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IONIAN PRINCESS Dining (by Fraser)

Luxury on the high seas

Sailing the savage seas is an exciting adventure, a perpetual unfolding of dreams come true when you charter a private yacht, leaving the helm to a seasoned captain and crew.

Simpson Marine, La Spezia

Sailing the savage seas is an exciting adventure, a perpetual unfolding of dreams come true when you charter a private yacht, leaving the helm to a seasoned captain and crew. You won’t overlook any pleasures as the ocean cradles you in her arms on unique tours all over the world. The sounds of the sea and the discovery of her bounty combine with the spray in your hair to whisper a kind of freedom you won’t find on land. So get out on her waves and enjoy all the adventure these yachts have to offer from stunning sunsets to the enchanting jet ski and diving experiences.

Colorful houses along the coastline of Cinque Terre area (by Giulia Federigi)
Colorful houses along the coastline of Cinque Terre area (by Giulia Federigi)

MALUKU ISLANDS

Start off with your wonderful Indonesian Maluku Islands dream sail at the cone-shaped island of Ternate onboard Rascal, a 31-metre phinisi cruiser chartered from Simpson Marine. Launched at the close of 2016, made of ironwood and teak, Rascal blends modern yachting and Indonesia’s rich nautical traditions to perfection.

With two spacious double cabins on the upper-aft deck and two double cabins and a double with a single bunk bed on the main deck this yacht is perfect for families. All include ensuite baths, and flat screen TVs with 1000 complimentary movies but you’ll be too busy taking in the stunning ocean views by day and stars by night. Nine crew, including a private chef and a dive guide are on deck to take your orders.

The nearby island of Halmahera showcases its rich volcanic cones, hot springs, and lava flows. Anchor at the Loloda Islands and spend hours out in Rascal’s fiberglass tender in search for a mythical waterfall famed for its “rejuvenating” waters, or just snorkel the pristine reef-rich surroundings.

More mystery awaits at Dodola Island, home to extensive white beaches and turquoise waters. Surrounded by big trees, you will find Air Kaca, an underground river also known as Glass Water because of its clear, reflective waters. General Douglas MacArthur and his troops are said to have visited this river during World War II.

Short stops along the way include Tobelo and Tugutil, where you can hike in hopes of coming across the native and extremely rare Golden Cat. Islets at Wayag Islands are breathtaking. Schools of porpoises swim through the waters of Raja Ampat Islands where you can also reach Latitude Zero. A viewing station in the island of Gam will allow you a picturesque view of its islets and coral reefs in the shallows, before bidding your yacht goodbye at Sorong. simpsonmarine.com

CINQUE TERRE

The excitement begins at the marina of Viareggio in Lucca, an old city in Tuscany. IYC, offers international yachting among the world’s most storied yachting harbors around the world. From yacht management to charter management, crew to new build consultations they sail you smoothly through whatever luxury yacht experience you choose whether that is the most elegant sail or powerful cruise.

Before setting sail for Cinque Terre, dedicate a day to walking the cobbled streets of Lucca and snap a photo or two of its promenades and piazzas. This mellowed counterpart of Italy’s bigger cities is the perfect beginning to a jovial journey as you begin to cruise along the Serchio River and mooring at the Porto Lotti Marina in the town of La Spezia, entering Cinque Terre from the east.

If by chance you visit in the month of March, you will be greeted by the festive air of St. Joseph’s Day, the city’s patron saint. Even from afar, the pastel-coloured houses of the Cinque Terre stands out. Cinque Terre consist of five fishing villages along the coast of the Ligurian Riviera. Its establishment dates back to the early medieval period and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many houses and rustic restaurants atop cliffside and harbours were built to protect the villages from pirates. Explore its narrow and winding streets by foot or go from village to village by your tenders or a train as cars have been banned here for more than a decade. There are also steep, uneven terrains to hike. Although these hamlets are a popular tourist destination, its centuries old architecture is surprisingly well-preserved. The day after taking in the beauty of Cinque Terre, finds you charting a course for a historic port of call, the island of Elba, where Napoleon was exiled in 1814 and his official residence still stands. After anchoring at Isola del Giglio to hike up the watchtower built by the Medicis in the hilltop castle and at Porto Ercole for some water sports, you head up the coast to Rome, because as the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome, er, make that winds. iyc.com

Rascal Phinisi - birds eye view
Rascal Phinisi – birds eye view

CYCLADES

Fraser Yachts specializes in the freedom only luxury yachting offers and enjoys sharing this passion on chartered excursions whether that includes yacht ownership or simply the cruise of a lifetime, they have the skills to make your adventure on the high seas effortless and exciting.

Set sail from Athens along the Cape of Sounion and arrive at the island of Kea, anchoring at Port Korissia. Kea Island is the preferred destination of some of the wealthiest in the world due to its laid-back atmosphere and the serenity. Its restaurants are famed for seafood specialties. Sail away to Tinos, the location of the church of Panagia Evangelistria (Our Lady of Tinos), the home of the allegedly miraculous Virgin Mary statue discovered in 1822 in the exact place where the church now stands. It is a usual stop for devotees. Tinos is also known for its stunning marble sculptures, so you pick out a couple of pieces to decorate your home.

The next islands to tick off on the list are Delos and Paros, the birthplace of twin gods Apollo and Artemis respectively, according to Greek mythology. The settlements on these two islands still shadow the Aegean world several millennia ago, as well as its Greco-Roman architecture. The party island of Ios and Santorini, the Instagram-famous island, are of course stops along the way, with the former being the reported burial land of author Homer.

In the island of Serifos, white rectangular houses seem to rise out of the earth itself. Ruins of marble watchtowers and walls of medieval castles stand on the hillside. Its main village Chora turns to a vibrant nightlife scene, albeit tamer compared to others. Cap off your Greek getaway by lounging in the white sands of Kythnos, engaging in water sports, or going to the main village to try their natural hot springs. fraseryachts.com

CUBA

With yachts like Indian Empress, Nirvana and Utopia you know you’ve hit the big time, with some going for a million dollars a week. Because you need a yacht that will land a helicopter, Edmiston takes the business meeting to a whole new level. The most recognized brand in yachting with a global presence, they will sail you to the most intimate corners of the world.

Kick off your yacht excursion with a sunset cruise along the Florida Straits as you leave South Beach Miami on an overnight sail to Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an overreach to, in one day, visit all the different grand cathedrals, plazas, and derelict castles, and go see the Museo de la Revolucion, Cuba’s former seat of power that was refurbished by Tiffany’s inspired by Versailles. End the night with a Tropicana cabaret dinner theatre onboard.

A tour of the other districts of Havana – the modern areas or those outside the walls – will take a day or two with numerous must-see places. The Cannon Blast Ceremony at La Cabana Fortress starts at 9pm where a volley of cannon shots reminiscent of the colonial days when cannons would signify the closing of the city gates.

Your next port of call finds you at Maria La Gorda, one of the best dive spots in Cuba. Your Edmiston dive master stands ready to guide you on the best dive of your life. Continue sailing into the heart of the Caribbean and visit one-half of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad’s colonial houses, museums, and churches reveal extraordinary details about the two islands’ history. The expedition returns to southern Cuba and ends in Cienfuegos, home to the Jagua Castle that was erected to guard the island from pirates and invaders. edmiston.com

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© This article was first published in Feb-Mar 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.

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