Tracing the Cultural Significance of the Spice Islands Aboard the Aqua Blu

To launch the first series of expert-hosted departures onboard the Aqua Blu, Aqua Expeditions have partnered with one of the greatest experts in the history of the Spice Islands, Australian historian Ian Burnet. Armed with more than 30 years of extensive travel, research, and immersion in the region, Burnet’s expertise is beautifully reflected in his writings on the Indonesian Archipelago.

During two exclusive departures in October 2020, Aqua Blu guests will sail along the ancient route that is at the core of Burnet’s research and his stories about the Maluku region — once the only source of cloves and nutmeg in the world. Learn firsthand about the adventures of the first spice trade explorers and the battle for its supremacy by Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and English forces.

The journey begins in the old port city of Ambon, after which Aqua Blu will sail across the Banda Sea. Explore the Dutch-built Fort Belgica in Banda Neira and learn about the historically important Pulau Run, which was swapped for present-day Manhattan. Experience a kora kora war canoe race before visiting the world’s oldest nutmeg plantation. Of course, there are also plenty of opportunities to discover underwater marvels with the great wall reef, lava flow coral gardens, and marine arch exploration dives, as well as dugong, sea snakes, hammerhead shark, and other wildlife sightings.

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