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Luxury on the Seas

Tranquility, Adventure and Authenticity

Our family has a deep connection to Silolona Sojourns, a luxury yacht charter company based in Bali, Indonesia, a company that provides bespoke expeditions for small groups and families aboard either of their two exclusive-use Phinisi sailing ships to remote and relatively untouched areas of Southeast Asia in the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelagos. Not only do these exquisite and unique vessels blend luxury, cultural immersion, adventure, and authenticity, the extraordinary moments on board, in nature, and among the communities they visit leaves both a positive impact on those communities and an unforgettable journey.

Phinisi Vessels

The traditional Phinisi sailing ships are reminiscent of the centuries' old wooden ships used in the spice trade as early as the 14th century. The ship has two masts, and the hull is similar to the shape of a dhow. The ships are huge- often 60-80 feet in length, weighing as much as 350 tons and the masts can be 90-100 meters tall.

Building Silolona

What is most remarkable about the first vessel, Silolona, named for the mythical and beautiful wife of a powerful Indonesian king, is that it was built completely by hand,

without power tools, by the Master Konjo builders of Sulawesi island. The boat build took 4 years with hundreds of workers, and Silolona was launched off the beach in Borneo in 2004 by digging a trench underneath it and waiting for the tide to come in and float it away. This magnificent vessel is built from the finest tropical hardwoods to German Lloyd’s specifications for a motor yacht, with all the modern amenities and safety features one would expect of a quality vessel. The Phinisis are built using traditional equipment following prescribed traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. (“The Phinisi Schooner - Everything To Sea”). Its construction involves strength and technique but also – as the locals believe – supernatural powers, for which every stage requires strictly adhered rituals and ceremonies.

Life on Board

Silolona and its sister ship ,Si Data Bua, meaning “Beloved Princess “ have just 5 cabins and 3 cabins, respectively, serving up to 10 and 6 guests with a staff of 17 for Silolona and 14 for Si Data Bua. Both ships come with a custom, high-speed inflatable boat. The activities that can be enjoyed on the ship include scuba diving, snorkeling, waterskiing, wake boarding, “donuting” in an inflatable, kayaking, SUP, and sport fishing. On land there are hikes and community visits- witnessing traditional ceremonies, learning the local crafts, chatting with the locals, and seeing their way of life.

The Cultural Connection

Founder Patti Seery, over the years developed close connections to all the villages and communities the Phinisis visit. Her love of Indonesia and the culture shines through to this day and her company, after her passing, is navigated by her son Tresno who graduated in mechanical engineering and engineering management and did a postgraduate degree in yacht design. The dedicated and loyal staff Patti recruited still serve the company 20+ years later.

Patti and History

Patti Seery was a trained and accomplished mechanical engineer and designer whose superpower combined vision with exceptional problem-solving ability. She traveled extensively in the world, but really became enamored with the Asian culture when her husband was transferred to Indonesia to work in the Oil Industry in Jakarta. Her spark and passion enabled her to create bespoke journeys for high end customers using chartered boats that were functional but not delivering the quality and luxury she knew possible, and sellable to her high-end clients. The development of Silolona Sojourns began in earnest in 2000 and 2001 when Patti scoured the boat building world for technicians and designers who could share her vision, and then finally meeting the Konjo boat builders and leading them to share her passion for building a luxury vessel like no other. Silolona itself took 4 years to build, with nine resolute Konjo Boat builders who built the boat in a swamp off the beaches in Borneo and then sailed it to Bali for finish work which took 5 months and 250 workers. Silolona welcomed its first guests in July 2004.

Our Role

In 2012, I traveled to Bali to assist Patti in resolving some financial issues which were largely just accounting oversights as the official inhouse CFO had no formal training. (Indonesia law required the financial affairs to be overseen by a local, not necessarily a qualified financial executive.) Through some digging and setting up proper procedures and checks and balances, and producing a comprehensive reporting system, we discovered that the Company was doing quite well and indeed well enough to build the second boat.

The success of Silolona led to copycats, a huge pat on the back for Patti’s vision. “Honestly, no one would be building these boats if Silolona wasn't a financial success.” (from “Lunch with superyacht owner Patti Seery" - BOAT International)

Our Trip

Patti rewarded my work with the maiden voyage of Si Data Bua in 2017 for our family and a few friends. Our daughter Meg became a certified scuba diver on the boat, thanks to the full-service dive operation and awesome instructor Goris. We enjoyed visits to many remote islands including Komodo where we discovered the dinosaur like Komodo dragons. The cuisine is wonderful with a focus on Indonesian fare, with the nice, yet small, wine cellar on the boat. The chef also offers cooking classes on board where you can create your own delicacies. Upon our departure, Si Data Bua hosted the King of Jordan and his entourage. We felt of service to the King for showing the courage by being the first to make sure the boat was sea-worthy.

Where They Travel

Si Data Bua and Silolona sail the seas of the Indonesian and Malaysian Archipelago, visiting Raja Ampat, Papua, Komodo, Flores, Alor, Savu, Sumba, Bay Spice Island, Banda, Andaman, Nicobar Island, Komodo, Mergui- Myanmar, Langkawi and Thailand- most places you have probably never even heard of, but all special in their own unique way.

Each season with Silolona Sojourns promises its own magic, and every voyage to these dream destinations embraces the art of sailing, an odyssey to exploration and a journey you will never forget. The tantalizing first trip will surely beg you to repeat it again and again. Please reach out to us at Latitude Expeditions if this type of incredible adventure suits you.

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