Lawrie Lawrence, the captain of Northern Sun, the 50m high-class, long-range expedition yacht with extensive cruising experience in South East Asia talks to the Thailand Yacht Show about the yacht’s travels and shares his advice for yachts wishing to cruise in the area.
How long have you been cruising in the region?
Our owner is based in Asia for his work so we have cruised extensively in the Asia Pacific over the years. We originally cruised the area between 1992 and 1996, we then returned in 2008 and have remained in the region for 8 years since then.
How does the cruising in SE Asia compare to the Mediterranean and Caribbean?
With regards to the quality of marina services, cruising attractions, shoreside support and the ease of guest arrivals and departures, you’ll find that it isn’t quite up to Mediterranean standards, however, it is all adequate enough to operate in. So, while it might not be the Mediterranean in terms of the facilities, and the working culture is quite different, the adventures you can have are fantastic.
Where is your favourite overall cruising location in SE Asia and why?
All the unexplored and not so well-trodden areas. The whole area is excellent for diving, while Myanmar and Borneo are the best spots I’ve visited in terms of natural beauty and wildlife. Phang Nga Bay in Phuket is spectacular. There are many 5 star resorts in the region and Hong Kong, Singapore and Phuket are the best locations for guests to shop, dine and relax ashore. Southeast Asia is perfect for guests who want to get away from it all.
Where is good for maintenance and provisioning?
Phuket was the best location for the crew to complete the maintenance and day-to-day management of the yacht. I would recommend using Agents for most formalities as the local rules are sometimes difficult to understand and navigate. Hong Kong, Singapore and Phuket are particularly good for finding provisions, and of course, Langkawi is ideal for alcohol as it’s duty-free.