Alila Purama, Indonesia
The 46 meter Alila Purnama must be one of the most stylish and sustainable ways to discover the fascinatingly diverse and captivatingly beautiful islands of East Indonesia. Take a magical and fascinating trip around some of the least explored corners of this incredible archipelago aboard this sophisticated and handcrafted vessel. This is a beautiful eco luxury exploration of East Indonesia.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, spanning almost a fifth of the Earth’s circumference and comprising of around 17,000 islands. Naturally one of the best ways to explore this vast and fascinating nation is by taking a voyage of discovery aboard a boat. This gives you the unrepeatable experience of being able to explore isolated and idyllic inlets that a journey by land hinders. Jumping into azure waters from deck, private picnics in deserted bays and journeys into the exotic underwater ecosystem are all some of the unforgettable moments you will experience on board.
Alila Purnama means Full Moon and it takes you on mystical journey, embarking on through different and unique landscapes and ecosystems. Taking its elegant design from the original Phinisi Sailing style, used by the Bugis seafarers of Sulawesi, the vessel is carefully handcrafted by skilled artisanal shipbuilders who have been using these methods for centuries. Traditionally used as merchant ships to transport goods between islands, many are also now used to explore Indonesia. Myth has it that certain vessels have also been used by pirates for centuries, although encountering them these days, it was a pretty common and hair raising experience during the time this area was known as the Dutch East Indies and the spice trade was at its height.
This is one of the most luxurious Phinisi’s in Indonesia that has been elegantly decorated in locally sourced rattan, teak and local materials to create five exquisitely elegant suites on board complete with queen size beds, ensuite bathrooms and writing desks to create your own. The Sriwijaya Suite is the ultimate in floating luxury, at the prow of the ship with windows that offer 180° Degree views from the surrounding windows. For pure indulgence enjoy a massage while floating over the indigo from the specialist spa therapists aboard while watching the ever changing dramatic landscape and hues of the ocean and hills on the far off horizon.
Tastefully decorated in neutral colours with accents of traditional Indonesian Ikat textiles and local artwork. Relax and watch the scenery float by from the comfort of your suite, a soothing bath or from your own private sundeck equipped with beds for relaxing and complete privacy on the high seas. Or head up to the spacious top deck to soak up the sun or scenery. Below deck is a large air conditioned dining area in subdued splendour for ten guests to enjoy the captains table with views of the sea accompanied by gourmet flavours with heavy accents of fresh fish and fine wines. With a daily changing menu and requests to whip up anything you may have caught throughout the day, there is always a dish to delight and awaken your palate with flavours of these delightfully diverse and different islands.
For those who love the more adventurous side of life there is an on board launch to whisk you over to deserted beaches, kayaking and water skis. It is what lies beneath these waters that is often the most beguiling. Indonesia is home to the Coral Triangle, the most marine species rich area of the world. There is a fully operational PADI Certified Scuba Centre on board for those wanting to immerse themselves in the magnificence and myriad of rainbow fish and colourful coral gardens. For more advanced divers there is specialist equipment such as Enriched Air Nitrox.
There are various voyages throughout the year that take in the magical islands of Flores and the Komodo National Park, home of the great Komodo Dragons; or journey to the ‘end of the earth’ amongst the absolute remote and breath taking islands of Raja Ampat. The wonderful Captain Mohamed Sunarto and the smiling warm crew members expertly navigate the ship through the waters. For all your other on-board needs Mario Gonzalez a vibrant and enthusiastic Cruise Director can accommodate all your needs. Service is impeccable and no ask too much, whether it is a private picnic on the beach or zooming through the phosphorous plankton waters to create shooting stars in the sea.
The sailing route through the Komodo National Park, a World Heritage Site, is like an expedition into some fantastical fictional land. There are over 1000 fish species and 250 coral species to marvel at, along with turtles, manta rays, dolphins, dugongs and whales. Above the water on the islands of the park wanders the Komodo Dragon, the largest land dwelling reptile in the world. Fearsome in looks and reputation, they have been to know to grow over three metres and it is advisable not to approach them. Other mammals roam free such as buffalo and wild boar. This is one of the largest national parks in Indonesia and these unique species seem to have been preserved from prehistoric evolution when the continents separated creating the different ecological zones between Asia and Australasia. This is divided by the invisible ‘Wallacea Line’, running between Bali and Lombok, named after Sir Alfred Russell Wallace when he discover the theory of evolution at the same time as his more famous counterpart, Sir Charles Darwin, in this fascinating and biodiverse islands.
The other main voyage you can join is to the Raja Ampat Islands that means ‘Four Kings’ after the main four islands that are dotted about with incredible islands that are drops of lush green ringed with crystal turquoise waters. There are 610 islands spread over 50,000 square kilometres, and the remote Misool Islands perfect for sailing lie within. Approximately 70% of the worlds coral is found here and there are vast soft underwater coral gardens of over 550 species. Naturally the area is also teeming with a myriad of marine life that is heaven for underwater enthusiasts. The rich soil also means that you can kayak out to islands of soft grass and wild orchids – perfection in Indonesian Papua. Take a trek on the verdant green hills and discover a plethora of plant species rarely seen and take in the uninterrupted panorama of rich turquoises and deep jade greens melding in a never ending horizon.
A cruise on the Alila Purnama is one of the most exclusive eco escapism experiences in the world. The freedom of navigating into bays and hidden coves that are inaccessible by any other means. Sailing is a serene and silent way to journey around this vast and unimaginably inspiring archipelago. A trip on Alila Purnama to the remotest and last undiscovered parts of this incredible Indonesian Archipelago is the ultimate in luxury eco travel. It is an Idyllic and Incredible voyage of sustainable discovery and a completely unforgettable adventure.
For more information and reservations visit www.alilapurnama.com
Photos Courtesy Of Alila Purnama
Words by Electra Gillies