Spice Islands

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We will get back to you as soon as possible. Sign up to receive exclusive offers and stay current on yachting in Indonesia. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. We look forward to staying in touch. Spice Islands. Visit Fort Belgica, the former center of the global spice trade in colonial times. Expect close encounters with marine life on a private diving adventure.

The Forgotten Islands With much of the Spice Islands remaining virtually untouched, the wildlife has full reign.

The Spice Trail season 3 Episode 1 Pepper and Cinnamon BBC Documentary

Embark on a yacht charter journey off-the-beaten-path across untouched beaches and unexplored jungles. Maluku Today The intricate patchwork of culture in these islands is a fascination to charter guests willing to make the journey. Learn how the history of the region influenced what Spice Islands are today. The Tale of Ambon In Ambon, the heart of the region, the volcanic island seems almost to be split in two; on one side the island is a placid peninsula, while the other side of the island hums with an urban energy reminiscent of its distant pass.

Yacht charters to the Spice Islands start in the bustling city of Ambon. Yacht Charters in The Spice Islands To discuss planning a private yacht charter to the Spice Islands, please get in touch and we will gladly design a custom adventure according to your preferences paired with the most suitable yacht. Other Destinations. Komodo National Park. Cenderawasih Bay. Raja Ampat. More Destinations. Enquire about Spice Islands.

Would you like us to call you? Yes No. Thank You. Newsletter Sign up to receive exclusive offers and stay current on yachting in Indonesia. By the time the Asian spices reached Venetian merchants, the Arab traders were selling their wares at nearly a 6, percent markup. The Arab traders never divulged the exact location of their secret source of fragrant fortune, and no European was able to deduce their location. Discovering this highly-guarded mystery source provoked speculation, and was perceived as a challenge to many. While cloves were more abundant and could be found scattered around several islands in The Mollucas Maluku, Nutmeg and Mace were native to just ten miniscule volcanic islands, surrounded by a vast expanse of ocean.


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It would seem that isolation gave nutmeg, mace and cloves their unique character and intoxicating influence, which the outside world found so irresistable. Though isolated, the Moluccan islands have attracted regional and international traders for more than 3, years, long before Europeans had even heard of the Spice Islands.

The Bandanese were already long a part of an Indonesia-wide trading network, taking cargo as far as Malacca.


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The gifted sailors of Indonesia relied on the 6 month trade winds to carry them back and forth across the Archipelago. Before Europeans arrived, the people of the Spice Islands were able were able to trade their spices for everyday necessities needed for survival.

Ternate and Tidore: A Short History of the Spice Islands

The Javanese, Arab, and Indian traders for example brought indispensable traditional trade products such as rice and cloth, and even such useful treasures as steel knives, copper, medicines and prized Chinese porcelain. The volcanic islands of Tidore and Ternate were to become the capitals of the clove producing Mollucas. The clove, like most understory trees, it is unable to regenerate under the full tropical sun and its seed is only viable for a short period — which may explain its limited distribution to these tiny islands.

The Arabs not only brought with them Islam, but also a new technique of social organization, the sultanate, which replaced traditional Mollucan councils of local rich men orang kaya on the more significant islands such as Tidore and Ternate. The adoption of a Sultanate system by the clove islands would prove to be more effective in dealing with the outsiders that would come.

The Garden of Good and Evil – Indonesia’s Fabled Spice Islands

Although modern attitudes have changed, in some villages a clove tree is still planted at the birth of a baby, with the belief that if the tree flourishes, so will the child. The clove spice is actually the unopened flower bud of the evergreen clove tree, which gradually turn from green to pink to signal that they are ripe for the picking.

Once collected the buds are dried in the sun until they turn brown in color. It takes more than highly valued flower buds to produce one kilo of dried cloves, which may explain why they are so valuable. Since Ancient times cloves and their oil have been used for their antibacterial and analgesic properties, which were especially valued in a world without medicine.

Even today clove essential oil is used for cosmetics, dentistry, medicine, and as a clearing agent in microscopy. The Bandanese had an active and independent role in trade throughout the archipelago, making their living by trading spices from the Nutmeg trees that were only indigenous only to their little islands. A single mature tree could produce up to 2, nutmegs per year for up to 75 years.

The Spice Islands in Prehistory

Although Myristica is a genus found all over Asia, no other species achieves the special powers of the Myristica Fragrens, or nutmeg tree. The mere existence of this magical tree on these impossibly remote islands is an incredibly unlikely phenomenon. Additionally a nutmeg seed needs both male and female trees to germinate. The odds of this unusual species of arriving on a wayward desert isle and happening to find and couple with another of its kind are beyond extraordinary.

Perhaps the bland ancestral nutmeg, arrived by chance at the windswept volcanoes and became concentrated and intense, like a pool of elixir evaporating in the sun. The Bandanese were indeed were in a rare position to have such a mixed blessing from nature in their possesion.


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When ripe, the fruit bursts open to reveal the seed. The glistening wet aril, is what we know as the mace. After collection, the mace is peeled away from the nutmeg seed, and each is dried in the sun.

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Once dry, the nutmeg seed rattles within its smooth, mace-embossed outer shell, and oxidization has turned the mace from a brilliant scarlet, to a rusty red—orange. Indeed, the name nutmeg comes from Latin, nux muscat, meaning musky nut. It turns out that the nutmeg is indeed intoxicating. Nutmeg overdoses had become such a problem in US prisons that the spice had to be banned from their kitchens.

By trading with Muslim states, Venice had come to monopolize the spice trade in Europe between and After traditional overland connections were disrupted by a war between the Mongols and the Turks, Venice turned to dominate Mediterranean seaways to ports such as Alexandria.