Stunning Koh Samui Superyacht Cruising

By Linda Cartlidge

Many of the world’s finest superyachts are discovering South East Asia and the incredible cruising waters of Thailand. A growing number of superyachts are streaming into the exotic island of Koh Samui situated in the Gulf of Siam and famed as the ‘Crown Jewel of Thailand’.

Visiting yachts checking in to Samui can experience some of the most stunning maritime scenery in the world. A tropical gem rising off the south-eastern seaboard of Thailand, Samui is the Kingdom's second largest island after Phuket. Relatively unknown for years, this sun lovers paradise of azure waters and uninhabited islands has attained international standards of service and offers amazing itineraries to visiting superyachts.

Samui has earned a reputation for retaining a friendly image as well as a beautiful natural environment in an area stretching to a group of 48 surrounding islands. The island and surrounding area offers extensive cruising in fascinating locations like nearby ‘Ang Thong National Marine Park’, a compact and stunning archipelago of over 80 small and virtually untouched islands, best explored by sea kayak upon anchoring.

Among the Superyachts visiting the eastern Gulf waters of Samui was the amazing 67.2 meter superyacht Vertigo, the largest luxury sailing yacht built in the Southern Hemisphere (so far). The 220 ft vessel was built by Alloy Yachts in New Zealand in 2010 and delivered to the new owners in 2011 and a 2012 finalist of the ‘World Superyacht Awards’. The Vertigo Captain, commenting on their Samui visit and agency service, wrote: “...his (Captain Charlie) understanding of Samui and the needs of a Superyacht from a captain’s perspective is invaluable. The owner, guests and ourselves had a wonderful time in the Koh Samui area not only for its beauty but also due to the excellent service Charlie Dwyer and his team gave us.”

Captain Charles (‘Champagne Charlie’) Dwyer of Asia Pacific Superyachts Samui and founder of Samui Yacht Services and Asia Pacific Superyachts Samui is the holder of a 1600 Ton USCG 3000 Ton International license and skipper of the 120’ sailing yacht Yanneke Too, accumulating over 500,000 NM around the globe. A lifelong, ardent American sailor, he has captained some of the most prestigious yachts in the world in the last 20 years, cruising and racing around the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas as well as in Asia.

Calling the island home for some years the skipper talks about a few of the mammoth vessels journeying to Koh Samui, the largest island amongst the Gulf of Thailand group of over 80 islands, most of which are uninhabited. He speaks of incredible cruising options in and around the island and Gulf waters experienced by visiting mega yachts such as M/y Battered Bull, M/y Christine, M/y Michea Rose, S/y Yanneke Too and M/y Perseus in addition to S/y Vertigo.

“Though there is no marina there are many anchorages in Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and surrounding areas. Koh Samui is the hub of the Gulf and the best and easiest port of entry in the Gulf of Siam.” The skipper continues, “Returning to the island, I’m reminded each time of the breath-taking natural beauty of Koh Samui and its stunning cruising waters. In beginning a sea journey here one finds a perfect haven to regroup and enjoy life, an important part of the fun and thrill of the destination”, Captain Charlie reports and believes the Superyacht captains and crew appreciate the hospitable nature of Thai people.

“What brings the owners and captains and crew to Thailand is the culture and people with their welcoming smiles and gracious nature. You won’t find this in many other international destinations which superyachts visit.”

Charlie is skipper of the 36-metre superyacht Yanneke Too for the past18 years and an organiser of the elite annual Asia Superyacht Rendezvous held annually in Phuket, Thailand in December. As superyachting in Asia expands Asia Pacific Superyachts experienced professional agents, like Captain Charlie and others APS Southeast Asia and Pacific regions, are firmly in place to provide superior service.

By Linda Cartlidge