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Meet the Cruise Director on Sequoia


I am very excited to sit down with the Cruise Director onboard Sequoia in Indonesia. Also the owner and operator, Yessi Maya Sari wears many hats and shares her incredible journey to yacht ownership and tour guide here!

woman diving underwater along dark reef

What is your role and how long have you been in the superyacht industry? 

I have been in the yacht industry for five years now since I built Sequoia with my extraordinary team. Building Sequoia was like building a ship on the moon. I still remember the day; I walked to interview boat carpenters to construct Sequoia with the specification “understated beauty, in a sustainable concept”, in a country that is very male dominated. They told me to go home and do something more “girl-like” for a job. I took that as a challenge! Our tagline “Begin your own journey” has a deeper meaning that each of us is capable of starting something that seems impossible to do at our own journey with passion and integrity. Now you can see that Sequoia is a beautiful yacht in her own terms. It is a yacht with a spirit of “Begin your own journey.”

My previous job as a CPA in Ernst & Young to a marketing manager of Unilever, have trained me at being a multitasked millennia with a very demanding job, yet a limited period of time to deliver.  Being the first Indonesian female cruise director of a luxury yacht is all I have dreamt about. Indonesia is my home; it is a noble job to show Indonesia to our guests beyond what they see in their eyes. There are many stories to share from politics to culture.

I do multiple roles on Sequoia from a managing director when in office to a personal assistant when under sails. I prefer to be called personal assistant instead of a cruise director. Being a guest personal assistant is a “mom-job”, to make sure entire family (crew) do their homework before, during, and after a cruise to deliver a lifetime journey that is safe and enjoyable to our guests. Each Guest is like a son or daughter, which I should understand and love to be able to deliver the expectation and holiday wishes.

Our service starts before the cruise and does not end after cruise. Many of our guests have become families, which we still in touch, and even do something more sacred in Asian culture “having a cup of tea” planning the next family holiday or just sharing stories. Sequoia is very personalized product; it is about them, and always is. We merely own Sequoia, we take care of her for you to enjoy.

woman smiling in hat in front of mountain

What is your favourite destination and why?

Exploring remote destinations is in my DNA, which is now the spirit of Sequoia. Having seen most of Indonesia remote islands before becoming super famous like now, such as Komodo to Raja Ampat has left me a vivid memory: serene and no tourists. Tourism landscape has changed dramatically in Indonesia; remote islands have become less remote. Access is getting easier to get to most of the remote destinations. Luxury concept to Sequoia is beyond sailing a fancy yacht, it is your privacy and intimacy. We facilitate guests to disconnect to connect with themselves as well as into nature and indigenous life.

My favourite destination is Misool, South Raja Ampat to Kaimana. It is the only destination in Indonesia that has not changed much for the last 15 years and has so much to experience. Imagine swimming with your first stingless jellyfish to your first whale sharks, scuba diving with your first Epaulette “walking” shark to your first Wobbegong “carpet shark". Yes, sharks do not have to be grey and scary. They can be cute just like a Wobbegong.

Underwater is not the only part you can explore, you can paddle endless lagoons while viewing ancient rock art, and end your day with watching the equatorial sun goes down at the peak of Harfat Jaya. Here we can still explore land and water without any other resort and or yacht tourists. To me, that is the true definition of luxury. Wouldn’t you agree?

Favourite toys to play with onboard?

Our one and only tender in Indonesia, The Boston Whaler Dauntless, because we can explore endless lagoons, reefs and bays in comfort and safety. It also has a top, which can cover you from tropical heat and rain.

If you could only choose one thing that makes a superyacht charter so special, what would it be and why?

The opportunity for multiple generations of a family to explore this pristine wonderland. In such a busy gadget world, Mom and dad spending quality time with grown up kids before they leave to start college, to Grandparents with grandchildren having a great time in the Coral Triangle Safari. Yes, it happens. It is a loving thing to see. We feel incredibly lucky to be part of their quality time.

Thanks again Yessi! Don't forget, you can find them on Instagram here and their website here.
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