Forget landing on a new piece of terra firma, the most in-vogue holiday destinations are those with a distinctly watery feel. From gorgeous yachts that glide through tropical tides to cutting-edge design vessels that offer Michelin starred adventures. There’s definitely something in the waters.
Sail the Gatsby scene
Get to grips first hand with the setting of this month’s blockbuster film The Great Gatsby by stepping onboard (bare feet only, of course) Edminston’s classic motor yacht The Highlander. She will take you along the Hamptons, stopping off at Sag Harbor and its idyllic beaches, Block Island, Newport, Great Anchorage, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
You can mingle with New York’s laid back socialites or create your own scene yourself – the colonial-styled yacht has a stunning canoe stern, just perfect for afternoon tea, followed by cocktails by moonlight. It’s effortlessly glamourous.
Adventures onboard an Indonesian Phinisi
For those yearning for a swashbuckling jaunt at sea, then Tiger Blue is the lady to do it with. Sailing around the remote eastern Indonesian islands, such as Komodo, Rinca and Maumere, the traditional phinisi schooner, with her teak decks and crimson sails, is a breathtaking sight. While authentic adventure is at the heart of these trips – think diving in some of the most spectacular waters in the world, swimming with dolphins and climbing volcanoes – on board comfort has an elite party set firmly in mind.
There are en-suite cabins, laundry service and chefs that cook the fish you’ve probably caught during the day.
Boutique cruising along the Amazon
Offering the experience of a five-star hotel while cruising down the Amazon is Aqua Expedition’s Aria Amazon. The custom-designed ship imagined by stellar Peruvian designer Jordi Puig boasts suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, a bubbling Jacuzzi, star observation deck and an onboard boutique.
As you sail along the Amazon deep into the remote Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, top Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, meanwhile, cooks up a storm in the galley. In fact, you can even partake in cooking classes under his tuition. You’ll be rustling up the perfect ceviche and pisco sours in no time, just the thing before you try your hand at piranha fishing. Fans of the water safari experience should also keep the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam on their radar when the company launches its new luxury vessel the Aqua Mekong in early 2014. It will have 20 outward-facing suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, a spa, library, screening room and observation deck with swimming pool and lounge bar.
Fabulous in the Flores
Better known for their ultra-sleek resorts, Asian hotel brand Alila has transferred its design finesse to the seas. Just launched is its very own luxury wooden phinisi, the Alila Purnama, which takes guests on voyages of discovery throughout the islands of Raja Ampat and the Komodo Islands, in the Flores Seas, docking at Bali. Onboard guests can tailor the itinerary according to their interests but can expect to do it in style. Oversized daybeds allow you to take in the incredible changing views as you lounge under the billowing sails and if that wasn’t relaxing enough there are onboard spa therapists to calm you further. How swell.
Riding the wave in the Maldives
It’s no surprise that Per Aquum’s glitzy Maldive’s resort, Huvafen Fushi, is one step ahead of the curve when it comes to the yachting trend. With an underwater spa, a subterranean wine cave and its line-up of starry ‘Dream Calendar’ events, (think Karl Lagerfeld’s sound designer as DJ and Nicholas Maillebiau perfumery workshops), it’s widely regarded as one of the hippest hotels on the planet. Now Huvafen Fushi has also added a traditional dhoni sailing vessel to the mix. Check into a glamorous beach bungalow with your own plunge pool and you can stretch your sea legs with one night onboard the ivory-sailed lovely. turquoiseholidays.co.uk
Decked out for the Aeolian islands
Sailing can’t possibly get more stylish than boarding a Lungarno yacht. Check into one of the gorgeous Lungarno Collection hotels in Rome or Florence, owned by the Ferragamo family, and you’ll immediately have access to their Swan Yacht collection. Just launched is the new Swan 90 S Alix available for sailing around the Aeolian islands. The seven small islands that make up this volcanic archipelago north of Sicily include the jet-set haunts of Panarea and Stromboli, and are known for their pristine waters, perfect for diving. As you’d expect, onboard it’s all gleaming decks, fine linens and billowing sails. It’s sailing by design.
Making a splash in St Tropez
Of course, if there’s one place to go yachting then it’s St Tropez. Quite fittingly, the Riviera’s iconic hotel Byblos has just launched a glamorous Princess V65 yacht, the Algandra. Guests can hire it for the day (why not pop down to Le Club 55 and really make an entrance?), or spend a few days at sea to escape the party scene. You can bob along the coastline, with picnics at hidden bays, or plan an itinerary that will take you to Monaco, Antibes, Cap Ferrat and on to Corsica. Cream leather banquettes, sliding glass doors and a deluxe stateroom mean this is seriously sexy sailing.
Super fun on a super-yacht
Don’t think that jaunts on an ocean wave are just for the young, hip and single. This month, uber-luxe yacht company Y.CO is launching the brand new Ocean Paradise, a 55 metre gleaming motor yacht with just about every gadget under the sun to keep you and the little ones amused. If your budget permits, you and 11 guests can enjoy an outdoor cinema, dance floor, and even a water slide from the upper deck. There’s a retro arcade game table, Playstation and a veritable armada of water toys, including jet skis, sea bobs, kayaks, towables and wake skates. Factor in the 12 members of the crew to take of your every whim and its sounds like the kind of holiday every average oligarch would enjoy.
This article is published in the May issue of The Mayfair Magazine