After joining the Navy aged seventeen, Eddie Widnall set up his own headhunting firm at the age of 27.
When he was offered a job in the Maldives, he sold his half of the firm and went to works as a dive guide on the islands. He then moved on to work in Indonesia before starting Ultimate Indonesian Yachts.
UIY has 27 chartered wooden yachts with levels of luxury ranging from $3,000 to $30,000 per night. The company creates bespoke, year-round cruises along the Indonesian coast directly with the client, even organising internal flights and helicopter transfers. ‘The beauty of being a small business is that we can be extremely flexible with what people want and how we give it to them,’ says Widnall. ‘Private customers love us: we save them all the legwork.’
The 32-metre historical cruiser Amanikan is operated by the prestigious Aman Resorts and offers the same exquisite furnishings, style and service you would expect at their hotels. Likewise, the 46-metre (151-foot), two-masted sailing yacht Alila Purnama is run by the celebrated Alila Hotels & Resorts. Time aboard these wooden boats, which Widnall describes as tactile living beings, allows guests to soak up the romantic, old-fashioned spirit of adventure as they sail into the incomparable sunsets, taking in the dramatic vistas of the Indonesian archipelago. ‘There are very few people, regardless of their status in the world, who aren’t amazed at this place,’ says Widnall. ‘If you’re looking to be seen, stick to the Mediterranean. If you’re looking for adventure, to connect with the world, Indonesia is endless – it really is. It just draws you in again and again.’