Why Your Next Great Adventure Is on the Water
Why restrict a vacation experience to solid ground? Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts around the world are extending their unparalleled hospitality to the sea with luxury dive boat charters. Whether it’s snorkelling or simply sunbathing you’re after, we’ve compiled the many ways you can change your perspective on paradise.
KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
On Samui Island, guests at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui can take advantage of its two yachts. The Minor Affair Sunseeker, a 64-foot (19.5-metre) yacht with a master suite and two cabins, accommodates up to 12 people. Its hydraulic swimming platform has a built-in shower, and a Bose sound system is ready to supply a soundtrack.
The Resort’s new 42-foot (12.8-metre) charter, the Siam Seas Explorer, features an outdoor deck for sunbathing. It also happens to be a speedboat that can reach up to 44 knots (about 50 mph), which is especially useful when island-hopping. The Siam Seas has its own butler and deckhand, who can provide passengers with picnics, full meals and, of course, Champagne.
Trips aboard each yacht are fully customizable, but the Resort suggests several itineraries, such as a jaunt to the Angthong National Marine Park – 42 uninhabited islands great for snorkelling, with a chance to dive through a cave to the saltwater Emerald Lake. The yachts also offer sunset cruises and tours around Koh Samui or to Thailand’s most southern Island, Koh Phangan, where every month up to 30,000 people flock to dance at its Full Moon Party.
“Our guests really enjoy the yacht trips to Angthong Marine Park – it is a beautiful destination with a nice trek and secluded beach,” says Jeff Rednour, General Manager of the Resort. “What’s equally impressive is the experienced and knowledgeable crew, especially our captain.”
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Guests at Four Seasons Resort Lanai can climb aboard the 39-foot (12-metre) Kalulu, a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) chartered from Lanai Ocean Sports. In its former life, the craft was a chase boat for the America’s Cup sailing race. For day trips, it can hold up to four divers, or six passengers without scuba gear.
An inflatable boat may sound less than luxurious, but the Kalulu has been upgraded with teak decks, couches, a teak dining table, a daybed and underwater lighting. The Resort also charters a 49-foot (15-metre) luxury sailing catamaran, and the two vessels carry guests on day trips to Maui, dive trips, snorkelling expeditions, fishing, tours of the coast, whale watching and sunset sails.
“Kalulu is one of the best ways to explore the southern coastline of Lanai,” says the boat’s captain, Kamalani Ranis. “Just minutes from the harbour are some of the best dive sites in the world, resident spinner dolphins and some of the highest sea cliffs in the world. All experiences aboard Kalulu are unique.”
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PUNTA MITA, MEXICO
The 55-foot (15.7-metre), Italian-built yacht available in Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico can hold up to 10 people for 6-hour charters, which may involve deep sea fishing, paddleboarding, swimming with dolphins and turtles, and a WaveRunner watercraft. For use between activities, the yacht offers a living room, a kitchen and a series of sunbathing decks in bow and stern.
Some, however, might prefer to catch some waves. Aboard the yacht, the Resort’s surf guru will take you to the best and least crowded local breaks, depending on your preferences and surf goals. While beginners can experience the thrill of standing up on the board and gliding across a wave with a personal instructor by their side, the experienced surfers looking for a personalized experience in Punta Mita can enjoy a session where their guide will explain the break and film the session with a GoPro.
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BORA BORA, SOUTH PACIFIC
At Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, up to 20 people can embark on two-hour excursions aboard custom-built, 39-foot (11.8-metre) Andreyale Bateaux Taxi. The taxi boats – Heinoanoa, Leana and Poeit – were inspired by New York City commuter boats that, in the 1920s, transported Wall Street executives from Long Island to New York’s financial district. But the 21st-century models are made with mahogany, teak and stainless steel, and stick to the South Pacific.
The Andreyales take guests for snorkelling with rays and sharks, deep sea fishing, or touring the area with a local guide. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has its own fleet for one-hour to full-day excursions, including a catamaran that can accommodate up to 50. But one choice is easily the most popular.
“A private Sunset Sushi and Champagne Cruise is an incredibly romantic experience,” says Maria Jagla, General Manager of the Resort. “Not only do you get to see the beautiful colours of Bora Bora’s lagoon and sky change with the sunset, but you get to do so with your loved one while enjoying the perfect pairing of fresh sushi and Champagne. It’s truly one of Bora Bora’s most memorable experiences.”
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The Sea Hawk, Sea Falcon and Blue Dolphin ply the waters around
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi. The fleet’s flagship Blue Dolphin is recommended for those who “demand outrageous luxury.” The 80-foot Italian yacht has four suites, each with private bathroom; the master suite adds a full-size marble whirlpool. Three separate dining areas create enough space for three cocktail parties.
The yachts have a repertoire of island tours that feature trips past the Langkawi bay’s limestone mountains, where it’s likely that native red eagles will be flying overhead. One stop along the way is the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, where, legend says, a princess fell in love with a commoner. Some say that the lake can enhance fertility. Everyone can agree that excellent hiking and spectacular views surround it.