With leisure marinas being developed or expanded in the region, the culture of boating has a firm platform from which to cast off . Ahead of the curve are swanky resorts, which are increasing their investment in marine expeditions. Earlier this year, Aman Resorts launched Amandira. After the 32m cruiser Amanikan debuted in 2009, this is the second vessel to enhance the luxury getaway experience at Amanwana on Indonesia’s Moyo Island.

The 52m two-masted phinisi, or traditional Indonesian sailing ship, traverses the coral reef-rich waters of Raja Ampat or sails to Komodo National Park through the Nusa Tenggara island chain, depending on the time of year. There are five cabins (three of which come with living areas), a bar, restaurant and a library-cum-entertainment room. The ship is staffed by a crew of 14, plus a dive master and his support team.

Plying the same waters is Alila Purnama, launched by the eponymous luxury hotel group in 2012. Like Amandira, it’s a phinisi, though 46m in length and fitting five self-contained suites. Its crew of 16 includes a dive instructor, spa therapist and chef.

Recently, the ship launched routes to the volcanic Banda Islands, which are closer to Australia than to Singapore. These marine excursions’ selling point: letting guests cut loose from the moorings of civilisation, while enjoying the comforts and service provided by well-known hotel brands. We forecast sumptuous sailings ahead.


These cruisers aren’t affiliated with hotel brands – but offer the same level of pampering at sea.



The company, which had its start in the Amazon, launched the Aqua Mekong this year. The 20-cabin, custom-designed ship travels to Angkor Wat, which it dubs the Machu Picchu of Asia.



A single-cabin luxury phinisi vessel, complete with a worldclass spa, a personal chef and butler services. Sails the Indonesian archipelago.