Discovering Indonesia’s marine rich waters, tiny villages, deserted beaches and elusive Komodo dragons from a super-luxe yacht can be an extraordinary experience. Here, Lightfoot Travel outlines some options for your next sailing holiday.
For groups of friends
Accommodates: 4 cabins, 10 guests
Explore Komodo, Banda and Raja Ampat on Tiger Blue, a traditional wooden boat that glides through hidden coves, visits pristine beaches and showcases rich biodiversity. This intimate phinisi schooner is designed for kicking back, hanging out and enjoying diving cruises around Indonesia’s marine parks, searching for turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The dining area on the main deck has a communal table for sitting around and swapping stories over gourmet cuisine. Two tender boats are available for independent excursions if you crave a little alone-time!
Accommodates: 5 cabins, 10 guests
Rascal Charters glides to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park and Raja Ampat with a heavy dose of glamour. Local craftsmanship meets notable mod cons for the ultimate in bareboat luxury; an infinity roof deck, night-time cinema, superb staff and bespoke food and music menus all await. Each voyage is tailor-made to your tastes, from choice of food to destinations visited – often places yet to be named on the map. Alongside sea kayaking, surfing and marvelling at pink sunsets, Rascal has a full quota of diving kit and runs expeditions where guests are joined by expert biologists.
For romance & magic
Accommodates: 1 cabin, 2 guests
There’ll be no squabbling over who gets the best room on Alexa, as this beautifully restored traditional sailing vessel only has one. Decked out with stylish antiques and state-of-the-art facilities, there’s a lounge, an open kitchen, a main deck with oversized day beds. And one expansive cabin with wraparound windows. Choose your cruise and activities as you go, from surfing in Sumbawa, to trekking in Komodo National Park, or swimming in the Flores Sea. The friendly staff include a private chef, resident spa therapist, butler and personal dive instructor who’ll reveal that the underwater world is just as magnificent as life on board.
For an authentic experience
Accommodates: 8 cabins, 16 guests
Originally launched as a safety standby vessel for the oil industry, a swish makeover in 2018 set up Kudanil Explorer for charter use around the region’s most remote parts. The West Papua, Rote and Sumba route offers stunning tropical scenery and some of the richest reefs in the world alongside water sports and cultural excursions. On board, eight stately cabins boast natural wood and local textiles. And come with all mod cons and great daybeds and balconies. There’s also a saloon, bar, library, lounge, open-air Jacuzzi, sun deck and spa to keep you pampered and soothed as you sail.
For off the beaten track
Dunia Baru Adventures
Accommodates: 7 cabins, 14 guests
This sleek teak super yacht is perfect for venturing to rarely explored archipelagos in style and comfort. Head to the lesser-visited Maluku Islands, a palm filled paradise, for watersports and chill; and Cendrawasih Bay National Park, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Back on board, find your spot on an outdoor lounging deck and watch as dramatic mountain peaks rise from crystal waters and dolphins swim alongside the bow.
For seriously luxe sailing holidays
Accommodates: 5 cabins, 10 guests
Built and managed by Aman Resorts, this serene five cabin boat-hotel offers the same contemporary luxuries and legendary service as their iconic properties. Handcrafted by Indonesia’s Konjo tribe, the 170-foot phinisi combines the romance of the Spice Trade with cutting-edge amenities. And accommodates ten guests at a time through Raja Ampat. On board, staff provide around-the-clock in-cabin massages and upper-deck cocktails. While a lounge, library, entertainment room, bar and dining area offer spots to relax in. The big thrill is the specialty Nitrox diving alongside wobbegong and reef sharks off Kawe Island.
For old-world charm
Switch off your data roaming and step back into a bygone era as you sail on Ombak Putih, a vessel exuding plenty of authenticity and old-world Indonesian charm. Vintage maps adorn the dark wood corridors. There’s plenty of open and covered space for relaxation. And a rustic lounge provides drinks and dinner against a backdrop of sweeping seascapes. Twelve cabins are located below deck with ensuite bathrooms and portholes. Though if you want to really take it back in time, opt to sleep out on the deck under the stars with a cosy sleeping bag and mattress.
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This article first appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.