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.
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 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 ayanakomodo.com.
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