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In the company of our guest expert, Kees Groeneboer, we will journey to almost-forgotten Banda Islands, which were once the world’s only source of nutmeg, shaping the history of colonialism in the East Indies from the 16th century onwards. Here, we can climb a volcano, marvel at the beauty of the scenery, visit the majestic Fort Belgica, wander through the shady nutmeg plantations, and barter for spice at the market. Cruising north, we will then explore the spectacular region of Raja Ampat, one of the most noteworthy ecological niches on the planet, where the below-surface world is reminiscent of a living kaleidoscope and the above-surface views are among the most stunning that you are likely to behold in a lifetime. You don’t need to be a seasoned birdwatcher to appreciate the dazzling birdlife of Raja Ampat, and hopefully we will be lucky enough to witness the curious bobbing, flapping and weaving courtship dance of the red birds of paradise in their natural habitat.
Note: The price of this cruise does not include any domestic airfares to and from our start and end points, however, our reservations specialists in Bali are more than happy to help arrange domestic flights on your behalf and advise on scheduling. We book hundreds of flights each year on behalf of our guests and we only book with IATA-approved airlines that have met with international standards of safety and dependability. If you are booking by yourself, please check with us first to find out the best routes to take, and to ensure that you arrive at your destination with plenty of time to spare. Except for Bali, transfers to and from local airports to the boat are also included.