The 32-metre M/Y ‘For Your Eyes Only’ superyacht — the crown jewel in leading Thai charter company Blue Voyage’s fleet — recently made her debut after being refitted and refurbished to the highest standards. François Oosthuizen hopped on board for a memorable overnight experience.
It’s a picture-perfect day as our minivan pulls in at Phuket’s Ao Po Grand Marina, where Blue Voyage’s M/Y ‘For Your Eyes Only’ superyacht is gleaming in the sunlight, her crew of eight lined up with cold towels, welcome drinks, and other refreshments. Joining me on a day-and-a-half rendezvous around the iconic sights of Phang Nga Bay is the yacht charter company’s dazzling Chairwoman and Co-Founder, Tanchanok “Omi” Vajarodaya.
A quick tour of the vessel follows, and the first thing that strikes me is how well the spaces have been designed. Classified as a raised pilothouse yacht – consisting of two and a half decks, with a command bridge located between the main deck and the flybridge – the boat was built by Spanish shipyard Astondoa, and the model is officially known as the “102 GLX”. Featuring a GRP hull and superstructure, and beautifully laid out, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ – as Omi has christened the motor yacht – seems much bigger than its length of 32 metres.
Then there’s the boat’s resplendent interiors, from the elegant and spacious saloon with its lounge and dining areas on the main deck to the four guest cabins on the lower deck, each with its own en-suite bathroom. A light, neutral colour palette makes for a striking juxtaposition against the luxurious rosewood panelling throughout. The plush carpets, Omi tells me, have been specially commissioned. The fragrant candles, fresh flowers, artwork, and a collection of books and magazines are more signs of the personal touches that permeates throughout the boat’s interiors – along with exquisite glassware and crockery, as I would later discover – all handpicked by the yacht owner.
Superyachts are renowned for their sumptuous interiors, but very often charter boats especially take on a “catalogue feeling” with little or no personality. The same cannot be said of this motor-yacht. It’s more like stepping inside the boat owner’s personal space, with thoughtful touches throughout. My home for the night is the spacious master suite, or “Royal Suite”, with its king-size bed, and a separate, adjoining room that’s been set up with a desk and day bed. The VIP suite is equally spacious, also featuring a king-size bed. Two smaller cabins have a set of twin beds each. Also noteworthy is the full home entertainment system with large flat-screen TV and BOSE sound system on board.
Outdoor areas are expansive and feature several areas for al fresco entertaining and dining, including a vast flybridge, sun deck and an aft deck with comfortable seating for eight guests. Up on the flybridge is also a casual lounge area and a large, elevated Jacuzzi whirlpool. On both the flybridge and aft deck there are plenty of spaces to enjoy either the sun and views – or shaded spaces, if you’re so inclined.
With such immaculate hardware in place, the next big surprise is the high level of service that’s provided by the crew of eight. With a seasoned world traveller like Omi who has overseen the smallest of detail, it goes without saying that the service experience matches that of the finest five-star hotel. Besides the captain and essential boat crew, the team also includes a butler, chef, a qualified massage therapist, and an activities coordinator – the latter arranging water sports activities and excursions with the dinghy.
“One thing I always tell my staff is that if you wait until customers tell you what they want, you’re too late,” Omi remarks, as she describes the level of service Blue Voyage strives to provide. “We are always a step ahead before the clients even say what they want. It’s also important to always seek a way to surprise guests. Our standard is that you must feel like you are stepping into a five-star hotel. From the very first step onto one of our yachts, it must feel very special for our customers.”
It’s a top-notch experience overall, as I would discover over the next day or so – with attentive staff, scrumptious meals, specially arranged activities like a picnic set up on a sand bank and a canoeing outing to take in the breathtaking sights of Phang Nga Bay. The boat is also equipped with a variety of water toys like jet skis to enjoy at your heart’s content.
“I love holidaying by the sea,” Omi says. “Most people just stay at a seaside hotel, but I feel that a true holiday at the sea is to go out onto sea and explore… going to the islands. And there are immensely beautiful islands in Thailand. It makes me so happy to be out on a yacht, and I want others to have those feelings and experiences too, which is why we started Blue Voyage.”
Today, the company’s fleet has grown to encompass 10 sailing catamarans and motor yachts, and the group employs more than 70 staff members. Operations are strategically located in Thailand’s top seafaring destinations – Phuket, Samui, and Pattaya – with Krabi being the latest addition to the line-up.
M/Y Superyacht ‘For Your Eyes Only’ offers an unforgettable experience to its charter guests, whether they opt for a day trip or overnight trip. Equipped with state-of-the-art navigation, entertainment and communication equipment, fitted out to appease the most discerning travellers, and with service to match, it’s possibly the most indulging way to nautically explore one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Alas, all good things come to an end. Even though it’s just been a day or so on board this gorgeous boat with its delightful crew, it feels as if it was much, much longer. And the experience – the sights, the magical sunrises and sunsets – will be cherished for even longer.