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Asia's bespoke luxury cruises stay buoyant in coronavirus pandemic

Smaller vessels appeal to passengers with idea of lower-risk voyages

The Aqua Blu offers cruises within the territorial waters of Indonesia, where it is also registered. (Photo courtesy of Aqua Expeditions)

JAKARTA -- After a week at sea, Leyla, a luxury wooden yacht that cruises around the remote islands and reefs of eastern Indonesia, has passed a handful of fishing villages -- but its passengers have not come into contact with another living soul.

For Leyla's owner, Raul Boscarino, that means his private charter vessel, licensed for up to 10 passengers, offers a low-risk option for cruising in the era of COVID-19, at a time when the mainstream cruise industry has almost collapsed.

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