Sail through the idyllic islands of Thailand and enjoy a perfect island getaway
It doesn’t get better than seven days spent enjoying sublime seascapes of shimmering turquoise water, white beaches and craggy limestone peaks. Welcome to the beautiful Andaman Sea and your chance to experience the region with the wind in your hair, sun and salt on your skin, and plenty of time to swim, snorkel, explore or simply chill out on deck.
Day 1: Phuket
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Phuket, arguably Thailand’s best known island and certainly its largest. Phuket is an island of modern pizazz mixed with sunshine exotica. Begin your journey across the Andaman Sea with a sail towards Ko Rang Yai Island, where the boat will drop anchor in front of a private beach. This is the perfect place to ease in to life on board – enjoy a dip in the water, dinner on board and a beautiful sunset. (D)
The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we are flexible on the day’s itinerary. The itinerary is subject to change and may vary depending on weather and berth availability. Your skipper will make the final call to ensure your safety at all times.
Days 2-6: Phang Nga Bay
Begin your exploration by cruising into the famous Phang Nga Bay, the stunning backdrop to many a film and perhaps one of Thailand’s most recognisable gems, a landscape of sheer limestone karsts that jut dramatically out of the green water. Explore the remote islands that dot the sea and enjoy lunch in Koh Roi, then head to Koh Phanak and grab a kayak to paddle through the bays and canyons, discovering inlets, caves, hidden lagoons and the local wildlife. Next up is an opportunity to explore the underwater world as you snorkel off the beach at Koh Pak Bia, then cruise through to an isolated spot in the bay’s north-east between Koh Klui and Koh Chang. Spend the evening slumped in a bean bag surrounded by turquoise blue water, and take a break from reading, eating and drinking to watch the sun dip beneath the waves.
Halfway between the island of Koh Yao Noi and Krabi, Koh Hong is a true desert island destination, uninhabited except for gibbons, birds, and lizards, where two powdery white sand beaches line twin bays. The name translates to ‘Room’, and this might refer to the tranquil lagoon hidden inside the island. Here you’ll take out the dinghy or a kayak and explore the sea caves before stopping on the quintessential image of a tropical beach for swimming and snorkelling. Strap on a mask and mingle with a wealth of curious marine life, or perhaps chill out on deck with a good book and a bowl of fresh fruit. Your sailing day ends beachside in Railay, a paradise with sheer-sided limestone mountains around the beach. Take in a stunning sunset then have dinner ashore amid the cluster of lively restaurants and bars.
Spend an early morning on Railay Beach then sail through the Chicken Islands group to the most talked about place in Thailand – Koh Phi Phi. For many, this is the iconic image of the country – two islands connected by a great arc of pure white sand, striking limestone cliffs and unbelievably inviting water. Travellers are drawn to the island thanks to its colourful marine life, shops, bars, restaurants and fire spectacles on the beach.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast prepared by your onboard chef then pull up anchor and sail north for some snorkelling in the sparkling waters off Nui Beach. Brightly coloured fish dart here and there, just inches from your mask, and once you’ve delved into the marine world you’ll continue northwest to the undeveloped, unspoilt island of Koh Yao Yai. Here you’ll find lovely beaches surrounded by mangroves, and around the beautiful bays there’s excellent snorkelling, leafy forest trails and sea kayaking to choose from. It’s a great place to relax away from the tourist trail and absorb the natural wonders, somewhere where glimpses of traditional island culture are still seen. Later this evening, head out to the beach to cap off another unforgettable day with a BBQ, maybe grilling up some fresh fish caught earlier in the day. Relax the night away beside a fire pit and watch the sun sink beneath the waves.
Set sail across a postcard landscape of shimmering azure waters and island-studded bays southwest to Koh Racha. Known for their clear water, these islands are a great destination for snorkelling and are home to mainly farmers and fishermen. The hardest decision you’ll have to make today is how you’ll enjoy these fine powder white sandy beaches. Get active in the warm and inviting water with activities like kayaking or paddle boarding, or head ashore to take a walk across the island, passing coconut groves and the occasional water buffalo grazing, and be treated to some spectacular views. Later, dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fragrant Thai dishes washed down with a cold local brew before returning to the ship. Perhaps choosing to spend the final evening of this aquatic adventure sleeping under the stars out on the deck. (Breakfast (5), Lunch (4), Dinner (3)
Day 7: Phuket
A smooth sail brings you to your final destination of Phuket Island. Stop for your last chance to paddle, swim and snorkel in the waters of the Andaman Sea, spotting schools of brightly coloured fish off the coast before docking in Phuket. It has some excellent beaches and a huge array of restaurants, hotels, bars and shopping, so perhaps take a couple of extra days here to check it all out. This is where your Andaman seafaring odyssey comes to an end. Afterwards you are free to explore all that Phuket has to offer, or to continue your onward journey. (B)
Images courtesy of Intrepid Group