SUPERYACHT DESTINATION GUIDE: INDONESIA
Last updated: 04/12/2019
Set in Southern Asia and made up of 17,000 different islands, Indonesia is famous for its array of idyllic beaches. As well as being home to Komodo dragons and jungles sheltering endangered elephants, orangutans and tigers. A perfect mix of beauty, culture and adventure; Indonesia is a must-do destination for any superyacht!
Visiting Indonesia aboard a superyacht
Situated across the equator, Indonesia boasts a tropical climate, consequently meaning it is hot all year round. June – October tends to be a dry season, whereas between December and April you may experience some of Indonesia’s torrential monsoon rains.
When to visit
Due to its geographical size, Indonesia has a 12-month cruising season. Yachts can move between the 17,000 islands that create Indonesia at any time of year.
Between March - October is the best time for 8th parallel cruising. This traditional journey across the southern sector includes key areas such as Bali and Komodo, as well as the likes of South Sumatra and Timor.
You could then cruise to the northern sector, particularly from October – March. Often known as the equational region, this area encompasses some of the most fascinating cruising grounds on the planet including Raja Ampat, Halmahera and northern Sulawasi.
During the Inter Monsoon, between May – April and October – November, yachts tend to transition between the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia.
Although Indonesia’s geographical size means its cruising season lasts all year, different regions present varied challenges. The Lighthouse Consultancy explained that it is essential to gain an understanding of the cultural peculiarities, visa requirements, paperwork and permits and provisioning constraints ahead of your yachting adventure.
Catalano Shipping Indonesia also stated that planning is key and that it is the captains who invest time in planning who reap the benefits.
What to see and do in Indonesia aboard a superyacht
One of the most popular travel destinations in the world, also known as the ‘Island of Gods’, Bali is one of the most beautiful places on earth. As well as boasting some of the most stunning beaches, Bali has a vast number of other cultural attractions, such as world-famous temples (e.g. Ulun Danu, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu), caves, markets, museums and waterfalls. For art and history lovers, Ubud, widely known as the cultural heartland of Bali, consists of many enlightening museums. You can also expect an array of wonderful water sports in Bali.
The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta offers a dynamic yet cultural experience. Featuring a handful of landmarks, including the National Monument (otherwise known as ‘Monas Tower’), the hectic city has lots to offer. From quirky museums and modern shopping centres, to antique markets and local cuisine, Jakarta has something for everyone.
Superyachts travelling to Indonesia have the option to berth at several ports and marinas in Jakarta, including Batavia Marina.
Lombok island, only a ferry ride away from Bali, is a great location if you prefer somewhere slightly less commercialised and not quite as crowded. Home to the famous Mount Rijani, for trekking enthusiasts this is not a location to be missed. The island is known for its beautiful waterfalls, including one of the most renowned; Tiu Kelep Waterfall. Lombok also offers a lively night life, Gili Trawangan is filled with beach bars for those who like to party into morning. Bloggers favourite, Pink Beach (more formally known as Tangsi Beach), presents a very picturesque place of relaxation, with pink sand and beautiful blue waters. Mystical Narmada Water Park is another great option. Built in 1727, Hindus actually regard the park as a place of spiritualism.
Komodo National Park
Rich with marine life, picturesque hiking opportunities and the endemic Komodo Dragon, Komodo is one of the big-name yachting destinations in Indonesia. One of the new seven wonders of nature, the volcanic islands have something for everyone to relish. A once-in-a-lifetime island-hopping opportunity, Komodo presents 26 smaller islands as well as the main islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca. Komodo is also home to one of the other seven pink beaches of the world, another perfect photograph opportunity.
A surfer’s paradise, Sumatra makes up part of the Sundra Islands in Western Indonesia. Situated in West Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands consist of 70 little islands known to have some of the best surfing conditions in Indonesia. Nias is also a great place to spot some waves. A not-so-crowded version of Bali, Nias offers easy-renting diving and surfing equipment enabling visitors to discover the island’s spectacular seas. Also, south Sumatra is home to Indonesia’s lost tribes, volcanoes and wildlife.
Cruising has recently evolved East, meaning Raja Ampat has quickly become one of the most sought-after cruising destinations. Particularly glorious from November through to February, the quality of diving and snorkelling in Raja Ampat is regarded to be some of the best in the world. Home to over 1,400 different species of fish, Raja Ampat is a must-do for avid snorkellers. To conclude a day of exploring the exotic oceans of Indonesia, you can take in the incredible sunsets of Raja Ampat.
For yachts searching for ports and marinas in Raja Ampat, Meridian Adventure Marina is one of the marinas available.
Asia Pacific Superyachts recommended a variety of possible activities to experience in Indonesia. Throughout the country are endless destinations for every type of escapade, from natural beauty and cultural experiences, to adventure and activity. Surfing some of the best waves in the world, diving with whale sharks or mantas and snorkelling in areas where rainforests meet the pristine coral reefs. As well as trekking through the rainforests searching for birds-of-paradise, visiting Komodo National Park, home to Komodo dragons, visiting the orangutans of Kalimantan and other shelters for animals such as elephants and tigers. These are just a handful of the activities you can experience in Indonesia. Cultural experiences can also be enjoyed in the country’s authentic villages and challenges such as climbing the region’s famous volcanoes can be accomplished. The list is endless...
Although you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to do in Indonesia, The Lighthouse Consultancy said that the guest and crew activities tend to focus more on the natural beauty and adventure to be found from exploring the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia’s cruising grounds.
Berthing and bunkering in Indonesia
Bali is the most well-known port providing unsurpassed infrastructure, shore support, accessibility and activities for crew downtime.
On a more regional level, Labuan Bajo, situated in east Indonesia, is the gateway port for Komodo National Park, whilst Sorong, the largest city in west Papua, acts as the gateway port for Raja Ampat.
For easy jet access for trips commencing at the Banda Sea and Cenderawasih Bay, there are international airports based in both Ambon Island and Biak, located near the northern coast of Papua.
Elsewhere, in Gili Gede, Marina Del Ray Lombok Gili Gede Indonesia offers a protected year-round bay, featuring port clearance offices, a yacht club and beach bar with pool, excellent docking for tenders and more.
Although fuel is readily available in most harbours throughout the Indonesian islands, re-fuelling away from the larger hubs can become a strenuous task. It can also be difficult to secure berthing in Indonesia due to demand being so high in comparison to the level of supply. For longer term berthing and bunkering, Catalano Shipping Indonesia recommends stocking up and preparing for the Indonesian experience in Singapore.