As a travel enthusiast, you may think you’ve tried every excursion under the sun.
However, there is a new experience sweeping Indonesia that makes the beautiful 17,000 island archipelago even more enticing.
And no, it’s not lying on the white sandy beaches of Bali, scuba diving in Pulua Weh, or getting an adrenaline rush from Komodo Dragon Island – it’s much more extravagant.
In 2015, luxury resort company Aman launched the ‘Amandira’ – a high-end yacht that includes everything from air conditioned rooms to kayaks and paddleboards.
But what makes this particular yacht so revolutionary is its traditional Phinisi design with a timber hull and gaft-rigged sails.
For those of you who aren’t boat savvy just think of an ancient tribal sailboat on steroids.
These handcrafted vessels were originally used by the Sulawesi for trade but have now become the desire of every noble sailor to hit the high seas.
The traditional twin masts sail majestically over a sophisticated deck that holds every modern comfort in elegant style.
And ever since Aman upped the Indonesian tourist scene, several companies now offer their own Phinisi-style yacht excursions.
Embarking on a diving trip in Raja Ampat or the Moluccas is no longer done on a bumpy dinghy.
For example, the Dunia Baru accommodates up to 14 guests in seven suites – making for comfortable sleeping arrangements – while the lounging areas and daybeds on deck make this getaway feel like you’re on the set of a music video.
In fact, experiencing Indonesia’s vast terrain and eco-systems by yacht is so incredible, many travelers have a hard time ever going back to the usual forms of travel.
Jingyi Wee-Van, the 99 vessel’s Singapore-based owner, can attest to as much saying, “One client chartered the first time for a week in the Komodo region, then the next time for six weeks, sailing from Indonesia to the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.”
The newest Phinisi yaht to hit the Indonesian waters, Vela, is a 12-passenger, six-cabin yacht and offers open-air workouts on deck.
While it sails to Komodo National Park, Vela stops for diving excursions in underwater caverns and above colorful corals.
At least it does for now.
Social Justice Warriors think they’re saving the world by trying to shut down tourism on Komodo Island.
Of course, this would only stunt the struggling economy and take away all the resources offered to the mighty dragons.
For those who may be planning their vacation to Indonesia now, book the Celestia – a seven cabin Phinisi designed by Indonesian siblings Jasmine Chong and Jason Tabalujan.
The siblings tell Travel and Leisure that the vessel was born out of the desire to escape the isolation and seclusion brought on by coronavirus mandates.
“Celestia was born from that desire to come together, so there’s an element of home, or rather, a space where you can immerse in nature with people who feel like home,” the innovative duo said.
Who doesn’t want a travel experience where they feel safe and connected with nature?
And while traveling in Phinisi style like an ancient native will cost a pretty penny, it’s an investment you will never regret – or forget.