Out on the Water: Asia’s Best Short Sailing Experiences

26 January 2023

Ernest Hemingway once mused that ‘a man is never lost at sea’. That may not literally be the case, but plenty of voyagers continue to feel the pull of the open water in Asia.

Out on the Water: Asia’s Best Short Sailing Experiences View this email in your browser Call us: +1-212-518-1618



Ernest Hemingway once mused that ‘a man is never lost at sea’. That may not literally be the case, but plenty of voyagers continue to feel the pull of the open water in Asia. Being out on the ocean holds a unique allure. And with a host of incredible seascapes offering a diverse range of experiences, Asia is the perfect place to put your sea-legs to the test.



Phi Phi Island by drone

Phuket is particularly suited for bespoke cruising and sailing adventures. The Andaman Sea's largest island is home to a world-class fleet of yachts, while iconic locations like Phang Nga Bay are just a short voyage away. Visit famous destinations such as James Bond Island, so-called due to its starring role in 007’s 1970s escapade The Man with the Golden Gun, as well as out-of-the-way islands that boast hidden lagoons and secluded stretches of sand. Another prime option for boat excursions from Phuket is a journey to the Phi Phi islands. Although the archipelago is a magnet for tourists, the sheer majesty of its limestone cliffs and white-sand beaches remains intact.

Suggested itinerary: Classic Thailand


Sailing into Victoria Harbor When the sun sets on the stunning cityscape of Hong Kong, the action moves out onto the water. Choose between a sleek modern yacht or a traditional junk equipped with iconic red sails (such as the famous Duk Ling) for your private charter, and sail into Victoria Harbour, the most spectacular city waterfront in Asia. Explore this historic and strategically important harbor — which once brought the city untold riches as a trading port — over cocktails before enjoying one of the world’s largest permanent light and sound shows. “A Symphony of Lights” includes more than forty buildings with spotlights, lasers and music in sync — and your view from the deck will be unparalleled.

Suggested itinerary: Classic Hong Kong


Weaving between limestone karsts aboard a luxury junk

Tranquil Halong Bay in North Vietnam remains one of the world’s most beautiful seascapes. Here, our bijou charter crafts are often modeled on traditional fishing boats and are built from teak and oak by skilled artisans. Cabins enjoy panoramic outlooks to the water while comfortable sun-loungers up on deck provide the perfect pew from which to drink in the views as they drift by. Dining onboard, meanwhile, usually encompasses a succession of multi-course Vietnamese feasts. Diversions on a trip include kayaking amidst the karsts and through the floating village of Vung Vieng. Other memorable draws, meanwhile, include atmospheric Thien Canh Son cave and the beach at Hon Co Island — one of the few stretches of sand in the Halong Bay area.

Suggested itinerary: Classic Vietnam


Meeting gentle giants 

Whale sharks can be found throughout the Philippines. One of the best places to interact with these creatures is in Donsol Bay in the Bicol region of southeast Luzon. Each year from November to May, possibly the largest school of whale sharks in the world migrates here to feed on the dense concentration of plankton and krill in the area. Donsol's whale shark interaction is strictly regulated to protect the creatures and their natural habitat. They are not captive and the local fishermen don't feed them, so whether they appear or not is pure chance — but worth the risk for the sake of sustainability. A small boat takes you out to the bay, and spotters cue you to jump in and swim alongside the whale sharks as they begin to near the surface.

Suggested itinerary: Caramoan Peninsula Explorer 


A traditional phinisi schooner explores the archipelago

With over 17,000 islands in total, Indonesia is made for sea travel. Indeed, an ocean-bound expedition in the nation will invariably feature unforgettable sightings of tropical fish, sea turtles and other fantastical wildlife, as well as deserted beaches perfect for splashing around on. On the islands of Komodo and Rinca, this may include the dinosaurian Komodo dragon — the only two locations in the world that host this colossal reptile. Our handpicked selection of traditional Indonesian phinisi schooners will sail all around the archipelago, including alluring destinations such as Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat, the Spice Islands of Maluku, and the Gili Islands.

Suggested itinerary: Cruising the Spectacular Raja Ampat Archipelago 


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