SUPERYACHT AFICIONADOS ON KOH SAMUI have recently enjoyed beautiful views of three stunning superyachts anchored in Big Buddha Bay on the tropical island of Koh Samui – the jewel in the crown of Thailand, situated in the Red Sea in the midst of the Gulf of Thailand. M/Y White Rabbit, M/Y Aviva and M/Y Paraffin all recently visited the various stunning islands and waters of the eastern area of Thailand, exploring outside the traditional yachting hub of Phuket.
The 61.42-metre luxury superyacht White Rabbit has a beam of 15.4 metres and is powered by engines that give her a maximum speed of 20 knots and a cruising speed of 17 knots. After checking out of Keppel Bay Marina in Singapore, White Rabbit headed to Koh Samui to travel around Ang Thong National Marine Park – a pristine archipelago of forty-two islands in the Gulf of Thailand – and Samui’s neighbouring island, Koh Phangan. For this trip, she was accompanied by the 45-metre support vessel Charley.
Meanwhile, Captain Charlie Dwyer reported M/Y Aviva arrived at the check-in port of Trak near Bangkok before sailing around the beautiful island of Koh Chang. He noted, “It was a good day around Trak. We did an afternoon tour on the mainland, and all the guests were happy with that. We stay here tomorrow and go to Koh Chang Island. After tomorrow, we’ll be at Pattaya.”
From there, guests on Aviva enjoyed Bangkok while berthed at the commercial port before moving on to Koh Samui. Reported Captain Charlie, “All were very happy with Koh Chang and Koh Samui, the sea is nice and Samui is not as busy as Phuket.”
Seeing more and more superyachts cruising in the region, Captain Charlie commented: “Unlike Europe, marinas in Asia are more about safe berthing for your vessel as opposed to a destination in their own right. Very few marinas are located in popular tourist areas in Asia-Pacific regions, therefore, the idea of sitting on your yacht and watching the world watch you, is not an option.
He continued, “Most superyacht visitors and charters here never see a marina. Instead, they spend their entire journey cruising from beautiful anchorage to beautiful anchorage – it’s more about exploring the natural splendour of South-East Asia than cruising from town to town.”
Aviva is a 98-metre superyacht and the fourth yacht named as such, replacing the 68-metre Aviva (III). Like her predecessor, she was designed by Reymond Langton and built by Lemwerder-based German builder Abeking & Rasmussen. One of the standout features of Aviva is her – much talked about – full-sized paddle tennis court and lifestyle area on board.
Paraffin, measuring 60.1 metres and built in 2001 by Dutch shipyard Feadship, is the third luxury superyacht seen anchored at Big Buddha Bay in Koh Samui. The motor yacht underwent a refit in 2005 that saw her top deck reconfigured and a generous seating area and wet bar added aft. In 2006, the interior was updated with new paint, carpets and fabrics and an upgrade of the TV and audio systems was performed.
Although her home port is the south of France, she cruises the Mediterranean during the summer charter season and the Caribbean during winter, now adding South-East Asia’s Gulf of Thailand to her itinerary.