Kudanil Explorer:
For The Love of Steel

Kudanil Explorer:
For The Love of Steel

by Indo Yachts
9 September 2019

Kudanil Explorer:
For The Love of Steel

“Indo Yachts Director Nikko Karki shares insights on what makes Kudanil Explorer an ideal vessel for cruising Indonesia”


The Makings of An Explorer

Kudanil Explorer is a conversion of a rugged offshore vessel to a luxury yacht built specifically for cruising the most remote islands in Indonesia.

I recently spent some time on board and wanted to share some insights on what makes Kudanil Explorer unique. This post also serves to shed some light on the details that may go overlooked, but are an integral part of the story of why this is such a special yacht.

Kudanil Explorer sailing in blue water with a sunrise in the background from a yacht charter in Indonesia
Kudanil Explorer at anchor in eastern Indonesia at sunrise.

First Impressions

Seeing Kudanil Explorer for the first time comes with the realization that she was built to go anywhere. Stepping on board from the stern activities deck, one enters the heart of the yacht. With plenty of space for 16 guests to set up their dive gear, surfboards, kayaks or stow the three tenders with the 36 ton crane, no yacht for charter in Indonesia has such a space for launching activities.

From the aft deck, one enters the interior lounge and bar area that would put any guest accustomed to superyacht accommodation at ease. This theater for briefings, presentations, dinner or drinks while underway is also unparalleled. Combined with the large activities deck, this is the premier combination of space that lends itself to undertaking truly active expeditions.

However, in order to appreciate the ship’s creature comforts and understand what kind of vessel she is at her core, we should take a moment to discuss Kudanil Explorer’s intriguing history from before she was converted into a passenger ship.

Back view of the activities deck of the Kudanil Explorer superyacht
Kudanil Explorer’s massive aft deck and three tenders.

From Offshore Vessel to Explorer Yacht

Kudanil Explorer started her life in 1978 as a safety standby vessel for the oil and gas industry. Her purpose was to provide offshore rigs with supplies, and essentially be the vessel that could go anywhere, at any time. Over-engineered with redundancies and capacities to withstand any sea conditions for extended periods of time, she is built tough like a hippopotamus – which in Indonesian is translated to “kuda nil”. Directly, “kuda nil” means “horse of the river Nile”.

After a three-year re-fit, Kudanil Explorer launched in 2018 as a luxury explorer yacht, but has been owned by the same family for nearly 20 years. The family had a fleet of 3 vessels running operations for the offshore industry around Indonesia. Out of the 3 vessels, Kudanil Explorer was their favorite. In a shift from offshore operations to hospitality, the family decided to sell the other two and transform Kudanil Explorer into a luxury explorer yacht.

An old historic photograph of Kudanil Explorer with red painting
Kudanil Explorer in her previous life as a safety standby vessel for the oil and gas industry.

A Foray into Hospitality

Building on an established safety record in the offshore industry and 20 years of experience in cruising remote Indonesia with their other private yacht, the owners are well versed in operations. With Kudanil Explorer, their vision was to offer the luxury amenities of a superyacht on what already was a capable platform manned by a skilled crew.

To ensure the service matched the boutique, five-star interiors, the owner family enlisted the expert help of a comparatively accomplished hotelier. They brought in a professional consultant with experience from properties like Four Seasons and Shinta Mani to spend three months on board training the crew. The result is tangible. All touch points for guests on Kudanil Explorer – including collateral, service and staff mindset – are on par with the world’s top hotels.

Bar area and projection screen for movies and presentations on the Kudanil Explorer superyacht
The main deck dining area and bar also doubles as a screening room with projector.

Ample Accommodation

There are eight spacious cabins, all furnished with king-size beds featuring private balconies with daybeds. I actually found it enticing to sleep outside staring up into the stars. During the daytime, the natural light in the cabins and the ability to fully open the doors is a rare comfort on any yacht, and likely one that I will miss from now on, thanks to Kudanil Explorer.

In terms of the furnishings and fabric choices on the ship, they represent a respect and admiration for traditional Indonesian designs. I could go on and on about the hand-woven carpet from Portugal that lines the hallway, the French designer interiors and the customized bath products, individually chosen photographs and framed maps that adorn the yacht, but rest assured the soft sides of the yacht are sure to delight.

White bed inside the interior luxurious bedroom of Kudanil Explorer
The cabin interior represents admiration of traditional Indonesian designs.

Captain’s Pride

The ship is helmed by Captain Wayan, who has been with Kudanil Explorer for nearly 20 years. His genuine love and excitement of the jump from commercial offshore work into the hospitality side is impossible to overlook, as he is always on deck to welcome guests back from a dive or hike.

He also takes the most photos of the vessel, which one may find ironic as he is the one who has served on board the longest – but I take it as a sign of his admiration and care that he takes of Kudanil Explorer.

Captain Wayan looking out of the window on the bridge of Kudanil Explorer
Captain Wayan observing the horizon from the bridge.

Unparalleled Volume

When it comes to volume, Kudanil Explorer is the first yacht in the Indonesian charter market to really necessitate the discussion of traditional metrics when comparing yachts.

Kudanil Explorer is an honest 50m, but what’s even more impressive is she weighs 1,000 GT – nearly three times what some phinisi offer. This translates to over 1,000 square meters of interior space for guest use only.

Side view of the Kudanil Explorer superyacht from a yacht charter
Built for extended expeditions and stability at sea, Kudanil Explorer is the largest yacht available for charter in Indonesia.

The Vacation Platform

If you are looking for a calm, secluded space, try the top deck to discover a jacuzzi area. There is nothing more unwinding than spending a few moments in the hot water, away from any distractions, while watching the world go by from the top of the yacht.

The flybridge deck is the socializing area, allowing for parties and various group activities. With the bridge, a spacious lounge, a bar, seating for over 20 people and yet another lounge area with daybeds and seating, it offers everything you could imagine – there even is a dancefloor!

Outside relaxing lounge area with palm trees, sofas and beds on the top deck of the Kudanil Explorer superyacht at dusk
The top deck multi-use space opens opportunities for relaxing or socializing at scale.

Ready For Adventures

A growing trend is putting together expert-led expeditions. This is something we have been doing more of and Kudanil Explorer is perfect for larger groups.

In addition to the 8 guest cabins, Kudanil Explorer has four officer cabins, a spa room that can be converted to a bedroom and a female crew cabin with private ensuite. This enables versatility for additional expedition leaders and specialists to enhance the experiences of guests on expert-led trips.

Wave crashing in the foreground with Kudanil Explorer in the background during a cloudy day
Kudanil Explorer is the most stable vessel for exploring remote surf breaks.

Final Thoughts

It is hard to envision a yacht more suitable for charters in remote Indonesia than Kudanil Explorer.

Over the course of the past few years, we have seen Kudanil Explorer undergo a re-fit, amass a wonderful crew, take on expert guides, hospitality consultants and continue to build from strength-to-strength.

As far as a recommendation for charter goes, our last client’s feedback says it all: “ten-star hospitality on the most stable yacht he’s ever been on.”

For more information or to discuss planning your dream charter on Kudanil Explorer, please contact us at: info@indoyachts.com or +62 811 88 22 82 by phone or Whatsapp. We look forward to hearing from you.


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