Take a private boat

Published November 28, 2022 in DIVING & SNORKELING, RESORT

Wakatobi’s private boat service provides the ultimate in personal attention, snorkeling, and diving freedom.

Some have called it “concierge-level” or “valet diving,” and Wakatobi’s boat crews and dive guides take pride in providing the highest levels of service to each passenger. But there’s an even more personal dive or snorkel experience available at the resort: having your own boat. And while chartering a private dive/snorkel boat for the day might seem like an extravagance, there are a number of reasons when this option makes a whole lot of sense.

Wakatobi VII was built specifically to accommodate private charters and is configured to give individuals or small groups a truly personal diving/snorkeling experience. Photo by Glen Cowans

Guests of the resort can reserve an entire dive boat, either for their personal use, as a couple or in a group of up to six. There is a very reasonable charge for the charter, which takes place aboard one of the resort’s full-sized launches, and includes the services of a captain and two crew members. Hiring a private boat allows divers and snorkelers to create their own itinerary, visiting sites of their choosing on their own schedule.

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Reserving a private boat is a great value for couples, families, or groups of up to six. Photo by Walt Stearns

Rather than return to the resort after each dive, they can spend the day aboard, enjoying a private catered lunch, and even breakfast aboard if they want to get an early start on the day.

Personal Space

There are a number of reasons why guests choose a private boat. For some, it’s simply a way to share a special day. Many a couple celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary have booked their own boat, and shared a memorable day of diving and relaxing on the water. Throughout the cruise, your crew provides all of the extra touches that Wakatobi is so well known for.

Snorkel excursions on a private boat are a popular option. Photo by Walt Stearns

Take a private boat for snorkeling and diving where and when you desire. Photo by Walt Stearns

A personal dive guide is there to enhance the underwater experience by focusing entirely on the couple, who can explore and discover each site at their own pace. Upon emerging from the water, they will be greeted with a warm, mint-infused towel, an inviting beverage, and an entire boat deck to call their own.

Capture the moments

Underwater photographers also frequently charter private boats. With no schedules to adhere to, and no need to accommodate the agendas or profiles of other divers, an avid photographer or videographer is free to spend as much time as desired at any given site. This might mean lingering for an entire dive at a single gorgonian while documenting the life of a pygmy seahorse, or making repeated drifts across a seamount to get just the right take.

Photographers of all levels tell us that including the services of Wakatobi's photo pro with a private boat maximizes the experience.

Photographers of all levels tell us that including the services of Wakatobi’s photo pro with a private boat maximizes the experience. Photo by Walt Stearns

Back aboard, there’s no rush to make any needed adjustments to equipment, and huge expanses of deck and shelf space to store cameras and accessories. The crew, who are always attentive to camera equipment, is able to focus even more attention on their solitary guest, or guests.

Seacam founder and CEO, Harald Hordosch, who spent a week at Wakatobi recently, feels the private boat option provides a vast advantage for any underwater photographer regardless of their level of expertise. “Taking the private boat was a special incentive as the day-to day-dealings with my company often leave me next to no personal time. This gave me the freedom I would not normally have to focus on what underwater photography should be, the ability to immerse yourself into the image you want to capture, and at the same time forget about the rest of the world,” says Harald. “And having a private guide made for an even better experience as he was gifted at finding a wondrous list of captivating subjects. Additionally, he helped us create an itinerary for each day that best suited my expectations; we were able to spend time as and where needed, as well as get the most out of our dive times, and in Wakatobi terms that’s a lot of minutes, 70-plus to be more precise,” he added.

Families tell us they enjoy the private boat option for the memories that are created by sharing a day together where there are no distractions, and a total focus on family fun. Photo by Didi Lotze

Families tell us they enjoy the private boat option for the memories that are created by sharing a day together where there are no distractions, and a total focus on family fun. Photo by Didi Lotze

Family time

Families who vacation together at Wakatobi might also consider chartering a boat of their own. This is true whether the children are older, and dive certified, or are younger snorkelers. Because many sites at Wakatobi feature shallow reef tops that sit adjacent to deeper structures, it’s almost always possible to accommodate both divers and snorkelers at the same site. Visiting these sites on a private boat adds even more possibilities. Mom and Dad could perform a dive, then don snorkel equipment to explore the reefs with their children. The flexible scheduling of a private boat is especially attractive when dealing with the scheduling variables that are always part of family life. No need to rush sleepy children out the door to catch an early boat, or to stay out longer when a youngster wants to return for a mid-day nap or beach walk before venturing out once more for an afternoon adventure. In addition to these practicalities, there is much to be said for the memories that are created by sharing a day together where there are no distractions, and a total focus on family fun.

Perfect for CCR

A private boat is also an excellent way to take full advantage of the profiles made possible by extended range and rebreather diving practices. The resort can usually accommodate groups wishing to dive longer or deeper by providing them with a dedicated boat. But for the ultimate in extended range diving freedom, nothing can compare to having the boat all to yourself. The boat provides plenty of room for additional gas supplies and other items, while Wakatobi’s crew also understand the equipment and profiles of CCR divers and are there to provide support with suiting up and other assistance as needed. There’s no pressure to rush the planning, gearing up and double-checking phases of the mission, and in-water profiles and run times need not be compromised to meet boat schedules or the needs of other divers.

Whatever the motivation, chartering a private boat at Wakatobi has been described not only as a truly amazing experience, but also an excellent value. It’s not about being a snob, or an anti-social diver. It’s about discovering the reefs your way, on your time, by yourself, with that one special person, friends, or family. Certainly something to consider when you are planning your next trip to Wakatobi.

Why not include a private boat experience on your next visit? A guest relations consultant can help you make it happen. Contact us at office@wakatobi.com or complete a quick trip inquiry at wakatobi.com.