Off the beaten track, or in this case, the well-worn cruising route, luxury expedition charter yachts provide guests the opportunity to experience scenery, cultures and wildlife few people will ever behold: ice floes and landscapes of the polar caps, exotic jungles, island paradises, winding rivers and the world's most inaccessible destinations.
Expedition or explorer superyachts are enjoying a surge in popularity, favoured for their incomparable range, robust build, interior space, arsenal of toys, amenities onboard and self-sufficiency.
Expedition superyachts provide charter guests the absolute freedom of extended cruising, superlative comfort onboard, while navigating the world's most fascinating locations.
Sturdy, stable and built for purpose on the outside, many with icebreaking capabilities, expedition yachts are stylish and opulent within.
Equipped for activities such as fishing, diving, hunting and trekking, they boast lavish suites, high-tech entertainment systems, heated Jacuzzis, media rooms, plenty of deck space for choppers and tenders and watertoys in abundance.
At this year's Antigua Charter Yacht Show, 4 to 10 December, among the 87 yachts on display there will be three notable expedition vessels: PLAN B, RH3 and PIONEER. Luxury Charter Group will step aboard these intrepid motor yachts to meet the Captains and crew and get a real sense of the attributes of each so that our clients can be confident we can recommend them based on first-hand inspection.
PLAN B (ex-HMAS FLINDERS)
Close to 50m (163' 11"), this ex-Australian navy research vessel has been impeccably converted to a five-stateroom luxury charter yacht for 12 guests, with all imaginable amenities and accessories onboard for exceptional charter, whether that's in the Caribbean, the South Pacific or Patagonia.
PLAN B is 5-star boutique hotel from her aft deck to foredeck, with a sophisticated modern décor that will thrill and entice her fortunate guests. Styling is New York slick, with decorative pieces derived from her travels throughout Polynesia, along with maritime relics that give a subtle nod to her past.
Deck 3 is home to the 'Great Room' with comfortable sofa seating and a game table, flowing out onto the largest deck area onboard, ideal for dining, entertaining, cocktails and when the sun goes down, outdoor cinema.
On the next level, Deck 4, the Bridgedeck, boasts yet another indoor/outdoor space. Just the place to enjoy the views even in inclement weather, this area is protected on three sides by sliding glass doors, and can be used as lounge or and recreation space. The next level up boasts sunpads, Jacuzzi and well-equipped gym.
For toys and tenders, PLAN B has an impressive line-up jet tender, 30ft centre console support craft, Seadoos, Paddleboards, kayaks, towable toys, skis, wake boards, fishing gear and scuba gear, snorkelling equipment, Seascooters, and an inflatable slide for on-water fun for all the family.
The result of an extensive rebuild in 2016 by the best in the business, RH3 is the finest example of an expedition yacht with all amenities and interiors up to superyacht standard, now available in the Caribbean during winter and in the summer, the Mediterranean to the Spanish Balearics.
At 38.72 metres (127') with a beam of 8.13m (26' 8"), steel-hulled RH3 can accommodate 10 guests in five sublime suites with a décor that could be described as Nordic elegance. The full beam Master suite is located on the Main deck with a Twin cabin next door. The other guest cabins are located on the Upper deck.
Every detail of RH3 is above and beyond, just like her cruising range: from the oversized lounge seating on the aft deck to the use of glazing throughout, bathing interiors in natural light and bringing the outside in.
For entertainment onboard, RH3 boasts high-tech Kaleidescape Blu Ray Vault, Apple TV, Blu Ray DVD player, DirecTV Satellite TV and wi-fi. For the fitness conscious, the onboard gym is fully equipped with the latest model machines, again with stunning panoramic views.
RH3 comes complete with two large tenders for day trips and watersports: a Madera RIB 650, and Madera RIB 1300 (50'), plus sea kayaks, stand up paddle boards, dive and snorkeling gear, seabobs, wakeboards, waterskis, waterslide, trampoline and tow toys.
For maximum comfort at sea and at anchor, RH3 is fitted with Naiad Electric Zero Speed stabilizers.
Captain David Clayman leads a brilliant crew of eight, all charter professionals with the spirit of adventure at the heart of their service and attention to guests onboard RH3.
Like her name implies, PIONEER is the ready-for-anything expedition vessel that treats guests to unparalleled luxury onboard, whether cruising the Caribbean and Bahamas during winter, or north to New England and Canada in the summer months.
One of naval architect firm Vripack's most famous designs, PIONEER has the honour of being the first ever specifically designed Expedition Superyacht, and has travelled more than 200,000 miles, also the first motor yacht to circumnavigate the North American Continent, with a successful transit of the North West Passage from East to West in 2001.
For her charter guests, PIONEER is a sumptuous and spacious vessel which has enjoyed a recent refit to include a reconfigured saloon with two areas for lounging and games, as well as separate formal dining room, all new teak decks, an extended sundeck with new awning, sunpads, Jacuzzi, bar with grill, icemaker and fridge for entertaining, relaxing and lapping up the sun.
A multi-award winner for innovation and voyaging capacity, 46 metre (150' 11") PIONEER has five suites for up to 10 guests in total comfort. Her interiors are a soothing combination of warm timber paneling, nautical décor and traditional elegance, with modern features such as contemporary lounges, LED lighting, a yoga deck, gym, AC and wi-fi.
The Master suite has King size bed, two walk-in robes, and two generous shower rooms, plus a private library with American Cherry paneling, writing table, comfortable chairs, settee and entertainment center with flat screen TV, surround sound with DVD enclosed in an oak armoire. Two doors lead through to a private sun deck with seating for up to 10 people, and access down to the main deck and up to the sky deck. Below, there are the two VIP guest staterooms with queen beds, and two twin bed cabines (one with an extra pullman bed), each with ensuite in grey marble. AV centres, bookshelves, cedar lined robes and a safe are features of each stateroom.
Within her garage, PIONEER stores an impressive arsenal of watertoys, as well as a floating dock for extra space and ease of access. For guests' enjoyment there are two commercial quality Naiad Jet Tenders, great for exploring your destination, two Yamaha Waverunners, jetskis, scuba equipment for six people, sailing dinghy, kayaks, standup paddle boards, various towable toys, and more.
Under the expert direction of Captain Nick Cutler, PIONEER'S eight crew are able to accommodate guests' every request, from gourmet cuisine and fitness training, to onshore treks at places of interest.
Contact the luxury charter yacht specilaists at the Luxury Charter Group to enjoy the freedom of extended cruising in those off-the-beaten track locations on an expedition superyacht. and have the vacation of a lifetime.