Expeditionary Cruise of Banda Group of Inslands 7 Day Program

September - March, 2017/18



Airfare R/T                                         
Hotel Maulana                           
Cruise Program                          
TOTAL                         2,285 USD

 With the recent advent of Flights from Ambon to Banda, we have take the opportunity to plan starting in September 2017 - March 2018, a very special cruise program around the Banda Group of Islands.

The Banda Islands (Indonesian: Kepulauan Banda) are a volcanic group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, about 140 km (87 mi) south of Seram Island and about 2,000 km (1,243 mi) east of Java, and are part of the Indonesian province of Maluku. The main town and administrative centre is Bandanaira, located on the island of the same name. They rise out of 4-to-6-kilometre (2.5 to 3.7 mi) deep ocean and have a total land area of approximately 180 square kilometres (69 sq mi). They have a population of about 15,000. Until the mid-19th century the Banda Islands were the world's only source of the spices nutmeg and mace, produced from the nutmeg tree. The islands are also popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Dutch followed the Portuguese to Banda but were to have a much more dominating and lasting presence. Dutch-Bandanese relations were mutually resentful from the outset, with Holland’s first merchants complaining of Bandanese reneging on agreed deliveries and price, and cheating on quantity and quality. For the Bandanese, on the other hand, although they welcomed another competitor purchaser for their spices, the items of trade offered by the Dutch—heavy woolens, and damasks, unwanted manufactured goods, for example—were usually unsuitable in comparison to traditional trade products. The Javanese, Arab and Indian, and Portuguese traders for example brought indispensable items along with steel knives, copper, medicines and prized Chinese porcelain.[citation needed]

As much as the Dutch disliked dealing with the Bandanese, the trade was a highly profitable one with spices selling for 300 times the purchase price in Banda. This amply justified the expense and risk in shipping them to Europe. The allure of such profits saw an increasing number of Dutch expeditions; it was soon seen that in trade with the East Indies, competition from each would eat into all their profits. Thus the competitors united to form the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) (the ‘Dutch East Indies Company) in 1602.[7]

Until the early seventeenth century the Bandas were ruled by a group of leading citizens, the orang kaya (literally 'rich men'); each of these was head of a district. At the time nutmeg was one of the "fine spices" kept expensive in Europe by disciplined manipulation of the market, but a desirable commodity for Dutch traders in the ports of India as well; economic historian Fernand Braudel notes that India consumed twice as much as Europe.[8] A number of Banda’s orang kaya were persuaded by the Dutch to sign a treaty granting the Dutch a monopoly on spice purchases. Even though the Bandanese had little understanding of the significance of the treaty known as 'The Eternal Compact', or that not all Bandanese leaders had signed, it would later be used to justify Dutch troops being brought in to defend their monopoly.

In April 1609, Admiral Pieter Willemsz. Verhoeff arrived at Banda Neira with a request by Maurice, Prince of Orange to build a fort on the island (the eventual Fort Nassau). The Bandanese were not excited about this idea. On May 22, before building of the fort had started, the orang kaya called a meeting with the Dutch admiral, purportedly to negotiate prices. Instead, they led Verhoeff and two high-ranked men into an ambush and decapitated them and subsequently killed 46 of the Dutch visitors. Jan Pietersz Coen, who was a lower-ranked merchant on the expedition, managed to escape, but the traumatic event likely influenced his future attitude towards the Bandanese.[9]



Banda can offer traditional experience from the Buka Kampung (opening ceremony of 'Adat' houses), the Cakalele dance (war dance) and many other dances. Some can be performed at the fort, during last day’s dinner. Apart from Naira, there are also some Rumah Adat on Banda Besar and also in Ay. All have different ceremonies. You can take this into consideration, maybe can help you decide how long you want to be on a certain island (Banda Besar and/or Ay). Buka Kampung will allow the Kora Kora to be out and be shown too, usually for a race or to escort ships as they arrive/depart in the 'doorway' of The Banda Islands.
The Gunung Api volcano is a hard but fun and rewarding experience for hikers. If this will be part of the program then the schedule needs to be adjusted as the usual starting time to climb is about 5.30-6AM.



Additional costs you might need to think about:\

-Lunches and dinners
-Entrance fees to historical sites including guide (usually its a Rp. 150,000/person on Naira)
-Costs of boat to be on Banda
-Ay island entree fee (last time I checked it was about Rp.50,000 for divers and Rp.20,000 for non divers), excluding the historical site (this is probably about Rp.20,000/person
-Costs of Buka Kampung (in order to see the Cakalele and/or Kora-kora, the rumah Adat has be opened/‘buka’). 
 the prices of Buka Kampung ranges from Rp.15-20million (depending on which Adat)


Day 1
-Arrival in Banda Naira at 8AM Monday

-Breakfast and welcoming guests at The Maulana Hotel (included)
-A morning Historical tour in Naira island with a guide selected by The Maulana (Museum, exile/colonial houses, VOC offices, ‘Gereja Tua’, Chinese Temple and Forts) 
-We suggest you take a Lunch break at one of the recommended restaurants on Naira  
-Continue Naira tour in the afternoon if you wish or explore on your own.
-Back to The Maulana by afternoon for Sunset cocktail/drinks

Day 2 
-Breakfast at The Maulana (included)
-Today you Board (KLM Bidadari) to Rhun, Ay and Nailaka.
-Ay Island offers big plantations and colonial ruins eg. fort, for you to explore at your own pace, by cycle or trek. This program is for those that need hand holding, just the max time to enjoy what each of the island of Banda are all about.

-Rhun the island that was traded with Manhattan, still has ruins and while still dry a great treking spot.

-Nailaka is uninhabited island near Rhun - lovely for lunch picnic and snorkeling, lunch provided by the boat, yes raped in Banana Leaves.

Day 3
-Still at in the area Rhun, Nailaka and Ay to take your time and relax aboard Bidadari.

Day 4
-Today we are on the way to Hatta (lovely island, beach, snorkeling time and treking is offered) Should you wish to dive special arrangements can be make with a local dive center.

Day 5 
 -A whole day in Banda Besar 

Note: Banda Besar is the biggest island from the group of 10 islands here on Banda.
Cycling is fun here, you can do a half day cycling and/or trekking (there are some waterfalls, small but interesting). This island also offers nutmeg plantation with smoke houses and other historical buildings including a fort (Hollandia).

Day 6
-Head back to Naira, going around the Gunung Api (volcano) and snorkel at Lava Flow.
-Lunch on board for sure !
-Get to Naira island, check back in to rooms at the classic Maulana.

-About 4.30PM wander around to the market for souvenir and spices shopping.
-Sunset and dinner at Fort Belgica.

Day 7
-Breakfast at The Maulana this morning while we wait for our aircraft to return you back to Ambon after a true historical experince.