The Faraway Within Reach
Indonesia Wakatobi: Pelagian
Swiss-founded and managed to international standards, Wakatobi Dive Resort in Indonesia's Banda Sea is world-renowned for quality, excellence of service and its nearness to prime, pristine dive sites. And now, Wakatobi has expanded its reach with its acquisition of the Pelagian a Norwegian-built luxury yacht that cruises from Wakatobi to Binonsko, Hoga and Wangi Wangi islands, as well as Southern Buton.
Many of the larger dive boats working Indonesia are converted oil-industry crew boats or other similarly adapted commercial vessels. Pelagian is, and always has been, a luxury private yacht. And while vessels of its size often cater to 20 or more passengers, Pelagian carries no more than 12, a number equaled by its crew. Altogether, the ship presents the opportunity to explore some of the world's most-exotic waters in what can only be described as the height of luxury.
While the Pelagian embarks from and returns to Wakatobi on its cruises, its list of visited spots varies almost completely; the ship visits sites reached by the resort's land-based operation only on the first and final days of its seven-, 10- and 11-day excursions.
Sites reached by Pelagian range from the Inner Pinnacle seamount that drops to the 300-foot North Wall, to the caves and overhangs of Tanjung Batutoro. And marine life runs the gamut from giant tuna and bumphead parrotfish to pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, frogfish and the wonderpuss, or ornate, octopus.
Cabins on the Pelagian are large; the Master Stateroom, right on the main deck, is equipped with a queen bed, a sofa and a lounge chair, and is the largest cabin on any live-aboard operating in the region. Even the standard cabins are surprisingly spacious. It's just one more aspect of Wakatobi and its legendary Swiss standards of luxury.
Pelagian is a 115-foot monohull luxury yacht with a 24-foot beam, carrying up to 12 passengers in six cabins, and a crew of 12. Nitrox and Trimix are available. Diving is mainly from two 18-foot custom RIB tenders, and tanks are whip-filled on the tenders. For more information: sportdiver.com/pelagian