APS Top South East Asia cruising destinations
Tropical Asia-Pacific yachting destinations are an increasingly preferred global option for superyachts, and a great escape from cold antipodean winters. South East Asia has opened to foreign-flagged vessels and international visitors after being closed for more than two years.
Opening and lifting restrictions for boat movement and travels within the region, means life at sea is being restored to pre-pandemic levels. Some incredible cruising possibilities are offered by Asia Pacific Superyachts, with branches in some of the most exotic, beautiful, and mysterious places on earth.
Picture the perfect beach paradise of clear, turquoise waters and bright white-sand beaches — above the water you can take in views of the palm trees lining the beach and under the surface you can explore another world of coral reefs and sea life. An itinerary might consist of visits to the islands of Kuda Bandos, Olhahali, Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll, Nibiliga Island and Gemendhoo Island.
Andaman Islands, India
Traveling to the vast spread of the Andaman Islands in India offers stunning cruising vistas, land attractions and deserted islands of white sparkling beaches and crystal-clear water. Moving inland is lush vegetation and towering cliffs with unusual bird and flora/fauna and active volcanoes. Adventuresome cruising takes you to tropical jungles, lush rainforest, serene beaches, and the Bay of Bengal, with deep seas and hundreds of hidden bays teaming with marine life.
Sri Lanka remains a useful stop for yachts en route to the Red Sea and a good point of departure for cruising the Maldives, Chagos and Seychelles. A country of 1,300 kilometres of coastline, eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 15 national parks are among the reasons Sri Lanka is known as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’.
Only 98 NM from Phuket and offering a duty-free port conveniently located just off the cruising waters of the Langkawi Archipelago. The interior is lushly green and the coast is surrounded by a turquoise sea. Cruising the Langkawi archipelago away from the main island offers tranquility and utter privacy of the 99 islands of white sand beaches, river systems, pristine rain forests, abundant wildlife and caves and hilltops to explore.
A stopover in Kota Kinabalu at the Sutera Harbour Marina will allow for land excursions to the wild interiors of Borneo, diving at Layang and the jewel of Sabah, Sipadan. For true adventure, take a river journey up the famed Kinabatangan River to see rare and endangered species including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and pigmy elephants. Borneo is where you’ll find the highest mountain in South East Asia - Mt. Kinabalu.
All Covid restrictions were lifted as of July 1st and Thailand changed its status from a pandemic to an endemic. Phuket Island, ‘Superyacht Hub of Asia’, is a great destination for a long stay with four modern marinas, a vibrant lifestyle and easy nearby island cruising. The ‘Land of Smiles’ is a base for island hopping, such as Similans’ nine islands, and journey on to Myanmar. This is a country rich in history and culture and full of charm, to enjoy at sea or on land, experiencing exotic Thai culture, delectable cuisine, and friendly people.
Koh Samui, Thailand
The more isolated Gulf of Thailand on the opposite side of the Thai mainland/ Andaman Sea includes the sailing regions of the lushly tropical coconut tree-filled island of Koh Samui, home of many 5 & 6-Star resorts and wellness retreats. Just 20 NM away is the Angthong National Marine Park (42 islands) and nearby Koh Phangan, famed for its world-famous ‘Full Moon Party. To the north is Koh Tao, a ‘Top Ten’ dive spot known as the ‘Diving Mecca of the Gulf’.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with over 18,000 islands to explore. Bali is the smallest province of Indonesia and includes the neighbouring islands of Nusa Penida, Ceningan, and Lembongan. The island is renowned for its highly developed arts as well as its beautiful seascapes and rice-terraced hillsides. Both Benoa and Serangan are safe havens and many cruisers opt to leave their yachts here and explore the countryside as well as the nearby islands. A further journey will take you to mysterious and ancient Raja Ampat.
Singapore is an ideal place for short cruising around the islands of Singapore and its impressive city skyline, or for extended trips to Malaysia or Bintan, Indonesia. Singapore is often described as a place you can "travel the world without leaving the city" with modern marinas and a wonderfully diverse and surreal experience, offering all the trappings of a modern city packaged together on a tropical Island.
With the Caribbean and Med marinas filling up so quickly, South East Asia is a breath of fresh air for Owners and their guests and for Captains and crew. The abundant cruising grounds, with its modern marinas and thousands of uninhabited islands, exotic cultures and friendly people make South East Asia a perfect destination for superyachts wanting to escape cold winters of the north or southern hemisphere.
Photo Credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts