Why feel like a packed sardine on a 5,000 passenger ship this summer when you can sail across Azure seas in a private, floating fantasy?
By Nubia Duvall Wilson
Nowadays, megaships are so large that they can accommodate a capacity that equates to the size of a rural town, which might sound luxurious to some cruise-goers, but for those who want exclusivity, these vessels simply just don’t measure up. Instead, for an over-the-top vacation this summer, rent a private super-yacht with a crew and go wherever the wind will take you. We’ve rounded up some jaw-dropping options from the Caribbean to South East Asia, all with bespoke itineraries to exotic destinations and remote locations that will make you captain of your own aquatic adventure.
DUNIA BARU Bali, Indonesia, $$
Based in Bali, Dunia Baru, which means “new world” in Indonesian, is 167 feet of glamour inspired by traditional Phinisi two masted ships that have been plying the nation’s waters for centuries. American owner Mark Robba spent seven years working with local builders to create this luxury yacht, with an interior reminiscent of a bygone era. It features spacious timber staterooms, a library, outdoor lounging decks, beanbags on the foredeck to watch the dramatic landscape of Indonesia’s islands slip by (or stargaze at night), and an eat in galley with a center island. A more formal seated dining area is outside, just beyond handmade wooden doors.
The ultra-luxurious interior sleeps 14 in seven suites with en suite bathrooms; the master, on the aft upper deck, has a private daybed sun deck. The expansive common outdoor deck includes loungers where guests can sip on Dunia Baru’s famous sangria while waiting for their meal (largely local cuisine, prepared by a private chef). Toys on the ship include a banana boat, water skis, fishing rods with tackle, and eight sets of diving gear. The yacht has a full time and qualified scuba instructor onboard, too, so guests can be certified on site.
The crew focuses on adventure, taking clients to remote locations that avoid crowds. This summer, the vessel will explore untouched locations east of Komodo (one of the 17,508 islands that comprise the Republic of Indonesia) such as Alor, The Forgotten Islands, and The Banda Islands (aka Spice Islands). Travelers can also go to Southern Papua in Papua New Guinea and Triton Bay in Indonesia’s West Papua Province. Rates start at $87,500 per week. oceanscapeyachts.com
.11.11. Morocco, $$$$
World Super yacht Award winner .11.11. disembarks from Morocco and offers discerning trekkers an innovative design in this stupendous 210 foot Benetti. The exterior features a unique axe bow with vertical blade for enhanced cruising performance. Custom Art Deco inspired interiors present bold artwork, polished stainless steel finishes, chandeliers, and Italian marble, complemented by comfortable custom furniture. Aside from standard yacht amenities like a sun deck with a Jacuzzi, an indoor outdoor terrace, and bar, there is also a steam room and dedicated massage room for health conscious, spaobsessed travelers.
11.11. Sleeps 12 guests in six rooms and has a crew of sixteen. Its master suite has a walk in dressing and powder room and 180 degree views overlooking an entirely private sundeck with jet pool and sunbathing area. e main deck VIP suite has an adjoining study/ powder room, a walk in dressing area, and six full height portrait windows that flood the space with natural light. Flexible accommodation on the lower deck offers four spacious suites comprised of two doubles and two twins easily convertible to doubles. The sky lounge features a custom cocktail bar that opens to an exceptional deck space with a backlit 14 seat dining table and an outdoor bar crafted from natural Italian fluted stone. Toys include a 24 foot custom tender, Seadoos, Seabobs, kayaks, and a wide selection of towables and inflatables.
Charter company Y.co will create itineraries based on requests. Guests can head to the laid back port town of Essaouira, which draws surfers (including kite surfers) from around the world. In June, Essaouira comes to life with the Gnaoua World Music Festival, Morocco’s biggest summer festival, which floods the streets and squares with sounds and color over four days. Although deeply rooted in the traditional styles and sounds of the Gnaoua people, the fest now celebrates music from all over the world, including jazz, soul, funk, and blues. One bucket list experience is soaring over the foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains at dawn in a hot air balloon ride, watching the sand change colors as the sun rises, and then going on a camel ride through the palm scattered desert. Summer rates start at $737,600 per week. y.co
HALCON DEL MAR Turkey, $$
Traverse the Turkish seas in this customized version of a gulet, a time honored two masted vessel perfect for hosting a large family gathering or a party of friends. This Bodrum style 148 foot wooden schooner has a classic mahogany interior and a transom stern that provides extra space for the main master cabin. There are actually two masters, plus four double cabins, and two twin cabins, all of which have modern private en suite bathrooms (Halcon Del Mar sleeps 16 guests in all). Its large deck space has ample room for sunbathing, and there are two fixed seating areas, one at the stern for dining and one for cocktails in the bow. In addition, there is a Jacuzzi on deck.
Built in 2017, this yacht has a selection of water toys on board, including a jet ski, snorkeling equipment, water skis and wakeboards, stand up paddleboards, and canoes. Use of a speed boat for up to two hours per day is included (though fuel is extra). The six person crew includes a captain, cook, host, and three deckhands. Preferred destinations include coastal towns along the Turkish Riviera and Greek Islands, such as Kekova, Dalyan, Bozburun, Symi, and Karacasogut, and most itineraries depart from Grocek or Bodrum Harbor.
While exploring, take a day trip from Bodrum and visit Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis, where there are stunning natural hot springs. Travel to the famous Cyclades islands, which include Mykonos, Naxos, Ios, and Santorini. After visiting the red and black sand beaches of Santorini, head over to Oia, the most famous of all villages on the island [TRAVEL] HALCON DEL MAR Turkey, $$ where there are luxury boutiques and cafés among whitewashed houses carved into the rugged cliff tops. Another musn’t miss is Cleopatra’s Beach on Sehir Island and a cruise to the picturesque Greek Island of Symi for dinner at a local taverna and/or exploring the submerged ruins at Aperlae and Simena. Summer rates start at $56,000. redsavannah.com
MIZU Bahamas, $$$
If you prefer to be Caribbean bound this spring or early summer, Mizu its name taken from the Japanese philosophy of the five elements, of which Mizu, or water, is one will pick up guests from the Bahamas and sweep them away at a remarkable top speed of 28 knots. Extensively refit in 2016, the 174 foot yacht has a striking exterior that exudes adventure, juxtaposed with a calming contemporary interior. Its range of standout features includes a sun deck with a 14 person Jacuzzi, an on deck basketball hoop, golf driving green, and an upper deck home theater.
The Asian inspired interior has oversized windows throughout and sleeps ten in five cabins a master suite, two queen bedrooms, and two twin rooms (10 guest capacity, with rooms for a crew of 10). The refit included new teak, sunpads, a dining table, and a new bar, as well as a new media room, custom staircase, and furniture.
The crew takes care of your needs while you venture to Bahama’s Hawksbill Cay, which lies between Shroud Cay and Cistern Cay, and has a dangerously romantic pirate past. Divers can swim with rays and grouper, explore Smuggler’s Cave and Pirates Cut, and even spot the occasional whale. From there, the captain can venture on to the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, or the British Virgin Islands. Summer rates start at $175,000 per week. y.co