Above: Luxury private yacht, Celestia, in Indonesia

Sailing the Archipelago of Komodo Dragons

<i>Celestia</i> yacht

This summer, I sailed through the otherworldly Komodo Island in Indonesia aboard the seven-cabin Celestia. This extraordinary ship is available only for private charter, cruising in Komodo during the summer months and Raja Ampat in the winter (itineraries among the Spice Islands of Hatta, Banda Neira and Banda Besar are also possible).

After landing in Labuan Bajo on Flores Island, I was whisked to the breezy and bohemian Sudamala Resort, Komodo to meet up with the rest of the group. The next morning, after a short drive to the port, we were transferred by dinghy to the gorgeous wooden phinisi. Thus began one of the most relaxing and criticism-proof trips I’ve had in recent memory.

Upper Deck aboard the Celestia
The Main Suite aboard the Celestia
Main Deck aboard the Celestia

The 148-foot yacht was built in Sulawesi using UNESCO-recognized techniques passed down from generation to generation. While the boat itself is a work of art, the impeccable interior design seamlessly blends age-old traditions with modern style, resulting in a glamorous yet timeless ship (the interiors are by Cape Town-based design studio Deirdre Renniers, which also did the Amandira’s). Everything is sumptuous but understated: beautiful, unpolished teak; luxurious linens; and a creative use of space that provides a dozen different places to simply relax and enjoy the scenery. 

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Above: Luxury private yacht, Celestia, in Indonesia