Indonesia is God’s gift to yachting: the 17,000 islands pulsate with wildlife above and below the waves, says Rory Ross in Spear’s magazine. A perfect way to explore is onboard the 51-metre private yacht Dunia Baru, which is, for a superyacht at least, “simple, unpretentious and comfortable”.
Ross boarded at Maumere, the largest town on Flores island, and it was “like stepping into the pages of National Geographic”: the area is beyond the reach of tourism and public transport, and home to “whale sharks, giant manta rays, migrating orcas, dolphins, headhunters, pristine highland scenery, exploding volcanoes, obscure whaling villages where formal religions blend with mysticism, and seas where strange wave patterns emerge and then disappear”. And that was just the start of a magical island-hopping adventure among some of the most remote and beautiful archipelagos on earth.
• From $12,500 a day; DuniaBaru.com
A castaway’s dream
The stretch of islands at the Quirimbas Archipelago, located off the northeastern shore of Mozambique, “is a castaway’s dream”, says Todd Plummer in Vogue. The archipelago is accessible only by helicopter from the mainland, and from the air they look less like islands and more like “one continuous natural wonder”. It is a pristine and unspoilt part of the world, with lush mangrove forests, jagged coral and limestone outcrops.
The islands’ remoteness means luxury is measured more in solitude and outdoor showers than in Michelin stars, but there are many private-island resorts, and the Azura Retreats located on Quilalea “sets the benchmark”. The 86-acre island retreat accommodates just 18 guests, “meaning that if you don’t want to see another soul from your waterfront villa, you don’t have to”. A dedicated staff is on hand to organise everything from a glass of wine to a snorkel. The truly special dinners, served by candlelight under the stars, are alone “worth flying halfway around the world for”.
• Prices on request; see Azura-retreats.com
Spectacular scenery in Norway
On a cruise from Tromsø down the Norwegian coast to Bergen, the main entertainment is the spectacular scenery, says Fred Mawer in The Daily Telegraph. With the route almost always in sight of land, travellers can take in “mesmerising views of spiky, snow-capped mountains above a glassy sea and, further south, of idyllic-looking shoreside settlements with ochre huts and little jets”.
Tours include a trip on a RIB speedboat among the Lofoten archipelago, where guests zip along shorelines and dart in and out of rocky morasses, and go sea-eagle spotting. The coastal trips are “civilised rather than ritzy affairs, devoid of the shows and kids’ clubs found on conventional, family-oriented cruises”. When cruisers get tired of the scenery, there are open-air hot tubs and a “cosy Scandi-chic café” to enjoy.
• From £745 per person including flights; Hurtigruten.co.uk
A one-bedroom hotel high above Copenhagen
“An industrial crane doesn’t exactly scream ‘luxury hotel’, but that’s about to change thanks to an exciting new project in Copenhagen,” says Julie Delahaye in the Daily Mirror. A former coal crane has been “transformed into an oasis of calm” close to the city, on the docks of Nordhavn. Named The Krane, the new hotel offers everything you would expect for a glamorous stay, from a concierge to a spa, and “spectacular panoramic views of the city, sea and harbour”.
The hotel sleeps only two people in the room sitting on the top floor, 50ft above ground. There’s also a separate living space, bathroom and a terrace for making the most of the view. The second floor spa and sauna “make the perfect setting for pampering” – the glass wall and outdoor terrace give you unrivalled views. The Krane will be opening its doors later this year. See TheKrane.dk.