Staying in a private villa on Phuket is perhaps the most appealing way to fully experience the island’s rare blend of sophisticated comfort and natural beauty. One of the best ways to complement the indulgence on land is by chartering a private yacht to explore the Andaman Sea.
The 11th Phuket International Boat Show took place recently with an impressive spread of luxury vessels on display as a testament to Phuket’s global reputation as a luxury boating destination.
The luxury boating scene on Phuket has been growing at an impressive rate in recent years, thanks largely to the unique marine landscape that frames Thailand’s most visited island. The region has also featured in more than a handful of hollywood blockbusters since the small islet of Koh Tapu first appeared in The Man with the Golden Gun
back in 1974.
Three full service marinas now welcome motor and sailing vessels from around the world to Phuket, with owners and their guests taking full of advantage of a long cruising season which runs from November to April. A large number of vessels have also chosen the island as their home base, and some companies also offer charter guests the opportunity to cruise in comfort and style through the stunning scenery of Phang Nga Bay and beyond.
Here are 5 luxury charter vessels available for hire during a villa holiday, which offer the chance to extend your personalised, luxury experience from the beach out into the glistening Andaman Sea.
A 60 ft (18.6 m) luxury motor yacht built by reputed English shipyard Princess Yachts, White Pearl combines impressive cruising capabilities with plenty of space to relax or party in style. The spacious cockpit features a U-shaped seating area with a teak table, and a large bathing platform to the rear can be lowered for easy access to the big blue.
Available through Boat Lagoon Cruises (http://boatlagooncruises.com)
An 86 ft (26 m) sailing vessel built for extensive travel and shipped to Southeast Asia in 2010, which is now her base with her full time professional Australian Captain and crew ensuring she is meticulously maintained and ready for her next cruise adventure.
Available through Asia Pacific Superyachts (www.asia-pacific-superyachts.com)
A classic Ketch with generous onboard spaces offering luxury accommodation up to 10 guests. All cabins have ensuite bathrooms with closed shower cabins. The huge deck space is ideal for relaxing at sail, or for sunset cocktails and dinner under the stars.
Available through asia-marine.net/yacht-charters
A sleek Sunseeker motor yacht that can carry up to 20 passengers comfortably, DaVinci is perfect for a day trip or overnight family adventure. She can sleep up to six guests and also comes with a fully fitted galley (kitchen) and an air conditioned dining area on the lower deck which can seat up to eight people. The saloon is also a lounge, equipped with a large screen TV, Bose sound system and DVD player.
Available through Da Vinci Yacht Charters (www.davincicharters.com)
Lady Kathryn was originally designed for the European Market but has been fully refurbished to suit Thailand’s tropical conditions. Modern additions include video, sound systems, internet, marine toys and comfortable interiors with 4 cabins and extensive sun protected decks. At 80 feet (23.88) metres in length, she is spacious enough for short excursions or longer voyages.
Available through Thai Luxury Charters (http://thailuxurycharters.com).
Close cruising choices from Phuket include the Racha Islands and Naka Islands, which offer fabulous day trip options with good snorkelling and stunning beaches. Slightly further from Phuket, the famous Phi Phi Islands are a popular destination, while Krabi’s limestone seascapes are also a favourite choice. Larger vessels can set a course for more distant archipelagoes such as the Similan Islands and Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago.
by MAX VEE