Discovering Raja Ampat aboard Lamima
Camper & Nicholsons charter broker Cristabel Nye flew to Sarong to put the recently launched 65.2m (213'1) Lamima through its paces. Cruising Raja Ampat with endless luxuries, she soon discovered Lamima is much more than your usual traditional wooden sailing yacht.
What was Lamima like as a vessel?
When I heard of Lamima's successful launch last October I was really excited - it is always great when a unique yacht comes to the charter market, and Lamima is certainly unique. Built by a Indonesian boat builder in Sulawesi using traditional techniques, her wooden superstructure was then sent to Phuket where her interior was completed. A long and arduous build, Lamima is yacht of true craftsmanship and beauty, and one unlike I have ever seen before.
How do you get there?
I flew to Sarong where Lamima's tender was able to dock at a large jetty. After boarding it look me out to where Lamima was anchored. She was anchored in the large bay alongside other traditional Indonesian vessels (these are mostly used as diving boats).
Where did you cruise?
Around Raja Ampat, an area which means ‘The Four Kings’ and refers to the 4 large islands in the Archipelago (Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo). These are very green, lush islands covered in forests and mangroves.
What was the food like on board?
Throughout the trip Lamima's chef made some outstanding meals, a clever fusion of Indonesian and western cuisine. On the last night Chef gave us a delicious reminder of home by serving filet steak with dauphinoise potatoes. Breakfast was always amazing and consisted of everything from Mie Goreng (chicken and noodles), to fruit, pancakes and other continental treats.
What are Lamima's watersport offerings?
Lamima has two tenders at her disposal, a small (7m) and a large tender (10m), both perfect for exploring the area's many creeks. There are 2 certified diving instructors on board which means that this is the perfect option for both inexperienced and experienced divers alike. Top rate snorkels are also available for the more relaxing days. Raja Ampat is known to be one of the best diving areas in the world and I couldn’t agree more. The sea is rich with marine life and fauna. Also on board is an extensive supply of paddle boards and kayaks, making it easy to explore your surroundings by yourself.
What is the scenery like?
Beautiful. The views from Lamima are truly breath-taking: green atolls surrounded by turquoise sea. Its numerous creeks with mangroves either side - think Indiana Jones. There are plenty of forests and hills to hike through and up, as well as beautiful waterfalls to swim in.
What was your favourite moment from the trip?
Visitng a Manyaifin village. Ari (Lamima's tour guide) had spoken to the chief of the village and they had agreed to welcome us and what a welcome we got. As we arrived the villagers performed one of their traditional songs and dances. For many of us it was a very emotional experience, the kindness and enthusiasm that the community showed to us was truly touching and a memory I shall never forget. We were shown around the village which led to the local school. It was here where we gave gifts (pens, colouring books, stickers, colouring pencils etc). Ari spoke to the locals about their way of life etc, it was extremely interesting to hear how things work in such a remote community.
What are Lamima's crew like?
Lamima's crew are a great group of people who are all very genuine and perform their roles conscientiously. Ari, the cruise director/guide is extremely knowledgeable about all areas in Indonesia, it is his passion. He is undoubtedly one of the most valuable team members on board. The chef is also very good. Each meal he produced was delicious and fresh. The yacht also has 2 permanent beauty therapists/masseuses on board, Coco and Yani. They provide a fantastic service and are always available for treatments. I was lucky enough to have a Balinese massage, which was one of the best I have ever had.
What is Raja Ampat like as a cruising ground?
The cruising ground of Raja Ampat was absolutely stunning and I know that our more adventurous clients would absolutely love it there. Ari came up with a great itinerary, I liked the way that there was a mixture of activities from walking, climbing, meeting the locals, seeing the wildlife to the more relaxed snorkelling, paddle boarding and diving. The fact that guests are able to get PADI certified whilst on board is also a huge bonus.
Who would you recommend Lamima to?
Anyone looking for adventure and culture.
Lamima is available to charter in Southeast Asia this summer, at a weekly rate starting from US$140,000.