Luxury Boating: Five Top Boats of Note

  • The Jayavarman.

    The Jayavarman.

  • The Orion II.

    The Orion II.

  • The Orion II.

    The Orion II.

  • The Disney Fantasy.

    The Disney Fantasy.

  • The Jayavarman.

    The Jayavarman.

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Sure you can travel by planes, trains, and automobiles. But there’s something so leisurely and charmingly old-world about getting around in a luxury boat instead, whether it’s cruising along a river or sailing in the open seas. And if you need to unplug from the frantic tech-addled modern world, this is a great way to do it. The pace of life on a luxury boat, with all your needs attended to by five-star service, forces you to just … slow … down. Below, five luxury boats and yachts that are worth further investigation — at your leisure, of course.

The Oberoi Zahra cruise.

The Oberoi Zahra.

The Oberoi Zahra
Ready to explore Egypt via luxury riverboat? The high-end hotelier Oberoi offers seven-night cruises between Luxor and Aswan along the Nile on this almost embarrassingly luxurious vessel. Stretching 72 meters, it’s got plenty of space to include everything a passenger might need, including a screening room and a wooden deck with a heated pool. Nice touches like Italian marble and tasteful artwork make this feel like a floating five-star hotel, which basically it is.
More: Egypt: Cruising the Nile in Style on the Oberoi Zahra

The Zen.

The Zen
In Southeast Asia luxury yachting is still in its infancy — especially if it involves sailing in the open seas. This new luxury yacht is scheduled to become available for charters in the region from around August. Based on traditional Indonesian phinisi schooners, the 53-meter sailing yacht features a two-level master cabin with an adjoining kids’ room, plus six guest cabins, all with queen-size beds and en-suite bathrooms. The hull is made of iron wood, the deck of teak wood. Expect a five-star feel throughout this high-end vessel.
More: Indonesia: Phinisi-Inspired Luxury Yacht ‘Zen’ Available in August

The Jayavarman.

The Jayavarman
Want to explore the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia? What better way to get there than by starting from Ho Chi Minh City and cruising up the Mekong River? Enjoy a spacious stateroom with archival black-and-white photos on the walls, transporting you back in time. Lounge in a rattan-backed planter’s chair on your balcony, watching the scenes of river life drift slowly by. Think of the 58-meter Jayavarman as a 27-room floating boutique hotel — from a half-century ago.
More: The Slow Boat to Siem Reap

The Road to Mandalay.

The Road to Mandalay
Traveling through Myanmar on the ground can be a challenge, especially with much of the modern infrastructure we take for granted often nowhere in sight. So travel by luxury boat instead. This 1964 German-built vessel features a bar, restaurant, wellness center, swimming pool, and about 50 well-appointed cabins decorated with teak, silk, and wall carvings by Burmese artisans. As you cruise in comfort between Bhamo’s scenic gorges and Bagan’s myriad temples, you’ll get a unique perspective on this fascinating country.
More: Myanmar: Riverboat ‘Road to Mandalay’ Announces Schedule

The Orion II.

The Orion II
Sure you can fly between Singapore and Bali, but it’s far more interesting to make the trip on the open seas, exploring Borneo and much smaller islands along the way. The 88-meter Orion II features luxurious suites, complete with plush beds, separate sitting areas, and in some cases balconies. There’s something surreal about returning to such a luxurious ship after exploring some obscure island where gathering coconuts seems to be the main activity. And that’s part of the fun.
More: Cruising from Bali to Borneo to Singapore on the Orion II

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