Superyachts Shifting Attention to Amazing Asia Pacific

Written by Linda Cartlidge

Written by Linda Cartlidge

In recent years superyacht Owners and Captains, along with Charter companies, have been shifting their focus from traditional cruising grounds in search of more exotic cruising destinations.

“As the summer Mediterranean cruising season ends, increasingly some yachts that traditionally travel to the Caribbean for the winter are coming eastward to elongate the charter season and enjoy Asia Pacific’s warmth and beautiful islands”, reports Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) co-founder, Captain Scott Walker, adding, “Many Owners and Captains are recognising the cruising season here is year round and South East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Andaman Islands are particularly popular.”

Asia Pacific Superyacht Association Chairman, Nigel Beatty, states in the July APSA Newsletter, “New marinas and shipyard facilities are coming online in Asia, and more superyachts are arriving, which is all adds up to good news for the Asia-Pacific superyacht community”. 

The growing interest in Asia Pacific is also recognised by charter companies, reporting a marked increase in demand from charterers for superyachts in Asia. Charter World Magazine recently reported on changing charter activity: 

“Asian yacht charters are increasing in popularity every year. The reason is simple: nowhere in the world do you get quite the mix of fascinating exotic culture and stunning natural coastal beauty. The Asian yacht charter areas of Thailand such as Phuket, Phang Nga Bay and Similan often defy description. Malaysia’s Langkawi and Penang Islands are also known not only for their culinary delights but also outstanding natural landscape. What is more, Asia tends to be cheaper than most yacht charter locations and believe it or not also often less crowded and cleaner!”

Marinas in Southeast Asia

Foreign-flagged yacht visitors are becoming seduced by the many attractions and happily surprised by the high quality marinas in Thailand, Andaman Islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and now, Sri Lanka’s promising marina news. Those interested in marinas in Southeast Asia will find more options now, reflecting the rising affluence of Asia.

“There are now world-class marinas and accommodation in nearly every cruising region”, reports Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) co-founder, Gordon Fernandes. “There’s Phuket, providing hundreds of berths for everything from Superyachts to small cruisers; six marinas currently offer over 1,200 plus berths, according to the Thailand Yachting Business Association, marinas like the beautiful Ao Po Grand Marina right near Phang Nga Bay, containing 300 berths which are larger than usual with spacious 4.6m wide walkways along the docks, accommodating yachts of 100+ meters.” 

“To the south, Malaysia’s Langkawi Island is a popular winter destination as are the chain of facilities that run down the Malacca Straits to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and heading east into the vast Gulf of Thailand and the largest marina in SE Asia, Ocean Marina Jontiem in Pattaya”, Fernandes notes, adding, “There’s news from the Maldives, with the spectacular Crossroads Yacht Marina and from Sri Lanka, announcing plans for the island country’s first marina along with Indonesia’s plan to continue to develop Benoa Marina”.

The Ocean Marina Jomtien in the Gulf of Thailand has seen two phases of expansion, increasing the marina from 200 berths to 380, dredging the marina basin to accommodate superyachts and increasing the haul out capacity with the acquisition of a 75-ton Marine Travelift. With over 450 modern berths it is Southeast Asia’s largest marina.   

The Seychelles is a tropical paradise boasting of a dedicated superyacht facility, the Eden Island Marina, developed in conjunction with the Eden Island luxury residential project. A virtually untouched archipelago, “Captains can be assured of a seamless entry to Eden Island Marina, with the typical arrival process itself taking as little as half an hour for a vessel to be cleared in with no visas required to enter the Seychelles (provided all documents are in order)”, explains APS Seychelles GM, Peter Alvis. “You can then cruise the full 1,100km from Mahé to the Aldabra Atoll (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), whilst popping up in the other 114 islands without having to go through another immigration check”. 

Although it has some way to go, Asia Pacific is certainly becoming more viable as a yachting destination as facilities are improving throughout the area, with new marinas, support services and a growing labor force along with undoubtedly one of Southeast Asia most important assets, the genuine warmth and gracious hospitality of the people of the islands.

Food is an important part of a superyacht’s voyaging and a knowledgeable agent, like R. Rathnam of APS Andaman Islands, noting, “APS can provide provisions that give luxury yacht chefs a wide choice in sourcing local delicacies and mixing these with provisions. We can bring provisions right to your yacht from our modern and expansive provisioning facility at Port Blair and prior to arrival can advise and take care of paperwork on berthing and anchoring”. 

“Superyacht agencies have been working closely with government officials over the past decade to bring about important and necessary changes for luxury vessels to visit Asia Pacific, supporting visiting international vessels with changing regulations for easier entry and longer stays”, shares Captain Charlie Dwyer, APS co-founder based on Koh Samui. 

In addition to on-water adventures and relaxing on-land excursions and culture experiences, Asia Pacific destinations offers some spectacular settings for visitors, such as Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023 readers’ picks of the best integrated resorts, representing many restaurants, family entertainment, gaming and luxury all under one roof with an exhilarating combination of world-class facilities and curated spaces to elevate every stay.

Asia Pacific superyacht agencies are receiving many positive testimonials praising the knowledgeable care and support received, such as the following excerpt from the Captain of M.Y. Talisman C, “Asia Pacific Superyachts Maldives were our agents and Mohamed and his team gave us great support throughout the Maldives on a daily basis. I would highly recommend Asia Pacific Superyachts to any yacht looking for a professional service with a ‘can do’ attitude.” 


Also read

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

and receive your invitation to our events