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June 1, 2018

Fancy New Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

By Heidi Sarna.

Known for their dramatic sheer and double masts, phinisi sailing ships are the indigenous sailing craft of the Indonesian archipelago.

A brand new phinisi being built by one of Indonesia’s top hoteliers, AYANA Hotels, will set sail in July 2018. The 18-passenger luxury vessel is called AYANA Lako di’a, meaning “Safe Journey” in Balinese. Amenities include multi-course meals, professional spa treatments and activities from snorkeling to stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga and dolphin spotting.

Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

The 18-passenger luxury AYANA Lako di’a, * Rendering: AYANA Hotels

The launching of the phinisi coincides with the September 2018 opening of the new 192-room AYANA Komodo Resort at Waecicu Beach on the island of Flores, a one-hour flight from Bali.

Said to be the world’s largest specially-built phinisi, AYANA Lako di’a will offer 2-, 3- and 5-night cruises round-trip from the AYANA Komodo Resort and sail among the scenic Komodo Islands. Highlights include diving opportunities and a visit to Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the famous Komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizards.

Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

The legendary Komodo dragons. * Photo: AYANA Hotels

Phinisi ship-building is an ancient tradition originating in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by the Konjo people. In December 2017, UNESCO added South Sulawesi’s Phinisi boat-building craft to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The 54-meter-long AYANA Lako di’a is a modern phinisi that will operate with a combination of sail and engine power, depending on wind conditions.

Rates are steep and range from SGD$805 to SGD$2,818 per night, per person. For more info, go to


Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

The Saloon Galley. * Rendering: AYANA Hotels


Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

Outdoor Deck. * Rendering: AYANA Hotels


Phinisi Cruise Around Komodo Islands

Luxury Suite. * Rendering: AYANA Hotels


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