Cruises let us get away from it all, leaving our troubles and everyday life on the shore. For an even more dramatic change of scenery, forgo the massive ocean liners and book a berth in one of these authentic and charming sailing yachts.
Cruise the Indonesian isles aboard the Alila Purnama
This traditional Phinisi ship, made of teak wood, measures 46 meters from stern to bow and has three decks. The Alila Purnama can accommodate 10 passengers along with its 16 crew members.
Guests are lodged in five luxury suites, including one with a panoramic view. Coral reef explorations and spa visits are among the activities included in the Komodo Isles or Raja Ampat cruises. A seven-day cruise for two people is priced at around $10,500.
Managed by Alila Hotels & Resorts: www.alilahotels.com.
Board the largest sailing yacht in service: The Royal Clipper
The majestic, five-masted Royal Clipper, measuring 134 meters, is touted as the largest sailboat still in service today. With the capacity to take on 227 passengers, the luxurious boat includes three pools and a gym. Depending on the season, the Royal Clipper sails through the Caribbean or the Mediterranean.
More information is available through Star Clippers: www.starclippers.com.
Cross the Atlantic on Le Ponant
This three-masted sailing yacht, measuring 88 meters in length, accommodates 64 passengers alongside its 32 crew members in a refined ambiance. Passengers will find a pool, a sauna and two restaurants aboard the ship. Le Ponant sails through the Mediterranean in the spring and summer and in the French Antilles and Cape Verde in the winter. Twice per year, travelers can board the ship for a non-stop journey across the Atlantic (prices start at €1,250 or around $1,700).
More information is available through Compagnie du Ponant: www.ponant.com.
Explore the coast of Thailand in a catamaran
Leaving from Phuket, an eight-cabin catamaran sails the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, stopping at some of Thailand’s most exceptional island destinations, including the lagoons on Koh Phanak, the Koh Phi Phi beach, and Koh Lanta.
The 10-day “Thai Boat” cruise is available starting at $2,800 per person. www.govoyages.com.
An active cruise in the Greek Isles
On a monohull measuring between 10 and 17 meters, a small crew takes passengers on a tour of the Greek islands from Santorini to Mykonos, giving them an opportunity to participate in manning the ship.
Passengers sleep peacefully in their cabins at night, and during the day they learn how to maneuver the craft using the sails. Swimming and excursions are also part of the experience.
The cruise is available through the French travel agency Comptoir des Voyages from May to October, with prices starting at €1,130 per person. www.comptoir.fr