Considering a yacht charter? Nikko Karki is making dreams come true in Indonesian waters.
Nikko, what the hell have you been up to since we last spoke all those years ago at the Canggu Club?
Cheers, Yakkers. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Life’s been good, thanks. Camilla and I got married, we had a little girl and have been enjoying our time as new parents.
Now we hear you are in the yacht charter business?
That’s right. I started Indo Yachts as a means to connect people like ourselves who love spending time on the water with some truly spectacular wooden yachts.
What’s the attraction of Indonesia for people who love the high seas?
I may just have to write a book about this one day, but the short answer is that a charter in Indonesia will probably change your life. The sense of freedom on board the yachts in the islands here is unlike anything you can experience anywhere else. It’s addictive. Most charter clients start to plan their next trip before disembarking.
What’s the best trip being offered right now in terms of destination?
The staple trips to discovering Indonesia’s bounties are Komodo and Raja Ampat but we also recommend trips through the less-travelled regions in the Ceram and Savu Seas. They are all epic journeys that will leave you feeling like a real explorer. On a private charter, you can go where you want, when you want, so it’s all a matter of matching guests with a destination and custom itinerary to suit their tastes. There is a new spot we know of for swimming with whale sharks, but we’re going to keep that a secret for now.
What kind of vessels are available?
We work with wooden sailboats that are outfitted with the technologies befitting a modern superyacht. Most of the boats we work with are between 46 and 65 meters, so quite spacious and ideal for long-range cruising.
Where do you see the growth for this year in the Indonesian boat charter business?
There are a lot of people in the world who have never even considered a private yacht charter. That segment of first-time charter clients is definitely the most appealing and fastest-growing in Indonesia. For families and groups looking for truly incredible vacations, a private charter is the ultimate trip of a lifetime.
What kind of prices are we looking at for a week-long trip?
For an all-inclusive superyacht charter, you can expect to pay $750 to $1,500 per person per day. In Komodo for a seven-night private charter on one of the top tier yachts it comes to about $90,000 for the week for up to 14 guests. We also have some smaller boats that are quite charming from $21,500 per week and up. If you’re traveling alone, as a couple or with a friend, you can also charter a cabin on one of the limited scheduled charters some of the boats do a few times per year.
What other areas of the world are competing for this kind of business, and how do they compare to Indonesia?
Compared to white boats in the Med and Caribbean, the Indonesian yachts we work with are infinitely more charming, with all the comforts of a modern superyacht. Coupled with the warmth of the local crews and jaw-dropping natural beauty in the islands, Indonesia is a pretty competitive candidate for the number one charter destination in the world.
What could the industry do better here?
We definitely need to promote the Indonesian yachting industry more internationally. It’s unique and we obviously love it so spreading the word to like-minded people around the world is a top priority. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a few absolutely breathtaking yachts come out of Indonesia that have raised the bar for wooden yachts on a global scale. In effect, they are a new breed of superyacht, so our challenge is communicating that to broader audiences.
Why should we book our adventure through Indo Yachts?
Starting to plan a charter is as easy as dropping us an email and we’ll give you a selection of the finest yachts that we’ve individually inspected and experienced. We can give you options for scheduling, complete with pricing, and create your dream itinerary based on our experience in the region on each boat. The charter rate through us is exactly the same as through the boats. We act as the client’s advocate, so booking through us gives clients an extra layer of service and impartial advice. We also love what we do, and that tends to show.
Nikko, thanks for your time and best of luck.