like a travel back into colonial times
The Molluccas 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.
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 Hamahera also offers excellent surf breaks.
Further away, in direction of 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 Naira is the capital island of a group of eleven dreamy islands.
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 (possible all year round).
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.
Off-the-beaten track adventures and Dive Liveaboards. Once a year, there are crossings available to and from Raja Ampat.
Ambon, Ternate or Tobelo Airport.
Ambon, Tobelo, Banda Neira.
October until mid December and mid February until mid May