A spice surrounded by history

Nutmeg and Mace Banda Islands Spices
  • Treasure from Banda Islands

    Nowadays Nutmeg & Mace are common spices used almost all around the word. In fact the Nutmeg pod provide two spices, the Mace: the red lacy coating and obviously the Nutmeg seed. Banda Islands were considered as the only place in the world where you could find this precious spice until the end of the 18th century.

    Mace & Nutmeg

    Explore the Banda islands & dive with Hammerhead Sharks!

    Diving Cruise BANDA SEA & RAJA AMPAT

    | 12 Days / 11 Nights | 4383 € Full Board

    Cruise Banda Sea & South Raja Ampat, 
    Ambon to Sorong 

    Next Departure:

    2024 October 26th to 06th

    365 per day instead of 406€

    Up to 4 dives/day

    Please refer to the FAQ Section

    Boat Rating *

    Life Onboard

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    What’s so precious about Nutmeg?

    Even if we  have track of the Nutmeg since the 1st Century A.D, things changed drastically in 1511, when the Portuguese first landed their foot in Banda territory, these spices became extremely popular in Europe. This exotic spice always brings a specific and celebratory taste to our cakes, coffee and food. It was no difference by the past, and Europeans even give medicinal properties to this spice, it was believed that it could help warm people up, fight off head colds and stomachaches… So many great properties about this spice that when other European’s merchants knew about it, they came all the way to Banda. And as expected the Nutmeg price increased substantially, as explained by the culinary historian M. Krondl, at this time the value of Nutmeg could be compared to the iPhone of the 16th Century… 

    The golden Spice of Banda

    Who enjoyed the trades of this spice?

    Well, everyone but the locals enjoyed the trade of this spice! At that time the fight to control the Spice Routes was rough, and the strongest Europeans nations were in war in Banda territory for a bit more than 3 centuries. The Bandanese started trading it at first with Portuguese, but then with Dutch and British merchants in turns. Without mentioning the Javanese, Malay, Arab, Chinese and Indian merchant who were also enjoying this fruitful trade. The area was considered as a spices gold mine as the price of this precious Nutmeg was multiplied by 300 when brought back on European territory. Rich Bandanese merchants were able to trade this spice against European goods such as steel knifes, copper, medicine and decorations, but local inhabitants were mostly forced to work as laborer in Nutmeg plantations.

    Fort Belgica in Banda Neira

    What did this spice trade bring to the Banda?

    The Nutmeg trade in Banda can be considered as totally harmful for the region and its population. Only a few local traders put money in their pockets, otherwise it brought so much greed and conflict to the area as every colonial empire wanted a piece or the monopoly of this brown gold. Dutch definitely enforced their monopoly over the Banda’s spice trade with an unfeasible treaty that were made and forced to sign by Bandanese at gunpoint. The non-respect of this treaty was only an excuse for the Dutch to launch a punitive massacre against the islanders. After that, most of the local population flee the islands and Dutch brought some new imported slaves, convicts as well as immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia to work in the spices’ plantations. Later, few native Bandanese were brought back as their savoir faire and expertise in Nutmeg cultivation were much needed.

    Greedy Hermit Crabs

    Banda Spice Islands

    Banda archipelago is composed of 11 islands of which only 7 are inhabited. This huge volcanic area is for sure home of the Nutmeg tree, but also offers an incredible underwater biodiversity, so let's add some spice to your dives and get blown away by Mother Nature.

    Hammerhead Shark Diving


    Whether you're looking for a private charter, or to live an adventure on the sea while discovering new landscapes & meeting new people, We can help you make your dream come true.


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    We choose to work with people we know for years, all offering a high quality service on perfectly maintained Phinisi.

    All boats, Cabins & on-board furniture's have an authentic and sophisticated design, made with quality materials.

    Spacious and Comfortable
    shared space, Lounge, Sun Deck, Restaurant will grant you a maximum comfort.

    You will also enjoy free access to kayaks and stand-up paddles (SUP) if you wish to explore the surrounding.
    Then it's up to you to chose if you want to enjoy a stunning sunset from the lounge with a fresh drink or from the SUP in the middle of pristine water.

    One of the most, if not the most important part of your cruise, The Crew. They all are experienced, they know when to be discreet and how to treat you well.

    Another important part of your journey, the Food., you will enjoy some great dishes cooked with love by some skilled chef. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, you will be delighted all day long. 

    You can refer to the label on the boat description to have a quick overview about the class of the cruise.
     All cabins are equipped with Air conditioning and Private bathroom (ensuite). 
    Comfort: All cabins are equipped with Air conditioning and some cabins may have shared bathroom (Max 2 cabins).

    You should definitely consider the full charter option especially if you are planning this cruise with your family or friends. It will make the experience even more exceptional. As we offer a large choice of boat, no matter if you are 6, 10 or more than 12 we will find the best vessel according the standing you are expecting. From 1000$ per night in adventure standing, 2000$ per night in Comfort standing and from 3000$ in Luxury standing. Contact us for more informations.

    Not at all, beginners can do discover scuba diving during the cruise (let us know to arrange it)

    Open water certified divers or equivalent will have access to most of the dive sites, but to make the best of the cruise Advanced level and experience in drift dive is recommended. You can spend a few days with us in Bali before starting your cruise, by joining our Safari tour or to get your Advanced certification in one of our four dive centers, it will allow you to dive up to 30m depth, to join night dives and be more confident and comfortable while drift diving.

    For an even better training we recommend you to join the drift specialty in Nusa Lembongan.

    If you are more into Leisure, Yoga or Surfing, we can offer you some great cruise experience while practicing some of your favourite activities. Contact us for more informations.

    Indonesia spread over its more than 5000 km along the Equator which offers a tropical climate with only two season, dry & wet.

    Dry season is mainly from May to October Wet season from November to April.
    Keep in mind that Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, so you can visit year-round as wet season won’t start in the same time in different places.

    Landscapes are also pretty different due to Tropical rainforest climate and Tropical savannah climate.

    Komodo: All year around
    North Komodo: April to December
    South Komodo: January to march
    Raja Ampat: October to May
    Banda Island: September to November
    Alor: May to November

    We do recommend you to bring your own gears if you already own it. If not it’s not a big deal, you can rent the full set onboard, some of our partners provide rental equipment for free, maximum you can expect another 60$ per day.
    As a reminder, every scuba diver should be equipped with: Wetsuite/BCD/Regulator set/Fins/Weight system/Dive computer/SMB/Torchlight/Compass.

    Nitrox tanks are available on most of the boats, please refer to the boat description.

    Included: Transportation between airport & boat (return)/ Accommodation/ Meals and snacks/ non alcoholic beverage/ 12L tanks and weight system for divers

    Not Included:
    Marine park and Port authority fees / International and domestic flights/ Traveling - Diving Insurance / alcoholic beverage & espresso/ massage/ 15L tanks and dive gears rental for scuba divers

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    Tipping from 5 to 10% of the cruise amount are expected, it express your satisfaction level. Tips are also an important income part for crew members.