While the seas of East Indonesia hold many wonders and adventures in its natural world, there is also plenty to be discovered in its culture and history. Each of our unforgettable Aqua Blu itineraries to Komodo National Park, Spice Islands, and Raja Ampat reflects the emphasis we place on all three elements, as this is what makes the destination truly special. Here is just a taster of the memorable moments that are awaiting you.
Visit a remote Pearl farm at Aljui Bay – Raja Ampat
Located in the heart of the coral triangle, Raja Ampat’s nutrient-rich waters are home to the world’s most impressive array of marine biodiversity including the Pinctada maxima oysters, which produce the rare and highly sought-after South Sea pearl.
In the remote Aljui Bay, Aqua Blu guests have the unique opportunity to visit one of Indonesia’s leading eco-pearling farms to learn about these beautiful gems and the 4-year delicate process behind their harvest. Not only are South Sea pearls valuable for their larger size and lustre but did you know that in this farm, more than 3000 hands are involved behind the journey of each pearl? An unmissable stop in your quest to discover the archipelago’s hidden treasures.
Stroll through history at the Dutch Fort Belgica – Spice Islands
Built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company during their dominating presence in the region, a stroll around Fort Belgica takes us back though the history of the Banda Islands. Our knowledgeable guides will tell tales of its significance as the only source of nutmeg in the world, as well as the English-Dutch rivalry to gain control over the spice trade.
Fort Belgica remains the most iconic and best-preserved of the many forts built by the Dutch throughout the Spice Islands. It sits in a prominent position on top of a hill overlooking Neira’s Bay and offers majestic sunset views. In our distinctive Aqua Expeditions style, we have a special setup created exclusively for our guests which is accompanied by sunset drinks and a traditional dance performance, creating picture perfect moments to bring home.
Witness a traditional kora-kora war canoe display – Spice Islands
Kora-koras are traditional canoes from the Moluccas Islands which served trade and warfare, including the Spice Wars with the Dutch during the 17th century. Arriving at the beautiful Banda harbor as the sun rises and witnessing two magnificent kora-kora war canoes with 24 rowers each greeting our ship to escort us to our anchorage is a spectacular scene that will make for a spine-tingling experience.
An indisputable highlight of our Spice Islands itinerary, the kora-kora boat races are a cultural spectacle remains to this day as one of Banda’s major traditional events, and will be the perfect way to start your adventures in the Banda Islands.
A magical evening at Pink Beach under the moonlit sky – Komodo National Park
If you are dreaming about paradisiacal beaches, Komodo Island’s breathtaking Pink Beach should be at the top of your bucket list. Its soft pastel pink sands and turquoise waters are just some of the unforgettable sights that will make you fall in love with the marvelous gifts of nature found in this exotic archipelago.
Its distinctive hue is created from the red pigment produced on coral reefs by microscopic creatures called foraminifera. Tiny fragments of the red coral combine with the white sands of the beach, creating this specific shade. Aqua Blu anchors in this location during the late afternoon, offering our guests a romantic and tranquil setting after a day packed with adventure, volcanoes and dragons.
An eye-opening cultural visit with Papuan people — Raja Ampat
While our Raja Ampat itinerary is filled with marine wonders and natural adventure, we also feel it is important for guests to visit in context with the destination’s social setting. The waters of East Indonesia may be pristine, but it is also untouched in many ways by the modern world.
Located just below Batanta Island, Birie Island is one of the stops in which we indulge in a cultural excursion. At the Papuan village of Yensawai, guests will be able to enter a community so remote from what they are used to for an afternoon of traditional dancing and food. Join in the fun and learn more about the indigenous culture from this beautiful side of the world.