The Story

A dream came true !

Building the Dream

A dream came true

A lifetime to imagine her, 4 years to build her...

Discover the birth of MSY WAOW on video.

The Conception

Slider - MSY WAOW Phinisi bateau de croisière plongée, navigue en Indonésie à Komodo, Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Moluques, mer de Seram, Halmahera, Manado, Lembeh et Alor

Most kids will play "when I grow up" and dream of the future in total innocence. And then there are always some adults that refuse to grow up and continue dreaming… and without consideration of the consequences, must realize their dreams. WAOW is the realisation of a dream, that of Michel Deville. At the outset the concept was based on aesthetics: it needed to be a sailing boat built of wood using traditional methods. Without knowing anything about boats or navigation, he designed it, made the plans, had it built and looked after the decoration. To fill in the knowledge gaps, he surrounded himself with the necessary specialists.

Based on advice, the inspiration came from the traditional Indonesian cargo boats, the Phinisi, which can be somewhat unstable when navigating empty, and mixed it with the more straight-deck stable Schooner style. For the rigging, he let go of the wooden mast idea in favour of steel masts to more effectively carry the sail area necessary for WAOWs 850 tonnes.

The Construction

The construction of such a vessel necessitated many particularities difficult to find nowadays.

  • Tradesmen of a bygone era: Hadji Wahub and his master carpenters, with 400 years of ancestral construction history.
  • The material: Ironwood, unrivalled, rare and expensive.
  • The timing: built in Indonesia where the concept of time is different to that of the west. The build time was anachronistic but gave time for reflexion, replaced computers, and gave a lesson in patience that guaranteed the result.
  • And of course the joys of the ever winding administration.

Conditions for an amazing adventure in the 21st century, in fact an adventure from another age. Result, a boat out of the ordinary, a boat of legend. The circle is closed.

segeln, kreuzen und tauchen in Indonesien mit dem liveaboard Phinisi MSY WAOW im Tschungel Borneo s gebaut

The Name


What a funny name WAOW. The French speakers, all those who saw the plans and construction photos, or those who have been onboard since, all, whatever their language may be, say "WAOW !"... So let’s go for WAOW.


In English and later on, Julia Deville, the wife of the designer, gave a sense to the name: "Water Adventure Ocean Wide". 

La construction du WAOW, Phinisi bateau de croisière plongée, navigue en Indonésie à Komodo, Raja Ampat, Papouasie, Moluques, mer de Seram, Halmahera, Manado, Lembeh et Alor

Commercial operations

Building the WAOW, Phinisi liveaboard for dive cruises, sailing in Indonesia. Komodo, Raja Ampat, Papua Barat, Moluccas, Seram sea, Halmahera, Manado, Lembeh and Alor


Four years after the beginning of construction, WAOW started commercial operations in April 2012. Designed predominately for scuba diving, WAOW proposes luxury cruises all around Indonesia. Throughout the year it is possible to explore mythic and far removed zones in exceptional comfort: The National Parks of Komodo and Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, the Forgotten Islands, Triton Bay, Halmahera, Togian, Cenderawasih bay, Sangihe Islands, Lembeh Strait and Manado. We also follow the spice islands routes through the Banda Sea in addition to visiting the Seram Sea, Sonde and Celebes Islands.

WAOW II... ??

Come and see us in Paris
at Stand C03


Read More
2019 WAOW Liveaboard scuba dive safari boat in Indonesia at the Salon de la Plongée Paris

SANGIHE Islands 

   "Pearls of the North"         


 Currently not available

Read More
NEW WAOW Itinerary Sangihe Islands Sulawesi Celeb sea,  Bitung, Manado, Lembeh strait, Bunaken, Bangga

Dive the BANDA Sea

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Dive the BANDA Sea Indonesia, Coral triangle, encounter hammer head sharks and many more pelagic or schooling jacks, barracudas, cobra sea snakes and many more with the ultimate Liveaboard MSY WAOW Pinisi