With most of the northern hemisphere locked in a deep freeze, we are dreaming about being on this rather amazing ship, maybe sailing The Andaman Sea? If one is going to dream, go big.
Under its new Singaporean owners Jing-Yi Wee and her brother Teng Yuan Wee, the 51m-long, two-masted luxury yacht – which can travel under sail as well as motor – was handcrafted in the classic architecture of Phinisi wooden sailboats by the Konjo, an ancient tribe of boat builders in South Sulawesi.
Guided by an experienced, onboard cruise director, guests are encouraged to create their own bespoke island-hopping itineraries. These incredible adventure expeditions can range from snorkeling in the Banda Archipelago of volcanic, nutmeg-scented isles to nature treks across savannahs. From beach barbecues on deserted white-sanded islands to exploring the wild reefs of Saparua. From eyeballing the legendary dragon lizards at the Komodo National Park to spotting hammerhead sharks and manta rays around Kisar Island. From scuba-diving with barracudas in Manuk and dugongs in Nusa Laut, to just lounging under a sun umbrella on an island with a book and a perfectly chilled cocktail. In this part of the world, the aquatic diversity is mesmerizing. Sunlight shatters in the water to light up fields of soft and hard coral painted in shades of greens, pinks, blues, and yellows. Shimmering schools of silver-bait and giant oceanic manta rays with 8m wingspans cruise through forests of feathery marine vegetation. And above the waterline, there’s wakeboarding, jet skiing, and paddle-boarding around limpid lagoons.
Indonesia, especially, is home to the widest diversity of marine and coral life. “A luxury Phinisi at one with its surroundings is the way to experience this part of the world.” Longer expeditions can be chartered farther north through the spellbinding waters and islands of Thailand and Myanmar. The Dunia Baru is now taking charter bookings for the season. www.duniabaru.com