Enjoy a Luxury Yacht Charter in the South Pacific & Asia
French Polynesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Thailand, Myanmar, Mergui Archipelago, Andaman Islands
Exotic, some say spiritual, definitely beautiful, with miles of coastline, and hundreds of islands spanning a vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean; this area offers never ending yacht charter choices, where often the best accommodations are on a your luxury charter yacht. Certainly to explore extraordinary remote areas, a luxury charter yacht may be the only way other than by dugout canoe to:
- • Snorkel shallow, coral garden filled lagoons surrounding atolls in French Polynesia,
- • Participate in a Sevu Sevu Ceremony in Fiji, requesting permission to come ashore,
- • See how natural dyes are prepared and Ikat Textiles are woven in the Eastern Flores Archipelago in Indonesia,
- • Search for the Komodo Dragon in their natural habitat in the Komodo Archipelago in Indonesia, and
- • Visit with the Moken Sea Gypsies in the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.
All while enjoying lovely clear water in beautiful shades of blue and green, isolated anchorages, and miles of deserted beautiful sand beaches in every part of this extraordinary yacht charter location.
Start your charter boarding your yacht at Port Denarau on the island of Viti Levu and head to the Mamanuca Islands close by. Many compare cruising in the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands to cruising in the Caribbean in the BVI’s, as these Fijian islands are close together for short cruises from anchorage to anchorage in relatively calm waters. Of course, on shore, these islands are all uniquely Fijian.
The first afternoon anchorage in the Mamanuca Islands is at Musket Cove on Manolo Island, home of the Musket Cove Yacht Club. This yacht club can be joined by any sailor; however you must have sailed in from another country, not just Port Denarau to join. Once you join; you are a member for life. Look around the anchorage at the international flags displayed waving off of various sterns, as this is a popular stopping spot for those on their round the world explorations. Two resorts line the shore, and the Musket Cove Resort shop features Musket Cove Yacht Club items and other Fijian items. This is a great calm anchorage for water sports.
Cruise through the westerly islands of the Mamanucas to the Yasawas to the island of Naviti, anchoring in the protected harbor of the village of Soso. Visit Soso in the afternoon requesting to come ashore with the traditional Sevusevu Ceremony. Soso is the “capital” village of the Yasawas, and is a prosperous and very well kept village with a lovely church. This church is one of the oldest churches in Fiji, with traditional wood carvings lining the ceiling. An impromptu “Shell Market” organized by the village ladies, is sure to appear. Try in the afternoon snorkeling in the anchorage, or for those divers, a short tender ride to a nearby dive spot.
Manta Rays gather for feeding around the island of Naviti and can usually be seen during certain tide changes. Take the ships tender to the island cut to swim with the Manta Rays, some with a wind span of 8 – 10 feet. Snorkeling with these magnificent creatures as they glide through the waters is an exhilarating experience. Cruise to Tavewa and anchor in the Blue Lagoon, where the movie featuring a young Brooke Shields was filmed. Afternoon diving and snorkeling nearby at the island of Tavewa.
Cruise to Navula and anchor near the village of Tamusua. Visit the village for the traditional Sevusevu Ceremony and request permission to visit the caves on the nearby island, also considered in the realm of this village. Take the ship’s tender to the caves and climb through the rocks and into the interior. Access walkways and steps have been created and are manned by Tamusua villagers, who are also there to collect a small entrance fee. The caves and tunnels were believed to be the pathways of the Gods in ancient times and connected all of Fiji. Once inside, jump into a beautiful water basin inside the first cave. The intrepid can continue through an underwater opening into additional caverns and tunnels. Splash water up against the tunnel sides for the thunderous “voice of the Gods”. And as always a “Shell Market” is usually set up under the trees outside the caves where the ladies are happy to exchange wet money for their shells and other local goods.
Cruise to Malakati Village, for a Meke dance ceremony performed by the villagers. Both men and women of the village perform in various traditional dances and sing accompanied by guitars, ukuleles and drums. This is also a well organized village with a village green in the interior between the school house and the church. A “Shell Market” may appear on this village green during your visit. If you have extra coins, a donation is much appreciated in the school box and the church box.
Prepare for a Lovo at Fanny’s, a shoreside traditional barbeque cooked on hot rocks in the Lovo pit dug into the sand under a covering of banana leaves snugged down by a layer of sand on an island, near the Blue Lagoon. To work up an appetite, spend the day swimming, snorkeling, diving and playing with the various water toys before donning your evening Sulus to head ashore. Arrive by ship’s tender for a walk along the beach to a Lovo feast heralded by music and songs around the Kava Bowl. After the Lovo is “cracked”, a local feast will appear for a traditional taste of the islands cuisine of Fiji.
Head south and stop to explore the beaches of the uninhabited island of Monuriki where the movie “Castaway” was filmed featuring Tom Hanks. If you have seen the movie, you will certainly recognize certain movie landmarks on this small island. And just like Tom Hanks, you may be the only ones on this island. Cruise to the island of Namara to overnight.
Back to Port Denarau to disembark for the end of your Fijian Experience.
Cruise to Rinca Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Park and is the only known home to the Komodo Dragon in the world. Overseen by Park Rangers, enjoy a guided walk along the many trails through the area to see the Komodo Dragon in natural habitat. Also see monkeys, wild water buffalos, deer and scores of birds. The park rangers are very knowledgeable the Komodo Dragons and other fauna and flora of the park. You will see a number of Komodo Dragons on your walk and the Dragons even might be hanging around the Ranger Station. Nearby the Ranger Station, locals are allowed to set up booths selling wood carvings and local pearls. Return aboard to sail to “Pantai Merah” (the pink beach), which is world famous for its pink sand, excellent snorkeling and diving.
In the morning visit the little fishing village nearby and request permission of the village elder to walk the village “streets”; children may be shy, but the villagers in general are very welcoming to visitors. After lunch cruise to Padar Island and anchor in a quiet anchorage. There are so many different things to see and do. Perhaps go water skiing, scuba diving, or snorkeling, or use the sea kayaks. The beaches are beautiful, and this is a great location for hiking and beach combing. Offering superb scenery, Padar is a great place to enjoy myriad activities like sea kayaking, water skiing, diving and snorkeling, hiking and beachcombing. The view of nearby islands from the top of Padar is stunning.
In the morning sail towards Gili Lawah Darat and Gili Lawa Laut, which is a great location in which to see sea turtles, dolphins, and even manta rays. This is also another perfect location for scuba diving and snorkeling, enjoying the water toys, or hiking ashore.
Batu Muncul offers stunning beaches with beautiful white sand. Head ashore with beach umbrellas and all of the water toys and enjoy swimming, and snorkeling and using the water toys right from the beach.
Cruise to Banta Island which is outside the National Park boundaries, to enjoy fishing and shelling. There are many bays from which to choose all with white sand beaches. Enjoy excellent diving and snorkeling and perhaps swimming with the manta rays or sea turtles. This is a great location for a beach barbecue under the glorious night sky filled with the brilliant stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
Early morning cruise to Satonda Island to swim or kayak in the crater lake of an ancient volcano island off the shore of Sumbawa Island. In the afternoon, it is your choice of water sports, including snorkeling, diving, kayak or swimming. Just before sunset head out in the tenders to little cays, which are home to thousands of fruit bats, with faces just like little foxes. As the sun sets watch these bats take flight, virtually darkening the sky, on their night flight for food.
Cruise to Sangeang and Banta Island, stopping first at Sangeang to enjoy the effervescent waters filled with tiny bubbles created by steam releasing from a volcano way underground. Enjoy swimming, hiking, and water toys. Return to Labuanbajo to disembark after a relaxing breakfast. For a flight out of the area.