There are not too many times in our lives we can use the hashtag #yachtinspections without irony. This happened to be one of those times. During my extended stay in Bali, the stars aligned and we heard that many of the beautiful live aboard yachts that we have been eyeing were all going to be in port in Komodo for a night. So, I hopped on the short flight over for a quick peek and to meet some of the interesting folks who have the distinct privilege to be able to live in some of the best dive sites in the world.
Generally, these yachts divide their seasons between Komodo and Raja Ampat. They spend the summer (high season in Bali) in and around Komodo before transferring up to Raja Ampat in October for the winter months.
While the main focus for many of these yachts is diving (it really is the best in the world), it doesn’t mean you need to be an avid diver to enjoy them. There are countless opportunities for snorkeling, exploring local villages, some of the best sunsets you will ever see, and some overland trekking, particularly in Komodo national park (read: Komodo dragons). Being this mobile also allows you to reach many of the remote islands that the larger group trips don’t get to. Think remote beach barbecues, tiny islands with guaranteed dragon sightings (some rumoured to swim out to the boat to meet you) and picture perfect snorkelling spots, ideally not where the dragons are swimming around..
When looking at pricing of these yachts, it can be initially daunting, with some nightly rates reaching pretty high, but if you are on a ship with 5 cabins and divvy out the cost between everyone (we will leave you to fight over who gets the master bedroom), the cost per person drops dramatically, being comparable to a very nice 5 star property, but all of your meals and activities are included. And I mean c’mon, you’re on a boat!
Seriously though, if you are looking for absolute luxury and exclusivity, chartering one of these beautiful ships will leave you with some unbelievable memories. The attached photos are just a small sampling of some of the options on offer. There are multiple choices, from one to seven cabins. So, go alone, or invite 12 of your closest friends or family to share the memories.
Mike Poppe is our man all over Asia – currently on a 6-month research trek around the continent he’s leaving few stones unturned, few fluffy pillows unslept on, and even fewer street food stands untested.