Yacht charters around Asia: Dunia Baru and Lamima luxury phinisis to Phuket, Bali, Raja Ampat and more
We take a look at two of Indonesia’s most stunning fleets that allow you to explore scenic locations in luxury
Yacht Style has featured phinisis in earlier issues, plus traditional craft available from Aman resorts in Thailand and Indonesia. No Asia-Pacific Charter Focus would be complete without an account of two most active ones, Dunia Baru and Lamima.
Phinisi is the generic name given to the big wooden Bugis Boats, hand-made in Makassar and southern Borneo, which are still engaged in inter-island trade throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Like pleasure junks on the China Coast, pleasure phinisis have evolved.
Prominent among them is the 51 metre Dunia Baru. She can sleep 14 guests in a master king-sized double with ensuite, and six other ensuite double cabins. Weekly rates are competitive, and all inclusive, so chartering her with family or friends is an economic way to see a spectrum of Asian locales, heightened by the experience of sailing in a genuine luxury phinisi built in these same waters.
Dunia Baru plies between Indonesia and Phuket-Myanmar, making the most of the opposite high-season monsoons, and she calls at many places in between. Some passages afford the opportunity for smaller groups, couples and individuals to sail with like-minded guests.
As a guideline, charters between Bali and Komodo are US$87,500 a week plus 10 per cent tax. If voyaging to further flung Raja Ampat and other destinations such as the Spice Islands, the rate is US$94,500 plus tax.
“The name means New World”, says owner Mark Robba, “and we love it that charter guests have a chance to experience the same. For us, the best parts of cruising Asia are the remote areas. Beaches with no people on, the virgin dive spots, the remote villages that provide a cultural experience like nowhere else in the world”.
Lounging areas both forward and aft provide inviting places for guests to gather and enjoy the food and beverages served by a 20-strong crew. Or to just laze and read a book. This is a yacht with plenty of space to fall into one’s own special rhythm.
An open galley with breakfast bar is a favourite spot for guests to come together and speak with the chef while he prepares meals to order. Outside, a table stretches almost full beam, inlaid with beautifully-backlit glass, which is a feature throughout the yacht.
While her interiors are relaxing, Dunia Baru’s toys cupboard encourages adventure and discovery. Equipped with two tenders, jet skis, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, diving gear, banana boat and water skis, she offers many amenities to ensure guests enjoy their voyage.
Albatross PR, which handles both Dunia Baru and Lamima, advised recently that the 65 metre 14 guest Lamima has a special offer this year – a new, fully inclusive rate of US$18,000 per day, plus tax, for charters booked before 1 May, and taken in the year from then.
This amounts to a 28 percent reduction on her normal operating fees. It includes all food and beverages, unlimited diving and watersports, spa treatments, shore excursions, and guided dives via two onboard PADI dive masters and one instructor.
The ultra-luxury vessel is Indonesian flagged, which has benefits and is a kind of hybrid phinisi, having been designed in 2012 by the esteemed Marcelo Penna of Barcelona. He unobtrusively included refinements to enhance her intrinsic strength and stability, and decreed an impressive sail wardrobe, so that Lamima can claim to be a first-class sailing yacht.
Co-owner Dominique Gerardin, a former yacht captain, said it took three years to build Lamima at Aru, like Makassar in Sulawesi, and unusually for a phinisi she is certified by the Italian agency RINA, guaranteeing that she has been constructed to the highest standards of safety, stability, fire protection and pollution prevention.
“Looking right at home on Indonesia’s sapphire seas, and with the trade winds filling her sails, Lamima’s special reduced rate is an offer not to be missed”, concludes Albatross.
Although Lamina concentrates on Indonesia, including the Nusa Tenggara with its Komodo Island dragons and as far afield as West Papua province where the now ‘discovered’ dive site Raja Ampat is located, she does also voyage with the seasons to Thailand’s Andaman Sea and the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar beyond.
Grading compared Lamina’s interior décor with “all the opulence of a superyacht”. The 19-strong crew has two masseuses in their ranks, yoga sessions are held on deck, and the varied cuisine using fresh local fruit and vegetables is said to be superb.
The vessel has a dedicated website, and bookings can be made through Nikko Karki of Indo Yachts, which offers full services.
For more information, visit Indo Yachts.
This article was first published in Yacht Style 38.