Seatrek, Spice and the Maritime Silk Route. 4

Thanks to my producer, Tony Grant, at the BBC’s wonderful programme, From Our Own Correspondent, half an hour of radio that takes you around the world. Last week, I had the honour of being able to tell the story of a recent journey I did to the island of Ternate in Indonesia. I travelled there in search of the world’s oldest clove tree, which somehow survived the Dutch attempt to control and own the spice trade, from plant to market, Ternate to Rotterdam.
I would also like to thank Seatrek , an adventure sailing company based in Bali, whose wonderful “phenisi”, the Ombak Putih, I travelled aboard through the Indonesian archipelago.They have asked me to work with them to develop a number of cultural cruises: one about the British naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, and one, which I will be personally leading in April 2013, on The Maritime Silk Route. Starting in Singapore, we will be sailing a portion of this ancient trade route, which once linked China to Perisa, Byzantium and Venice. En route, we will be stopping at key sites shaped by the Maritime Silk Route. So, if you fancy an adventure, but don’t want to rough it, come and join us! In the meantime, here are a few photos of the trip to Ternate.

About sworrall

Writer with @Natgeo; author of The Poet and The Murderer; and the forthcoming Starcrossed: A Romeo And Juliet Story in Hitler's Paris (2022)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

4 thoughts on “Seatrek, Spice and the Maritime Silk Route.

  • eileen ayres

    Dear Mr.Worrall,
    I’ve always loved anything to do with the spice and silk routes. I’ve read
    Nathaniels Nutmeg but find it really difficult to find other books to wow.
    I loved from our own correspondant last week but wished your story had lasted longer. It transported me back to Bali
    and I hope I will go to Indonesia again before I leave this world. Book recommendations
    would be much appreciated.
    Eileen Ayres.

  • sworrall Post author

    Dear Eileen – thanks very much for contacting me. I am delighted you enjoyed the FOOC piece. I got quite a few comments and emails, so it obviously touched a chord with quite a lot of people. As to books, I am afraid Nathaniel’s Nutmeg is the best of the bunch, though rather a laboured read. Perhaps one day I will write one myself, about the Maritime Silk Route. For your interest, Seatrek’s inaugural MSR cruise will be in April next year. Perhaps you would like to join us? In the meantime, in case you did not see it when it was first published, here is a link to a story I did for National Geographic:

  • Ian Burnet

    Hello Simon,

    For the interest of yourself and your readers there is now a book out there called ‘Spice Islands’ published in 2011. It tells the history,romance and adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas over 2000 years. Described as a ‘triumph of passion and scholarship, go to to check it out.

    Thanks, Ian Burnet