Young Millionaire’s Black Beauty Is the Luxury Version of a Traditional Indonesian Boat

Spending some vacations onboard this spectacular vessel impressed a young millionaire from Singapore so much that she eventually bought it for herself and gave a new, more feminine twist.

Few luxury yachts out there are such a fascinating mix of culture and modern luxury. The Dunia Baru was literally built in the jungle. It was a massive, challenging project for Mark Robba, who decided to build this instead of a house in Bali.

At the time, he had been living in Indonesia for a long time. The vessel would end up costing six times more than the original estimate, but it was worth it. The 167-foot (51 meters) Dunia Baru is a luxury wooden ship inspired by Indonesian phinisis.

Phinisis are two-mast ships that carried expensive goods during the 17th century. They are part of the Indonesian sailing heritage, recognized by UNESCO as such. The Dunia Baru claims to be the first and only BKI-Classed wooden vessel operating in Indonesian waters, a confirmation of its high safety standards. Built by local carpenters on a site near the jungle of Sulawesi, this masterpiece with black sails is handcrafted from traditional Ulin Ironwood and some teak.

Jing-Yi Wee told Boat International that she ended up buying Dunia Baru straight from Robba after initially wanting to build something similar. It turned out that it was almost impossible to do that, so the only option was to buy the original boat. The interior styling was redone, using the most sophisticated materials and authentic local artwork.

Such a unique boat had to be shared, so the new young owner continued to offer it for charter. A week onboard costs around $120,000, according to Y.CO, and this traditional ship is also surprisingly family-friendly. There’s plenty of space on board for kids to play safely, and convertible seating was added on the deck, turning it into “a huge daybed,” perfect for lounging.

Dunia Baru can welcome 14 guests in seven cabins, including a gorgeous master suite with a private office. It cruises comfortably at only eight knots (9 mph/14.8 kph), inviting guests to fully enjoy the unique Indonesian experience.

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