The months spent grounded in our hometowns have given many of us an appreciation for a slower pace of life, something that will take with us when we travel again. Sailing is one of the best ways to have a slow, meaningful sojourn and few vessels are as spectacular as the Dunia Baru (its name means “the new world” in Bahasa Indonesia), a superyacht that weaves through Southeast Asia’s spellbinding islands.
The 51-metre long, two-masted luxury phinisi yacht has been brought back to its former glory by its new Singaporean owners, siblings Jing-Yi Wee and Teng Wee, who commissioned Deirdre Renniers, interior designer of Aman's private yacht, Amandira, to refurbish the traditional vessel. Built from teak and rare ulin ironwood, Dunia Baru was originally handcrafted in the classic architecture of phinisi wooden sailboats by an ancient tribe of boat builders in South Sulawesi called the Konjo. Every detail has been lovingly restored by its new owners resulting in a vessel that embodies the old-world romance of sailing but equipped with modern amenities suited to multi-generational travellers.
Sleeping up to 14, Dunia Baru sails on bespoke itineraries set mostly in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Guests can snorkel in the Banda Archipelago, encounter dragon lizards at the Komodo National Park, and spot hammerhead sharks and manta rays around Kisar Island. Apart from sailing on the rich waters of the Indonesian archipelago, it can also be chartered for longer expeditions to Thailand and Myanmar. We speak to its owner Jing-Yi Wee on its thoughtful restoration and why a snail-paced sailing trip is one of the best ways to travel in 2021.