Southeast Asia is a region of archipelagos, so there’s a logic to travelling around them by sea. This explains in part why yachting is growing rapidly in the region.
From a day spent cruising the dramatic karst seascapes of Krabi to enjoying a 10-day voyage through Indonesia’s Coral Triangle aboard a phinisi schooner outfitted with the modern comforts of a luxury hotel, yachting has a clear appeal for travellers increasingly looking for unique and adventurous experiences.
“Stunning destinations that are easy to reach, calm waters and warm hospitality make [the region] a yachting paradise,” agrees Christian Schwind, general manager of the Phuket-based Andaman Cruises.
Teo Joo Leng, general manager for Singapore’s One°15 Marina, points to changing global economics as another reason for this growth. “There is a rising wave of affluence and demand for such lifestyle options is on the rise.”
The market is responding with new infrastructure. As part of its “10 New Balis” proposal, the Indonesian government plans to develop a new marina in Wakatobi, South Sulawesi. One°15 Marina, too, is growing its footprint, with pipeline projects in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Schwind also points out that Southeast Asia has welcomed more privately owned and professionally crewed super yachts in recent years. More boats available for charter means more affordable prices.
At One°15 Marina, prices start from as low as S$550 for a four-hour charter. Andaman Cruises offers 26-foot boats at S$1,250 for four hours. Laying eyes on some of the world’s most striking seascapes, from the comfort of a palatial boat, sounds like a deal worth setting sail for.
Top yachting spots
Indonesia is a year-round destination, with the Komodo region (Apr to Oct) and Raja Ampat (Nov to Mar) being favourites, offering spectacular scenery and great diving.
Chartering a yacht in Phuket is relatively affordable, given the volume of options here. Trips include island-hopping and day cruises to nearby Krabi.
With more than 7,000 islands to explore, the Philippines is a yachter’s paradise. Cebu is a good jumping off spot to explore the surrounding waters.
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine.