Sailing Komodo and Beyond Aboard the Luxurious Arenui
The Arenui is a traditional Phinisi - a classic Indonesian wooden sailing vessel - launched in 2007. The vessel is crafted almost entirely from 12 different types of wood, with the brass and copper interior fittings handcrafted in Java. The Arenui takes some traditional elements of Javanese houses and recreates them on the boat, creating a truly Indonesian experience on board an old-fashioned pirate ship - but still with all the mod-cons.
Along with the attention to detail to Indonesian heritage and tradition, the designers of the Arenui wanted to reflect their connection to the environment, with over 70 per cent of the vessel made from recycled and reclaimed materials.
Described as 'The Boutique Liveaboard', the Arenui blends its traditional lines with the world-class diving of Indonesia and the luxury of a modern, 5-star hotel. There are only eight cabins which accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, but a crew of 22 to make sure that they are well looked after. As well as the dive guides and sailing crew, two sought-after chefs staff the galley, producing gourmet local and foreign cuisine. For post-dive relaxation, a team of massage therapists staff the onboard spa.
The Cabins have been designed to be large and luxurious, with options for couples and individuals. All are between 19-21sqm in size and contain a private, en-suite bathroom, dedicated lounge area and air-conditioning. Each of the rooms has been designed with a unique, traditional theme in mind, and each is named after a character from Indonesian mythology. The Rama and Shinta master-suites, situated on the upper deck, have 7 ocean-view windows each, and a private balcony where divers can relax and watch the world go by.
The Barong, Ganesh, Legong, Garuda, Toraja and Dayak deluxe cabin provide options for both couples and single travellers. Although they don't have the balconies of the master-suites, they ware nevertheless spacious and extremely well appointed.
The restaurant and lounge area take up the central part of the main deck and extend across the full width of the boat. There is a range of seating options catering to groups of divers, or perhaps couples who prefer a more intimate dining experience. In addition, the lounge area contains an iMac workstation, two charging stations and two widescreen televisions.
The restaurant leads directly onto the spacious dive deck which is spacious and equipped with storage space and rinse tanks, along with dedicated tables for camera equipment.
On the upper deck is the Sky Restaurant with large tables, sun-beds and even a telescope for star-gazing. Behind the Sky Restaurant is the Sky Lounge, fitted out with day-beds and loungers for more relaxation or an outdoor massage.
In the heart of the Coral Triangle, Indonesia contains the most bio-diverse marine environment in the world, from the coral to the tiny macro creatures that inhabit the reefs, to the largest of whale sharks and manta rays, and of course the black sands and weird and wonderful critters of muck diving.
To make the most of the marine environment, the Arenui's itineraries are scheduled with great attention to detail to make the best of Indonesia's diving based on seasonal variations in wildlife and weather. Between May and October each year, much of the diving takes place around the Komodo National Park, ranging from Bali to Flores and Alor.
In November, the vessel moves towards Ambon and the Spice Islands of the Banda Sea and then towards Raja Ampat between December and April. At all times, three eagle-eyed, experienced Indonesian dive guides, accompanied by two European cruise directors, are on hand to guide the Arenui's guests in small groups around some of the most spectacular diving on the planet.
For more information about the Arenui, her itineraries and schedules, visit www.thearenui.com. To learn more about what life aboard the luxurious liveaboard is like, check out Alfie Minnar's story, accompanied by more of his stunning photography, in the Winter 2018/19 Print Issue of DIVE Magazine