You hardly have to go far in Bali to find a boat, for a day on the water. They are everywhere, in all incarnations from wooden outrigger canoes to hulking catamarans designed for the masses.
But when it comes to style and comfort, one WA company, Pulau Luxury Charters, is making waves with its superb Aicon 56 Fly Bridge, Burjuman.
Made in Italy, the Burjuman was shipped to Bali when her Perth owners, Graeme and Monique Robson, made the decision to move from the Gulf to concentrate on their Bali charter business, which they had been running for three years using a powerful, 600HP, 42’ custom-built surf and dive boat, the Rhino.
They saw a niche in an underexploited market for a higher-end vessel that could offer both one-of-a-kind luxury day trips and dive charters, plus longer overnight trips to explore Indonesia’s many beautiful islands.
Among the packages they have created are the Luxury Day Cruise Charter, visiting the trio of islands on Bali’s southwest tip: Nusas Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida.
After being picked up by courtesy shuttle, we boarded the Burjaman a little before 9am and were soon heading out of Benoa Harbour, with canapés and strawberries and champagne making a welcome appearance faster than you could say “selamat pagi!” We settled into our seats for the crossing, champagne flutes in hand with no qualms about drinking with the sun still low.
The boat’s spacious fly bridge offers more than enough sunny and shaded lounging space for all. Sofas to the rear, captain’s chair in the middle and day beds to the front with standing room for several more plus a state of the art sound system to boot, this is a great full-time party space, which even has a BBQ grill.
Downstairs, the back deck is equally spacious and the wide transom creates an even larger area for the fun and frolics. There is a limit of 14 for a charter, and the ten of us on board never felt hemmed in.
One of the main characteristics of the Aicon Yachts that makes them ideal for this kind of charter operation is the attention to design, the use of space and their styling. You can feel the quality oozing out of every curve and polished wooden surface. The sleeping quarters comprise two master cabins with en-suites, and a twin room providing comfortable lodgings on multi-day charters.
Battling the strong Bali Strait’s current in the early morning sun it only took about 45 minutes to reach the shelter of Nusa Penida with its many bays and inlets. Being early birds, we pulled into one such secluded cove with the whole area to ourselves. The water was crystal blue and unlike what can be seen on Bali.
To add to our magical morn, several pods of dolphins swam by not 30 metres away at the mouth of the bay. Soon we were stripping down to our bathing suits , plunging into the beautiful clear waters to swim, snorkel and muck about with the stand up paddleboard and inflatable pontoon they provide. (Scuba divers are also catered for.)
The staff kept us well stocked with drinks, fruit and gourmet snacks throughout the day, as we frolicked in the sun. They proved adept at both looking after our safety needs as well as our empty glasses. We were informed the staff are all certified and qualified with many years of experience as ship’s captains and dive masters, and are well versed with all aspects of the boat.
By lunchtime, though we could have eaten on the boat, we took the option to head ashore to enjoy the island for a change of scene. Cruising around to Sandy Bay we were met by a small tender and shuttled to the shore, where a waiting mini bus had us round to the Sandy Bay Beach Club for tapas, fresh frozen margaritas and a dip in their pool above the ocean. As 4pm rolled round we were back on the boat with fresh refreshments and about to head back to the mainland, but not before a final swim in the gin clear waters.
Cruising back into a dropping sun with the wind in our hair was pure bliss and made for a very satisfied group of travellers. It’s easy to see why Pulau is proving very popular with the well heeled. International celebs and sports stars, and royalty, having taken advantage of the luxury service and customized private charters. We’d love to name-drop here but sadly, in addition to providing quality service and fun, discretion is also something Pulau pride themselves on.
Price: US $5,500 + 10% tax for day cruises.
Pulau Luxury Charters
+62 (0)361 847 6757