Discover the cluster of ten pristine, volcanic islands, each a tropical paradise in Indonesia’s fabled Banda Sea as we send three of our fleet on new expeditions to the Spice Islands starting in Komodo and ending in Raja Ampat. Today we focus on the intriguing history of the Spice Islands.
For centuries, the islands were the world’s only source of nutmeg, cloves, and mace earning the Moluccas their nickname – the Spice Islands. As such they were a centre of colonial crossfire as the European powers fought for supremacy over the region’s supply of spices. This legacy has left several impressive buildings like the governor’s house on Banda Neira and a few forts which are well worth visiting.
Each tropical paradise is blanketed in dense forests and the water surrounding the islands is teeming with sea life. Discover palm-fringed coral islands, majestic rainforests and huge smoking conical volcanoes in a land that time forgot.
Today, the Spice Islands are home to one of the most colourful and diverse displays of coral and marine life in the East Indonesian Archipelago.
Chartering a yacht in the Banda Islands is the best way to get the most out of your trip as the region is all about extensive unspoiled coral reefs and their attendant marine species. Discover gorgeous Gregorian fans, chimneys, Mandarin fish, the Ambon scorpionfish, giant pelagics, sharks, turtles, manta rays, and a myriad of macro life.
The Molucca region, of which the Spice Islands form the southernmost part, is also ‘transition zone’ between Asian and Oceanic fauna and flora and so these islands include many species that are completely unique to the area.
Take a trip to Pulau Banda Neira and Pulau Banda Besar who form a beautiful crescent around the picture book volcano, Gunung Api. Diving on the slopes of this volcano is particularly exceptional if you consider that an eruption in 1988 devasted the coral here and within a short space of time has sprung back up again.