Expert of the Indonesian archipelago, professional diver and luxury yacht Cruise Director, Garry (Gaz) Phillips, is one of Indonesia’s travel and diving elite. Gaz has an insatiable appetite for exploring the tens of thousands of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, having held the prestigious positions of Director of Field Operations for The Sumba Foundation and Operations Director for Nihiwatu, today the world’s number one island resort. Prior to coming on board with Rascal, the most talked about luxury yacht amongst the region’s jet set, Gaz held roles as Dive Manager for Amanwana in the Flores Sea and Cruise Director for Aman’s luxurious Amanikan cruiser.
Gaz tailors bespoke luxury cruise experiences for Rascal Voyages and takes guests on a experiential luxury journey to some of the region’s most undiscovered waters.
We ask for his insights into the world of luxury yachting:
|What is your current role and how long have you been in the superyacht industry?|
The past seven years I have been extremely fortunate to ply my trade as a Cruise Director on some of the most spectacular traditional Phinisi yachts in Indonesia. My role onboard is mainly a Jack of all trades. The title Cruise Director is a big umbrella and under that canopy are many hats one has to don.
It is the most challenging but rewarding job I have ever had. I was in the British Military (RAF) for 17 years and some days, life in Afghanistan was less stressful than as CD on a superyacht. (I’m saying that with a smile!) Duties range from guest / agent communication to ordering shower gel and shampoo. It is one end of the spectrum to the other. Not one day is the same and there is always something around the corner.
What is your favourite destination and why?
Easy! The Spice Islands. (Banda Islands) Banda Sea. Just the history alone makes these tiny islands somewhat of a mystery. Add in the remote location and the sheer beauty of them, all makes for a wonderful cocktail of history, culture, and fascination. Imagine if you can, a tiny speck in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago and the Banda sea miles from anywhere. These Islands were the producer of the world’s only nutmeg, worth more centuries ago than it’s weight in gold.
The wars, the trades, the history is remarkable. One island (Run) Swapped for Manhattan and fought for by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The old forts and cannons still sit perched on the hillsides overlooking the vast seas.
The adventures, seamanship, navigation of unchartered waters, it all makes the mind wonder and congers up images that are only in dreams. Add to this the magnificent diving the area has to offer, simply amazing.
Divers swim with fish and mantas amongst the coral in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
|What are your favourite water toys on Rascal?|
As a dive Instructor, it has to be the dive gear. Having had the good fortune to dive in many different locations around the world, Indonesia has to be right up there with the best. Being able to dive in one of the best dive locations in the world day in and day out, really is one of the best parts of the job.
If you could only choose one thing that makes a superyacht charter so special, what would it be and why?
There are many superyachts out there and it is a saturated market, what makes it special is the bespoke itineraries and off the map exploring. Rascal in collaboration with Conservation International are exploring some of the outer areas of Indonesia and guest are welcome to join on these ground breaking expeditions.
Some guests really want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, jumping on board and sailing out in to the blue is so special. Wake up with dolphins swimming around the vessel or jump in for a waterski, wake board, dive or snorkel, or dine on a remote beach with your own chef and BBQ, there is always something to amaze.
Credit: Ocean Scape Yachts