Cruising Destination of the Month- Indonesia
Indonesia, by its sheer size and diversity, is one of the most exciting cruising grounds anywhere in the world. In addition to offering some of the most interesting exploration and adventure cruise itineraries, it is also home to a knowledgeable and effective shore support network, essential to a successful Superyacht industry. For those interested in chartering, the recent expansion of the fleet of ‘Phinisi’ sailing yachts for charter has increased exploration opportunities throughout the archipelago. These combine a centuries-old seafaring skill and building tradition and comfort, for a unique cruising adventure, comparable to any in the world. For guests, there is nothing better than to have all the comforts of home whilst still experiencing the charm of a local vessel and knowledge of a local crew.
The main regions popular with local charter yachts and visiting superyachts, in general, include the Komodo National Park, home to, amongst other natural wonders, the world famous Komodo Dragon. Komodo’s location and well-developed internal flight routes make it easy to combine a yachting experience there with world-class resorts and facilities on Bali, or visits to more ‘off-the-beaten-track” destinations such as Flores, Sumbawa and Alor, as well as Sumba in the south with its unique culture and traditions, home to the famous Nihi Sumba Resort.
In the eastern cruising grounds of Indonesia, Raja Ampat which is quickly becoming the most sought-after ‘adventure’ charter and cruising destination and a favourite of scuba divers, nature enthusiasts and those wanting exotic cultural experiences alike. Once a well-kept secret for a handful of scuba divers, Raja Ampat is fast becoming a must-see for any yacht owner or charterer who wants a bit more excitement, or just the feeling of being anchored in a truly untouched bay surrounded by nature as it was millennia ago, and enjoying a superb meal of freshly caught fish.
There are few other destinations offering year-round charter opportunities, with cruises in the Bali, Lombok and Komodo regions being conveniently at their peak in the northern hemisphere summer holidays and Raja Ampat being best visited between October and April. Less visited, but no less interesting, a range of other destinations offer perfect shoulder season cruising anywhere from Sumba to Banda and the spice islands, and the macro diving mecca of Sulawesi’s Lembeh Strait. For surf enthusiasts, West Sumatra is home to the world-famous breaks of the Mentawai Islands.
No discussion of cruising in Indonesia is complete without a special mention to its friendly inhabitants, who regardless of their different background and lifestyles (and there are many – possibly more than in any other country!), offer yacht owners and phinisi charter guests warm, welcoming and memorable hospitality wherever they may meet them.
By Nicolas Benazeth, Director of Charter
For more information about cruising options and services in Indonesia please contact APSA members: