|BOAT TYPE||CHARTER | US$||BOAT GALLERY|
|Motor yacht||16 080|
|Sailing yacht||43 560|
Final price depends on your choice of the yacht. While you live on-board with your family or friends, no cruise is alike. Chat with Islander team to discover available boats for this itinerary and to see all inclusions.
A sailing holiday across 11 islands of Banda in the heart of the Banda Sea towards “The Next Bali,” as they call a cluster of 47 Kei Islands buried deep in Indonesia’s eastern frontier. Only a few people get an opportunity to visit this paradise filled with romantic, cone-shaped volcanoes, nutmeg-fringed islands that formed the history of modern international trade. A journey to some of the whitest, softest beaches in the whole of Indonesia on Kei islands is a spellbinding experience in itself, full of adventure, with tales of spirits and ghosts whispered by locals in their language.
Bandanaira is the only city in the Bandas - with a devastating history. 14 vessels sailed from Holland in 1602, headed to the East Indies. Four years later, 13 arrived in Neira with one objective; to monopolize the world’s most valuable spices - nutmeg and mace. The story after that involved the awful massacre of the native Banda population. Fast forward centuries, Bandanaira now is a beautiful town to take a leisurely stroll and explore the two old forts - Nassau and Belgica. Walk the mysterious pathway that leads to colonial-era mansions, an ancient Chinese temple, 17th-century cannons which sit abandoned by the roadside, and a museum which occupies one of Banda’s oldest houses.
The magnificent Fort Belgica sits atop the hill overlooking Banda Neira Bay, with ancient canons a reminder of times when Banda's production of one of the world's most sought-after commodities (nutmeg) was considered worth fighting for. Colonial architecture leaves its mark everywhere on the island, built by those once catapulted into riches after completing arduous journeys for spices once worth their weight in gold.
The first Vice President of Indonesia (Hatta) was deported by the Dutch in 1627 and forced to work in chain gangs in the teak forests of this island, as a lumberjack. You can visit Hatta House in Neira where he spent most of his time in exile reading books and teaching locals. Today, Hatta Island is known for its crisp, white sands and crystalline waters brim-full of sea life - ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. Goa Hatta dive site in the north has a sink-hole at the reef entrance that forms a stupendous archway to this aquatic paradise.
In 1615 the Dutch invaded Ai and made “Fort Revenge,” which you can visit today. There are still active nutmeg plantations on the island and old colonial plantation mansions, one of which is still inhabited by descendants of the original Dutch Perkeneer family that arrived in 1585. Ai Island has one of the finest wild pearls on the planet, highly valued by collectors. Today, Ai’s greatest attraction is snorkeling and scuba-diving, where pristine coral drop-offs lie just off the beach. In October, groups of Napoleon fish appear, along with migrating dolphins and whales.
This is the smallest island in Banda, and was traded to the British in the 17th century for another island - a place we know today as Manhattan! Cloves and nutmeg were so highly valued, the Dutch would have paid any price to monopolize these precious spices. With an old Dutch nutmeg plantation named El Dorado and some fragrant clove plantations, Run truly is a magical spice island. Run Island is full of life, with woman drying cloves and nutmeg under the sun around every corner. Visit Fort Swan and Fort Defense, enjoy superb diving and snorkeling and explore nearby Nailaka Island where you can stroll the white sands while waiting for the sunset.
Bair is a limestone island with stunning karst formations and a fairy-tale lagoon, giving it the nickname “small Raja Ampat.” Snorkelling among enticing coral reefs, kayaking through a narrow pass to hidden bays, exploring mangrove beaches, or cliff jumping into crisp water - picture everything you could want from a deserted tropical island, Bair has it.
Kei Kecil is famed for Ngurbloat (or Pasir Pajang) - the immense beach on the east coast which is a darling of photography lovers. Several kilometres of white sand so smooth you want to cover yourself with it, striped by coconut palm trees and almost abandoned most of the time. If you love swimming in seclusion, snorkelling, and lazing on a hammock with nothing for company but a tangerine sunset, you'll find paradise on Pasir Panjang.
Ohoidertawun offers more than just picturesque white sands stretching to the Kei horizon. Caves located on its coastal cliffs are decorated with ancient wall scribbles. No one knows the origin or history of these paintings and to make it even more mysterious, remains of human skeletons litter these fascinating grottos.
Surrounded by thick jungle, the gorgeous Hawang Cave is an excellent spot to take a dip in fresh water under the stalagmites and stalactites. The cave holds a legend about a man and his two dogs which were mysteriously turned into stone and stayed forever to dwell there in the darkness, side by side. Arrive at midday when the afternoon light shines inside, to witness a sparkling reflection on the translucent water.
The village of Evu has a large pool fed by freshwater springs that are also the source of much of Kei Kecil's water supply. It makes a great change from swimming in the sea, and while busy at weekends, it is almost empty during the week. Imagine dipping your entire body into a refreshing lake of natural goodness, nothing much around but the birds and the trees and pure contentment.
Aptly named “Snake Island” because of its slithery, reptilian shape, this incredible protruding sandbar stretching 1.2 kilometres into the sea from Woha Island, is one of Kei’s most unique attractions. The surrounding water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling and it’s possible to trek across at low tide, where you’ll feel as though you’re walking on the ocean! It is recognized as a World Wildlife Fund breeding spot for the leatherback sea turtle, and a resting place for migratory seabirds enjoying the calm waters including pelicans, migrating from their homes in Australia and Papua New Guinea, to Maluku.
There are 3 main Kei Islands and Kecil contains the only airport. It is considered the most interesting of the three, with the best beach of the bunch - the astonishingly long and largely deserted Pasir Panjang. Connected to Kei Dullah by bridge and Kei Besar by a two hour boat trip, it jointly hosts the beautiful capital Tual-Langgur. Langgur (which contains the airport) is mostly Catholic and lies on Kei Kecil, while Tual (home to the seaport) is mostly Muslim - both are extremely friendly and welcoming of the few travellers who find their way to this exotic final frontier before West Papua. Kei Kecil (known to locals as Nuhu Roa) is the heart and soul of the Kei Islands and a must-stop for beach enthusiasts - prepare to be stunned!
In the city of Tual lies a rainbow village called Wearhir. Its floating houses are covered with such a vibrant palette as a response to neighbouring village, Kiom; brightly decorated with red and white buildings in the tone of the Indonesian flag. This was due to the competition between the city council, that was split in two by the river marking the centre point between the villages. This creative arrangement by beautiful, patriotic yet humble residents, is a truly unique sight for any voyage.