I am sitting at the deck of this luxury Phinisi boat called Felicia, sailing in the middle of the sea. Till yesterday morning I had no clue how it would be like. In fact, I was wondering how and why staying in a boat could be more fascinating than exploring the ever exotic Bali.
It so happened that our plan was changed to have one day less in Bali, and instead, have an extra day in Labuan Bajo Island hopping through Komodo National Park in a boat. I stayed only one night aboard and believe me, it turned out to be the most memorable time of my entire trip of around 3 weeks in Indonesia!
This is a Plataran Phinisi sailing schooner, hand-crafted from local woods like Teak and Ironwood. It is strong and built from the keel over 18 months. The Upper deck has a shaded space for lounging, napping, gossiping or just enjoying the world as it quietly passes by. With its carefree sails, one can gracefully cut across the remote seas in style. It’s like staying in a floating luxury hotel with a swimming pool as big as the sea. 🙂
The main open airy galley has one large table to accommodate all the guests and that is where we spend most of our time working, eating and laughing. Bottom decks have 6 air-con cabins with two master cabins and four twins. All with clean bathrooms with a shower, sink and toilet.
The inside table area is suitable for dining, get together etc. Felicia has 2 upper decks, both have bean bags to laze around and do whatever you want to. I was amazed to see the quality and variety of meals they prepared for us in the middle of the sea! And that continuous flow of tea, coffee, snacks, fruits etc.
They also have satellite phone, International and local radios, life rafts, life jackets and a crew trained in emergency procedures if need be.
What I like is that we are just around 14 of us. They only take smaller groups in order to cater to our needs better. The crew is extremely friendly, warm, helpful and courteous. I feel very safe to be in the hands of such an efficient crew.
The boat has been designed to run silent at night, with natural ventilation and fans keeping us cool while sleeping. The gentle swaying of the noiseless ship had put me to sleep and in the morning I woke up to the sounds of the water against the hull.
They offered us plenty of off-boat activities also. Only yesterday we had sailed around Flores, Komodo National Park area (Rinca and Komodo Islands) and visited the parks on Rinca and Komodo where we saw Komodo dragons besides other animals. We did site-seeing, trekking, snorkeling, sunset watching and hiking.
On boat we worked, chatted, discussed, laughed, did yoga, learnt photography tricks, sunbathed. At night we made our way to upper deck for stargazing. The sky was clear and the stars were twinkling. Some of us got busy discussing the constellation of stars, some photographing them and some just chilling with Bintang in their hands.
Now, as I wait for my Phinisi boat to touch the shores of Labuan Bajo again, I feel somewhat sad, having to leave it. I wish I was here for some more days. But then, there is always a next time.
I highly recommend overnight stay option on Phinisi boat with Plataran. I will definitely do it again!
The trip price includes:
• Transport to & fro the pier and back
• Full room and board on trip
• Unlimited Tea, coffee, hot water
• Tanks and weights
• Dive guides
• Delicious food all the time
• Courteous and helpful crew
For more details you can visit their website.
I can easily say, sailing around Komodo National Park in Phinisi boat was the highlight of my tour of Indonesia.
Disclaimer: My experience on this boat was made possible by Tourism Indonesia. However, opinions are mine as always and are based on my own personal experience.
You may want to read more on Indonesia.
VW Safari tour from Bali to Ubud
Exploring Jakarta in 48 hours
Senggarang, the Chinese village in Bintan
Indonesia in Pictures
A Dance Drama called Barong
Top things to do in Indonesia
Evocative Bali Craft
Tangkuban Perahu – Arising out of a legend
Indonesia from Above
Kawah Putih, the white crater
Indonesia : Beyond Bali & Jakarta
Asian African Carnival 2015
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