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This luxury boutique floating resort offers spa service, five-star dining and five dive guides per 16 guests

By Brooke Morton | Updated On December 5, 2023
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There’s a certain romance to sailing Indonesia aboard a phinisi, a traditional wooden sailing vessel, where every piece of the ship and its decor has been hand-selected to showcase the beauty of this multicultural destination. This floating 121-foot boutique hotel is home to eight unique staterooms, each a gallery showcasing sculptures, weavings, paintings and other handmade items from one of the country’s 17,000 islands.

On board, it’s five-star service, with a guest-to-staff ratio of 16:23. Five dive guides join every sailing, allowing for small in-water groups of three or four guests. Western cruise directors are part of the team; plus, a marine biologist joins many sailings. It’s a more personalized dive experience, with much more critter spotting.

Meals rival what you’d expect from a five-star resort on land. Dinner includes three appetizers and a la carte menu of entrees, along with a long list of wines.

Rounding out the pampered experience, an onboard spa team offers a full range of massages and treatments to help make this escape thoroughly relaxing and recharging.

Arenui regularly sails to these major regions of Indonesia: Komodo, Raja Ampat, Triton Bay, Ambon, Alor and Flores, the Forgotten Islands and Maluku, the Spice Islands, Halmahera, Sulawesi and Borneo. These regions are known for an abundance of thriving corals, endemic species and tons of critters.

A boat in the water

Built in the style of a traditional wooden phinisi, the 121-foot Arenui dazzles with ornate decor and a luxurious atmosphere.

Courtesy of the Arenui

Komodo is perhaps the most underrated Indonesian destination. There, two oceans meet, creating a dynamic setting rich with everything from giant mantas to nudibranchs and pygmy seahorses.

Raja Ampat is heralded as the most biodiverse place on the planet for its many fish and coral species.

Alor is one of the best and most beautiful destinations in the world for critter diving as the muck sites don’t have garbage—just black sand.

Choose the Forgotten Islands for their unparalleled pristine reefs. This region is so unique and in demand among returning guests that three itineraries are offered, targeting the northern, central and southern stretches of the Forgotten Islands.

A deck of a boat with tables and chairs

Arenui sky deck lounge

Courtesy of the Arenui

The Spice Islands in the Banda Sea stand out for their abundance of critters and endemic species. These islands have little human impact, allowing marine life to flourish.

With so many offerings, Arenui delivers a calendar so varied that it’s as diverse as the life on the reefs it visits.

It all adds up to an unforgettable experience. Arenui, a reader favorite, was awarded second place in the Pacific region for Quality of Liveaboard as well as Quality of the Food. Readers also named Arenui in the top three for Quality of the Berths, Level of Luxury and Level of Safety. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience delivering an abundance of diving excitement, culture and pampered luxury.

Book Early

This popular live-aboard books two years in advance. Right now, the calendar is wide open starting in 2026, with select dates in 2024 offering one or a few cabin openings. Bookings are available now through 2030.

Space To Spread Out

Arenui was designed to give guests ample space for lounging. The Sky Lounge, aka the top deck, offers 360-degree views of the water, as well as shaded and sunny seating. This is also where guests can opt for massages in the spa tent. This area is also home to the outdoor dining area, spanning the width of the boat to maximize space for meals.

2024 Readers Choice Awards

Arenui won a total of nine awards this year, including Quality of the Liveaboard, Quality of the Berths, Quality of Rental Gear, Quality of Staff, Level of Luxury and Quality of Food.

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