Cruises from Banda Aceh
Banda Aceh is the capital of the Indonesian province of Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra. The city of 240,000 people lies on the Aceh River. In 1292 Marco Polo and his expedition visited the city, a centre of learning and trade. The Portuguese occupied the area in the early 15th C.
In the late 15th C it was the capital of the Sultanate of Aceh. Aceh came into conflict with the British and Dutch in the late 18th C. Following WWII and a terrible colonial history, the Dutch and Japanese left, but Acehnese independence clashes with the government were not settled until after the 2004 tsunami, giving Aceh special autonomy status. The province is 98% Muslim, and limited Sharia Law applies to Muslims. Acehnese and bahasa Indonesia are spoken, plus some English.