I had always thought of Raja Ampat to be the most exotic sounding place ever. Well I was right and nothing in my imagination could prepare me for the boundless beauty I was about to discover sailing aboard Rascal through the Indonesian archipelago!
I was invited aboard Rascal for a five night adventure sailing through Raja Ampat along with other guests including Emily Penn, the famous British ocean advocate who campaigns for plastic free oceans and who opened my eyes to just how bad the problem has become over our many chats day and night aboard Rascal. Yes… even paradise has its flaws.
Getting to Raja Amapat is a trek, there’s no denying. It’s a 4.5h flight from Jakarta with Garuda and the flight departs just after midnight which has you arriving into Sorong at 6am – from here you are met at the airport and taken to the port for your launch transfer to the boat. It is a stretch but once you are onboard your cares will simply melt away.
Decked Out in Style
Rascal is 30 metre hand-crafted ironwood and teak yacht designed especially for cruising the Indonesian archipelago. Built by the region’s most reputable phinisi shipbuilder, the traditional phinisi hull architecture has been reinvented and fitted with all the mod cons to create an innovative and luxurious onboard experience.
Each of the five unique en suite, above deck (important point!), air conditioned cabins offer spacious 2.2m ceiling heights and hand-crafted interiors designed by the renowned Charles Orchard of iBal Designs. The well-appointed cabins come equipped with flat screen TV’s, Sonos music systems and universal electric sockets. Spacious en suite bathrooms with tailor-made fittings ensure there is no compromise on comfort or space throughout.
My pick is the Master Cabin opening to a glorious deck space – but beware, it’s not super private as the adjacent deck is available for all guest’s use and it’s the main throughfare to the rooftop yoga deck and sunset vantage point.
Your onboard private chef prepares each meal to cater for the specific tastes and dietary requirements of each guest, combining Indonesian and Western flavours for inspiration. Top quality ingredients are hand-picked by the chef from local markets, prepared lovingly using the best of Asian and international traditions. Furthermore, they provide a fully-stocked bar, complete with a specially-commissioned cocktail list tended by your very own experienced barman.
Another great detail were the fresh juices and treats offered by smiling staff upon return to the boat each day. A delight to come back to after hours of energetic snorkelling.
This trip was to showcase the beauty of Raja Ampat and the exclusive experience that is Rascal Voyages. I sailed on the original Rascal (Rascal 2 is about to be launched later in 2020). We departed Sorong and then visited the islands of Wofoh, Mioskon, Pulau Yanggefo (where we snorkelled the mangroves!) and my favourite stop was an island with a small village that is so impossibly pretty along with the happiest locals and the clearest water I have ever seen! I’m not sharing the exact location with you as it is a Rascal exclusive, you have to sail with them to visit!
And of course we got to visit the famous Wayag Island (you will recognise the photos) that included a hike I won’t forget in a hurry…
Supremely comfortable, a Rascal journey is individually tailored to each group and interests. I will work with Rascal and your personal interests to create the perfect itinerary but have no fear, everything can be changed even as you sail – that’s the beauty of a private charter!
Everything is included, transfers at each end, luxury accommodation, all meals and drinks (including alcohol) along with diving and shore excursions. You won’t feel pressured to partake in everything if you don’t want to – the experience is your and yours alone to enjoy as you wish.
Just promise me one thing , don’t miss a single snorkel trip. You can’t. There is simply too much to see and every day the underwater scenery just gets better and better. This is pristine luxury and you need to get under the water to appreciate it.
And That’s a Wrap!
I would have to say that a private charter through Indonesia’s last unspoilt frontier on Rascal is most definitely the trip of a lifetime, it certainly was for me.
Contact me directly to make an appointment to talk about your options, I have sailed both Raja Ampat and Komodo (aboard Amanikan) so can give you a good perspective on where, when and how to experience the best of Indonesia charter cruising.