Interview with Captain Graeme Hampson - motoryacht Titania
The Captain of one of the largest yachts available to charter in the region, 73m M/Y Titania, talks to the Thailand Yacht Show about his experiences having spent two winter seasons in the area. Here he shares his cruising advice, alongside general recommendations and guests’ favourite spots.
How long have you been cruising in the region and what brought you to SE Asia?
We were here for the last winter season and this one so far. We came looking for new cruising grounds with diverse cultures, spectacular scenery as well as an emerging charter market.
How does the cruising in SE Asia compare with the more established locations?
In terms of the quality of marinas here, though the facilities are not quite as good as the Mediterranean or Caribbean they are improving all the time and the staff are great. There is spectacular natural scenery here, better diving and comparable beaches, interesting local culture and fantastic food! The shoreside support is also just as good and our superb agent Adam Frost at Seal Superyachts has done a great job looking after us, while the two marinas we have stayed in have offered excellent support as well. The Trisara Resort has been very accommodating in letting us use their floating pontoon to embark guests and we have also used Ao Po Marina for guest arrival and departure.
Where is your favourite overall cruising location in SE Asia and why?
Phang Nga Bay for the spectacular scenery, for natural beauty and wildlife the Surin Islands and for diving the Similans. Phuket is the best location for guests to shop, dine and relax away from the yacht, and I would really recommend the Trisara, a fabulous resort where our guests have really enjoyed themselves. Guest highlights included beach BBQs in Koh Rok Nok and the Butang islands as well as tender tours through Phang Nga Bay.
Where is the best place for maintenance and provisioning?
Ao Po Grand Marina or Yacht Haven Marina were the best locations for the crew to complete maintenance and day-to-day management, with both marinas providing us with excellent service too. Phuket, with the help of our agent Seal Superyachts, was particularly good for finding provisions and Langkawi is our favoured bunkering stop with the local supplier offering good service and prices.
What general advice would you give to any captains and owners looking to cruise in SE Asia?
Ensure you have a good local agent as local formalities can be challenging. Provisioning needs to be carefully managed as options for replenishment during charters are limited.