The Boat Life: A Minute with Amandira’s Cruise Manager

Benoit Martin-Laval, cruise manager of Amandira, with some of his crew members on board the boat.
Benoit Martin-Laval, cruise manager of Amandira, with some of his crew members on board the boat.

From the Komodo National Park to the Raja Ampat archipelago, the Amandira, Aman’s newest cruiser, is one that takes guests to explore some of Indonesia’s most treasured waters and remote islands. From diving deep underwater wherein lies the country’s rich marine ecosystem and trekking over hills where komodo dragons lurk from behind trees, the cruise’s itinerary is created to adapt to guests’ needs and desires, ensuring everyone on board are able to enjoy the best of their days out at sea. Here we talk to Benoit Martin-Laval, Amandira’s cruise manager, who is also a seasoned diver, about the perks of life on board the luxury cruise.

What’s the hardest part of managing a cruise?

Being the bule (foreigner), adapting to the crew and have them adapt to me. Adjusting to “Indonesian time,” not following western time.

What’s the best part?

When we dive. I love diving. When you see guests come in with “crazy eyes” that show they’re excited — the enjoyment of the guests.

How is the Amandira different from other cruisers?

The shape is not the same. It’s a traditional phinisi, but it’s also a real sailing boat —  it is the most beautiful boat in Indonesia.  We also have a sophisticated new diving equipment for divers, and our service sets us apart. We’re a floating resort, not just a cruise. It’s an Aman floating resort, and guests are offered all of the Aman experience in one journey.

When out at sea, the one thing you miss most from land would be…

I’d say croissant, but we do have some on board. Family, girlfriend, we don’t see each other for a while so that can be a bit tricky.

What’s the most important travel item in your luggage?

Cheese — just kidding. It’s my underwater camera. I like to bring it along and offer to take snapshots of the guests.

Is there any place you can visit without ever getting bored?

Every place the cruise takes us. The itinerary is amazing.

One tip for those thinking of going on the Amandira.

Wake up early, go to bed early. That way you’ll get to enjoy so much from each day.

For more information, visit Amandira

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