5 outstanding yacht charter locations in exotic Indonesia


Anchor under puffing volcanoes in Volcano Alley, with gentle breezes blowing through the palm fronds. Swim deep into a mountain cave with the cave entrance guarded by the ancient graves of village elders. Hike inland to a local village to see how Ikat Textiles are created from cotton bolls that are carded, spun, dyed and woven by hand. See the Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat in its only known home on earth. Swim in clear warm waters with gentle huge whalesharks. All of this and more is possible in the diverse huge country of Indonesia on private yacht charter where exotic, exciting, and outstandingly unique experiences are available from the decks of your luxury charter yacht, your home away from home, your 5 star hotel with top level service and outstanding cuisine, that you bring with you to every remote anchorage for these experiences of a life time.

Sail down Volcano Alley looking to the left and the right and on either side see volcanos each with smoke gently puffing from each peak. Anchor for the night in the shadow of a puffing volcano and watch as the sun sets. On the usual perfect clear day, as the sun sets into night, the reflection of the sun against the smoke particles gives a unique orange glow to the sky. Meanwhile

the world is your own, with no one else around as it is extremely rare to see another yacht, even another boat, unless perhaps it is a dugout canoe belonging to a villager or the ingenious dugout canoe “fishing boat” with “outriggers” weighted by stones lashed onto lengths of bamboo. Here there are miles of deserted sandy beaches and little cays, filled with sea shells, sand dollars, and sea urchin shells. Here there is a glorious view of nature unlike anywhere else where one is easily reminded, at the same time, of both the strength and fragility of nature and what it really means to be perched directly on “The Ring of Fire”.

In the Eastern Flores Archipelago are many little villages where the women have perfected making natural dyes from the surrounding forest. After growing their cotton, harvesting, carding, spinning, (using a spindle and their toes) and dying the strands, the women weave unique Ikat Textiles by hand, where warp and weft cotton strands are “lost” to coloring by natural homemade

dyes, through wrapping those strands in resist fibers such as the fibers of palm leaves. Weaving is done on small looms made from wood and tree branches, with women sitting on the ground. Anchor nearby and visit Ikat Textile Weaving Villages for weaving demonstrations, dancing exhibitions, and the chance to purchase beautifully hand dyed, hand woven textiles from the hands of the weaver.

On the other end of Flores Island in the Komodo Archipelago, part of which is a National Park, is the only known home of the Komodo Dragon on Komodo Island reachable only by water. For centuries, the Komodo Dragon has made this island its home. How the Komodo Dragon evolved and ended here is a mystery, but here the Dragon is and remains. As the Komodo Island is a National

Park, a National Park Ranger will guide you around the island to see the Komodo Dragon via either a short trail or longer trail, your choice. All visitors walk single file behind the Ranger, who will have in his hand a long stick with a fork at the end to shove in the nostrils of any charging Komodo Dragon to ward off the attack. Up to you how close behind the Ranger you choose to walk. You will see Komodo Dragons and smell the Komodo Dragons as they are quite odiferous. There are several Dragons that just loll all day around the Ranger Station. Others are out and about the island hunting, mainly around the watering hole, lying in wait for other island wild life that also need water to survive. The Komodo Dragon does not actually kill its prey immediately, but rather bites its prey with its many rows of teeth sunk into its gums filled with bacteria. The Komodo Dragon then waits until the stricken animal dies from a bacteria infested bite wound before feasting. Komodo Island is but one island in the Komodo Archipelago, all of which are lovely, with beautiful beaches, including a pink sand beach, surrounded by orange, red and copper striated mineral filled mountain sides and lovely water.

In Raja Ampat, guarded by two centuries old graves of Village Elders is a deep water filled cave that disappears into the bowels of the mountain, while on either side of the cave entrance, in various little cubby holes washed into the limestone cliffsides are graves of other villagers from long ago, where today only skeletons remain. At the cave entrance, pass by the two ancient

graves of the Elders of what was assuredly a resting place of honor and down a set of very rickety steps to plunge into the cool waters to either swim or sea kayak far into the depths of this cave. The water colors created from bits of sunlight that peak through various places in the mountainside are beautiful and it is a unique even if somewhat eerie experience to swim or paddle way back into the middle of the mountain and wonder just how many others, for how many centuries have done the same. Certainly, those buried at the mouth of the cave and in cubby holes around the cave entrance were well aware of and spent time in the cave. It is a refreshing change to spend time inside the cave as a relief from the hot sun outside reflecting off of the white limestone cliffs. This is long deep cave taking a good hour to swim to the end and back out again.

On the northern side of Papua and West Papua, New Guinea is the very large Cenderawasih Bay. Included in the Bay is Teluk Cenderawasih Bay National Park, the largest marine National Park in Indonesia. Also, in the bay are Biak, the Padaido Islands, Supiori and Numfor, Yapen Island, and the smaller islands of Num, Rumberpon , Waar, Roon and Kurudu. The area is lovely and

excellent for cruising with beautiful and extensive coral reefs and an enormous amount of natural and marine life. However, the real draw of Cenderawasih Bay is to be able to swim with the whalesharks in the southern area of the bay near Nabire. Here the whalesharks live year-round, gathering nearly every single day to circle under fishermen platforms called “bagans”, in the hopes of sucking some fish out of their storage nets for a snack. This is the location to swim with the whalesharks as the whalesharks are far more interested in dining on the fish they might be able to steal than dining on you. Swimming with these huge creatures is an extraordinary experience. This is a remote location however where the best accommodation and restaurant will be your private charter yacht. While swimming with the whalesharks is outstanding, the area also offers excellent cruising in a remote pristine location where few others have ever been.

Indonesia is a country where private yacht charter is often the best and may be the only way to experience that which is unique, and exotic, creating once in a life time memories. Luxury yacht charter offers the opportunity to explore Indonesia, a country offering extraordinary yacht charter itineraries, in comfort, style and luxury from the decks of your 5 star floating hotel and restaurant.

Missy Johnston is Owner of Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters Newport. Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters is a luxury crewed yacht charter company offering top notch private yachts with great crews in every worldwide cruising destination.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (14)

  1. Simon says:

    I know very little about Indonesia but from this catalogue of attractions it definitely seems very exotic. Would be such a great place for private yacht charter.

    • Indonesia is a terrific yacht charter destination as besides these 5 great locations, there are a number of other great locations as well for a one week or longer charter that are just as exciting.

  2. Lydia Haigh says:

    Perched on the Ring of Fire this is a very remote part of the world. There is a beautiful fascination to it but also the horror of the slow and painful way the Komodo Dragons kill their victims. I would guess that it would be very difficult to take in all this unless you had the freedom of island-hopping with a yacht.

    • Visiting Komodo Island and seeing the Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat is only one half day of a one week charter. The rest of the charter is spent visiting the other islands, some of which are also in the National Park, and have beautiful beaches, and lovely coral gardens to snorkel. There is also a location to swim with huge manta rays, a place to watch 1000’s fruit bats at dusk with their little faces just like a small fox face taking off to hunt for food all night, and a village to visit with lovely people. Outside of the National Park is fishing, scuba diving and a Black Pearl Farm.

  3. Sue says:

    Over the years I have got more and more interested in ethnic dyes and textiles. Dropping in on the Eastern Flores Archipelago would be a fantasy destination for me. It would be a dream to moor up for a couple of days to watch the women working on the textiles. I wonder if they would help me design a fabric? Maybe I could give them a few days to produce some fabric so that I could have a dress made when I returned home? That would provide a great souvenir from the trip.

    • Hi, yes with private yacht charter it could easily be arranged that you could anchor for several days and work with the village ladies for a particular design for a handspun, hand dyed, hand woven textile. The weaving does take some time though, so while you could very much be part of the planning and design process and the village ladies will show you how they make the natural dyes, and then the carding, spinning and weaving process, a large textile piece takes some time to weave. However you would come away knowing your weaver and having learned quite a bit, and been very involved in the process of the weaving of your piece which could then be shipped to you. I visited the village and learned the weaving process from making the dyes to weaving, and then bought a textile piece from the weaver which I treasure.
      Missy

  4. Ed says:

    Swimming with whale sharks in such pristine conditions would be awesome. Around the globe a lot of these “swim with” experiences are over commercialised and lose their attraction with far too many people around. Having your own yacht and getting the skipper to decide on a destination away from it all must be the way to go.

    • Hi, with private yacht charter, you can go places away from commercialized locations where it is just you. Via private yacht charter, I have also swum with huge manta rays in Fiji and Galapagos Penguins and juvenile sea lions in the Galapagos.

  5. Peter Ryan says:

    I have travelled widely but I’ve only ever had brief stopovers in Indonesia. This post is a great piece of writing, it has opened my eyes to the astounding diversity of Indonesia. It is backed up by some stunning pictures too. It must be an amazing experience to sail through Volcano Alley. It is probably time that I stopped passing through Indonesia and devoted some time to exploring such a fascinating destination.

    • This blog only highlights 5 spots. There are still the Banda Islands, the original home of the Nutmeg Tree, where the Dutch grew rich in the 1500’s through the East India Trading Company, decimating the local population but fueling the Dutch Renaissance, tulip bulb trade, and development of delft ware through the blue and white china ware trade from china to the Banda Islands, until a tree was smuggled out to Grenada in the 18th Century. Sulawesi, the traditional boat building island, and Ternate the Spice Island Sultanate. All waiting to be explored by private yacht charter.

  6. Helen Johnson says:

    I love the sound of it being so peaceful, like with having that slice of the world there to yourself as you sail down through the Volcano Alley. It would be incredible to be able to see Komodo Island, I can’t say that I know anyone who has ever been there. The caves at Raja Ampat are very impressive. It looks like something from a film, and it’s fascinating given the history. What a fantastic way to explore Indonesia, I can see why it’s a much desired destination.

    • It is very peaceful, and extraordinary. I have swum in the cave, after stepping over the graves of the Village Elders, sailed down Volcano Alley and anchored under the puffing volcanoes watching the beautiful sunset reflected in the ash and smoke, hiked up the side of a volcano to an Ikat Textile weaving village to see how the dyes were made, cotton carded, spun and woven into Itak designs, and bought textiles from the weaver, and have been to Komodo Island and walked behind, way behind the National Park Ranger to see the Komodo Dragons. I have not myself swum with the whale sharks, however have booked charters for guests who have swum with the whale sharks who have reported that it is an extraordinary experience. Indonesia is one of my favorite countries for private yacht charter, as there are so many over the top experiences that can really only be had by yacht charter

  7. Jean Hall says:

    I’d never really given much thought to Indonesia as a travel destination until this piece caught my interest. Though in recent years I have been thinking that maybe we could get together with a group of friends and do a private yacht charter. At long last all the kids have flown the nest so one day we might even have enough cash left for a decent holiday at last. Then there’s the problem of getting everybody to agree on a destination for the yacht. Still, you’ve got to have dreams.

  8. I am glad that this article gave you new information about terrific yacht charter destinations inside Indonesia to dream about. Hopefully a yacht charter in Indonesia will become a reality, as I think you will love any of the locations written about above that are all most easily visited by yacht charter.

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