Great Barrier Reef Brief

Great Barrier Reef Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

Charter superyacht Spirit in Australia and the South Pacific

July 25, 2017

Written by Rachael Steele

Discover the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef or the islands scattered throughout the South Pacific on a charter in Australia and the South Pacific aboard motor yacht SPIRIT, currently cruising in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Luxury catamaran SPIRIT - Built by New Zealand Yachts

Luxury catamaran SPIRIT – Built by New Zealand Yachts

Built by New Zealand Yachts in 2004 and last refitted in 2016, Ken Freivokh was responsible for her beautiful exterior and interior appearance, creating a cohesive look throughout.

Superyacht SPIRIT - Salon and formal dining area

Superyacht SPIRIT – Salon and formal dining area

As a catamaran, 35m/115ft luxury yacht SPIRIT has a wide beam the spacious interior layouts designed for everyday living for hosting lavish soirees. The open plan main salon is divided into a lounging area and a formal dining area, both of which benefit from large windows and a variety of wood to create an interesting and welcoming environment.

Motor yacht SPIRIT - Main deck aft

Motor yacht SPIRIT – Main deck aft

On the main deck aft, the shaded seating offers guests a place to rest while outside in the fresh air, and steps lead down to the transom which becomes the swim platform.

Superyacht SPIRIT - Foredeck seating

Superyacht SPIRIT – Foredeck seating

The upper deck is the location of the Master suite, which has an attached study and lounge. This entire deck could be put to private use, or shared with the other guests for its large aft deck with plenty of sun loungers, and the foredeck seating area that makes a perfect place to start or end the day with loved ones.

Take in the spectacular views of the Whitsundays UNESCO World Heritage Site from the large sundeck and spend a lazy afternoon on the sunpads and refreshments mere metres away at the bar.

Superyacht SPIRIT comes with a greater range of water toys, including:

  • 1 x kitesurf
  • 1 x wakeboard
  • 1 x kneeboard
  • Scuba diving equipment
  • Snorkelling equipment, and
  • fishing equipment
Luxury yacht SPIRIT - Master suite

Luxury yacht SPIRIT – Master suite

The on board accommodation clean are guests: 1 Master suite, 2 double cabins and 2 twin cabins. A professional crew of 7 will ensure that everyone on board as a fantastic charter experience.

Luxury yacht SPIRIT is ready to charter in Australia and South Pacific from $90,000 per week plus expenses. Contact CharterWorld for more information and to make your booking today.

The Best Diving Spots Off Your Luxury Yacht

November 18, 2016

Written by Maria Korotaeva

Need some inspiration on planning a holiday? Explore the world beneath you on a luxury yacht charter voyage! Put world-class diving destinations at the very top of your yachting itinerary. Don’t forget to pack your diving camera. There’s everything from fascinating shipwrecks to kaleidoscope coral reefs, exotic marine life to underwater caves. Onboard a luxurious superyacht benefit from the skills of an expert diving instructor or if you’re experienced, do it alone and jump in from the yacht deck.

1. Virgin Islands – if exploring shipwrecks is your thing, then the Virgin Islands ticks all the right boxes. The sleepy Virgin Gorda Island is home to one of the most famous diving sites in the Caribbean, the wreck of the HMS Rhone, located off Salt Island. Many enthusiastic divers plan their entire yachting vacation around a trip to this famous site which has been in existence since 1867 when the Royal Mail steamer sank during a hurricane. What an adventure! If you love the spirit of sailing superyachts then Maltese Falcon for charter is an ideal option. Full selection on charter yacht available in the Caribbean you can check here.

Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

88m megayacht Maltese Falcon by Perini Navi

88m megayacht Maltese Falcon by Perini Navi

2. MexicoMexico has a number of awe-inspiring dive sites which warrant a visit in their own right. Set sail for the coastal town of Playa del Carmen close to the Yucatan Peninsula. The majestic limestone bedrock is riddled with fresh water-filled skin holes called centos some of which are 14m deep. Explore the underwater caves, a true labyrinth for divers. Visit the Baja Peninsula close to Santa Rosalia and Espiritu Santos. You may be lucky enough to see the giant Humboldt squid which can grow up to almost 2m in length – wow! Why not charter the superyacht Mamma Mia for your next holiday

Diving in Mexico

Diving in Mexico


Monumental underwater museum called MUSA, Cancun, Mexico

3. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia – no top ten diving spots would be complete without the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Considered as one of the natural Seven Wonders of the World, this underwater paradise is a fantastic diving destination from top to bottom, a perfect site for divers of all levels. Get your diving gear ready to explore the Coral Sea with visibility of almost 60m making it ideal for spotting sea snakes and sharks at a distance. It has the world’s largest collection of corals, sponges, molluscs, rays and dolphins. CharterWorld offers a large selection of luxury superyacht for charter in the area, for example the stunning motor yacht True North.

Motor yacht True North in Australia

Motor yacht True North in Australia

4. Vanuatu – like many regions in the South Pacific, Vanuatu is home to exciting diving spots. There’s the mighty shipwreck, SS President Coolidge, located off the coast of Espiritu Santo. This 22,000 tonne ship sank fully laden with war machinery during World War II just off the beach. For something a little different, how about diving around Tongoa and Million Dollar Point? It’s a great opportunity to explore the edge of a live volcano, how exciting will that be? The best way to reach all the islands of Vanuatu is on your own charter yacht, which CharterWorld can assist you with.



5. Rangiroa, French Polynesia – approximately 400 kms from Tahiti are the incredible islands of the Tuamotu Archipelago. They include a string of coral that encircles a luminous lagoon known as Rangiroa, the second largest atoll in the world. With more than 240 tiny islets over a 177 kms, it’s not surprising that this is one of the world’s most intriguing and diverse diving spots – awesome.

French Polynesia diving

French Polynesia diving

6. Egyptian Red Sea – the Egyptian Red Sea is ranked as one of the world’s best diving spots and a great destination for a luxury yacht charter with good reason. The eastern edge of the Sahara supports one of the most spectacular dive sites. Separated naturally from the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea has developed an individual reef system like no other. Diving, scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular water activities here so make the Egyptian Red Sea part of your yacht charter itinerary.

Red Sea, Egypt

Red Sea, Egypt

7. The Maldives – the best diving spots in the Indian Ocean can be found in the glorious tropical paradise of the Maldives. The channels here are full of caves, caverns and overhangs that hide soft corals, colorful sponges and unique invertebrates. There are plenty of sites to explore in this amazing region. Away from the reefs, you may be lucky enough to spot manta rays, eagle rays or different species of sharks. A yacht charter is the perfect way to enjoy the various adventures that diving sites offer.

The Maldives

The Maldives

8. Cayman Islands – these islands are a group of three islands all of which offer world class diving. Although Grand Cayman is the most established diving destination, for a more relaxed but equally as enthralling, there’s Little Cayman and for the daring, on the northern shore, Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson Point. These are sheer coral cliffs dropping 2,000m into a submarine trench. Many divers consider this to be the finest wall diving in the Caribbean. Some of the best luxury charter yachts will be cruising in the waters of the Caribbean this winter, and are available for charter!

85m luxury charter yacht Solandge built by Lurssen - Photo by Klaus Jordan

85m luxury charter yacht Solandge built by Lurssen – Photo by Klaus Jordan

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

9. Sipadan Island, Malaysian Borneo – one of the more secluded diving spots can be found off Sipadan Island in the South China Sea. This island is less than an hour’s sail from the mainland, so it shouldn’t take your skipper long to get there. It’s an unbelievable magnet for studying fish from barracuda to horse-eye jacks as well as stunning green turtles which are accustomed to the presence of divers. At South Point you may encounter reef sharks, huge schools of trevally along with herds of parrot fish.

Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island

10. Surin and Similan Islands, ThailandThailand’s best diving spots can be found in the Andaman Sea. There are fabulous diving sites like Hin Daeng (Red Rock) and Hin Mouang (Purple Rock) in the south west, off the Surin and Similan Islands. The Surin Islands are also home to Richelieu Rock, a 30m dive famous for shark sightings and giant schools of fish. There are many wonderful photograph opportunities here.

Similan Islands

Similan Islands

Star of David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Documentary 56m Explorer Yacht ALUCIA Refitted by Diverse Projects

May 04, 2016

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Diverse Projects, located in Auckland, New Zealand were once again chosen to refit the 56-metre research and exploration yacht ALUCIA, marking their third consecutive refit on this vessel. The yacht’s refit has started in San Francisco in December 2015, following the completion of the filming of the three-part BBC series: Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough.

Expedition Yacht ALUCIA following her refit in 2016

Expedition Yacht ALUCIA following her refit in 2016

The Diverse team were selected for their broad experience in complex refits with demanding timeframes and moved to San Francisco for the duration of the refit. The project started in December 2015 and was finished at the beginning of March this year.

The extensive job included interior works, engine and machinery services and entire hull paint job. Multiple systems were also upgraded from the bridge through all areas of ALUCIA, as well as her five-year regulatory needs were also attended to.

ALUCIA under refit in New Zealand by Diverse Projects in 2016

ALUCIA under refit in New Zealand by Diverse Projects in 2016

The superyacht also features submarines on board, which play an important role in her exploration voyages. The refit project also included the rebuild of several submarines used in her iconic expeditions, which are now due for testing in Mexico.

The project management team kept to an exacting delivery schedule, with ALUCIA being re-launched on time at the end of February and departed on 13th March.

Diverse Projects’ are able to deliver refits on time thanks to the management software utilised by the company, Predict, which provides for easy, complete tracking of tasks, budget, interaction by the crew, shipyard and management teams, and offers the company successful delivery results.

ALUCIA was refitted by Diverse Projects three times to date, with an extensive upgrade in 2014 to stay in the survey for her multi-faced operational requirements. The work, carried out over 12 months, saw a completely refreshed yacht leave the yard. The refit took place at Bay Ship & Yacht Alameda, with Synchrolift able of hauling out vessels up to 1,200 tonnes and up to 62 metres, and dry dock lift capacity up to 3000 tonnes.

The team at DiverseProjects has enjoyed the challenges working on this very unique vessel over the last three years and wish all involved with her the best for their transit voyages in the Pacific Rim through to the Atlantic.

David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Trailer

Don’t forget to check out ALUCIA in the fantastic new documentary on the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough, and get inspired to explore this amazing destination in Australia. If you would like to charter an expedition yacht or a luxury superyacht to cruise some of these breath-taking locations, feel free to contact us today.

Upgraded Abell Point Marina Welcomes The World’s Largest Catamaran – Impressive 44m Sailing Superyacht HEMISPHERE

November 04, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

This week saw the Abell Point Marina welcome the world’s largest catamaran – the impressive 44m sailing superyacht HEMISPHERE. The Queensland marina has been dredged and upgraded to provide superyacht facilities in the heart of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, the popular Australia yacht charter destinations.

44m sailing catamaran HEMISPHERE at Abell Point Marina

44m sailing catamaran HEMISPHERE at Abell Point Marina

Abell Point Marina is presently going through a dredging programme under the direction of new owner, Paul Darrouzet, ensuring the marina is able to host larger superyachts. The move comes as part of a focused drive by the marina to increase the facilities available within the region to superyachts.

“Everyone at Abell Point has gone out of their way to make sure our stay went smoothly,” said sailing yacht HEMISPHERE’s Captain, Gavin Bladen. “Abell Point is a great facility for yachts to prepare for trips out into the Whitsundays, or take a little down time for the crew. The marina facilities have undergone a major revamp since their humble beginnings and now tick all the boxes a superyacht looks for when deciding where to berth.”

Luxury yacht HEMISPHERE under sail

Luxury yacht HEMISPHERE under sail

Abell Point Marina has also been heavily involved, working with national legislators to increase superyacht access to the Great Barrier Reef region. Led by Darrouzet, the marina’s team worked as part of an action group with Superyacht Australia, lobbying Australian government to ease access to the nation for foreign-flagged charter yachts. The team also collaborates with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to ease restrictions for larger yachts, wishing to access the fabulous Whitsunday Islands.

“Since the upgrade of the marina under new ownership, we have experienced a huge in-crease in Australian and international superyachts ranging from 35-50m visiting the marina. The marina is on the doorstep to the Whitsunday Islands, the facilities and services are of a high standard and it is located conveniently in the vibrant coastal town of Airlie Beach,” commented Luke McCaul, Abell Point Marina marketing and business development manager.

Aerial view of Abell Point Marina

Aerial view of Abell Point Marina

“To a small town like Airlie Beach, the flow-on effect of a visiting superyacht has astronomical benefits. On average we may see $50 – $60,000 AUD being spent weekly in the local economy which flows on to shopping centres, butchers, flower huts, restaurants, clubs and more. We would love to see this benefit grow and, by continuously improving the experience for superyachts, our goal is to be the base of choice to experience the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef.”

Abell Point Marina has gone through a major development to offer every service needed for superyachts in the Great Barrier Reef. Berths stretch to 70-metres, with onsite concierge services, including a dedicated helicopter for transfers, professional team, provisioners, crew services, as well as other amenities all on site.

Abell Point Marina

Abell Point Marina

The Whitsundays are home to the legendary Whitehaven Beach, Heart Reef, top class resorts Hamilton and Hayman Islands, and has a private jet terminal and local airports which connects to international flights in Brisbane to the south and Cairns to the north. The region holds exceptional appeal to yacht; something Captain Bladen reinforces.

New Queensland Government to review the opening of Whitsunday Islands to Superyachts over 35m

January 15, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The Great Barrier Reef Marina Park Authority (GBRMPA) have committed to reviewing the Whitsundays Plan of Management. This currently restricts the access of Superyachts over 35 metres to certain settings in the enchanting Whitsunday Islands yacht charter destination, nestled in Australia.

Abell Point Marina - a beautiful Whitsundays Island yacht holiday destination - Image credit to Abell Point Marina

Abell Point Marina - a beautiful Whitsundays Island yacht holiday destination - Image credit to Abell Point Marina

The Whitsundays Plan of Management was first developed in 1998 by GBRMPA to protect and conserve the values of a particular area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park associated with the area around the Whitsunday Island Group, while allowing for a range of use opportunities. Whilst this plan has an obvious purpose to conserve one of the great wonders of the world, the plan has restricted access for vessels that are over 35 metres in length.

The restrictions include anchoring 1500m from islands & reef, constraints on traversing through most setting areas and only a handful of designated Superyacht anchorage points. For vessels over 35 metres that are visiting Australia and have a very large economic benefit to the regions it visits, Whitsundays is often being passed by large Superyachts due to these constraints. You have the most sought after cruising and tourism destination in the world that restricts access to Superyachts.

The new government in Queensland have realised the potential of this high yielding market and the impact it can have on regional Queensland towns. A project group within GBRMPA has been set up and they are currently consulting with tourism and marine industry representatives to gain feedback about amendments to the plan. It is planned for a review of the plan to have occurred by mid-2015 which means that Superyachts visiting next cruising season may be able to experience the benefits of greater access to the magic of the Whitsunday Islands yacht holiday location.

What to expect from Hamilton Island in 2013

January 17, 2013

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

This year, a fabulous Australian yacht charter destination – Hamilton Island, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Oatley family owning the Island. After over $350million in investments as well as developments, the beautiful Hamilton Island, situated in Queensland’s Whitsunday region, has never sparkled brighter.

Hamilton Island - a popular Australian yacht charter destination

Hamilton Island - a popular Australian yacht charter destination

However, for those that need further impetus to put Hamilton Island on top of their must-do travel list for 2013, here are 12 more defining reasons:
•    JAN – Learn a new skill, with over 60 activities to choose from
•    FEB – Fall in love with some romance on the reef
•    MAR – Enter Autumn with a relaxing spa holiday
•    APR – Be reef-freshed with a Reefsleep experience
•    MAY – On your marks for the Hilly Half Marathon
•    JUN – Make a splash with the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles
•    JUL – Indulge in divine dining with the Great Barrier Feast
•    AUG – Superb sailing, celebrities, exquisite cuisine and fashion at the 30th Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
•    SEP – Experience the wonder of whale watching in the Whitsundays
•    OCT – Sign up for expert sailing tuition
•    NOV – Enjoy an intimate audience with the Australian Ballet
•    DEC – Tee off for a round of golf in the sunshine

JANUARY – Visitors to Hamilton Island have over 60 activities to choose from including go-karting, bushwalking, scuba diving, parasailing, squash, tennis, fishing, sailing, kayaking, target sports and windsurfing, perfect for anyone wanting to learn a new skill for 2013.

Snap up the Hamilton Island 3 in 1 Activity Superpass for a great taster of what’s on offer – choose between the Adventure Superpass including a jet ski tour, quad bike adventure and exhilarating heli rush tour or the Family Superpass which includes unlimited entry to Wildlife Hamilton Island, a round of mini golf and half day dinghy hire.

FEBRUARY – Whether you plan to pop the question or tie the knot, there is no more romantic month than February on Hamilton Island.  From a seaplane ‘Love Flight’ over magnificent Heart Reef to an underwater ceremony or a pontoon wedding, Hamilton Island has it covered.  Hamilton Island Weddings also have the only commercial permit in Australia to conduct ceremonies on Whitehaven Beach, in the middle of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

MARCH – Treat yourself to some pampering for body and soul this month at Hamilton Island’s elegant spas.  Whether you want to unwind at Spa wumurdaylin, the Island’s first full service day spa, or indulge in total pampering at the luxury Spa qualia, you’ll enjoy treatments inspired by an authentic Australian Spa journey utilising unique indigenous techniques that capture the beauty of the Whitsunday islands.

APRIL – April is the perfect month to check in to the Reefworld pontoon in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef for a Reefsleep experience. Following a night on Hamilton Island, cruise out to the Reefworld pontoon at Hardy Reef with Cruise Whitsundays and enjoy a range of activities, including semi-submersible tours, snorkelling and the underwater viewing chamber.

By night, Reefworld transforms itself into a private floating hotel, so you can sleep under the stars in a truly unique Great Barrier Reef experience, and enjoy the tranquillity of this natural wonder as you become a part of the nocturnal activities of the many tropical reef fish and sensational coral formations.

MAY – Get set for the Hilly Half Marathon challenge, which takes place on Sunday 5 May.  A rugged 21-kilometre route uphill and down dale, the Stamford Financial Hilly Half Marathon follows road, fire trails and walking tracks through Hamilton Island’s undulating interior.

JUNE – Formerly the annual Hamilton Cup, one of the world’s toughest outrigger canoe racing events, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles, takes place this month from 20 – 24 June. The event is run over four action-packed days, where competitive outriggers are joined by athletes from four other popular paddle disciplines; Surf Ski, Stand-Up Paddling, Board Paddling and, for the first time, Dragon Boating. Capped off with an exciting off-water entertainment program, the Gatorade Clash of the Paddles is an oar-some event for every type of paddler.

Aerial view of Hamilton Island

Aerial view of Hamilton Island

JULY – Hamilton Island’s multi award-winning luxury resort qualia plays hosts to the country’s top chefs at the ‘Best of Australia at qualia’ Great Barrier Feast culinary weekend from 12 – 14 July. Featuring Quay’s Peter Gilmore, The Royal Mail’s Dan Hunter and qualia’s own Alastair Waddell, guests will truly experience the best of Australian haute cuisine at the resort named Best in the World in the 2012 US Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

July is also an ideal time for family travel during school holidays and to escape the winter blues. A busy but fun month, the Island boasts mild to warm weather with clear blue skies and average temps of 23C. Excursions to the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling safaris and a trip to see the Island’s koalas, kangaroos and wombats at ‘Wild Life Hamilton Island’ make holidays for children both educational and fun. Accommodation and meals in selected restaurants are free for children up to the age of 12, whilst the Clownfish Club offers activities for children up to 14 years.

AUGUST – This is the month that Hamilton Island hosts Australia’s largest and most prestigious off-shore yachting regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Taking place 16 – 24 August, this year the event celebrates its incredible 30th anniversary.  From serious offshore racing and fabulous super-yachts to onshore glitz, glamour and gourmet fare, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week offers guests the opportunity to experience the best Australia has to offer.

SEPTEMBER – is whale watching season when visitors can see baby humpbacks that have been born in the warm waters of the Whitsundays, travelling past the coast in pod sizes of between eight and ten whales. Whales, which can vary in length from five to 18 metres, can also be seen in their migrating season (June to September) from Hamilton Island itself.

OCTOBER – Since Captain Cook charted Australia’s coastline in the 1700’s, the Whitsunday islands have been recognised as one of the best sailing playgrounds in the world. Sunsail’s Sailing Academy on Hamilton Island offers a wide range of accredited marine qualifications for yachts, catamarans and motorboats, with tuition for beginners and experienced sailors alike. After offshore action, wind down at the iconic Hamilton Island Yacht Club for a sunset cocktail on the Bommie Deck, or an award-winning meal in the Bommie Restaurant.

NOVEMBER – The Australian Ballet returns for the sixth consecutive year to give an intimate outdoor performance at qualia resort.  Pas de Deux in Paradise will be staged on 23 November, and guests will be treated to exclusive performances of world-famous Pas de Deux’s by the prestigious dance company’s principal dancers.

November is also home to the Fujifilm Triathlon (16 November) and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim and Junior Triathlon (17 November), which take in some of the Whitsunday’s most iconic locations for a sporting epic.

DECEMBER – Time for a round of golf on Australia’s only 18-hole championship golf course situated on its own island. The 6,120 metre, par 71, course located on neighbouring Dent Island is just quick helicopter flight or five minute boat ride from Hamilton Island.  Created by five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, the course is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s top courses, not least because of the stunning Whitsunday views from each hole.

The crowning glory of the course is the Chris Beckingham-designed clubhouse, ideally perched to take in the fantastic views of the surrounding Coral Sea. The clubhouse offers an idyllic spot for non-golfing partners to relax over a laid-back lunch or for golfers to take stock of the day’s game over a cold beer.

The Indian Ocean and Asia region – one of the most spectacular cruising grounds for superyachts

November 26, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The fact that the Indian Ocean and Asia region is fast becoming one of the most spectacular cruising grounds for superyachts is well known to those who have cruised this breathtaking yacht charter destination for many years, but it is only now becoming a common knowledge.

MALDIVES Medhufinolhu Island - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

MALDIVES Medhufinolhu Island - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

“Recent expansions in marina facilities have provided the kind of support today’s demanding professional captains are used to and the pristine ecosystems found throughout these diverse regions are exactly what yacht owners have been missing all these years”, reports Nick Coombes.

At first sight it may seem daunting… but with the abundance of stunning cruising possibilities and the excellent shore based assistance now available, it really is a joy to cruise throughout Asia’s waterways. Working on an early September departure from the Med, a Suez Canal transit and a passage through the Red Sea will put you out into the Indian Ocean to start your journey into the pristine islands of the Maldives.

Journeying on to Sri Lanka and Langkawi, Malaysia respectively in October and November, December and January will find you in Phuket, Thailand and at the half-way point in February in Myanmar. Then it’s on to the Andaman Islands in March, Singapore in April, Koh Samui, Thailand in May, Hong Kong in June and a final stop in the Philippines in July, prior to a stunning end in Indonesia in August and option to journey further to Australia and New Zealand. Stunning Asian regions are briefly described below by Asia Pacific Superyachts region experts in planning a cruising itinerary which comprises a Superyacht year-long journey through Asian waters.

– Captain Nick Coombes

First Port of call is Malé, the Capital of the Republic of the Maldives. Arrival formalities are simple although you will need a pilot for your first entry (Port Regulations); clearance is done in an hour’s time and then you’re free to leave the Customs anchorage.

MALDIVES Rhuiveli Baby Island (Bird Island)

MALDIVES Rhuiveli Baby Island (Bird Island) - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Most yachts head north approximately four miles and anchor off the resort island of Bandos. Unlike some of the other exclusive resorts, Bandos gladly welcomes yacht crews and generally several yachts will be at anchor when you arrive.

As there are no Marina facilities in the Maldives large enough for today’s Superyachts, you must rely 100% on your ship’s tenders or boats provided by the agent. Basic spares are available in Malé and Petrol/Diesel can be supplied at anchor anywhere close to Malé.

The Maldives are a nature lover’s paradise, with more than a thousand small islands, surrounded by pure white beaches, like ‘Bird Island’ and pristine reef systems, providing an unending opportunity to fish and dive/snorkel to your heart’s content.

The cruising area will depend on preferred activities and prevailing weather conditions. In all but the heaviest weather there are plenty of places to cruise. The best and busiest time is November to April and Asia Pacific Superyachts Maldives’ Mohamed Hameed and his team are very helpful in assisting with cruising plans and can provide excellent dive and fishing guides. As well, Mohamed notes, a little planning will help you avoid having to ship lots of supplies into the Maldives.

A very short 450NM passage from the Maldives takes you up to Sri Lanka – a good option for a fueling point. The islands eighteen million strong population provides an intoxicating mix of cultures and diverse ethnic groups. There are three main ports in Sri Lanka – namely Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee. Colombo and Galle both are manmade while Trincomalee is one of the world’s largest natural harbors; all have deepwater berths for Superyacht use.

Captain Nick Coombes of Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia, reports: “My first stop east of the Sri Lanka is always Langkawi. This group of 99 Islands is the perfect place to re-supply and relax. As the region’s only ‘Duty Free’ port, you will find cheap, low sulphur diesel, as well as petrol, A1 jet fuel, alcohol (including fine wines) and tobacco products. Two Superyacht marinas provide safe berthing, with a varied supply of support services available in the main town of Kuah.”

MALAYSIA Superyacht Anna cruising Malaysia waters

MALAYSIA Superyacht Anna cruising Malaysia waters - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

There is a custom built Superyacht refit center, with a 500 ton travel lift, 2 x 60 meter work sheds and plenty of hard stand. For larger yachts the shipyard offers a 100 meter floating dock for short or extended visits. For the crew there are plenty of beaches, restaurants, bars, 5-star hotels, golf courses, uninhabited islands and an international airport.

Cruising around Langkawi’s 99 islands will provide guests with plenty to do and allow easy access to the southern Thai islands in the Butang Group. Nick suggests the best time to visit is September through May.

The southern Thai islands in the Butang Group

The southern Thai islands in the Butang Group - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Just a few hours North of Langkawi you will find the very popular Island of Phuket. Dubbed the ‘Monaco’ of South East Asia, Phuket now has two Superyacht marinas and more are being planned.

The locals are very friendly and there is a substantial ex-pat population on the island. For off duty crew the nightlife in Patong and Phuket City is spectacular with plenty of 5-star restaurants and wine bars along with a great mix of local restaurants. Lots of high end beach clubs are being set up, giving owners a choice of secluded bays or exclusive nightlife.

Experienced Asia Pacific Superyachts Phuket’s Gordon Fernandes can recommend the best in yacht planning, noting, “Starting out and staying close to Phuket you have Phang Nga Bay with its limestone monoliths rising up out of the sea or further south, the islands of Koh Phi Phi, made famous by the film, The Beach.

Word class diving is within easy reach and guests can beach, swim, snorkel, look for monkeys and wildlife before heading off to the Similan Islands; 60NM’s North West of Phuket and classed as one of the ‘top ten global dive destinations’ – a paradise for diving and snorkeling and often guests will enjoy 30M+ water visibility.

For a more private diving experience, head a little further north to the Surin Islands and the Surin Archipelago, a 135 square kilometers area lying in the Andaman Sea some 53 kilometers off mainland Ranong Province (the park’s five islands lie just south of the border with Myanmar). Gordon suggests a brief return to Phuket for refueling/ re-provisioning before heading off for Myanmar.

Yachts planning to be in Phuket for Christmas can also join the exclusive Asia Superyacht Rendezvous, with principal sponsor, Feadship. It’s an event aimed at both motor and sailing yachts and a great way to start the festive season.

PHUKET, THAILAND Superyachts moored in Surin Bay

PHUKET, THAILAND Superyachts moored in Surin Bay - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Traveling further North is Myanmar and the Mergui Archipelago, partly famed as the home of small groups of ‘Moken’ (sea gypsy) villages. The Archipelago is lightly populated and it’s easy to find perfect places to relax and enjoy the solitude and beauty. The Mergui Archipelago and the Andaman Islands are among the world’s top preferred diving destinations.

Moving from the Mergui Archipelagoes, you will soon encounter the vast spread of the Andaman Islands in India. The journey offers stunning cruising vistas as well as land attractions and discoveries. Visitors will find deserted islands of pure white sparkling beaches and crystal clear water. Moving inland, lush vegetation and towering cliffs with unusual bird and flora/fauna all wait to be explored and active volcanoes can be viewed during the journey.

The Andaman Islands of India delivers adventuresome cruising and vessels seek out Asia Pacific Superyachts Andamans’, R. Rathnam, to create an itinerary that opens onto a secret world of tropical jungles and serene beaches scattered throughout much of the Andaman Archipelago.

Traveling on, some of the most enticing of unexplored waters can be found in the Bay of Bengal, with deep seas and hundreds of hidden bays teaming with marine life.

Mr. Rathnam notes the best cruising months for the Andaman Islands are between November to April.


ANDAMAN ISLANDS Havelock Island - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Heading back south along the Malay Peninsular you will arrive at the island city of Singapore. This is one of the financial shining stars of South East Asia, and offers all the trappings of a modern city, all packaged together on a tropical Island.

Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world and as such requires some pre arrival formalities and pilotage services for any vessel over GRT300… comments Asia Pacific Superyachts Singapore head, Captain Scott Walker. Scott and his team can easily handle all requests and will ensure your stay is very enjoyable, noting: “As you can imagine, a port as busy as this also has an extensive choice of shore support facilities and pretty much all major repairs can be completed locally.”

SINGAPORE Marina Bay Sands

SINGAPORE Marina Bay Sands - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Koh Samui is a lovely sand-kissed Island, offering opportunities to enjoy some of Eastern Thailand’s legendary hospitality and some very good diving, reports Captain Charlie Dwyer of the 36m Yanneke Too – heading up Asia Pacific Superyachts Samui.

Koh Samui is the ‘Jewel of the Gulf of Thailand’ – filled with natural beauty and many options for anchoring along the coast along with many attractions both on Koh Samui and the surrounding Islands. The island offers Elephant Trekking, Snake Shows, Monkey Shows, Temples, Waterfalls Thai Cultural Dancing and a Mountain Safari Trip. The island is also home to some of the finest restaurants and spas in Thailand.

Of special interest and just 20 NM from Koh Samui, is the Angthong National Marine Park with its spectacular group of 42 uniquely different and exciting islands. A mere 7 NM from Samui is the tropical Island of Koh Phangan, famed for its natural beauty and world-famous ‘Full Moon Party’. To the north is Koh Tao, famed as the ‘Diving Mecca of the Gulf’.

Koh Samui is used as a base for discovering the many beautiful islands located in the turquoise seas of the gulf with names like Koh Chang and Koh Samet. From Samui it’s possible to sail on to Pattaya and to Bangkok – the cultural capital of Thailand. The best months to visit are May through September.

SAMUI THAILAND Angthong Marine National Park

SAMUI, THAILAND Angthong Marine National Park - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Hong Kong, at the mouth of the Pearl River delta, part of China yet so different. When you think of Hong Kong, a busy commercial port and a high rise skyline pops into your mind of one of the most exciting cities in Asia, where east meets west. Though Hong Kong does ‘urban’ well, surprising to visiting yachts are the beautiful seascapes and the fact that almost 60% of Hong Kong’s landmass is still Country Park.

Hong Kong’s 236 islands studded with beaches provide unexpected stunning cruising offsetting the fast pace of life in the world’s third financial centre. Business combined with entertaining on board is normal practice in Hong Kong.

The shear proximity of museums, fine dining, tourist attractions and shopping plus some world famous international sports events make a stop in Hong Kong a unique destination.

The occasional typhoon may occur between June-September; however, Hong Kong waters are mainly protected. Outside the harbor, you can anchor almost anywhere hassle free or dock at Gold Coast Yacht & Country Club where Asia Pacific Superyachts Hong Kong’s Bart Kimman and his team can arrange typhoon proof berths for Superyachts and any other services required.

The marine department facilitates guaranteed corruption free port clearance facilities and it’s a free port, making it easy to obtain spare parts. There are excellent shipyard facilities and repair of most brands of marine equipment can be arranged for with an agent contact. The APS Hong Kong team has the ‘can do’ attitude to make life for the visiting yacht easy and exciting and most crews love to stay in Hong Kong.


HONG KONG Harbour - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Most yachts stay around the brilliant scenery and prime anchorages of the Puerto Galera and northern Mindoro areas. You can make day trips and overnight stays to the white beaches of Mindoro and Maricaban Islands. There are great bars and restaurants along the commercial side of the island and end the holiday with a sail back to Manila Yacht Club, taking about 15 hours with plenty of beaches to anchor.


Heading South from the Philippines, you will find the Island of Borneo with the best cruising to be found in the state of Sabah”, explains Alvin Teh, heading up the Asia Pacific Superyachts Borneo team.  Sabah’s cruising waters from Labuan to Sipadan offer spectacular and beautiful waters, islands and mainland attractions.

Tropical islands and mainland coastal bays offer extraordinarily diverse mainland beauty which includes the highest mountain in South East Asia, Mt. Kinabalu; virgin rainforest conservation areas (including the Maliau Basin, known as the ‘Lost World’); exotic wildlife and flora and fauna and a myriad of adventure and eco-tourism activities – all accessible as a day or overnight excursion from your yacht.

BORNEO Proboscis Monkeys along the Kinabatangang River

BORNEO Proboscis Monkeys along the Kinabatangang River - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

A stopover in Kota Kinabalu at the Sutera Harbor Marina which will allow for land excursions to the wild interiors of Borneo, diving at Layang (famed for schooling hammerheads) and the jewel of Sabah, Sipadan. And for true adventure, take a river journey up the famed Kinabatangan River to see rare and endangered species including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and pigmy elephants.

BORNEO Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

BORNEO Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

As Indonesia spans the equator, she is unique in her diversity and opportunities for year round cruising.

“From November to March, the Northern sector is at its best”, explain Richard Lofthouse & Captain Jimmy Blee of Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia, “From Borneo it is only three to five days steaming or sailing to Bitung in North Sulawesi where you can clear in and take good quality fuel.”

From there you have ready access to Bunaken National Park, the world class muck diving of Lembeh and deserted islands to the north – all within a fifty mile radius. Moving East is the untouched Halmahera to explore and then to the ‘Mecca of Diving’ that is the Raja Ampat. Beyond that is the opportunity to discover new tribes in Indonesian Papua and spend time in a place called Fak Fak!”

INDONESIA Tribe in Papua New Guinea

INDONESIA Tribe in Papua New Guinea - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

In November and December a run to the Spice Islands and the beautiful Molluku area is a must – a living history of nutmeg, old forts and unique beauty.

From April to October, the 8th Parallel is ripe for exploring – whether it is Borobudur in Java, Uluwatu in Bali or the dragons of Komodo and Rinja, the possibilities are endless.

Richard notes that when factoring in that all the above makes no mention of Sumatra and Sulawesi – (two of the biggest islands in the world), Kalimantan (the Indonesian side of Borneo), Sumba (‘The land that time forgot’) or many other of the 15,000 islands Indonesia has to offer, you will see that the riches available are abundant and the exploration, endless.

INDONESIA Banda from Spice Island Volcano

INDONESIA Banda from Spice Island Volcano - Photo credit: Asia Pacific Superyachts

Richard and Captain Jimmy have over 20 years experience exploring Indonesia and making even the most remote trip possible.

“A Year in Asia of extraordinary cruising will leave you in the perfect position to explore Northern Australia, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve and onwards to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands”, reports Captain Nick Coombes. An incredible discovery adventure journey awaits…

By Captain Nick Coombes & Linda Cartlidge

APS Contributors:
Maldives: Mohamed Hameed
Langkawi, Malaysia & Sri Lanka: Nick Coombes
Phuket, Thailand & Myanmar: Gordon Fernandes
Andamans & India: R. Rathnam
Singapore: Scott Walker
Koh Samui, Thailand: Charles Dwyer
Hong Kong: Bart & Sytske Kimman
Borneo, Malaysia & Philippines: Alvin & Shirley Teh
Indonesia: Richard Lofthouse & Jimmy Blee

Comprehensive itineraries presenting Australia as an idyllic cruising destination for superyachts

November 08, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Superyacht Australia, along with Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef Manager Susan Byrne are collaborating with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to present comprehensive itineraries. The goal is to prove the cruising capabilities within this Great Barrier Reef region presently and by all reports what can be done is substantial and undoubtedly leaves guests raving about their experiences noting them as “totally unexpected.”

Australia's Great Barrier Reef - Lizard Island

Australia's Great Barrier Reef - Lizard Island

Captain Joe Russel a contributor in the recently released Third Edition of the Great Southern Route publication says: “I have seen the infrastructure increase in leaps and bounds and it (Cairns) is now as good as Europe.” Russel writes further about the beauties of the Great Barrier Reef stating “…suffice for me to say that after many hundreds of days cruising the area (Great Barrier Reef) over the years, I am still in awe of the reef and island cruising, deserted beaches and secluded anchorages”

The expanse of experiences while cruising in Australia include but are not limited to diving, snorkelling, all types of fishing, whale and whale shark sightings, enjoying your watercraft, cultural experiences and the best anchorages. Expect to see exquisite turquoise waters and explore the abundance of natural playgrounds when cruising Australia.

Tasmania, Australia’s southern state, boasts some of the most picturesque cruising grounds found in a temperate climate and now hosts the world renowned MONA gallery as well as exquisite natural landscapes.

The adventures and pure beauty offered in the Kimberley’s (North West Australia) leave you exploring in fresh water pools behind water falls, enjoying beautiful beaches and rock formations, walk above cascades for a swim in large billabongs, explore aboriginal art and enjoy the wildlife; Dugongs, Turtles, Sharks, Sea Eagles, Dolphins, Whales and numerous bird species.

South from the Great Barrier Reef there is a variety of safe cruising grounds, reasonable distances apart, stretching the full length of the coast. Choices vary from deep inlets, like Broken Bay just north of Sydney, to wide estuarial layouts such as Port Stephens and Port Macquarie, and natural harbours, Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour); arguable one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks.

Coupled with these unique and stunning cruising opportunities are the infrastructure and facilities required to host the necessary requirements for superyachts including superior quality refit, repair and maintenance.

Superyacht Australia has been working with the GBRMPA with regard to the regulations around the 35m rule for some areas of the reef, while this may take some time to work through it should not be forgotten that there is an expanse of unique cruising opportunities outside of these small restricted areas which several yachts have encountered. The Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef states that “feedback from vessels is that they have found Australia to be unexpected and rewarding for their owners.”

Superyacht Australia has recently had significant presence at the Monaco Yacht Show and Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show where they were profiling Australia as a key and unique cruising destination for superyachts, many were looking to Australia for ‘new’ experiences and excited by the opportunities.

Superyacht Australia ensures the voice of the superyacht sector is heard

August 27, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

To provide superyachts with a possibility to cruise in the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is the main task of Superyacht Australia.

Great Barrier Reef - one of the most fabulous yacht charter destinations in Australia

Great Barrier Reef - one of the most fabulous yacht charter destinations in Australia

Superyacht Australia CEO, MaryAnne Edwards, stated “Superyacht Australia has made huge inroads to ensuring they are acknowledged as a key stakeholder that has an interest in the Great Barrier Reef”.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority is conducting a strategic assessment of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the nearby coastal zone. The strategic assessment is an overall assessment of the effectiveness of management arrangements to protect the environmental values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The goal is to ensure the World heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef are protected while creating a long term plan for sustainable development in the region.

Superyacht Australia will have a representative at the strategic assessment workshops to ensure the voice of the superyacht sector is heard. The Great Barrier Reef continues to be a major attraction and an iconic destination for visiting superyachts. Currently Superyacht Australia is working with industry to further develop cruising itineraries for the Great Barrier Reef that meets the needs of visiting superyachts.

Superyacht Australia unhappy about GBRMPA decision

July 02, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Although having requested a numerous times to review the Plan of Management on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) agenda, Superyacht Australia have been informed that due to work pressures, this item has not made it to the table.

Superyacht Australia Chairman Barry Jenkins

Superyacht Australia Chairman Barry Jenkins

This issue has been an ongoing one for the superyacht sector, with Superyacht Australia seeking to have two amendments made.  The first amendment is to apply a consistent approach to the management of superyachts regardless of whether they are under charter or whether being operated for private use. This is similar to how other global industries, such as aviation, are managed.

Secondly, the superyacht industry seeks an amendment to the Cairns and Whitsundays Plans of Management to provide greater flexibility in access for superyacht visitation. These management arrangements originally developed in the late 1990’s and do not sufficiently consider superyacht use.

Currently there is little opportunity for superyachts in excess of 35 meters in length to provide the type of quality experience the owners and charter clientele are seeking, particularly to some of the more iconic destinations offshore from Cairns, Port Douglas and the Whitsundays.

Superyacht Australia Chairman Barry Jenkins said “the average size of a superyacht has grown over the years and the environmental performance of these vessels, in most cases, far exceeds the current operating standards of many other vessels. It is time this issue made it to the work agenda for GBRMPA.  We have however, noted the considerable effort over the years to improve cruise ship access throughout the Reef and in Plan of Management areas for example the cruise ship specific permits and cruise ship anchorages and transit corridors.”

Superyachts, as a growing industry, can provide significant economic benefit for regional economies, increase the reputation of the destination internationally, support local manufacturing and support industries, and do so with less environmental impact than cruise ships and in some cases less impact than local tourist vessel operations carrying hundreds of people.

The fallout and extended delay from this decision means less superyachts will cruise in Queensland waters as one of the key attractions for the global superyacht fleet is cruising the Great Barrier Reef and having that unique experience they see portrayed in Tourism Australia promotions.

With the new Queensland Government strategy of doubling tourism revenue by 2020, this is a huge blow and will be a real barrier to Premier Newman and Minister Jann Stuckey reaching their goal.

Mr Jenkins, Superyacht Australia Chairman said “we will not let this issue rest, we will be talking to all key stakeholders to see if there is some way we can progress this issue. While we appreciate GBRMPA has a significant work agenda we see this as a simple issue that has no downside for anyone and is certainly not an environmental threat to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Minister Stuckey stated at ASMEX, the recent superyacht conference, “Not only is the Newman Government’s DestinationQ whole-of-government focus vital to fulfil the potential of this market but there is also a need for co-operation across the three levels of government, particularly in relation to customs, immigration, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approvals, navigation and other maritime issues.”

Superyacht Australia will definitely be seeking support from the Newman government on this issue.