Janet Deneefe Announces Two Exotic Spice Island Tours For 2018

10% off April Tour

The Seduction of the Spices – Banda Neira with Janet DeNeefe
17-23 April, 2018

The Seduction of Spices – Spice Island Cruise with Janet DeNeefe
10- 18 November , 2018

“I am besotted with Banda Neira,” says DeNeefe, who started boutique tours of one of the world’s last unspoiled natural environments two years ago. “With its breathtaking beauty, chequered history and its sense that the past and present seem to mysteriously co-exist. In this forgotten wilderness, the course of history was forever changed, simply because of nutmeg. There’s no doubt that the hunt for this seductive spice helped shape the modern world of commerce”

Banda Neira lies in the middle of ten small, sun-drenched volcanic islands scattered in the wind-swept Banda Seas, 200km from Ambon. Often forgotten on maps, the tranquil port was once an important harbour and the town itself, a global centre of trade and a V.O.C (Dutch East India Company) base.

After sailing or fast boat from Ambon visitors enter a picture-perfect harbour overshadowed by the lofty volcano, Gunung Api. The history of the fabled Spice Islands, the Treaty of Breda and the consequent exchange of nearby Rhun Island for Manhattan, then a Dutch fur trading post, fuels the intrigue. To arrive by water makes it nothing short of magical.

Author and restauranter, Janet DeNeefe founded the restaurant Casa Luna 26 years ago. She is also the founder of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and the Ubud Food Festival. The Casa Luna Cooking School, also established in 1992, provides insights on the secrets of traditional Balinese cooking. In 2003, Janet authored a lifestyle recipe book, called Fragrant Rice, which explores her continuing love affair with Indonesian culture and has since published two additional cook books.

DeNeefe’s Spice Island trips are particularly special not only as guests are limited to 14, but because of the engagement with significant people in this region thanks to her connections, and of course, the amazing spice island food with cooking classes.

Considered one of the world’s last unspoiled natural environments, unique marine life and coral reefs here provide some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving. It’s a piscine island paradise, there’s no doubt about it. Some say, if it were not for nutmeg, the Western world would not know about this part of the archipelago.


The Seduction of the Spices – Banda Neira with Janet DeNeefe
17-23 April, 2018

Arrive on a fast boat in Ambon and spend six unspoiled days trekking, snorkeling, exploring, swimming, dining and absorbing the history of this breath taking island. Stay at the iconic Hotel Maulana where Bill Bailey was married and Mick Jagger, Princess Di, Sarah Ferguson, Jacques Cousteau and Valerie Taylor spent time.

Visit the picturesque Island of Run that was exchanged for Manhattan in the Treaty of Breda. Meet the village head who will discuss the history of this tiny island. Walk through the nutmeg plantation that still yields the world’s finest nutmeg and Nathaniel Courthope’s mountain hideaway of Nathaniel’s Nutmeg fame. Snorkel at Ay island. Enjoy soft trekking to Gunung Api and Karaka Island and a visit to Fort Belgica to watch a magnificent sunset over Banda Neira and then dinner in the fort with an expansive view of the harbor. Return to the Natsepa Resort to explore Ambon and visit the Australian War Memorial, Martha Christina Tiahahu monument and the renowned Cibu-Cibu café. Dinner in the grounds of Natsepa. Check out the following day.

Single occupancy. AUD 2,400.00
Twin share AUD 2,145.00
Twin share standard 2,000.00
For more information:


The Seduction of Spices – Spice Island Cruise with Janet DeNeefe
10- 18 November , 2018

Leaving from Ambon, spend eight nights of adventure upon the Kurabesi Explorer, voyaging into 17th century Indonesia. Visit the small, picturesque island of Manipa, enjoy cooking classes on deck, using spices, fresh fish and ingredients bought at the market and then snorkell the pristine waters. Stop off on Nusa Laut, the smallest among the Lease Islands, where clove, nutmeg, cinnamon trees and sago palms grow in abundance. Explore Saparua, a former Dutch stronghold in colonial times, with a fascinating history. The historic Fort Duurstede, located in the heart of Saparua, was established by the Dutch East Indies Company in 1691, then snorkel Molana Island.

Visit the renowned Banda Archipelago, a network of small islands that were once the world’s only source of nutmeg and mace. Anchor in Banda Neira and spend the morning in this charming colonial-style town. Other islands of the archipelago the Kurabesi Explorer stops at on this trip include the tiny island of Run – which the English traded with the Dutch for Manhattan – as well as the islands of Ai and Hatta, to see what remains of the Dutch colonial houses and land parcels known as ‘perken’ as well as forts, churches, cemeteries and nutmeg plantations.

The Kurabesi Explorer is owned by Bustar Maitar, renowned Indonesian environmental activist. For over 15 years he has been campaigning for social justice and environmental protection in Indonesia. He founded an NGO that aims to empower indigenous peoples’ communities to both utilize and protect their natural resources. He continues to fight for the preservation of Indonesia’s forests and is a leading exponent in the palm oil dilemma. http://kurabesiexplorer.com

Early bird price : AUD$4,900.00
After August 1: AUD$5,900.00

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Interview with Janet De Neefe of Ubud – Bali | lorrie graham
May 16, 2018 at 01:05 AM

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