Yachting, once synonymous with conspicuous luxury, is no longer limited to the elite, seeking out the same congested anchorages. Nowadays, charter clients aspire to make their time on the water a genuine escape, utilizing their vessels to embark on exploratory adventures. A few exclusive outfitters are fully embracing this trend.
“Covid-19 accelerated the trend of more people seeking remote, dream-worthy destinations,” says Neal Bateman, yacht director at Cookson Adventures, a company that arranges voyages to the Solomon Islands, Patagonia, and Antarctica aboard the luxurious superyacht SuRi. “The increase in the availability of explorer yachts is also contributing to this surge in interest.” Greenland, with its solitude, abundant natural wonders, and pristine Arctic landscapes, has become a top choice for adventurers seeking off-grid experiences. Cookson Adventures is currently planning an expedition to Greenland that promises encounters with polar bears, musk oxen, wolves, and Arctic foxes, as well as opportunities for heli-skiing, fjord-side hiking, and visits to Inuit villages. Additionally, submersible excursions provide breathtaking underwater views of fjords, icebergs, and marine life, including whales.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing, based in Montana, specializes in providing exclusive access to some of the most remote and fish-rich destinations around the world. They are now offering an opportunity to explore the Amirantes in the Seychelles. This cluster of outer islands has become a sanctuary for saltwater anglers due to its remoteness, making it one of the world’s premier destinations for fly fishing. The area is known for its shallow atolls and crystal-clear flats teeming with barracuda, milkfish, giant trevally, and triggerfish. Alec Gerbec, Yellow Dog’s program director for the Seychelles, explains, “These islands have restricted shallow-water fishing and are not accessible to the general public.” The 10-day charter aboard the 75-foot catamaran Quovadis includes personalized one-day stops at unique locations like the sunken atoll of Rémire, the African Banks, and Alphonse Island, renowned for having some of the best bonefishing opportunities in the world.
Across the ocean, EYOS is presenting a select number of Antarctic summer expeditions aboard the 157-foot Hanse Explorer. These journeys will take you along the most remote coastlines and awe-inspiring glaciers of this captivating continent. During the Antarctic offseason, this expedition yacht will transform into EYOS’s home base in tropical Melanesia. “This region is one of the least explored on our planet, but it has always been a part of our DNA,” explains EYOS co-founder Rob McCallum, who resided in Papua New Guinea for 13 years. In 2024, Angela Pennefather, who hails from Papua New Guinea, will lead a unique expedition. Guests will have the opportunity to partake in rare cultural experiences like witnessing a Baining fire dance in Rabaul or embarking on an air safari via private jet to spend a night with the Asaro “mud men” of Polga in Goroka.
The Mergui Archipelago, located off the coast of Myanmar, provides a unique opportunity to take a step back in time and explore its collection of 800 mostly uninhabited islands. Black Tomato has curated a charter experience aboard the 167-foot Dunia Baru, complete with guided shore excursions that encompass jungle treks through untamed landscapes inhabited by wildcats and monkeys, exploring limestone caves, and visiting a village of semi-nomadic Mogen fishermen who supply seafood for the yacht. “In many of these anchorages, the only illumination comes from the stars,” notes Emma de Vadder of Black Tomato. “These islands offer truly unparalleled experiences.”
In the unspoiled and secluded cruising areas of Indonesia’s Coral Triangle and Raja Ampat, handcrafted teak-and-ironwood phinisis stand out as the preferred vessels. However, adhering to tradition doesn’t imply sacrificing luxury. Rascal Voyages offers a seven-day charter from Labuan Bajo to Bali on the opulent 98-foot Rascal. The itinerary encompasses activities such as surfing, snorkeling with whale sharks in Sumbawa, and the opportunity to engage in manta-ray research and conservation alongside scientists in Komodo National Park.