20.05.2024 Natalya Walker

The Best Way to Experience Indonesia for Families & Friends.

If you want to create memories with your loved ones and strengthen your relationships away from the crowds and modern civilization – Indonesia is the place to be. With its vast array of islands and diverse, beautiful landscapes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. It can be difficult to decide where to go or how to exactly plan your journey, experiencing Indonesia while also having a great and relaxing time with your family and friends.

This is why we wrote this Indonesia Yacht Travel Guide, to ensure a flawless experience of Indonesia while creating memories that last forever.

Just an excerpt of what can be possible when experiencing Indonesia by yacht.

1. The Magic of Indonesia: Why It's the Ultimate Yacht Destination

Before delving into the specifics of your journey, it’s essential to understand the sheer diversity that Indonesia offers. There are islands scattered everywhere, surrounded by the crystal clear light blue waters of the Indo-Pacific. From the pristine beaches of Raja Ampat to the remote Banda Islands, each region has its own unique charm.

Indonesia is for those seeking a truly unique experience, with untouched nature and protected landscapes. The Indonesian Phinisi yachts are designed to blend with the heritage and natural surroundings. If you choose your yacht charter broker wisely, land excursions are designed to uncover extraordinary spots, many of which remain unscathed by civilization.

Exclusive Destinations to Explore on a Phinisi Yacht

Raja Ampat

visit Raja Ampat liveaboard by yacht, Fenides Phinisi Yacht in Raja Ampat
Live aboard yacht charter in Raja Ampat with 'Fenides'

Raja Ampat is frequently hailed as one of the planet's most extraordinary settings, and it's easy to see why. Above the water, the islands are rich in cultural heritage, featuring prehistoric cave paintings and relics from ancient times, alongside more recent history evidenced by World War II cave bunkers and seabed wreckage. Adventurous travelers can trek through dense jungles, immerse themselves in kampong village life, visit sea turtle nesting sites and pearl farms, and paddle through coastal mangroves by sea kayak. Known as the Amazon of the Sea, the northern region is home to 533 out of 798 known coral species, which is 75% of world coral species – an incredible scenery that waits to get explored! 



Silolona Phinisi yacht in komodo west papua
Luxurious Phinisi yacht 'Silolona' in Indonesia

Set sail for Komodo National Park, Indonesia's enchanting sailing paradise between Sumbawa and Flores. This UNESCO World Heritage Site captivates with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, attracting adventurers from around the globe. Explore a rich marine ecosystem teeming with over 260 coral species, 70 types of sponges, and 1,000 varieties of fish, alongside dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, whales, and dugongs.


Banda Islands

The Banda Islands are a mystical destination where the past and present intertwine, steeped in history and the fragrance of exotic spices. As you explore these islands, you'll encounter the legacy of the Spice Island trade and discover ancient nutmeg gardens and colonial mansions that reflect their rich heritage. Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry woven by generations, as you journey through vibrant underwater landscapes and experience the timeless rhythms of life in this unique Indonesian archipelago.


Flores & Alor

Labuan Bajo in Flores Island Indonesia
The beauty of Indonesian Islands, waiting to get explored

Journey to Flores and Alor, two remote islands where time slows down, offering a glimpse into an era of adventure and raw beauty. Flores enchants with its jagged peaks, smoking volcanoes, and rich traditions, while Alor's ancient bronze drums and pristine beaches evoke a sense of timeless wonder. Experience a place where the air is filled with history and the landscapes inspire awe.


Sawu Sea & Sumba

Sumba, Indonesia, is a cultural and surfing paradise, offering thrilling waves and deep-rooted traditions. From the legendary surf breaks at Nihiwatu to the calmer waters at Wanukaka, Sumba has something for surfers of all levels. Beyond the waves, visitors can explore the vibrant Pasola festival, dive into Komodo National Park's stunning underwater world, and witness the legendary Komodo dragons in their natural habitat.

Sumba Island Luxury Yacht Charter in Indonesia
Beach on Sumba Island in Indonesia

However, a stunning destination isn't enough on its own; you want to make sure you have an amazing time while you're in Indonesia.

If you're seeking an alternative to your usual villa holiday, exploring Indonesia on a luxury Phinisi yacht is a truly unique and memorable experience.

2. What Makes Phinisi Yachts Unique: Tradition Meets Luxury

A Phinisi yacht is a type of vessel rooted in Indonesia's historic boat-building culture. The term "Phinisi" originates from a specific type of rigging called "pinisi," where builders arrange wooden planks by hand in a particular manner to construct these beautiful and authentic yachts.

Authentic Phinisi yacht Silolona in Indonesia
'Silolona', a traditional Phinisi yacht in the indonesian sunset

Exploring Indonesia aboard a Phinisi yacht epitomizes authenticity and beauty at its finest. It's undeniably the premier choice for chartering in Indonesia, offering a week-long retreat in remote, sea-bound serenity.

But what exactly makes Phinisi yachts so exceptional?

Authenticity and Cultural Connection

Phinisi yacht building is deeply ingrained in Indonesian tradition, dating back to the 17th century. Sailing on one of these vessels immerses you in the local culture and environment, bringing you to a world unlike any other. The experience is incomparable to motor yachts that disrupt the natural setting.

Phinisi Yacht characteristics & Sustainability

Phinisi yachts are constructed from wood and are equipped with two masts and up to eight large sails, prioritizing eco-conscious sailing. This means that most of the time, you'll sail using the sails rather than the motor, minimizing environmental impact. With spacious interiors and luxurious accommodations, Phinisi yachts blend modern amenities with traditional Indonesian yacht design. Each vessel provides plenty of space for both relaxation and adventure, while also offering a plethora of activities such as diving and more to enhance your yacht experience.

Access to Remote Locations and Hidden Gems

remote beach in Indonesia by private phinisi yacht charter
A group of friends on a remote beach in Indonesia

If you choose your yacht charter broker wisely, these yachts have the best crews with extensive sailing experience in the area. They will adeptly guide you to hidden gems and secluded beaches you've never seen before. Having experts on board truly enhances the experience. If you want to learn more about how to choose the right yacht charter broker that suits your needs as a family or group of friends, read our coming-soon article: «10 Questions Families Should Ask Their Yacht Charter Broker Before Chartering a Yacht.» 

3. The Luxury Experience Aboard a Private Luxury Yacht

luxury Phinisi yacht charter in Indonesia, Pak Haji Abdullah Phinisi yacht
The luxurious 'Pak Haji Abdullah' Phinisi yacht

While there are countless ways to experience Indonesia, there’s something truly special about embarking on your adventure aboard a private yacht. Here’s why:

  1. Escape the Crowds: With a private yacht, you’ll sail away from the tourist hotspots, immersing yourself in the untouched beauty of secluded islands and hidden coves. You won’t notice any tourist crowds from the deck of your yacht.
  2. Remote Paradise: These islands and unique destinations are so remote that they redefine the concept of untouched beauty. Prepare to be mesmerized by landscapes that seem straight out of a postcard. Aboard an authentic Phinisi yacht, you'll escape into a world of pure nature, seamlessly blending with Indonesia's vibrant surroundings.
  3. Gourmet and Customized Dining: Indulge in gourmet meals crafted by skilled chefs, with menus tailored to your tastes. The focus on fresh, local ingredients ensures that every dish is a culinary delight, adding a luxurious touch to your journey.
  4. Personalized & carefree Experience: Enjoy the attentive service of a dedicated crew who cater to your every need, from custom meals to your morning coffee. With the crew handling all logistics, you can relax, sit back, and soak in the beauty around you without a care in the world.
  5. Immerse in Nature: Whether it’s snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, diving into vibrant coral reefs, or exploring uninhabited islands, a private yacht allows you to immerse yourself fully in Indonesia’s breathtaking natural wonders.

Pak Haji Abdullah Phinisi yacht master suite
The master bedroom on our luxury yacht 'Pak Haji Abdullah'

However, not every charter company offers a charter with this level of quality. To make sure you're choosing the right yacht partner, learn more on how to avoid mass-market chartering companies that can ruin your trip with a lack of expertise.

4. Planning Your Indonesian Yacht Adventure

How Long to Stay in Indonesia with a Yacht

For a memorable yacht adventure in Indonesia, we recommend staying for at least a week. This duration allows you to explore iconic destinations like Raja Ampat and Komodo, offering pristine, untouched nature and a unique ecosystem.

With a week-long itinerary, you can fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking flora and fauna that make these locations so special. Check out the following example itinerary, which highlights some of the best spots to visit, along with other suggested links for further inspiration.

See our example itinerary through Raja Ampat, Indonesia!

best time to go to Indonesia on a Phinisi yacht
Volcano on Sangeang Island, Indonesia

Best Time to Go to Indonesia on a Yacht.

The Indonesian climate is hot and humid. Temperatures are quite consistent throughout the year and average at about 27°C or 81°F – depending on the region, you might experience slight variations during seasons. Moving further inland, it gets progressively colder. As you climb higher, temperatures drop significantly and some mountains are even covered in snow at their peak.

The main difference between the seasons is the amount of rainfall, which is why Indonesia has two main seasons:

  • Wet season during "Summer": November to April
  • Dry season during “Winter”: April to October

Indonesia is in the southern hemisphere, therefore the hot and cold seasons are opposite compared to the climate on the northern hemisphere. When it's winter for us, Indonesia experiences summer; and when we're in the middle of summer, Indonesia stays cool.

This geographical contrast is one of the reasons Indonesia stands out as a unique holiday destination.

Travel Season Min Temperature Max Temperature Weather
January to April 25°C / 77°F 31°C / 88°F Heavy rainfall, high humidity
May to June 24°C / 75°F 29°C / 84°F Moderate rainfall & humidity
July to October 23°C / 73°F 28°C / 82°F Dry & windy, normal humidity
November to December 25°C / 77°F 30°C / 86°F moderate to heavy rainfall & humidity

In the dry season, you'll enjoy noticeably less rainfall, along with cooler temperatures and a refreshing breeze. This is also when tourists flock to Indonesia for its more favorable weather, but don’t worry—you won't notice the crowds from the deck of your yacht. It’s like having your own private slice of paradise.

However, if you plan to explore the beauty of Indonesia on land as well, the shoulder season is ideal. Shoulder season occurs at the beginning and end of the dry season, when the crowds are thinner while still having pleasant weather.

Take a look at the following overview and decide yourself, which season suits you the best.

Peak, shoulder and low season — the differences.

  • Peak Season (July-August, December): This is the best time to visit Indonesia, with low humidity, fresh breezes, and eased rainfall, though you should expect crowds as this is when most tourists arrive.
  • Shoulder Season (May, June, September): During these months, Indonesia is less crowded, making sightseeing easier, and iconic tourist spots are more accessible, offering a balance between energy and tranquility.
  • Low Season (January-April): This is a quieter time in Indonesia, ideal for those who prefer fewer crowds and lower hotel rates, though it comes with more rainfall and cooler weather.

But should you avoid Indonesia during the wet months? Not at all! Even in the rainy season, you can discover unspoiled natural landscapes. Indonesia is great to escape civilization, unplug from the digital world, and reconnect with pure beauty that’s rare to find anywhere else.

There's no noise, just the calming sounds of nature. These hidden gems are perfect for a family adventure, where you can be active, have fun, and relax in a truly remote setting. Visiting Indonesia feels like stepping into another world.

5. Practical Tipps for Your Indonesian Yacht Experience

Wakeboarding in Indonesia nearby Fenides Phinisi yachtWakeboarding in Indonesia nearby the Fenides Phinisi yacht


Water Sports & Toys: On the Indonesian Phinisi yacht, you'll discover a plethora of activities to fill your time with. Indonesia, particularly Raja Ampat, is a dream diving destination for divers worldwide - you can even get your PADI license onboard.

If you're an active individual, you'll find a variety of enjoyable and diverse activities to engage in:

  • Dive gear with Diving Instructor (get your PADI license onboard)
  • Fishing equipment
  • Water skis (adults and kids)
  • Kayaks (single and tandem)
  • Kneeboard, wakeboard, and tube for adrenaline-filled fun

Entertainment: If you're seeking relaxation and downtime aboard the boat, you'll have several options to choose from, such as:

  • Blu-ray player and TV-DVD for movie nights
  • Indoor audio system and music library for relaxing ambiance
  • Exercise equipment for staying active onboard
  • Satellite phone and onboard Wi-Fi for staying connected
  • Multimedia center with device hookups for versatile entertainment options

What to Pack?

When preparing for a yacht trip in Indonesia, it's essential to pack light and choose clothing that suits the tropical climate and activities onboard. To make the most of your Indonesian yacht adventure, consider the following:

  • Comfortable and Casual Clothing: Pack light dresses, t-shirts, and shorts for daytime wear. These will keep you cool in Indonesia's warm weather.
  • Swimwear: Bring multiple swimsuits or bikinis, since you'll likely spend a lot of time in the water.
  • Footwear: As Indonesia is very beautiful to explore on land as well, we recommend bringing good or robust hiking shoes. Casual footwear like Flip-flops are ideal for onboard, yet be sure they don’t slip easily to avoid accidents onboard.
  • Layering for Cooler Evenings: A light hoodie or sweatshirt and a shell jacket are great for cooler evenings or unexpected rain.
  • Accessories: Don't forget sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection, and a waterproof case for your phone or camera.
  • Toiletries and Medications: Pack toiletries and basic medications like painkillers and anti-nausea tablets, as seasickness can be an issue for some people (just in case). For the vast majority this shouldn't be an issue as travel routes can be customized so that heavy wave movements shouldn't affect your holiday. For further information about this topic, check out our article: "6 Myths about luxury family yacht charter"

On a luxury Phinisi yacht, there will be more than enough space for you to bring everything you need - another advantage of the types of Phinisi yachts from a quality yacht provider. 

6. Traveling to and inside Indonesia

Best Way to Travel Inside Indonesia?

When traveling within Indonesia, the most comfortable option is by car. With your yacht vacation, we’ll ensure that you and your companions enjoy seamless transportation, providing you with a luxury car and driver to meet your needs. This way, you can travel in style and comfort, whether you're heading to a local attraction, the airport, or embarking on your yacht adventure.

How to Reach Indonesia's Remote Islands

Reaching Indonesia's remote islands typically involves flying, but you have a couple of options depending on your budget and preferences:

  1. Commercial Flights: The most common and often crowded option. This is suitable if you're comfortable with traditional air travel and prefer a budget-friendly approach.
  2. Private Jet: A more exclusive and convenient way to travel, offering flexibility and comfort, though at a premium price.

Accessing Specific Destinations

Komodo Islands: Fly into Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. From there, you can book a boat tour or a dive excursion to explore the Komodo Islands and their stunning landscapes and marine life.

Raja Ampat: The nearest major airport is Domine Edward Osok Airport (SOQ) in Sorong on Papua's mainland. Being one of the busiest airports, it offers connections to Raja Ampat’s various islands.

Do I Need A Visa to Travel to Indonesia?

According to travelers from the following regions and countries need a visa to enter Indonesia:

Citizens from other countries can enter Indonesia without a visa for stays of up to 30 days. However, if you wish to stay longer than 30 days, you must apply for a visa. Be careful not to overstay, otherwise you might have to pay a fine when you leave.

If you need to apply for a visa, find more information in this visa guide for Indonesia.

Top Airports for Commercial Flights

Indonesia has over 25 airports, with several major hubs that provide domestic and international connections. If you're flying commercial, here's a list of the key airports you might use:

Due to the many different islands and parts of the country, you’re likely to take a domestic connection flight inside Indonesia to get to your desired destination.

7. Costs of Chartering a Phinisi Yacht in Indonesia

Phinisi yachts are renowned for their luxurious experience while exploring Indonesia's stunning paradise. However, this luxury does come with a price tag. Depending on your choice of yacht and other factors, charter prices for Phinisi yachts begin at a minimum of USD 40,000 per week.

To further understand the variety of Phinisi charter prices, find some of our best Indonesian Phinisi yachts below.

Some of the Most Luxurious Yachts in Indonesia

Silolona in Komodo, Raja Ampat, West Papua and more

Silolona Phinisi yacht charter Indonesia
'Silolona' Phinisi sailing in Indonesia

Starting with one of the most luxurious Phinisi yachts you can find in Indonesia, chartering Silolona for a week starts at USD 135,000.

More about Silolona


Dunia Baru in Indonesia

Dunia Baru luxury yacht charter Indonesia
'Dunia Baru' luxury yacht

Dunia Baru is situated all over Indonesia in places like Bali, Papua, Banda Sea and many more. With a similar size and amenities as Silolona, chartering the Dunia Baru starts at USD 130,000 per week.

More about Dunia Baru


Premium Luxury Options

Fenides in Banda, Alor and more

Fenides luxury yacht in Indonesia
The 'Fenides' yacht in the open blue waters between Indonesian islands

Designed to offer 5-star service, Fenides is perfect for exclusive and premium yacht charters in areas like Komodo, Raja Ampat, Banda, Halmahera and Alor.

More about Fenides


Sequoia in Raja Ampat, Papua, Archipelago and more

Sequoia luxury yacht
The front deck of 'Sequoia' during a beautiful Indonesian sunset

Sequoia is a handcrafted yacht with three unique suites and making your onboard experience truly special.

More about Sequoia


Affordable Luxury Options

Tiger Blue in Komodo and more

Tiger Blue Phinisi yacht
'Tiger Blue' Phinisi sailing in Indonesia

If you’re looking for a less expensive Phinisi option, the Tiger Blue in Komodo will be to your liking. While this yacht is not as expensive, it is still a great option for a relaxing charter, being designed for families and groups of friends.

More about Tiger Blue


What’s Included in the Listed Phinisi Charter Price?

All prices for our listed Phinisi yachts at Boataffair are all-inclusive, covering all essential aspects of your experience.

Our listed Phinisi charter prices include the following:

  • Chartering the Yacht, fuel and basic amenities on board
  • Quality food prepared by your onboard chef along with non-alcoholic beverages
  • An experienced crew caring for your onboard experience and making your itinerary even better with valuable local knowledge
  • Activities like diving (only included for certified divers)

Not covered by the listed charter prices are:

  • Relocation Fees: If the charter starts in a port that is not the home port of the boat, a relocation fee is not included.
  • Personalized aspects of the charter, such as obtaining a PADI Certified Diving License onboard
  • Alcoholic beverages are not covered

Essentially, we can say that highly personalized aspects of the charter are not included.

What Affects Phinisi Charter Prices?

Yacht Characteristics

This includes the type and size of the yacht, as well as the amenities available onboard. The longer the yacht, the more space it has and therefore, the higher the charter cost.

The number of cabins, size of the cabins, their amenities and furnishings are an important factor that influences how comfortable guests feel aboard the Phinisi, thus affecting the price accordingly.

If the yacht recently had a refit (renovation) that makes the onboard experience more comfortable, this will likely affect costs as well.

Chosen Itinerary & Personalized Aspects

The length, complexity of the chosen itinerary typically affect the price of your journey. The fuel spent during the journey may incur an extra charge, if the distance covered exceeds the norm, although this is rarely the case. Itineraries of all-inclusive charters are planned in advance with the client's preferences in mind, minimizing additional costs.

As mentioned earlier, personalized aspects of the charter such as getting your diving license onboard will increase the cost of your itinerary.

8. Ready to Set Sail? How to Book Your Luxury Phinisi Yacht

Now that you know why a yacht trip to Indonesia is the perfect getaway, let's take the next step to make it happen. Whether you're interested in planning your itinerary or finding the ideal yacht, we've got you covered.

  • Example Itineraries: Explore our curated itineraries to see what your journey could look like.
  • Yachts & Yacht Types: Discover the perfect yacht that suits your style, whether it's a luxury cruiser or a classic sailboat.
  • Planning for Family: Need a family-friendly option? We have the resources to support you to plan a memorable trip for everyone.

Ready to embark on this unforgettable adventure? Find your yacht or experience and start planning your dream trip to Indonesia!

Still unsure if a private yacht charter is the right choice for you?

Discover the truth behind common myths and concerns about chartering a yacht, and learn how to address them so you can relax and enjoy the journey. You’ll see that there is nothing to worry about!

Our post about myths and concerns is coming soon.


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