Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Wed August 05 2015

Family Yachting in Southeast Asia

Destination & Tourism | James Ruggia | August 05, 2015

Family Yachting in Southeast Asia

PHOTO: The Naam Cruise exploring the waters of Langkawi. (Photos courtesy those featured)

In many ways the shore lines and islands of Southeast Asia are reminiscent of the Eastern Mediterranean and so it’s only natural that cruising has begun to flourish in the region. It’s not just large ship cruising either. Small boats and yachts are an increasingly available part of experiencing those destinations as they are in Greece and on the Turquoise Coast.

Unless you’re located on Borneo’s Gaya Island where you can literally zip-line over to Sapi Island with the Coral Flyer you’re going to need a boat to go from island to island. Yacht cruising is a great way to expose your family to the beauties of Southeast Asia.

While Myanmar may lack the sort of road network you’d like to have for getting around its interior, there’s nothing wrong with its sea. The one-master Scame is a 72-foot wooden cutter with three double cabins and six berths, which works well for families or groups of up to six people. Until a little more than a year ago, the Scame had been sailing around the globe continuously for about 35 years. Now it’s part of Burma Boating’s fleet, located in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago. The yacht has a crew of four. The company can also arrange for land operations on the ground in Myanmar with its tour operator partners.

Destination Asia offers several yacht experiences in its inventory of Asian travel. The company can arrange yacht charters and private cruises aboard the Aventure yacht, a 95-foot vessel. The yacht can be sailed by the guests or by its captain. The yacht can comfortably accommodate six guests in its large master cabin and its two guest staterooms each with queen-sized beds. Centrally located in the middle of the yacht is the spacious lounge area with a small library and a dining table to seat six people.

Destination Asia also offers sailing around the Malaysian archipelago of Langkawi aboard the Naam Cruise. The yacht is 79 feet long with a huge VIP suite, complete with king size bed and en-suite bathroom – and a master bedroom containing a full-size Jacuzzi. The lounge has an oversized HD TV, Bang & Olufsen stereo and surround sound Bose speakers to create an onboard cinema room. The Italian built yacht also offers a dining area that comfortably sits eight and a sun deck suitable for small cocktail parties.

The Amandira, a traditional 171-foot Phinisi ship, adds modern yacht amenities to an ancient spice-trade sailing vessels for its cruises around the Indonesian Archipelago. Just launched in May 2015, the vessel will provide two expeditions; Komodo (exploring the protected Komodo National Park) and Raja Ampat, an area of fine coral reefs. The ship features three spacious cabin-suites, all with king-sized beds and private bathrooms while the main deck is fitted with spacious day lounges. An air-conditioned lounge provides space for reading and indoor dining. Two cabins are fitted with twin bunk style suites good for families.

PHOTO: The Ritz-Carlton’s Phulay Bay on the Thai island of Krabi offers families a yacht cruise and a kid’s cooking class.

Another family yachting possibility comes from the Thai island of Krabi where the Ritz-Carlton’s Phulay Bay property offers a kid-oriented package that includes a day of sailing through the Andaman Sea’s Trang Archipelago. There’s also a complimentary culinary program for kids, the Petit Chef program for kids five to 11 that includes a daylong journey in a chef’s shoes.

Led by Phulay Bay resort chefs, the program includes a tour of the resort’s organic garden, where kids pick ingredients and learn the benefits of home-grown produce, followed by a tour of the kitchen and a cooking lesson. The young chefs then prepare a Thai dinner to their parents to enjoy. Resort rates are from $489 per night (through Sept. 30).

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