The Amandira is a custom-built Phinisi sailing vessel made by the famous Konjo tribe of Sulawesi. This twin-masted sailing yacht measures 52 metres long and despite the Phinisi vessels’ history of being used as trading boats or warships, nothing about the Amandira gives away its mundane past reputation as everything about it spells glamour and luxury.
With a 14-member crew led by Justin Troianio as the Cruise Manager, the Amandira has a Master Cabin located at the stern with a 270-degree panoramic view from its wrap-around windows. A further four cabins are located below deck, two having queen-size beds and the other two featuring double bunk beds. An air-conditioned indoor lounge is an ideal place to relax if sitting on the outdoor deck gets a bit too hot.
After boarding, we had a quick freshen-up and then got back on the main deck to see our yacht and the Amanikan sail off from Sorong and head towards Frimbonda, our destination for the evening. A delicious lunch consisting of Greek Salad, Grilled Tuna flavoured with lemongrass and shallot sambal accompanied with sautéed vegetables and rice and a fruit salad as dessert was cooked by our very own personal chef and was served al-fresco on the foredeck. The six-hour cruise to Mioskon saw us sail past islands such as Batanta and Kri which were as picturesque as any postcard worth writing home about. As the sun set, we took a tender to our sister ship, the Amanikan for sundowners and dinner, this time prepared by the personal chef of the Amanikan.
The next morning, even before sunrise, we set off on a nature mission and a birdwatcher’s dream – to see the mating ritual of the bird of paradise. With a 5 am wake-up call, we took a tender boat to Gam Island and with the help of a local guide, we trekked into the jungle which is home to the extremely rare Birds of Paradise. Indigenous to New Guinea, this species of fowl have intrigued naturalist and ecologist for decades and their mating dance is considered one of the great wonders of the natural world.
And we were in luck because after trekking about 30 minutes and waiting in a shed, we finally spotted not one but three Birds of Paradise and witnessed their elaborate courtship dance. Two male Birds of Paradise were trying to outdo each other to compete for the affections of a female one and it was quite a sight!
Heading back to our respective yachts for breakfast, most of us were famished after the trek and the Amandira’s breakfast menu proved to be a delicious antidote to our hunger.
With both European and Indonesian dishes available, I opted for Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon, Hollandaise Sauce and toasted English muffin as well as a fresh fruit salad with Yogurt. If you are on a detox diet then the freshly squeezed fruit juices and smoothies would fit in nicely with your dietary plans. Forgoing coffee, I chose the Green Goodness, which is made from Apples, Rocket, Celery, Parsley, Cucumber and Lime, a refreshing and rejuvenating concoction.