Master Liveaboards, as we know it, is celebrating its first year of existence on the 17th February. But how did a company that started with a tiny little Indonesian boat get to where we are?
Well, It’s been, shall we say, an interesting year. A year that we will not really be sad to leave behind, in some ways. But, at the same, a year we are very proud of.
The birth of Siren Fleet
The story began back in 2003 with the very first boat, Sampai Jumpa. This tiny vessel offered cruises in Thailand, Myanmar, and, shortly after, the Andaman Islands.
With the success of Sampai Jumpa came the idea to build an entirely new boat to deal with the demand. A sister vessel, Sampai Jumpa Lagi, was built through 2006 and began operating in 2007. This immediately recognisable, traditionally built Indonesian Phinisi was the first foray into the company building a boat from scratch. Then other destinations began to be looked at with a view to putting new Sirens in the water. As such, in 2009, a new name was needed. A name that could lead a fleet. The Siren.
Over the next several years destinations began to appear… Philippines in 2009, Indonesia in 2010, Palau in 2012, Truk, Fiji, and more. Each phinisi proudly bore the Siren name, now synonymous with quality and service. Vessels came and went and there began to be dreams of larger destinations. But these dreams needed a different kind of boat. Enter Master Liveaboards…
The Sirens are amazing boats. But our customers kept asking for ‘big’ destinations. Galapagos. Bikini Atoll. Papua New Guinea, and more. These are destinations that didn’t really suit the Siren design. A deal was struck and in 2015 a new name was born for a new destination. Galapagos Master. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that, with the name, we were looking for a partner to our Siren. But how would that Master look? Designs were pitched in the short time we had from agreement to launch and the original look was created… from several available options.
Of course, one Master was never going to be enough. And as night follows day, more Masters followed Galapagos. Truk, French Polynesia, Bahamas, Solomons and Papua New Guinea. All this was great for business, but it meant that we were carrying three brands… Siren Fleet, Master Liveaboards, and The Junk. Did we mention that we started operating The Junk in 2014 under her own unique brand? And then added our original Siren again under her new name? Confusing, right? It was going to get more complex before it could become simple again.
As a company we began working closely with Blue O Two in 2015, as Galapagos was coming to life. This relationship became closer, which meant that by 2018, as a group, we were trying to promote 16 vessels under four different brands. For anyone who saw us at a dive show in that period, our staff looked like formula one drivers with heavy sponsorship. We were aware it was confusing to the customer, but what to do?
The new Master Liveaboards
From 2017 onwards, various avenues were explored and a few of them were even fully researched and prepared. A simplification was looking like a reality, but which one? And then, well….COVID.
Nobody could have guessed in February 2020 just how much impact this little virus was going to cause. Particularly in the travel industry. We are still reeling from its effects and we are not out of the woods yet. But all this down time gave time for reflection, for new ideas to percolate, and for old ideas to come back to life. The idea of Master Liveaboards as a single brand was first pitched in 2017, we even went so far as to create a brand look. As the world slowed down, the idea was taken from the shelf and dusted down. And then the work began.
Over the course of around 6 months, the new Master Liveaboards was born. A new look, an entirely new website, an online booking platform. All of this was revealed to the world on February 17th 2021. And we could not be prouder of our brand. Everything in one place. And now just waiting to fully come out of its COVID chrysalis to bloom in full.
It’s been an 18 year journey to this point, for a group of people that are determined to build the world’s favourite liveaboard company. And they are determined that they are still in the early chapters of their story. There is more in the pipeline. New changes for a new world are ahead.
Master Liveaboards, and everyone on the team here, are looking forward to welcoming you on board soon.