THE MOST EXCLUSIVE SAILING VACATIONS IN ASIA
For groups or larger families travelling together, chartering a private yacht to explore stunning areas of the Far East can make for the most inspiring holiday. Life on the private yachts we choose is about freedom and that elusive frontier feeling. It’s where iPad’s and phones are made redundant, replaced by the thrill of ever-changing scenery and daily discovery of secret little spots.
Below we have highlighted just some of our favourite areas for chartering yachts in Asia, which still allow you to feel like an intrepid explorer while staying in complete luxury. From the sleepy stretches of the Mekong to the culturally fascinating Irrawaddy and the stunning islands of Indonesia: wherever you choose to travel we will ensure that every detail is taken care of. At cazenove+loyd we have been working with the top vessels in Asia for many years and can recommend those that work best for each family’s individual wants and needs.
Island hopping around Indonesia couldn’t be further from the hassle that one might expect and is perfect for families. There are few better ways to spend a week than chartering a luxury yacht around Raja Ampat (in the winter months) or the Komodo Islands (more suited to summer trips), and the archipelago is a chocolate box of cultural treats and nature-based adventure.
For those who like adventure, peace and quiet, and the ultimate in unblemished natural beauty, there is nothing quite as inspiring as an expanse of crystal clear waters dotted with tropical islands as your only companions. Inaccessible to anyone staying in a hotel or lodge on land, many of the small Indonesian islands and the sea that surrounds them are still very much unexplored and unspoilt by tourism, allowing for the most exclusive and unforgettable experiences with your family.
For families looking to charter a robust and incredibly secure vessel, we would recommend a motorboat such as the much-buzzed-about, Mischief, which inside feels more like a Cornish beach cottage with its gingham cushions and white-washed walls. All three ensuite cabins are above deck and feel bright, breezy and incredibly safe.
For couples or honeymooners wanting a more romantic sailing trip, we would recommend a yacht such as the sleek Alila Purnama, which has a master suite with a private balcony and large glass windows to make the most of those stunning sunsets.
Or if only a floating hotel will do, we can also recommend Aman Resorts’ stunning Amandira, where on board you’ll enjoy the legendary Aman service, food, and even a massage.
Great service makes a trip and onboard the yachts we work with, such as the sleek culture is one of ‘nothing is ever too much ‘- a very Indonesian sentiment. Of course, we always ensure that a client’s favourite drinks, games and activities are on board and we can arrange anything from surprise special menus, as well as trips to secret coves and private beaches for barbeques and diving lessons.
The majestic Irrawaddy is Burma’s principal river and runs all the way through the centre of the country starting in the Himalayas and ending right down in the South of the country where it spills out into the sea. It is the arteries and the veins of Burma and in our minds travelling along it is the best way to get to know this fascinating country.
For a majestic journey like this, we recommend the colonial-style Belmond Orcaella or the more boutique Sanctuary Ananda. Depending on your yacht’s specific route you will most probably cut through richly wooded hills or wide fertile valleys and the most extraordinary and extensive temples and pagodas in the world. You will get stunning views of Bagan’s 3,000 temples and of the Sagaing Hills considered to be the living centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma. And from your observation deck, you will catch glimpses of water buffalo, kingfishers, butterflies, monkeys, and deer, as well as locals washing and children waving excitedly from the shoreline, before mooring at all the important sites, where you will be able to go off and explore with an experienced guide.
For something a little different, we can create a journey along the Chindwin River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy which is largely inaccessible to bigger vessels and therefore wonderfully less explored. Travelling along this sleepy stretch is a snapshot of old Burma, with horse and carts meandering along the roads that flank the riverbank and a jumble of old teak houses rising out of the water on stilts.
THE MEKONG DELTA
There are different stretches of the mighty Mekong that offer stunning private yacht charters. In northern Laos for example, you can take an old Sapan boat to picturesque Luang Prabang. But to see some of the fêted highlights of Southeast Asia, and discover what everyday life is like on one of the world’s most important waterways, we think journeys through Vietnam and Cambodia, near the final stretches of the river, are hard to beat.
Our favourite boats include the stunning Aqua Mekong, which is the only vessel on the river which has its own tenders, so you can whizz off whenever you want and travel deep into the rural, stunningly beautiful landscape with its remote villages and temples, which few casual visitors ever discover. Also onboard are bicycles and even a tuk-tuk for adventures on land.
This is for those who find a real thrill in not seeing another tourist. Those who would be excited to try incredibly fresh and flavourful local dishes from little riverside stalls. Those who want to go beyond the tick-box sights.