What makes this trip so magical and otherworldly is because you are genuinely worlds away.
How would describe Prana by Atzaro?
An impressive 180ft motor-sailing yacht built locally in Sulawesi which launched for its first voyage in 2018. Styled on a traditional Indonesian Phinisi sailing boat, which uses materials such as ironwood and teak, also offers low-key natural luxury (in line with its Ibizan cousin Atzaro Hotel) – plus all the comforts you would expect from a superyacht – this is the most luxurious Phinisi ever built.
This was a once in a lifetime trip and one of the most special and wonderful experiences I have had in my career. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone and everyone - it is perfect particularly for a group gathering/celebration.
Whose idea was it? And how long it did it take to go from idea to reality?
Prana by Atzaro is the creation of the owners of Ibizan rustic-luxury, wellbeing hotel, Atzaro, an idea that was born from their personal experience of a similar trip where they fell in love with the destination.
What makes it different from a ‘regular’ cruise yacht?
What makes Prana by Atzaro unique to other yachts is that it’s owned by people who do hotels - they get service and how it works, and this is what makes it better than other yachts owned as a hobby. The team are excellent, and the little touches really make a difference, such as remembering how you like your coffee in the morning. The staff are always flexible, catering to guests’ wishes and ensuring that the trip is exactly right for them.
What routes can you go on?
My personal experience was a five-night cruise around the unexplored Raja Ampat Islands which is part of the Indonesian West Papua Province. I would suggest a minimum of seven-nights to get the optimum amount of time onboard Prana by Atzaro. From my experience, the sheer size of Raja Ampat and the vast range of activities, local culture, incredible marine life, numerous staggeringly beautiful diving and snorkelling sites that you have to yourself, there is so much variety that one could easily spend 10 days exploring all that this amazing and diverse destination has to offer. In five-days, we covered the central and northern parts of Raja Ampat, but there is so much more to explore, for example the south is 14 hours cruise away and offers some of the best diving in the islands.
As a destination, Raja Ampat is like nowhere I have been before. It is a serene and a pristine paradise that almost feels like you’ve entered Jurassic world – discover the immense limestone rocks jutting from the sea, jewel-like emerald waters that seems almost unreal and empty white sand bays and coves. With no one else around, you barely see another boat or person, so this experience really does feel truly, truly wild. The fact that Raja Ampat is so hard to reach makes it even more of a spectacular and special destination. From London, I flew to Jakarta via Hong Kong and then on for another 4.5 hours to Sorong (there is only one flight per day, and there is no direct access from other hubs in Indonesia such as Bali). The whole journey took 30 hours with two overnight flights, but it was absolutely worth the sore bones, stiff neck and every minute of missed sleep to discover the undiscovered - the secret that is Raja Ampat. I believe that what is keeping the area so perfectly protected is that the journey is so challenging, and although it is a drawback, at the same time, what makes it so magical and otherworldly is because you are genuinely worlds away.
As for the Komodo Islands, these are amazing but in a very different way - from pink sand beaches to the Komodo dragons swimming past the boat. This is also a more accessible destination than Raja Ampat and would work well in combination with a few nights elsewhere in Indonesia, such as Bali – extend the trip to more than just a charter.
What activities are available?
- Guests can dive without any diving experience as there are diving instructors on board.
- For those not keen on diving, the snorkelling too is out of this world and so varied - the best I have every experienced – we swam with turtles, manta rays and blacktip sharks, amongst so many different species of fish and astonishingly brightly coloured coral. There are some of the best dive sites in the world in Raja Ampat such as Melissa’s garden.
- Trekking to the top of peaks to get picture perfect views.
- Swimming in secret saltwater lagoons.
- Visiting local villages virtually untouched by tourism.
- Watersports: 6 paddleboards, 6 sea kayaks, wakeboards, water skis, fishing gear, diving and snorkelling equipment for all guests.
- Yoga mats on board and a yoga instructor can be part of the staff if requested.
- An outdoor cinema with bean bags can be set up in the evenings on the top deck (wind dependant), the team can serve dinner whilst guests enjoy a film with a cocktail.
Tell us about the accommodation: the suites, lounge, dining areas etc.
Prana by Atzaro is super spacious, sleeping up to 18 guests in 9 suites, and 4 decks with many places to chillout and enjoy the sunshine and sea breeze - with a sundeck, top yoga deck, outdoor living room and indoor living/dining area room, you will never feel cramped.
Is it child-friendly?
Children of all ages would love Prana by Atzaro and the magic of the surroundings, however I would suggest it is more suitable for older kids who are able to swim confidently, given you are at sea and really should make the most for everything the voyages have to offer.
Is there a crew onboard to look after guests? Tell us about them (chefs, crew, hospitality staff)
- The staff to guest ratio is 1:1, so as you would expect the service is second to none. Mick the Cruise Director and his team ensure everyone on board is looked after and has everything they need.
- Daily personal laundry service and turn down twice a day – this is real hotel style service.
- Culinary delights by Chef Fauzi - all food is included and is of an extremely high quality. Everything we ate was delicious! From the Indonesian breakfasts (a huge spread of fresh juices, tropical fruits, cereal and yogurts, Nasi Goreng and everything else you could want made to order), the family style lunches of grilled meat, fresh fish and salads, to the varied dinners including a Lebanese sharing feast, beach BBQ and plated four course fine dining experience – we felt completely spoilt for choice.
- A spa treatment room and two masseuses on board at all times (a 30 minutes massage or beauty treatment per person, during the cruise is included in the rates).
Describe a perfect day on Prana by Atzaro…
Our breakfast starts off with a fresh juice, tropical fruits and nasi goreng to gather energy for the morning’s hike. We hop on the tenders and soon find ourselves on a powder white beach, which we have all to ourselves. Venturing into the trees, we begin our short but steep trek up to the peaks of Wayag. The pain is worth the prize and when we reach the top, we are greeted by Raja Ampat’s most iconic view and the incredible natural beauty that surrounds us.
Once back on the beach, the crew have set up bean bags and umbrella shades for us to relax and enjoy our private bay. We swim and sunbathe and then head back to the yacht.
After an hour to chill on board, it is time for the morning’s second activity, and we head out again on the tenders to a nearby snorkel/dive spot. We slide into the crystal-clear waters to see what awaits us below and not only is there an abundance of fish and glittering coral, but we also spot a turtle.
Back onboard, we enjoy a lunch of light coconut-y Indonesian curries (a choice of fish, chicken and chickpea line the table), rice and a selection of salads by chef Fauzi.
This afternoon, we are offered the opportunity to: head to the spa for a massage, read our books on the sundeck, explore the glistening seas by kayak or make use of the motorised watersports such as water-skiing and doughnutting off the back of the dinghies.
In the early evening, we are told to get ready to head off the boat again and the tenders take us zig zagging through the rocky limestone outcrops and turquoise ocean until we reach yet another sandy cove where the crew are waiting to greet us for a Surprise Beach party. We arrive at dusk for music and margaritas, followed by a dinner of grilled lobster and BBQ meats as the sun went down, plus drinks around the bonfire before we head back to Prana by Atzaro, ready to retire and prepare for another extraordinary day to come.
Want to know more? Be inspired with our latest itinerary on board Prana by Atzaro.