After an extensive refurbishment, Plataran Private Cruises recently showcased their new boats at a boat show in Labuan Bajo. Mimi Hudoyo briefly sails into the sunset onboard the Plataran Phinisi Felica and tells us what travellers can expect
Labuan Bajo is the gateway to Komodo National Park, which has been growing in popularity with travellers over the past few years. The Indonesian government has responded to this tourism boom with the construction of a new airport terminal.
The destination is also one of the 10 locations that the government is focusing on in terms of development and promotion this year.
Plataran Hotels & Resorts, a company that owns a hotel, club and restaurant in Labuan Bajo, offers private cruises out of its own private pier at Plataran Waecicu Beach. The company recently completed the refurbishment of four boats in its fleet, and I was invited onboard for a tour and sunset cruise.
A total of four boats underwent refurbishment. While Plataran Phinisi Felicia and Plataran Phinisi Ambasi underwent complete overhauls, the other two boats in the fleet, Plataran Phinisi Komodo and Plataran Phinisi Bali, only had minor modifications done.
The largest, Plataran Phinisi Felicia, features six cabins, while the smaller Plataran Phinisi Ambasi has four cabins. Both boats have had their cabins, livery and kitchen equipment upgraded. Moreover, new engines have been mounted, and these allow the ships to move at a speed of seven to eight knots, slightly faster than its previous five to six knots.
All cabins are located on the lower deck, and the main decks comprise a lounge, covered sun deck and dining area. Both ships also carry two life rafts each, life jackets and snorkelling gear.
Plataran Phinisi Felicia has extra amenities such as a bar, bridge and sun deck.
It was late in the afternoon when I hopped onboard the Plataran Phinisi Felicia for a one-hour sunset cruise that departed from the recently-built private pier. After a tour of the ship, I chose to lounge on the upper deck.
I liked this area the best. It was the highest part of the ship, and was breezy and provided uninterrupted views of the surroundings. I could see small islands popping up like jewels above the clear waters, and tiny fishermen in their boats heading towards shore after a long day’s work.
Settling comfortably into one of the beanbags, I was provided with a glass of wine and the occasional canapé. Both were the perfect accompaniments to watch the changing colours of the sky as the sun slowly set beyond the horizon.
Plataran Private Cruises offers sailing and liveaboard experiences to diving and snorkelling locations around Indonesia such as Komodo Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur and Menjangan Island. These cruises have tailor-made itineraries and can be hired on a charter basis, and travellers have the choice to stay overnight onboard the ship or on an island.
The private cruise is a pleasant and intimate way to see the islands in Komodo National Park. It would be perfect for families or a group of friends with similar interests.
Name Plataran Private Cruises
Rates From US$2,900 per day/night, full board