21st March 2019


 PR of the day 25.03.19

An Immaculate 1930’s Classic Wooden Yacht with History Joins the Thanda Portfolio of Travel Experiences

The Thanda Group is delighted to announce the addition of Thanda Classic Cruise to its portfolio of hospitality, lifestyle and philanthropic experiences in Africa and introduce Over the Rainbow of London.

Built in 1930 in teak-over-oak for cruising around the West Coast of Scotland, Over the Rainbow of London is a classic 115ft/35m four-berth wooden motor yacht that comes with an intriguing history. Spanning 9 decades of sailings around the UK and in the Mediterranean, with brief ventures to the US, the yacht has been owned by British businessmen and the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, requisitioned in the war for coastal patrol, used as a popular floating casino off Athens and later for commercial charters off the Cote D’Azur. Her guests too have been just as esteemed and include Winston Churchill whose Chinese chair can once again be found in the former officers’ salon.

Painstakingly refitted using traditional methods and modernised in keeping with her original character Over the Rainbow of London (OTR) is now available for private voyages off the coast of East Africa. Providing a very unique African cruising experience that combines elegance of a bygone era, nostalgic luxury and an East African Hemingway adventure this immaculate old-world motor cruiser invites guests to enjoy magnificent Indian Ocean sights and discover its fascinating islands all at a relaxed pace.

Presenting a value added proposition like no other, OTR is also being offered in combination with a week’s stay at Thanda Island off Tanzania between November and April. Providing guests the unique chance of combining one of the world’s most exclusive island getaways with overnight cruises to the spice island of Zanzibar and for diving trips to Chole Island, the package offers an unparalleled view of Tanzania’s atolls and islands.

Whether above or below the waterline or on dry land, daily activities and cruises are steered by guests and their personal preferences. These may include exploring Thanda Island’s private coral reef straight from the beach in total seclusion with Resident Marine Biologist Rianne or snorkelling with Whale Sharks that pass through from October-March. Guests may enjoy daily massages, picnics on secluded islands and discover a newly found sunken city. There are kayaks, stand-up SUP’s, sailing boats and opportunities to water-ski and deep-sea fish accompanied by the Marine Activity Guide. The crew on board OTR are on hand too to navigate guests’ every whim – from island hopping to Scuba-diving. OTR carries its own equipment and British born Captain Tim, a first class skipper who has been skippering since he was 8, is a PADI instructor and certified dive master.

In an era of slow travel, the yacht offers a tranquil setting for a cruise. Its warm wooden interiors and plentiful decks provide spacious areas for socialising and relaxing whilst guests watch fishing dhows sail past and turtles bob up for breath as they are transported on their adventures. This region is typified by its Swahili seafaring way of life where local islands are natural havens whose ruins and present day inhabitants provide a glimpse into a rare and virtually unchanged civilisation.

Whether on board or on the island, the cuisine is a natural feast too with produce harvested straight from the sea or bought locally from neighbouring islanders. Fresh and flavoursome meal preferences are discussed in advance of arrival and paired with exquisite wines and champagnes such as Sir Winston Churchill Pol Roger 2004 purposely served on board OTR. Chef Stephen, also from the UK, honed his unique cooking skills in top Manhattan restaurants. Cooking for celebrity clients such as the Prince of Monaco and Madonna, he prides himself on surpassing guests' culinary expectations.

Available from November to April only, one week’s exclusive use of Thanda Island in combination with Over the Rainbow of London is offered at US$225,000 for 10 guests. The all-inclusive experience includes a full team of dedicated staff, all meals, a handpicked selection of fine wines and champagnes, all scuba diving and marine based swimming and boating activities, spa treatments, sandbank picnics, local excursions by motor boat, overnight cruises to Zanzibar and Chole Island, fuel, as well as helicopter transfers from Dar Es Salaam for up to 8 guests.

Thanda Island is also available for USD25,000 per night based on a minimum 5-night stay. Over the Rainbow of London is also available for cruise only charters - POA.

For more information call +27 (0) 32 586 0149 or email /


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Notes to Editors: 

Situated 45 minutes by helicopter from Dar es Salaam International Airport within Tanzania’s Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, Thanda Island provides absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy on a sole-use basis. Eight hectares in size and encircled by a 1.1 kilometres white sand beach it features one expansive five-bedroom villa and 2 bandas (beach chalets) accommodating 4 further guests each. Comprising an impressive glass rim-flow swimming pool, a boat house full of water activity equipment, a tennis court, a fully equipped gym, yoga deck and an outdoor cocktail bar it combines laidback beach-house living with outdoor ocean adventures. Encouraging guests to slow down and soak up the relaxed tempo of island life it is off-grid and solar-powered offering guests an environmentally sensitive, fun and restorative Indian Ocean experience in total seclusion.

Available for cruises off the coast of Tanzania from November to April, Over the Rainbow of London is a luxurious vessel exuding elegance and class. Impeccably maintained this classic and historically interesting 1930’s private wooden yacht sits comfortably in the water with the benefit of additional stabilisers. Arranged over two decks with areas for outside dining and sunbathing, living spaces include a saloon lounge and four cabins that have flexible sleeping arrangements and can be converted from double to single beds to easily accommodate up to 8 adults, or two families with children (10 guests). Additional accommodation can also be set up for up to two nannies or body guards. Over the Rainbow’s crew of 5 includes personable and experienced UK Captain Timothy, always striving to create unforgettable adventures. 

In addition to Over the Rainbow of London, the Thanda Group also includes Thanda Safari, an award winning private game reserve in South Africa, which together with Thanda Island is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.

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