It has become a rare luxury to find a part of the planet that you can have all to yourself, let alone somewhere with the wild abundance of natural beauty found in Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle. “One of the requests we receive most often is to go to areas where the guests won’t see any other boats, or to stay on a beach on an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere,” says Sharifah Khadijah, head of sales and reservations for Rascal Voyages, which offers edge-of-the-earth adventures around remotest Indonesia in an elegant, 98-foot Phinisi-style yacht hewn from local teak and ironwood.
When Rascal launched in 2017, the British, Bali-based founder, Steve Ebsworth, raised the sun-sea-and-sand bar with his innovative take on the traditional Indonesian sailboat experience. The first things to go were the actual sails, which require huge amounts of valuable deck space and are barely ever hoisted nowadays. This rejigging allowed for all five cabins—decorated in warm woods and soft whites with tasteful pops of Indigenous art and handwoven fabrics—to be positioned above deck, including a large primary suite with wraparound windows on the top deck. Space for sunning was moved to the roof deck, which multitasks as a breezy spot for sundowners and canapés as the equatorial sun descends into an ocean of molten gold, or a place to gaze at the Milky Way under a perfectly clear sky.
Ebsworth’s thoughtfulness was evident in the service, as well; staff were hired as much for their friendliness as for their discretion and professionalism. Chefs were poached from top-tier hotel groups such as Aman and experiences were designed to encourage authentic connections with the environment—and to be, above all, fun. It was a formula that set Rascal Voyages apart from the competition as the most original, stylish and enjoyable yacht charter in Indonesia.
From that success, the company has now introduced a second boat: Rebel (above). Like its sibling, the 101-foot cruiser can be hired for tours of Komodo and the Ring of Fire, the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat. In the latter—a luminous archipelago composed of over 1,500 islands, cays and atolls—guests might start the day diving or snorkeling with any number of intriguing species, including manta rays, pygmy seahorses and blue-ringed octopuses. (The yacht carries scuba equipment as well as a certified divemaster.) Lunch might be delivered to your own sleek beach club, where the only passing traffic comes in the form of bottlenose dolphins, green sea turtles or, for the very lucky, a pod of Bryde’s whales. No two tours will ever be the same, with each experience tailored to the guests’ tastes and moods. Early riser? Try a morning search for rare, flamboyantly feathered birds such as the red bird of paradise, Blyth’s hornbill or the superb fruit dove. Or perhaps you’d prefer a night of dancing with the sand between your toes? The attentive, amicable crew will stealthily set up a candlelit dining room table on a deserted island with a lobster barbecue, fine wines and a guitar serenade.
Next year, the company will expand further with its launch of Rogue, venturing into Malaysian and Thai waters for the first time with what’s bound to be an equally inspiring journey rambling through the jade-green Andaman Sea, from Langkawi to hard-to-reach Tarutao National Marine Park and on to Phuket. “We’re planning a few surprises along the way,” adds Khadijah. You’d expect nothing less from a Rascal.
Prices start from $28,475 per person based on 7 nights aboard Rascal Voyages’s newly launched Rebel Yacht, with a First Class round-trip flight from New York. Price includes private transfers, meals (excludes alcohol), private guides and endless activities onboard. Price based on 10 people traveling. For more information, please visit www.scottdunn.com/us.
Source: Robb Report