In times like these, there are few more luxurious ways to ensure social distancing than by renting a yacht to take you out to sea. This is the time when things usually get busy on the seas. But 2020, as we know, is a bit different. Several ports across the country are still not fully operational forcing yacht owners to move their vessels to friendlier seas. While those based in India can still cruise through the country’s waters, the ones that sailed abroad when the lockdown hit cannot return to Indian ports just yet. Thankfully, there are still some options for you off the waters of Mumbai, Goa and the Maldives.
Here are six yachts you can charter from Goa, Mumbai and the Maldives right now
(Note: Standard yacht charter fees cover maintenance of the vessel and crew. Fuel and consumables are charged additionally)
Owner: Raymond Limited
Span: 150 Feet
Capacity: 12 guests
Rate: US$10,000 (Rs7.4 lakh) per hour
An idea that came to Raymond Group head Gautam Singhania in 2000, this luxurious, classic motor yacht was custom built in 2006 in Burmese teak at Wadia Boat Builders, a third-generation boat builder in Bilimora, Gujarat. Incidentally, it was the Wadias who built India’s first sailing craft that traded spices and commodities across the Arabian Sea.
The modern cruiser exudes an East-meets-West vibe. It’s grandeur is enhanced by a spacious tri-deck. There’s a seven-man jacuzzi on its uppermost desk that is probably the largest and most voluminous of any yacht this size.
While the vessel usually makes yearly trips down to the Maldives from Goa right through sailing season from October to April-May, it is currently docked in the Maldives and is open for cruises around the atolls. A seven-day package sees the crew sail past Malé to various atolls every day.
One can also enjoy an array of watersports: they can jet surf, jetpack and flyboard, and even sit atop an underwater scooter and jet ski. Inter- and intra-atoll cruising, fishing, diving, snorkelling, beach barbecues, swimming in lagoons and a masterclass from the chef, in addition to gourmet four-course meals, are part of the experience. Contact +91 9920186261 or +91-9819974393; website or West Coast Marine
Capacity: 8 guests
Rate: Around Rs1 lakh for three hours and Rs3-4 lakh for the entire day (one-hour cruising and two hours anchorage)
The 80ft Ferretti is a luxury motor yacht charter that offered tours around Greece in pre-COVID times. It is now based off Mumbai. Top quality craftsmanship, lavish amenities, welcoming spaces and striking décor make it the perfect home on the sea.
It’s owners say that the spacious bridge designed, for both navigation and entertainment, the quality and finish of the woodwork is what sets this pleasure craft apart from all other yachts in its class. Four elegantly designed staterooms—a master stateroom, a VIP suite and two twin staterooms—give guests the privacy they desire. Her spacious salon, with a handsome lounge and open spaces, are other features guests love. Sunbathe and dine alfresco as the crew of four double up to give you a memorable experience.
While a 24-hour Mumbai to Goa cruise is its most popular route, you can also rent it for shorter trips down the Konkan coast. Contact +91 9920186261 or +91 9819974393 to charter; website
Owner: Niraamaya Retreats
Capacity: 15 people
Rate: Rs35,000 per hour to cruise and Rs15,000 per hour while anchored
Foxy Lady, part of the Majestic 66 fleet, was built in Dubai and currently operates in Goa’s waters. Docked in the waters by Britona village, this three-bedroom luxury boat, with a salon and a small dining area, is popular for celebrations, proposals and quiet, romantic dinners aboard.
While overnighters are also available, day cruises are the more sought-after option. You can rent it to sail on the backwaters past churches and heritage homes of Old Goa. Often chartered for pre-wedding, film and ad shoots as well as a variety of parties, guests can also indulge in a spot of fishing and sunset cruises. A three-hour cruise followed by eight to nine hours in anchor is the most popular option, in case you need help planning. Contact: +91 80 4510 4510 or +91 63641 23461 to charter; website
Owner: Aquamarine Yacht Charters & Management
Capacity: 10 to 15 people (adhering to COVID protocols of 50 percent occupancy)
Rate: Rs25,000 per hour
Blue Diamond docks on the Mandovi with charters down the river that follow the hilly scape of Goa’s hinterland. Though it can also head out to the sea for four to five hours, on request.
The white cruiser has an air-conditioned salon area with another extended outside the cockpit for guests to sit around. The sundeck at the front is a guest favourite, and there’s also a flybridge, a tall upper deck high up above the water, where guests can enjoy “flying”. The master suite has its own bath.
The Blue Diamond is popular for sunset cruises, sailing around Candolim and Goa’s rivers and backwaters, North Morjim and Kevi and sailing south to Betul. Overnighters are also an option. You can also charter the yacht for a large family get-togethers, parties, proposals, or pre-wedding shoots. The vessel comes with a chef on board. Contact: 9422641419 to charter; website
Former owners: The Royal Navy, Richard Burton and Elizebeth Taylor, and Vijay Mallya
Current owner: 2S Holdings
Capacity: 10 guests
Rate: US$12,000 (Rs8.9 lakh) per hour
If the Kalizma could write her memoir, the 114-year-old classic motor yacht would time-travel to her youth with The Royal Navy in World War I and II and then her betwixt era when actor Richard Burton bought it in 1967 with his lady love Liz Taylor and named her “Kalizma” after their children Kate, Liza and Maria. Then came an era of decadence when Vijay Mallya restored this 1906-built cruiser in 2006 to make her among the finest vintage luxury motor yachts. Its present owner has refitted and restored the vessel under the doting eye of Captain Surendra Saini, an ex-Navy man.
Holiday-seekers can soak in the turquoise beauty of the Maldives off this vintage beauty till April 2021, till when it will be anchored there. When Indian ports open for cruise ships, you will find her docked in Goa. The Kalizma yacht offers customised charters (5- 7- 15- 21-day packages). Each day is spent exploring a different atoll after guests are picked up at Malé. Then onward.
Guests can go jet-skiing, wakeboarding, snorkelling, kayaking, diving or ask for dreamy beach barbeques. A large mahogany table seats 12 for a gourmet meal; the master suite is dusted in ivory and comes with a marble bath with gold fittings. The salon, with its white wooden bar, an afterdeck and large portholes with vibrant niches, is a luxurious home on sails. The real and unbeatable luxury though is its pedigree. Contact: +91 9920186261 or +91 9819974393 for charters; website or West Coast Marine
Owner: Bismarck Messias
Capacity: 10 to 15 people
Rate: Rs10,000 an hour
For the owner Bismarck Messias, SP Edith—which can be chartered out in the waters of Goa for a few hours—is an excuse to bring friends and families together. As yachts are usually 35-40ft, he prefers to call the 28-ft Edith a cabin cruiser.
Fitted with amenities like an air-conditioner, television, refrigerator, pantry, oven and hot plate, the yacht has permission to go out to the sea and to islands off the coast. Guests can enjoy river fishing and snorkelling and also be plied with food of their choice on request. They can bring their own refreshments, as well.
Its popular jaunts include sunset cruises and friend-and-family sailings for a couple of hours across the Mandovi River. Overnighters are not an option aboard SP Edith, which is currently in maintenance and is gearing up to resume operations in a month.