APSA’s Asia-Pacific Superyacht Cruising Experts
The Asia-Pacific cruising grounds have a lot to offer superyacht owners and charter operators. The ASPA Grand Tour was a webinar series that hosted 20 industry professionals, talking about their local cruising grounds and sharing a wealth of first-hand knowledge. The webinars kicked off APSA 10th Anniversary celebrations in 2021.
The five Grand Tour webinars covered five very different geographical cruising areas.
1. Oceania/Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, PNG)
Australia: David Good (Superyacht Australia) announced changes to the Australian charter regulations.Trenton Gay (Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard) gave a whistle stop tour around Australia’s coastline.
New Zealand: Nigel Wightman (Integrated Marine Group) talked about mountains, volcanoes and fjords, as well as top class superyacht refit and repair facilities and world class wines.
Papua New Guinea: Angela Pennefather (Melanesia Luxury Yachts) presented an ‘adventure destination’ calling for a dash of self-sufficiency, that offers spectacular diving, breathtaking hiking, and the biggest anthropological museum in the world.
2. East Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southern China)
Hong Kong: Joe Yuen (Lodestone Yachts). Hong Kong is one of the largest yachting markets in Asia and growing. There is an ongoing need for superyacht management and services, and it is well placed to provide these services.
Hong Kong: APSA History. Colin Dawson (Expat Marine) 2021 is APSA’s 10th Anniversary. The Association’s first Chairman talks about the history of APSA, and the need for the industry to have one voice to promote itself in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan: Nigel Beatty (Super Yacht Logistics). There are precious few restrictions on visiting yachts; the sights, sounds, food, culture, sports, history, people and scenery of Japan are nothing less than legendary.
Taiwan: Capt Paul Brackley (Central Yacht). This island is great place for yacht maintenance, with plenty of opportunities for crew R&R, and some prime cruising areas around the Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait.
Hong Kong and Southern China: Mike Simpson (Simpson Marine). Hong Kong has a beautiful, hilly coastline, great hiking trails and over 250 islands to explore. New superyacht marinas (Lantau Yacht Club) and easy access to the Greater Bay Area, including Macau and Shenzhen.
3. South East Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia)
Indonesia: Richard Lofthouse (Catalano Shipping Services Asia-Pacific) presented an overview of the Southeast Asian region, highlighting the recent easing in Indonesian entry regulations.
Thailand: Gordon Fernandes (Asia Pacific Superyachts). “Phuket is a highly sophisticated lifestyle destination offering luxury villas, golf, spas, international sailing events, beach clubs and ‘cosmetic medical tourism’.
Singapore: Scott Walker (NABS Engineering/APS). The island state is more about backup services than about cruising. Dry docks, graving docks, engineering facilities, repairs, painting, refits, bunkering – you name it, you can get it done here. Singapore regulations are easy to navigate and entirely hassle-free.
Indonesia: Andy Shorten (The Lighthouse Consultancy). The biggest archipelago in the world, Indonesia is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful, spectacular, thrilling, cultural and everything else destination which just happens to include some of the richest diving environments in the world.
4. South Pacific (Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti)
French Polynesia (Islands of Tahiti): Manoa Rey (Tahiti Tourisme). The beauty of these island is an easy sell, but it’s the people and the culture that make Tahiti a special place to visit for superyachts.
Cook Islands: Katrina Matheson (Maritime Cook Islands/Cook Islands Yacht Squadron). “Cook Islanders love to party, and there is no better place to stop off in the South Pacific. Our islands are where heaven meets earth.”
Fiji and Tonga: David Jamieson (Help! Fiji and Help! Tonga). Centrally located, these groups of islands form a natural South Pacific superyacht hub and a tropical maritime paradise where the islanders welcome visitors with smiles.
5. South China (India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives)
South Asia/Europe: Christophe Ceard (Swiss Ocean Yacht Management) talks about the cruising routes from Euorpe to Asia and the importance of this third cruising destination to the global superyacht community.
India: Aashim Mongia (West Coast Marine Yacht Services). With 10,000 years of history and civilization, India offers multiple cruising itineraries that explore the depth of culture and natural wonders such as the Andaman Islands.
Sri Lanka: Prasanna Withanage (Asia Pacific Superyachts). Mention Sri Lanka, and serene beaches, tea plantations and national parks full of wildlife come to mind. This is the original ‘Serendib’, where there is a happy and unexpected discovery around every corner. Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and multi-religious and multi-cultural population delights all visitors. Trincomalee is one the world’s greatest natural harbours.
Maldives: Nadhira Muneer (Asia Pacific Superyachts). The destination for sensational superyacht resort hopping, deserted coral atolls, island rural adventure and (of course) spectacular diving, fishing, surfing and snorkelling.
APSA’s expert panellists - like APSA itself - are keen to demonstrate that in terms of infrastructure, destinations, support, transport and supplies, the Asia and the Pacific constitute a viable and vibrant year-round cruising destination, equal in access and quality to the mainstream cruising circuits in Europe and Americas, and a great deal larger. Asia-Pacific is where you come to get away from the crowds, get lost, and discover cruising all over again.
APSA now has a library of YouTube destination videos that provide up-to-date and relevant information to the global superyacht community. Many thanks to our panellists for sharing the highlights of cruising in the Asia-Pacific region.