Prana by Atzaro: Indonesian Island-Hop on the Ultimate Phinisi Super-Yacht

Owned by Atzaro, the luxe Ibizan hospitality group, this stunning Phinisi super-yacht is the largest of its kind in the world. Voyages explore the remote Indonesian Coral Triangle, following the trade winds to some of the world’s most inaccessible and dreamy islands.

Prana Indonesia map
Indonesia

Designed to reflect the ancient Indonesian double-masted Phinisi sailing vessels, this 180-foot ship is entirely handmade from ironwood and teak according to traditional methods.

Prana overhead
Prana

Beyond this authentic backdrop Prana gives way to pure luxury. Nine beautiful suites, with en-suite bathrooms and deluxe furnishings, are carefully placed across four decks ensuring privacy and wonderful sea views from floor-to -ceiling windows.

A Prana Suite
A Prana Suite

Daily sun salutations on the yoga deck start the day followed by an outdoor breakfast and a leisurely rest on one of the sumptuous day beds; perfectly placed to watch the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean drift by.

Prana yoga
Morning Yoga

Days are as active or restful as you like. A range of water sports and spa treatments are offered on board as well as carefully curated shore-based adventures.

Relax on deck
Relax on Deck

During May to October, Prana visits the Komodo National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the famous ‘dragons’, stunning pink beaches and pristine waters. If you seek adventure, the ship’s resident dive expert hosts specialist diving trips to explore the protected reefs.

Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park

In the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring, Prana traverses the remote Banda Islands. Famously part of the colonial spice trade, this heavenly part of the world is rich in myth and legend. Dominated by the grand Mount Api, the landscape gives way to virgin rainforest, white-sandy beaches and coral cliffs plunging deep into an ocean brimming with marine life.

Prana Spice Islands
The Banda Islands

The islands of Raja Ampat are Prana’s destination from December until April. Nestled in the heart of the Coral Triangle, these lost islands are home to prehistoric caves, hidden lagoons, forgotten tribes and some of the best diving in the world. There are ten times the number of hard coral species here as found in the Caribbean.

Diving the Reefs
Diving the Reefs

Prana is quite simply a haven after such exhilarating days ashore. Chefs prepare the very finest regional dishes served either under the stars, in the elegant lounge or on a deserted island beach. Old and new wines complement the cuisine along with a collection of carefully chosen cocktails, beers and spirits. After dinner the open-air cinema beckons or simply an early night to the sound of gently lapping waves.

Prana sunset
Sunset on Prana

What we like ….

  • guided access to remote areas of the world
  • a perfect balance of nurturing rest and adventure
  • a unique private charter

www.pranabyatzaro.com

Photos courtesy of Atzaro

 

 

Cool Places: Iceland

Iceland Cruise Skogarfoss
Skogarfoss

The Land of Fire and Ice is a place of legends and seemingly on everyone’s bucket list at the moment … and it’s easy to understand why.

Iceland Cruise Horses
Icelandic Horses

The landscape is a stunning combination of midnight sun, glaciers, active volcanos, geysers, fjords and thermal waters. In summer the island is green and fertile, bathed in near eternal daylight – winter brings ice and snow, and the phenomenal Northern Lights. Photo opportunities are endless and ‘out-of-this-world’.

Iceland Cruise Reykjavik
Reykjavik

The Icelandic people are a friendly bunch, enjoying the high profile their beautiful country is gaining on the world stage, happy to welcome visitors and show them the island at its best. There’s an obvious pride belonging to Iceland, not just for the pristine environment and mystical history but also for the modern and lively society – Reykjavik is a vibrant and bustling city with great culture and an exciting night scene.

Iceland Cruise Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

Iceland’s unique location on the North Atantic Ridge fault line reaches beyond the Arctic Circle, sitting between the Eurasian and American tectonic plates. The area is seismically very active as these plates pull gradually apart, hence there are geological wonders around every corner. The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular places to visit. Located just outside Reykjavik, the mineral-rich geothermal waters are crowded and expensive but relaxing in the milky-blue waters is an ethereal and unmissable experience.

Iceland Cruise Thingvellir
Snorkelling at Thingvellir

Also, on the famous Golden Circle tourist route, is Thingvellir National Park. This is the best place to view the fault line – there are even diving and snorkelling opportunities for those wanting to float between continents in the crystal clear water … and brave the cold.

Geyser Iceland Cruise
Icelandic Geyser

Gullfoss, a dramatic series of waterfalls reached by a steep pathway, is one of Iceland’s most photographed spots, as is ‘Geysir’, where 10,000 year old hot springs entertain the crowds with regular spouting every few minutes.

Iceland Cruise Whale Watching
Humpback Whale

Iceland is a true wilderness and consequently home to a vast range of wildlife. Famous as Europe’s best whale watching destination, trips depart from Husavik seeking encounters with humpbacks, minkes, bottlenose and blues which accumulate in large number to plunder the fish-rich North Atlantic and Arctic waters – prime viewing time is between April and October.

Iceland Cruise joekulsarlon glacier lagoon
Joekulsarlon

There are many surreal experience in Iceland, appealing to the adventurous and curious traveller. Not least the volcanic black sands of Joekulsarlon where the shore is scattered with glassy icebergs, abandoned by the fierce surf to glint in the light like glacier mints. The sulphur-scented air is a constant reminder that Iceland is a bubbling and grumbling seismic hothouse; with regular earthquakes and imminent volcanic eruptions. The eerie landscape has attracted film crews for decades; Game of Thrones filmed many key scenes here as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens,  Interstellar, Noah and Prometheus.

Iceland Cruise National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Explorer

An Icelandic cruise is usually part of a wider voyage, perhaps including Norway, Britain and Greenland in some form, and often circumnavigates the rugged coast. 1.8 million tourists are expected in 2017 and the cruise industry is keeping pace with this demand as new companies venture to Iceland and more far-reaching itineraries are offered by well-seasoned cruise lines familiar with the territory. Exploration cruises are growing in popularity with smaller vessels able to access Iceland’s more remote ports and thereby avoid the inevitable crowds. With the population of Iceland standing at around 300,000 there’s understandable concern that such a massive increase in visitors to the country may cause undesirable pressures on the locality. Cruise ships are well-positioned to offer less invasive visits as tourists stay on the ship at night, thereby alleviating local property issues, and the cruise line takes full responsibility for recycling and waste produced. Cruise passengers can visit Iceland in the knowledge their impact is controlled, yet still immerse themselves in the culture and environment.

Iceland Cruise Northern Lights
Northern Lights

Photos courtesy of Guide to Iceland and The Official Guide to Iceland

Cool Places: Kirkwall – Gateway to the Orkney Islands

 

Orkney Cruise Sea Cliffs

The Orkney archipelago is a place of magic and mystery; a stunning coastal landscape steeped in ancient history.

Orkney Cruise Brough of Birsay

The chain of 70 islands, separated from Scotland’s rugged north coast by the formidable Pentland Firth, are grassy-green and flat-topped. Rich in marine life and seabird colonies, the islands are also home to a wealth of prehistoric sites, standing stones, Viking relics and sunken warships.

Orkney Cruise Ships Kirkwall

The majority of Orcadians live on the ‘Mainland’ which is the largest island, centred around the bustling town of Kirkwall where most cruise ships arrive. Others have homes on a few outlying islands, with enchanting names like Sanday and Papa Westray, accessible by ferry or small plane, although most islands are uninhabited.

Orkney Hurtigruten Cruise ship

Cruise ships generally drop anchor in Kirkwall harbour, bringing guests ashore by tender, or berth at nearby Hatston Pier, a short 2.5 miles from town, accessible by complimentary shuttle bus.

Orkney Cruise St Magnus Cathedral

The St. Magnus Cathedral is Kirkwall’s most significant landmark. Built in 1137 and dedicated to the martyred Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney, this is the most northerly cathedral in the UK and owned by the people of Orkney themselves. The Highland Park Distillery is located on the outskirts of Kirkwall. The superb visitor centre has fascinating and fun tours showing how this famous Orcadian whisky is made – and offers a welcome nip of the amber nectar too.

Orkney Cruise Skara Brae

Orkney is world-renowned for the number and quality of ancient sites it hosts and cruise ship passengers can easily see several of them in one day. Local guides offer comprehensive tours and car rental is readily available for visitors who prefer the independence of self-discovery. The most prominent site, and an absolute must-see, is Skara Brae on the western side of the main island. This Neolithic site, uncovered by a fierce storm in 1850, is one of the best-preserved in Western Europe and transports visitors back 5000 years.

Orkney Cruise Churchill Barriers

The Ring of Brodgar, The Standing Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe are a trio of established historical sites clustered near to Kirkwall and easily enjoyed on a return journey from Skara Brae. Ness of Brodgar, a current archaeological dig, is ongoing beside these sites and visitors are welcome to view the excavations from a platform overlooking the site.

Orkney Cruise Ring of Brodgar

The Ring of Brodgar stone circle, with 36 megaliths and over a dozen burial mounds, is older than Stonehenge and dates back to the 3rd Millennium BC.

Orkney Cruise Maeshowe Orkney

The chambered tomb of Maeshowe, dating back around 5000 years, is one of the finest examples in Europe. A narrow passageway, lined with huge slabs of Orcadian stone, leads to a large chamber perfectly aligned with the winter solstice which illuminates the tomb at the setting sun. In the 12th century, Viking raiders broke into Maeshowe and their runic graffiti is easily seen on the walls.

Orkney Cruise Stones of Stenness

Nearby, the Standing Stones of Stenness, again dating back 5000 years, encircle a large hearth and are mystically beautiful.

Orkney Cruise Tomb of the Eagles

Another Neolithic chambered tomb, The Tomb of the Eagles, was discovered on South Ronaldsay by a local farmer in the 1950s. Thousands of human bones were found inside, along with the remains of white-tailed sea eagles and artefacts of the time. Walking tours describe this interesting story in depth, taking visitors along the cliff path to the tomb and then showing some of the items recovered in the visitor centre.

Orkney Cruise Churchill Barriers

Orkney played an important strategic role in WWII and visitors to the islands can see the impressive Churchill Barriers, built to protect the British fleet while anchored in Scapa Flow.

Orkney Cruise Italian Chapel

The causeways link several small islands and lead to the intricate and beautiful Italian Chapel. Italian POWs, who were in Orkney constructing the Churchill Barriers, adapted a plain prion hut into an intimate chapel complete with stunning Italian artwork.

Orkney Cruise Stromness

Stromness,on the West Mainland, is Orkney’s second largest town and a popular port for smaller vessels. The quaint cobbled streets lead visitors to the excellent Pier Arts Centre, famous writer George Mackay Brown’s Memorial Garden and another poignant memorial, this time in honour of Orcadian explorer John Rae who is credited with finding the final portion of the North West Passage.

Orkney Cruise Tall Ship

Viking, Silversea, Crystal, Seabourn and Hebridean Island Cruises are due to visit Orkney in 2017.

Photos courtesy of Cruise Orkney