Sailing Indonesia: The Spice Islands
Be transported back in time on this 12-day Indonesian cruise as the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina sailing vessel winds her way among remote palm-fringed coral islands, majestic rainforests and huge smoking conical volcanoes. The Moluccas are the original Spice Islands of Indonesia: a magical destination, beautiful, remote and unspoiled, with a long, fascinating and turbulent history. For millennia these fertile volcanic isles were the world’s only source of the holy trinity of rare spices: cloves, nutmeg and mace, which were once worth their weight in gold. Sail Indonesia and relish the opportunity to swim, snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard in waters rich in marine life.
On the main itinerary, navigate the Banda Islands and much of the famed region as you sail northbound from Ambon to Ternate. Go in search of famed naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and his living treasures, taking in firsthand experiences of unique ecology and visiting some of the places that most fascinated Wallace: Ambon, the former capital of the Moluccas; Bacan, where Wallace made some of his greatest zoological discoveries (birds of paradise, the world’s largest bee); Ternate, Wallace’s base for his eastern travels and once the center of the world clove trade; and the mysterious island of Halmahera where Wallace discovered evolution by natural selection.
On select alternative itineraries between Ternate or Ambon and Sorong, also visit the remote Raja Ampat Islands with their pristine, incredibly diverse coral reefs and up to five species of birds of paradise. Many of these sailings feature special guest hosts who are experts in endangered species and evolutionary biology. Or opt for an East Indies Spice Exploration route cruises from Flores or Komodo to Ambon, exploring more of the Lesser Sundas than other Spice Islands cruise routes. Each itinerary offers a unique slice of history, along with incredible snorkeling, kayaking and trekking.
Passage is aboard the 24-guest sailing vessel Ombak Putih or 12-passenger ketch Katharina. These traditional pinisi-style ships offer romance, Indonesian culture, rustic charm and superior service, and are therefore also AdventureSmith favorites for private charter cruises. Complimentary onboard snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear and tender boats equip guests with daily adventures among a string of Indonesian islands.