Maluku Spice Islands in Indonesia
The Maluku (or Maluccas) Islands exist in the heart of Indonesia, or as they are more commonly known, the Spice Islands. This islands assume their nickname from the origin of their discovery when precious spices were located there. Spices that famously originate from the Spice Islands are nutmeg, cloves, pepper and mace. These rare flavourings became extremely popular gathering colossal interest from Europeans, therefore the Maluku Islands have been known as the Spice Islands in Western society since the sixteenth century.
Where Are The Spice Islands?
The Spice Islands are situated in the north-east sector of Indonesia. There is an assortment of eight collective island groups that piece together to create this famous empire. These islands include Ambon, Aru, Buru, Kai, Seram, Ternate, Tidore and last but not least, the largest of them all, Halmahera. To be precise, they are positioned on the Australian Plate, lying east of Sulawesi (Celebes), west of New Guinea and north of Timor. These islands have been trading goods for over 20,000 years, originally providing jewellery and other trinket style products unique to their land. China became the first big partner for trading goods with Indonesia in the sixth century, paving the way long before the Europeans became involved.
History Of The Spice Islands
Centuries prior to European discovery, Indonesia already had a powerfully built cooperation with China and other Asian nations. The first people to enter and actually manipulate the Spice Islands quite dramatically was Muslims. In the 14th century this community migrated to Indonesia, bringing with them their religion and a new societal hierarchy, referred to as the rise of Islam; Muslim religion has been followed rigorously ever since by most of the population. Sultans replaced the council of elders in Indonesia to better the communication and process of spice trading with foreigners.
After this, the Portuguese conquered the Maluku Islands and began buying and trading spices explicitly around the 1520s. It took English and Dutch civilizations another 80 years after this to actually have any proper involvement. Spices were eventually carried in ships from Indonesia to Europe, targeted mainly towards Venice. This was due to the fact Venetians were dominant over the Mediterranean Sea at the time, in addition to being well known for their respectful trading with Muslim states. By the time the products reached Venice they were worth up to 1000% more than the original price! The high demand and promising profit margin eventually sparked competition amongst European countries, which resulted in voyagers attempting to find alternative sailing routes to the Spice Islands - thus this conflict was the catalyst to the Age of Exploration. Mainly the Dutch continued to remain in control of the islands, and the majority of the other 17,000 islands in Indonesia, until the country became a republic in its own right in 1950. In 1999 North Maluku and Halmahera split off and so now the islands are divided into two separate provinces - Maluku and North Maluku. In present day the country has positive relations with multiple nations, supplying their beautiful products for other countries all around the world.
Traveling The Spice Islands
The Spice Islands consist of over 1027 individual islands, of which some are sparsely populated. Most of the islands are mountainous with some even providing home to active volcanoes. If you are visiting the islands you can expect a mixture of climates from damp rainforests to dry and hilly landscapes too. The Maluku Islands are positioned at the meeting point of four geological plates and two continental blocks, which results in this area being one of the most geologically complex and active regions in the world. When traveling the Spice Islands you can expect to stumble upon fantastic spices, coffee and fruit together with uniquely eccentric flora and fauna. Now the amazing opportunity to journey through the Spice Islands is offered to you here with us, at Rainforest Cruises.
How Do I Check It Out?
Rainforest Cruises are lucky enough to be one of the very first people to offer this fantastic voyage to the eager wanderers of the world. Once refurbishments have been perfected the worlds first vessel to offer itineraries through the Indonesian archipelago and the Spice Islands, The Aqua Blu, will be ready and waiting to take you on the journey of a lifetime. If you are interested please don’t hesitate to send us an enquiry or call 1-888-215-3555.