Jakarta. More than 300 delegates embarked on an overnight cruise on board the passenger ship KM Pangrango in the Banda Islands on Friday (10/11) to attend a seminar in Banda Neira, Maluku, commemorating the 350-year anniversary of the Treaty of Breda.
The treaty, signed in the Dutch city of Breda on July 31, 1667, resulted in England transferring control of the then-lucrative spice island of Run in Maluku to the Netherlands in exchange for New Amsterdam, or modern-day Manhattan in New York.
The delegates, including historians, anthropologists, cultural experts, academics, government officials and diplomats from Indonesia's missions in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States, are due to attend the seminar in Banda Neira on Saturday.
The voyage from Ambon to Banda Neira also coincides with the Banda People's Festival, which kicked off on Oct. 11 and ends on Saturday.
"The seminar will introduce the Banda Islands as a popular tourist destination. For centuries, Banda was known for its spices and natural attractions," said Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for tourism development at the Ministry of Tourism.
The KM Pangrango departed from Ambon on Friday and is due to arrive in Banda Neira at 6 a.m. on Saturday. The 350 participants will attend the seminar at Hatta-Sjahrir Banda Neira School of Teacher Training and Education.
After the seminar, the delegates will join a tour of historical destinations in Banda Naira and participate in the festival.
"Before sailing back to Ambon, we will have a gala dinner and a screening of the film 'Banda: The Dark Forgotten Trail,' by Jay Soebijakto," Maluku Tourism Agency head Ona Saimima said.