Charter in Asia – Yacht Style Special: Singapore Flings
Sitting in the heart of Southeast Asia, Singapore has superb marinas and impressive yachts, although charter activity remains focused on day trips.
Singapore has a rich maritime history and several of the region’s leading marinas and yacht clubs, including ONE°15 Marina, where you’ll find several of Asia’s leading yacht dealerships and agencies including ONE15 Luxury Yachting, the city’s largest charter company, with over 40 yachts.
Half-day and day charters make up the vast majority of bookings, as most of the fleet are not registered for overseas charters. Many are berthed at ONE°15 Marina, so guests typically embark and disembark at Sentosa Cove.
Notable yachts in the charter fleet include EagleWings, a Sunreef Supreme 68 sailing catamaran, Anka, a 75ft wide-bodied Bondway, and the Azimut 116 Hye Seas II. EagleWings and Anka are licensed for 50 and 55 passengers respectively, within Singapore waters, and enjoy consistent demand year-round. Both have their own full bar and hot tubs.
“EagleWings and Anka are two of the bigger yachts in our fleet, so are popular for corporate and hospitality events that require a large saloon, dedicated galley and large outdoor social areas,” says Sylvia Ng, Senior Manager, ONE15 Luxury Yachting and ONE°15 Life, the charter company’s new digital platform.
For parties of about 18-30 people, more regularly-chartered yachts include the 40ft Lagoon sailing catamaran Ximula and powercats such as the 46ft Xiao Lin, the 47ft Mikanna, the Aquila 48 No Name 2 and the 51ft Leopards Charter Me Too and Valencia.
Many of the popular charter yachts are well equipped with toys such as kayaks, SUPs, floats, fishing gear and snorkelling equipment, while EagleWings and Anka both have jetskis and towables. In fact, Anka’s Sea-Doo jetskis, the GTX Limited 230 and 300, and Fish Pro 155, can be hired to accompany another yacht charter.
Corporate charters remain fairly consistent throughout the year, but overall demand increases in bookings in June and December due to school holidays, so there are more charters for family gatherings and children’s parties.
December is slightly behind June as it’s slightly wetter plus more families travel for holidays. After all the year-end festivities, January is one of the quieter months for charter.
A typical charter in Singapore is four hours, with the option to extend. A standard itinerary would start with a 30-45-minute cruise to one of Singapore’s southern islands such as Lazarus or St John’s. Guests then have 21⁄2 hours to swim in calm seas, enjoy water sports or have their own cookout using the barbecue on-board.
Then there’s a relaxed return cruise along the south of the city for views of its increasingly interesting skyline, offering a different perspective of recent architectural landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.
Other options include the two-hour sunset cruises in the evenings and ‘fireworks cruises’, which bring guests to the Marina Bay area to watch displays in July and August, in conjunction with Singapore National Day celebrations, and on New Year’s Eve.
EagleWings had a spectacular Asia premiere in Singapore in 2016 and the 68-footer with a 34ft beam soon became a chartering machine, with about 280 charter bookings in 2017 and 308 last year.
“We are open for charter all year round, any day, any time,” says EagleWings representative Shixiang Lim. “We have all the toys and can even offer fine dining with private chefs on board.”
The yacht’s amenities include a foredeck jacuzzi, bar, karaoke, piano, automated mahjong table, barbecue, banana boat, kayaks, paddle boards, snorkelling gear, dive compressor, Seabob and a Williams 445 Jet Tender.
Lim says a popular itinerary starts at 4.00pm, with EagleWings anchoring at St John’s Island for watersports. After a barbecue dinner at 7.00pm, the yacht starts a slow cruise around the Marina Bay area, heads to Siloso Beach on Sentosa for fireworks, and returns for 9.30pm.
And if EagleWings is too big for your needs, there’s always EagleWings II, a Sunseeker Manhattan 60 motoryacht that can cater to 15 guests in the day.
ONE15 Luxury Yachting is supported by the club’s own Latitude bistro, which offers an extensive menu of food and beverage for charterers and can also set it all up on board beforehand – particularly important for corporate entertainment. Chefs and service staff can also be hired.
For those yachts that do cruise out of Singapore, such as EagleWings and Hye Seas II, they’re usually chartered to nearby destinations such as Johor in Malaysia, and Batam and Bintan in Indonesia.
A notable exception is Ximula, which has a strong reputation for sailing holidays into some of the area’s most idyllic but lesser-known islands in Indonesian waters, including the Badas Islands east of Singapore and the Anambas Islands to the northeast. Charters are for a minimum of five nights and include all meals on board.
The original article appears in Yacht Style Issue 48. Email [email protected] for print subscription enquiries or subscribe to the Magzter version at: www.magzter.com/SG/Lux-Inc-Media/Yacht-Style/Fashion/