If you’re in search of a remedy to satisfy the travel bug, why not head to the horizon for a Singapore staycation sailing out at sea? With Discover Sailing Asia‘s various overnight packages available, this is your chance to truly switch off – soak up the sun and saltwater, explore the neighbouring islands and try your hand at sailing a yacht!
Having grown up in the Philippines where the coast is never far, one of my non-negotiables to settling abroad has always been to live with the ocean close by. When the mind gets frazzled, there’s always the calming and regenerative promise that comes with a shoreline and a good ol’ dose of vitamin sea!
Of course, Singapore’s blue horizon has its blemishes (nobody wants to be tallying oil tankers, for one), but in restrictive times like these, we count our blessings – and the seaside is just that. So, if you’re overdue some time off, or, like me, have unknowingly beaten your own record for the most consecutive nights spent on Singapore soil – or anywhere for that matter – then a sailing staycation at sea might be just what the doctor ordered.
Sailing Staycation Singapore – Overnight Stay on a Yacht & Sailing Classes
Established in 2014 and operating in several countries across Asia, Discover Sailing Asia (DSA) has long offered multi-night cruises and hands-on sailing experiences in the region, with itineraries typically taking its passengers beyond borders to destinations like Tioman and Phuket. But since travel restrictions were put in place in 2020, DSA seized the opportunity to offer Singapore residents something different that would still allow them to leave the island and switch off. Along with their popular sailing classes, guests can choose between one- to three-night sailing staycations, which include stops to picturesque islands such as Lazarus, Pulau Hantu and Pulau Ketam – and, of course, the opportunity to try your hand at turning the winch or raising the sails!
Meet the Fleet
Ready to set sail are Megan, Moonshine and Gloria, three Beneteau Oceanis 45 sailing yachts with auxiliary engines and three to four cabins. These French-made beauties can sleep up to six people each, and come complete with two bathrooms, a microwave, fridge and freezer, and a spacious saloon and cockpit that will comfortably seat your group for your post-swim meals.
Armed with our swimmers and sunscreen, our group of six set sail from ONE°15 Marina at 3pm for a midweek one-nighter aboard Moonshine. With us are Captain and Skipper Am and Assistant Crew Amir, who not only make sure we’re having fun but who are eager for us to get involved and learn the ropes. Tasks are delegated straight out of the harbour; we all work together to get the mainsail and jib up to make the most of the wind that afternoon as we head towards Lazurus island. Safe to say that whilst my comrades do me proud on the deck, I’m the least experienced of the bunch – so I volunteer to steadily hold the helm! What I lack in muscle, I make up for with spirit by ordering the crew around with a bit of nautical jargon picked up from Pirates of the Caribbean.
As we anchor down just off the coast of Lazarus island, we have the afternoon to enjoy as we please. We decide to make the most of the kayaks and paddleboards onboard, chucking a cooler of beers on them with a couple of beach towels and a frisbee, and paddling over to shore. The next few hours are spent enjoying the sun, sand and saltwater until the captain signals us with a wave that it’s time to head back to the mothership; sunset is closing in and it’s time to get prepared for the night.
Sunsets and Sundowners
We cruise over to the other side of Lazarus and secure a decent spot to dock. And, whilst we disappear below deck to get showered (and lathered in aloe vera!), Am and Amir get the cockpit set up for dinner. Between us, we’ve brought a potluck of pastas, cold cuts, cheeses and a couple of bottles of red wine to enjoy. As the sun begins to set, the remaining day-charter boats around us head back to the mainland, and we’re left to enjoy the quiet bay with just one other boat that’s docked for the night. Conversation and wine flow as steadily as the evening breeze; we end our evening with a night swim under the stars, surrounded by glowing plankton.
After being rocked into a deep lull all night, it’s an early rise at 7am to get one last swim in before heading back to land. The crew lay out a complimentary breakfast of coffee, cereal and pastries before pulling up the anchor to head home. Revitalised and rested, we spend the journey home making plans to return to sea in the not too distant future.
Packages for these sailing staycations in Singapore start from $2,889 for six guests, including a continental breakfast. For more information, visit discoversailingasia.com.