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Head in the Cloud

Head in the Cloud

Captain Colin Boyle has been a superyacht captain since 2000, with extensive worldwide cruising experience in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas and across Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

With Cloud 9 chartering in the Andaman Sea during this season, her captain explains: “We are always open to talking with charter clients about where they would like to go and what they would like to experience. Options this winter could include Phuket and the Andaman Islands, or even the remote cruising grounds of Myanmar and its Mergui Archipelago. The isolated Similan Islands with their unspoiled landscapes, fantastic diving, and peaceful anchorages are also a great choice for escaping from it all.

Perfect place to launch the paddle-board straight from the transom garage.

“From fish eagle watching, to some serious hikes, to long pale sandy beaches, there is plenty to see and do.”

If you are heading off the beaten track, to the Similan Islands, for example, Captain Boyle recommends a local government guide, who “really enhances this trip, and ensures that clients enjoy the best island access and all the natural environment has to offer”.

Water sports toys and towables include a competition wake board, fast ski boat, SeaBobs and a couple of the latest SeaDoo jetskis.

Asked what makes Southeast Asian cruising so appealing, Boyle is clear: “The main attractions of the region include the option to choose deserted beaches and to be immersed in the company of family or friends, or to seek out nightlife, restaurants and cities – with great service standards and a total change in culture. There’s the unique backdrop of palm-fringed beaches, characteristic temple architecture, the excitement of local markets with exotic produce, then being able to retreat to the ultimate luxury of your private yacht to dine in style and reflect on the experiences of the day.

A crew of 15 is on hand to attend to guests.

“The change in culture is as refreshing as the warm climate, calm conditions, blue waters and peaceful anchorages.”

From the perspective of captain and crew, the main challenge is getting the yacht out there. “It’s a major ocean passage with some unique challenges,” acknowledges Captain Boyle. “But once here, Southeast Asia is an exciting destination, full of tremendous experiences and adventures that go well beyond the usual Caribbean route.”

The barman knows how to get the party started.

Local authorities are generally very positive about visiting yachts, and Cloud 9 has reliable, experienced local agents taking care of all her arrangements.

“Chartering is still quite new in this part of the world, and the rules were written in different times,” says the yacht’s skipper.

There’s a choice of four dining tables, from formal to casual.

As in Greece and Croatia, charter guests cannot embark and disembark in the same country. This is not a problem when cruising the Andaman Sea, as Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar are all easily accessible. “Some destinations we would love to visit, such as Indonesia for example, are too far from international borders to use an international voyage agreement,” says Captain Boyle. “So these areas will stay the domain of owners cruising privately for the time being at least.”

Reflection on the transom; the foyer staircase.

So when should you come? “Thailand’s land mass separates two oceans – the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean) and the weather conditions in the two areas are very different,” notes the captain. “Phuket on the Indian Ocean side has a fantastic cruising climate starting in the coolest months of November through January where temperatures are 25-28 degrees Celsius, getting hotter as we go into April when it could reach 34 degrees or more. Occasional rain showers are short and bring some refreshing cool air to the day.”

Delicious fresh lobster on the forever changing and inspired menu.

Cloud 9 is a great platform for this kind of cruising, with an experienced chef and crew well accustomed to provisioning a superyacht in Asia and serving guests to the highest standards.

“The deck spaces on board are a real highlight, with lots of space to lounge, party, play or find a space to take some time alone and read your favourite newspaper – freshly printed on board,” notes Captain Boyle.

The yacht features two 22-foot Nautica Express custom tenders.

There’s a choice of four dining tables, from formal to casual, and “as many water sports toys and towables as we can fit into the huge toy garage!” These include a competition wake board, fast ski boat, SeaBobs and a couple of the latest SeaDoo jetskis.

“We can set up beach games and barbecues almost anywhere that we anchor, and the local food is simple, fresh and wonderful.

The Andaman Sea is just one breathtaking cruising region that Cloud 9’s passengers can visit.

“Cloud 9 is perfectly designed to accommodate families or groups of friends in a safe and relaxed environment,” says her experienced captain. “We customise each charter itinerary especially for every client, so every cruise is different and perfectly designed to engage all of our guests.”

The captain’s final invitation is direct: “Whatever you want to do in this fantastic destination, do it now, before the rest of the world catches on.”

Captain Boyle first cruised Southeast Asia in 1998.


How long have you been cruising in Southeast Asia?
First time cruising in Southeast Asia was 1998.

What has been your favourite destination in this part of the world so far?
Myanmar, to relax and get away from it all with empty beaches, wonderful diving, and calm anchorages. Sailing south to end the trip in Phuket adds a bit of excitement before guests depart for reality.

Where is one place in the Asia-Pacific you haven’t yet been, and are hoping to travel to on board Cloud 9?
We would love to cruise Vietnam, and are currently reviewing the possibilities for a trip there later this year.

Is there such a thing as a typical charter client for this part of the world? Do you find that they are more adventurous than in Europe?
One of the great things about the area is that we can still cover all bases. There is the increasing quality of shore-side activities, restaurants, beach clubs, shopping and so on for our guests that enjoy the social aspect of yachting, or the remote peaceful anchorages of Myanmar for those that want to get away from it all. It’s not hard to get it right out here.

What can you tell us about your current role with Cloud 9? And what do you like most about her?
I love the client involvement – being able to find out what the group really wants, then having the imagination, sense of adventure, and contacts to plan the trip and pull it off so it appears effortless throughout the charter. Cloud 9 is a great facility with incredible flexibility and space. Her clean, beach house-like interior décor helps ensure that our guests relax quickly, be it in the sun, out on the water toys, at the cinema, or with a quiet game of chess in one of the many shady spots.

Are you seeing an increase in charter vessels in this part of the world?
Winter 2013/2014 has been an excellent charter season for Cloud 9. We’ve had clients from the Middle East, USA, Australia and Russia – so the net is cast wide, and the charter diary is healthy.

What is the greatest reward of commanding a superyacht like Cloud 9?
There are so many rewarding elements of the job, from travel, to wildlife, to life on the ocean. Cloud 9 remains a platform for people to work and play, however, and it’s that blend that offers the best reward, from the wide eyes of guests as they embark for the first time, to greeting families on their return visit, to seeing a young crew member develop skills and appreciation of what yachting has to offer.

Superyacht Cloud 9Yacht Cloud 9

Model Cloud 9
Builder CMN, France, 2009
Exterior design Andrew Winch Designs
Interior design Andrew Winch Designs
LOA 60 metres
Cruising speed 15 knots
Guest Up to 14
Crew 15
Charter rates from 315,000 euro per week
Agent Burgess as Central Agent

Article Thanks to

Ocean Media

Yacht Crew Motor Yacht Cloud 9

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