Swimming Elephants via Seal Superyachts India

A Superyacht Guide to India

India is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the south-west, and the Bay of Bengal on the south-east, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west, China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Burma and Bangladesh to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka & the Maldives; in addition, India’s Andaman & Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia. India recently achieved ‘trillion dollar economy’ status and has one of the world’s fastest economic growth rates.

Bounded by the Indian Ocean in the south, the Arabian Sea in the west, and the Bay of Bengal in the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometers (4,671 miles). Of this, 5,423 kilometers (3,370 miles) belong to peninsular India, and 2,094 kilometers (1,301 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands. According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coast consists of 43% sandy beaches, 11% rocky coast including cliffs, and 46% mudflats or marshy coast.

India, with her vivid history and multi-religious society, provides a great opportunity for visitors to come and spend quality and memorable time. The landscape of India is full of breathtaking monuments, palaces, festivities, hill stations, wild life sanctuaries, health spas, resorts, spiritual centres and many more earthly pleasures. India’s superyacht industry is rather nascent. Presently there are less than 300 boats registered in India. Including around 120 luxury yachts and over 150 speed boats, with foreign brands enjoying a dominant share. Now approximately 120 boats are sold every year in India, of which more than 80% are speed boats. The most popular sizes of boats purchased in India ranges from 15-35 ft in overall length. Given the enormous price range in leisure boats, ranging from Rs 3 million for speed boats to over Rs 1 billion for super luxury yachts, the revenue turnovers can be misleading. The current revenue of India’s pleasure boating industry is estimated to range from Rs 1.5 billion to Rs 5 billion per year, depending on which types of luxury yachts get sold in the year. However, the industry is growing at more than 100% p.a. in volume and value terms, and one can expect the share of luxury yachts to increase over the years.

India offers the unique opportunity, for yacht owners and charterers, but at the same time it is also equipped with a good infrastructure and highly skilled manpower for yacht building and refitting activities at a much lower cost when compared to the International market. India’s market for luxury boats and yachts has grown by about 10 percent in the last three years, a period signified by the slowest economic growth in decades. India is an emerging market for the super-yachts. The level of growth in terms of the International markets cannot be termed as phenomenal. However, in the Indian context, it is rapidly progressing. The growth is being fuelled by an upbeat Indian economy as disposable incomes and aspirations are rising. Old and new sit shoulder to shoulder in this colourful country, where sophisticated bars and beachfront day-spas share space with traditional eateries and charismatic market squares. The intriguing Indian coast is a favoured yachting destination, where the coastline of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal is riddled with unique anchorage points and towns unlike any other on the metropolitan map. With an enjoyable year round climate and a tempting showcase of sun, sand and sea blessed with distinctive Indian flair, there is no wonder this stretch of the world is nothing short of an adventure.

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km off the coast of the South West Indian state of Kerala. They were also known as Laccadive Islands, although geographically this is only the name of the central subgroup of the group. The islands form the smallest Union Territory of India. The total surface area of the islands is just 11 sq mi or 32 km2. However, the lagoon area is about 4,200 square kilometres (1,600 sq mi), the territorial waters area is 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) and the exclusive economic zone area is 400,000 square kilometres (150,000 sq mi). Lakshadweep is an archipelago of twelve atolls, three reefs and five submerged banks, with a total of about thirty-nine islands and islets.It is the northern part of the erstwhile Lakshadweepa.

Lakshadweep Islands, India

The islands are the northernmost among the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are actually the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, in the Indian Ocean, the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge. Ten of the islands are inhabited. The islands are served by an airport on the Agatti island. The main islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Minicoy, and Amini. The total population of the territory is 60,595. The reefs are in fact also atolls, although mostly submerged, with only small unvegetated sand cays above the high water mark. The submerged banks are sunken atolls. Almost all the atolls have a northeast-southwest orientation with the islands lying on the eastern rim, and a mostly submerged reef on the western rim, enclosing a lagoon. It has 10 inhabited islands, 17 uninhabited islands, attached islets, 4 newly formed islets and 5 submerged reefs. The Amindivi group islands (consisting of Amini, Keltan, Chetlat, Kadamat, Bitra and Perumal Par) and the Laccadive group islands (comprising mainly Androth, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Pitti and Suheli Par), both have a submarine connection between them. Together with Minicoy Island, located at the southern end of the 200 km broad Nine Degree Channel, they form the Coral Islands of India in the Arabian Sea. All these islands have been built up by corals and have fringing coral reefs very close to their shores.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

All the 572 islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are formed by a submarine mountain range, which separates the Bay of Bengal from Andaman Sea. Maximum altitude of these islands reaches up to 730 m at Saddle Peak. Andaman and Nicobar Islands experience a tropical climate. It rains here medium to heavy during the monsoon, as well as between May to mid-September and November to mid-December. You would never experience extreme climate here except rains and tropical storms in late summer. More than 3,000 species of plants including mangroves, epiphytes (130 ferns, 100 orchids), palms, woody climbers, timbers (teak, mahogany and Andaman paduk) are harbored in the canopied rain forests of the islands. A large variety of tropical fruits are also found here. Marine fauna is diverse including a wide variety of tropical fish and coral. Considering the diversity and uniqueness of fauna and flora and the fragile nature of the eco-system here, 96 sanctuaries spread over 466.218 sq km and nine National Parks spread over 1153.938 sq km have been notified on these islands.

Andaman Islands

If the mainland of India is a store house of myriad tourist spots, its islands are not far behind as these tiny pieces of land offer the much sought-after serenity and privacy for leisure travelers. Located in the Bay of Bengal, is a premier tourist attraction in the country. Powder white beaches, swaying palm trees in the mild breeze, lush, green rain forests, sound of waves breaking on a coral reef and chirping rare birds, all of these are the major highlights of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This Union Territory of India is home to some of the oldest tribes in the world. The visitors have a choice either to indulge in adventure activities such as trekking, diving and snorkeling, or just relax by the sea enjoying the cool breeze gently caressing your body. This group of 572 islands lies 193 km away from Cape Negrais in Myanmar, 1255 km from Calcutta, and 1190 km from Chennai. Situated in the Bay of Bengal, these two important groups of islets are known as Ritchie’s archipelago and Labyrinth islands. Located to the south of the Andamans, Nicobar islands are 121 km from Little Andaman island. Only 36 islands out of 572 islands are inhabited. These islands are placed between the latitudes 6º to 14º North and longitudes 92º to 94º East.

Footnote: Contact Seal Superyachts India for detailed information about cruising around India, superyacht charter regulations and about how we can support your visit. Principle agent Jojy Cherian has been proud to have acted as agent for many of the Superyachts which have come to visit.

Contact Jojy Cherian at india@seal-superyachts.com to discover more about the potential of cruising around India.