In 2010, there was little if any reputable information online on yachts for charter in Indonesia. It made planning a trip, especially from overseas, a near impossibility. Even from where we were living in Bali at the time, finding a boat to explore Komodo National Park or venture further afield could only be done by word-of-mouth.
One day, a Belgian explorer handed my wife a hand-written itinerary he wanted to lead to some rarely visited islands on a boat he had been fixing up. I Googled the names of the islands and only a few turned up. The idea of going to places still undiscovered by tourism, let alone the Internet, was hugely appealing so we decided to do the trip.
We rented a dive compressor and bolted it to the deck of the Belgian’s boat, did our own provisioning and set out on a 12-night journey on which we would cover a bit over 1,000km at sea. We set foot on islands that hadn’t been visited by outsiders in years, we found ourselves as guests at a Buginese wedding, we dove with a congregation of some 50 manta rays, had bonfires on beaches with no one around for miles, met seafaring gypsies, and had, overall, the adventure of our lives up until that point.
My wife and I continued taking boat trips diving and hiking in Komodo, exploring forgotten islands and atolls on rugged phinisis. We have both spent time on boats in Europe and the Caribbean, but cruising Indonesia was a different style of vacationing altogether. The boats blend into the landscapes, and the focus is on a sense of adventure with more freedom to roam and focus on enjoying the natural world.
The first adventure charters we took planted the seed of wanting to share those kinds of trips with my friends from around the world. It took about five more years of doing similar trips before I really considered starting a company and figuring out how to make these kinds of trips more accessible.
The problem was there was little if any information on these types of trips or yachts available anywhere. It was not possible to make an informed decision without personal relationships or seeing a boat in person first. There was no information online, not through travel agents, and the yacht owners did not produce material to showcase their vessels, or the trips they could do. International brokers had no local expertise on the areas or yachts, and it is only possible to charter a locally registered yacht in Indonesia. These conditions combined to create a very closed market and one that was not easily accessible without a local presence.
Most of the boats in Indonesia were focused on doing dive trips only and did not have a sense for planning trips for non-divers, or people like us who loved to dive, but also enjoyed hiking and beach time. There were all levels of boats, but in photos, they all looked the same from a distance. Most were selling cabin trips, and that did not appeal to me, so I decided to focus on private charters only, that were customized from the start.
I started with the very simple promise never to charter a boat for someone else that I hadn’t been on myself first. That principle makes growing slower, but ensures quality that we can stand behind. It also ensures we are not chartering anything we do not know ourselves, which should be a mandatory prerequisite when it comes to sending anyone out to sea.
In a world of yacht brokers and travel agents, we offer a very specialist type of service based on real knowledge and experience in a specific area. Everything on this site was written by us based on our experiences. The result is the most complete aggregation of information on the yachts and regions they cruise, and ultimately about what I’ve discovered in nearly a decade of cruising, taking notes and taking photos.
The resulting Indo Yachts fleet is a collection of breathtaking wooden sailing yachts that follow classic design but are outfitted with modern technologies. Each yacht is a seamless fusion of old and new, defining the meaning of an adventure superyacht custom built for sailing Indonesia's expansive archipelago.
Each yacht we work with represents the best in its category. We only want to work with a hand-picked selection of yachts that we know very well. It's a unique approach in the market and for us it's the only way we can recommend the yachts to our clients with full confidence. We've put together a fleet where the yachts complement each other. Each one has specific traits that will be right for a certain type of group or trip.
Over the past few years, Indo Yachts has been an active participant in regional yacht shows and events. I have been a speaker, put out press releases and worked to build awareness for the region and the yachts. Communicating the possibilities for the types of charters we can do here, and sharing our love for Indonesia has been a continuous effort that has come with plenty of satisfaction working as a team and doing what we most enjoy.
We were nominated best charter company in Asia in 2018 at Singapore Yacht Show and also in 2019 at Thailand Yacht Show. Joining IYBA and then qualifying to use the MYBA e-Contract have also been milestones on this path to lead the local industry according to international standards.
As a response to the needs of our clients, we have developed a range of services, going beyond what is typically included in a yacht charter. These services exist to offer a full-service, single point of contact for our clients, and ensure they are given the very best access to a curated selection of services to augment their overall experience.
As brokers, we negotiate and ensure the best terms for our clients. As charter specialists we ensure clients have the best guidance for how to make the most time on board their charter. For stopovers or continuations of journeys, we have developed a selection of the top villas and resorts in the region. We have a range of experts to rely on for specific needs and also have an incredible variety of special events to offer in conjunction of charters. Most recently, after gaining more experience with private aviation, we have decided to offer these services to our clients as well, to ensure even the most remote destinations can be easily accessed.
Indo Yachts exists to make otherwise impossible trips a reality. We still get excited about each trip we plan for our clients and it is tremendously satisfying to be a part of the special memories our clients create while on charters in Indonesia.
We have had children of our own in the past few years, so have started to take them on trips too, and have become more familiar with what it means to charter with little ones on board.
I still spend between 4-6 weeks per year cruising on the yachts and do another 3-4 weeks of travel to different industry events and trade shows around the world. For the rest of the time we are based in beautiful Bali, which has become our permanent home after moving here in 2010.
The trips we put on and the lifestyle it affords is all about the adventure to find beauty in what naturally exists. The challenge has been to grow steadily and still maintain a focus on doing this for the right reasons.
Indonesia is slated to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. The development of marine tourism is a focal point for the government, and we are likely to see some significant changes in the coming years.
We will continue to develop our offerings, discovering the beauty in Indonesia, and see what the future brings. If you are considering a charter in Indonesia, please get in touch and we would love to discuss the options in detail.
This is where adventures start.