Posts tagged #spice islands

An Indonesian Trilogy - Spice Islands, East Indies and Archipelago

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2016.

A large crowd gathered at the Festival Club at Bar Luna on Thursday evening for an island-hopping adventure across Indonesia with voyager and historian Ian Burnet. The moderator, Toni Pollard, interviewed Ian about his three books on Indonesia – Spice Islands (2011), East Indies (2013) and Archipelago (2015).

Some of the questions from Toni Pollard were:

‘What are your memories of those first days in Jakarta back in 1968? Was it way back then that you felt Indonesia had grabbed hold of your soul and would not let go?’

‘In Spice Islands you tell how for centuries, even millennia before the Europeans were involved, spices were being traded across the world. Tell us about this pre-European spice trade.’

‘Why were spices such as nutmeg and cloves so highly sought after and so valuable in Europe, five hundred years ago, that men risked their lives and countries like Portugal, Spain, Holland and England invested vast sums to mount expeditions to find them at their source?’

‘Many of the chapters of East Indies open with you standing right on the very spot where major events in the history of the great trading companies occured. Tell us about some of these moments, on these historic spots’.

‘In the book Archipelago you branch out into a much more personal approach to writing history. You undertake a journey from Malacca – like the centuries of explorers and traders before you –  and travel all the way across Indonesia’s vast emerald girdle of islands ending in East Timor, telling the reader the highlights of the history of each place as you go. What modes of transport did you use to travel the vast distances?’

‘After Bali your journey takes you into what was once Portuguese territory. Although the Portuguese domination in trade only lasted a century – the 16th century – they have had a lasting impact on the eastern islands, through the Catholicism that came with them.One notorious band of traders, the Larantuqeiros lasted unchallenged well into the Dutch VOC era. Tell us about them?’

‘Those of us who have travelled throughout the archipelago over decades have experienced some real highs and some ghastly lows in the accomodation available in various places. What were the zenith and nadir of your accomodation experiences on this journey?’

‘You end your journey in East Timor (Timor Leste) and write very movingly about its history, especially in its recent past. What does East Timor mean to you?

Thanks to Bar Luna and the UWRF for hosting this event. It was a very spontaneous and interesting session with a lot of audience involvement, especially from those with an intimate knowledge of Indonesia, and those wishing to learn more about the history and culture of this fascinating archipelago nation.

Spice Discovery Sailing Adventure 2013 - update

The Ombak Putih sails on October 24 from Ambon for 12 days of cruising the Spice Islands. A modified classical Indonesian wooden schooner or Bugis Phinisi it has 12 double or twin cabins all with ensuite bathrooms and individual air conditioning. Last time I checked we had four couples and two singles who have already booked for the voyage.

East Indies

Good News!! I have just signed off on the publisher proofs for the book East Indies and it has gone to the printers. After five years of research and writing you can imagine the relief, as well as the anticipation of first holding the finished book in my hand. Rosenberg Publishing has once again done a great job in putting the text and all the historic images into a quality publication.

The book will be in the same size and format as Spice Islands, hardcover with a cover jacket, 224 pages, and 70 historic maps and images.  

It is expected to be in the bookshops and the online bookstores by the end of August or early September and I will keep you updated if there are any changes.

Spice Discovery Sailing Adventure 2013

SeaTrek wins National Geographic "50 Tours of a Lifetime" award

The SeaTrek team is delighted that National Geographic Traveler has selected one of our adventure cruises to include in their "50 Tours of a Lifetime" featured in their May 2013 issue.

This important award comes to us after also having been recognized by The Active Times for providing one of "The best 30 new adventure travel trips of 2013"

We are happy to see the Indonesian archipelago and its many treasures recognized so vividly, and are proud to be the one bringing these adventures to your doorstep. Leveraging on our 25 year long history in the archipelago, SeaTrek continues to pioneer new expedition opportunities.

Our company offers exclusive small group cruises, many of which are led by renowned experts in their field, offering strong and targeted cultural as well as naturalist content. SeaTrek sails traditionally built ironwood motor sailing schooners providing timeless accommodation from which you will immerse yourself in our nomadic journeys of discovery and adventure.  

Come choose your own tour of a life time!