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Our Guide to the World’s Best Boat Trips

Written by
Rachel O'Leary, Alex Carey, Jennifer Richt & Lily Bunker

From the Galapagos Islands to Vietnam’s Lan Ha Bay, the world is full of wonderful waters to cruise.

There’s plenty of luxury to choose from, but sometimes it can be difficult to know which vessel to go for.

To help you plan your next epic luxury cruise, this is our guide to the world’s best boat trips.

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1) La Pinta, Galapagos Islands

La Pinta yacht is one of the top expedition vessels in the Galapagos and sits at the larger end of boats available in this region, with a capacity for up to 48 guests. La Pinta strikes a good balance between size and facilities, so it’s an excellent choice for travellers seeking a combination of comfort, personal service and high quality guiding. It’s one of the newer boats in the Galapagos, and caters to high end travellers with its delightful restaurant and bar, jacuzzi and gym.

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Although the ship can accommodate just shy of 50 guests, the excursions still feel wonderfully private. All tours are conducted by expert naturalist guides in small groups of ten or less, so you feel as though you’re on an exclusive cruise. To explore the picturesque surroundings of the Galapagos, travellers are able to use snorkelling equipment, sea kayaks and wetsuits, or take trips in a glass bottomed boat.

 

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2) The Ginger, Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam

Cruising Vietnam’s waters on board the luxury Ginger junk boat is a wonderfully pleasant way to experience Lan Ha Bay, Halong Bay’s equally pretty and quieter counterpart. Three decks of polished woodwork, Indochine decor and panoramic views of the UNESCO-protected bay are what put this luxury vessel on the map. 

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This spectacular offering has ten cabins available, making for an intimate atmosphere on board. Guests can choose from taking in the sweeping emerald views during a morning Thai Chi lesson, kayaking between the limestone karsts or sprawling out on a lounger on the sundeck. 

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3) Silolona, Indonesia

Silolona is a magical yacht, available for private charter across the other-worldly Indonesian islands. Built in the style of a traditional Indonesian ‘Phinisi’ vessel, Silolona retraces history and recreates the romance of sailing ancient spice routes. With polished peak decks and billowing black sails, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into an Indonesia of ancient times as soon as you board the ship. 

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Silolona is a wonderfully intimate vessel, featuring five private cabins and sleeping ten guests in total. With an attentive crew of seventeen staff, including a private chef and dive instructor, your every need is looked after. The food is a real highlight too, as guests are able to enjoy their personalised meals on the al fresco desk or on a deserted beach. With opportunities to dive deep into incredible waters, kayak through mysterious caves and venture onto land to trek scenic trails, this small but mighty Indonesian vessel can’t be beaten. 

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4) Silver Cloud Expedition, Antarctica

The Silver Cloud Expedition has an unmatched crew to passenger ratio, and is one of the most luxurious vessels to ever cruise Antarctica’s waters. Suites range in size from 22 square metres to a vast 122 square metres, so there’s an option to suit every type of traveller. Every suite comes with butler service, and four out of five of them include a veranda which you can watch breaching whales or mischievous penguins from. Guest space is limited to just 200 passengers, so all excursions are done in small groups of 14 or less. 

 

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The dining options are exquisite, with five eateries available – fine dining in Champagne, pasta in La Terrazza, convivial meals in the Main Restaurant, dining under the stars at Hot Rocks grill or private dining in your cabin. Also on board is a state of the art lecture theatre, where the in-house experts deliver lectures about Antarctica. There’s a library, spa and swimming pool too, so you’ll never be bored. 

5) Alexa J, Greek Islands

The Ionian Islands are a summer paradise, with incredible landscapes, spectacular cuisine and a fascinating history. From lounging on Santorini’s beaches to rambling through Folegandros’ hills, Greece’s islands are waiting to be explored. The best way to experience them is undoubtedly aboard the luxurious Alexa J private yacht. Available for private charter in Greece, Alexa J delivers personalised itineraries, excellent service and absolute privacy.

She’s the only boat in Greece built to accommodate just one party, so is perfect for your next multi-generation vacation. Whether you’re on a family vacation or your honeymoon, you’ll be blown away by this breathtaking offering. With a crew of six on board, including a private chef, dive instructor and a spa therapist, you won’t be left wanting during this once-in-a-lifetime journey. 

Feeling inspired? Our expert travel designers are always on hand to help you plan how to sail the world's waters.

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