PHUKET, Thailand — Seven days, one 42-metre yacht and 205 miles of the Andaman Sea’s most inviting waters and pristine islands are the primary elements at play in a new family-oriented cruise launched this month by the M.Y. Calisto in Phuket.
Setting sail from the Laem Prao Marina and skirting the spectacular coastlines of Phi Phi Island, Phangna Bay and Krabi, the Green Turtle Cruise traces a leisurely route that takes in the area’s top snorkeling sites, nature stops, white sand beaches and hidden coves.
Trading liberally in old world charm, Calisto’s seven cabins, mahogany-laid salon, state-of-the-art entertainment area and elegant dining room reflect the glamour of the vessel’s 68-year heritage. Its spacious staterooms, first-rate safety standards and attentive crew have made Calisto a favorite for extended-family holidays and family reunions.
“The vessel’s French owner frequently cruises these waters with his wife and their children,” said French captain Philippe Cathala. “In seeing the way his family engaged with this vessel, and this destination, with its snorkeling, the wakeboarding, kayaking and breakfast swims with green sea turtles, we realized we had all the right stuff for a memorable family affair.”
Cathala drew on 26 years and 106,000 miles of sailing in the Andaman Sea to create an itinerary that would cover the scenic highlights of the Andaman while giving families plenty of opportunity for shared activities on board, on land and in the water.
Following the first day’s stops for swimming on Nai Island and Phi Phi Island, the cruise makes its way to the Rok Island Group, where families can explore the islands’ rich flora and fauna with jungle walks and trips to the National Park, or enjoy the colorful marine life surrounding its powdery beaches.
On the fourth day of the cruise, Calisto stops for snorkeling near an open sea reef off Bamboo Island. Adventurous groups take to the boat’s dinghies to venture into Emerald Cave. The boat continues to Krabi’s Dam Island group, makes a pass through Phangna Bay and around James Bond Island (Khao Tapu) with dinner on the last night at Hong Island Cove.
Families chartering Calisto have full run of the boat’s recreational equipment, including kayaks, snorkeling gear, flotation donuts, fishing equipment and wakeboards. While children are free to explore the ship under the watchful eye of Calisto’s eight-man crew, parents can take a breather in the vessel’s stately salon, accessible only to adults, or relax under the hands of Calisto’s on-board masseuse.
Built in 1944 as a YMS-1 Class minesweeper, Calisto transitioned from wartime service in the British Navy to the ownership of Thomas Loel Guinness of the Irish brewing family. Guinness also purchased the Calisto’s sister ship, Calypso, which he leased to Jacques Cousteau for one franc per year from 1950-1997.
Meanwhile, a prestigious French family bought the Calisto from Guinness, maintaining the vessel for four decades before the boat was refitted and re-launched as a classic charter yacht in 2007.
The charter price for the Green Turtle Cruise is USD 55,000 per week, including all meals and amenities.
To charter, contact Massima Piras at Fraser Yachts: Massima.Piras@FraserYachts.com or at +377 93 100 480