The world is full of incredible wildlife and captivating places that must be seen to be believed, and an expedition yacht charter is the only way to reach the most remote and almost inaccessible locations while taking with you all the luxuries of home, plus an enviable collection of water toys and land vehicles for the ultimate adventure.
Explorer yachts can even come with shadow vessels to pack in even more choice with the aforementioned vehicles and water toys, and the rearranged space might give you even more room to socialise outside with fellow guests. Here are 10 incredible destinations you shouldn’t pass up the change to explore on a luxury yacht charter.
For the wild at heart, there are few places that have the extraordinary sights of Alaska: Begin your journey witnessing the ever-changing glaciers shifting in the Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, and keep your binoculars close at hand to spot mane seals and bald eagles. Farther along the coast, otters and brown bears fish in the clear waters and sport fishers can join in for salmon fishing at the Katmai National Park & Preserve. Volcanic activity in the region has created some amazing hot springs, which can also be experienced farther north and west at the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Here, the lava flows and the colours of the landscape are truly something to behold, and if visiting in winter you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
On the other side of the world, Greenland, Iceland & Svalbard can all be combined to create one extraordinary package combining ancient Viking settlements with modern museums, food festivals and sports suited to the snowy winters beneath the Light Fantastic or short warm summers boasting the Midnight Sun. Many experienced Scuba divers come here to see the flourishing cold water reef systems and do drift dives beneath the blue-tinted ice. In Iceland & Svalbard, visitors can expect much the same but with even more vibrant landscapes emerging from beneath the snows, tours of the local volcanic activity and hot springs. Go hiking and biking and even wear a T-shirt and shorts on the warm summer days, sunbathing on board in the Arctic Circle!
Patagonia and Antarctica are ever-shifting with the seasons, putting on a mantle of snow every winter that conceals towering spires carved out by expanding ice and wind through the ages. These dramatic coastlines welcome seals, whales and penguins to their shores, and there are plenty of places in Patagonia to stop for water sports before heading south to the blue-white world of the Antarctic. Learn about the whaling operations and expeditions at Elephant Island, and wildlife photographers will have plenty of opportunities to capture Gentoo penguins and whales on camera at Paradise Bay. Kayak through glaciers, take the tender to the shore or even journey underwater using the submersible from your explorer yacht.
For Scuba divers, Indonesia and the Sulawesi region, in particular, is considered the ultimate destination for diving: The flora and fauna are diverse and colourful, and there are sites to suit beginner level through to advanced. Wreck dives, cave dives and muck dives offer some exceptional close encounters with lionfish, pygmy sea horses, turtles, reef sharks and much more – and those who want to stay on dry land have a fantastic selection of beaches as well as bars, clubs and restaurants in Bali matched by amazing local markets and boutique shopping opportunities.
Remote and wild, an expedition yacht would take all of your comforts with you as you visited fishing villages and rediscovered the region’s WWII history. The snorkelling and Scuba diving is also something to behold, and the uninhabited islands give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy beach games and parties with loved ones whenever you desire.
To visit the scattered islands of French Polynesia, it pays to have a luxury yacht with an extensive range and plenty of amenities and good company to fill the hours between destinations. Once you arrive, you will find gorgeous multi-coloured lagoons fed by cascading waterfalls, amazing coral reefs, and white sand and volcanic black sand beaches. Paradise, far away from the typical luxury yacht charter grounds!
Where else could you see a creature as strange as the red-lipped batfish than at the Galapagos Islands? The picture-perfect surroundings are home to red-throated frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and the iconic Galapagos turtle. Cruise along the coast on kayaks or paddleboards and you might see spotted eagle rays or golden rays on your travels. Rest upon the white sand beaches before heading back on board for a restful night in preparation for more incredible encounters the following day.
Images of the tropical Maldives and Seychelles began the desire for luxury yachting in exotic locations and to this day this region has pristine islands and cays uninhabited and perfect for water sports and sunbathing in complete privacy. The beaches come in an array of colours – golden, white, pink and even glow-in-the-dark when certain plankton was up on the shores. Whether the main focus of your yacht charter is an adventure or to celebrate a special occasion with loved ones, the Maldives & Seychelles are timeless.
The Red Sea could easily be combined with the Maldives or Seychelles and boasts a wealth of wreck dives and exceptional coral reefs that haven’t experienced coral bleaching to the extent of other famous sites worldwide. Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam are considered three of the best dive spots in the area, with visibility up to 40m/131ft and warm temperatures that make multiple dives possible. Added to this are some fantastic beaches, and time on land will be well spent with the options of dune adventures, rich cultural sites, galleries, museums and shopping opportunities ranging from local markets to big international brands.
Cruise past mist-shrouded castles and lonely lighthouses on a tour of Northern Europe, where your itinerary options are as myriad and diverse as the countries you can visit: Tour the United Kingdom and discover the scenic Cornish coast, sunbathing on secluded sandy beaches before heading into town for tea, scones and a tour of the atmospheric local churches and historic sites. Cruise across the channel to indulge in Belgium’s famous chocolates, and stop by in Antwerp to tour the impressive Diamond District. As you head farther north, you’ll pass by the sandy western shore of the Netherlands that stretches for miles, and both Germany and Denmark will entice you with their own beautiful beaches and coastal tracks for hiking and biking after lunch and water sports. Pass the billowing waterfalls at the Norwegian Fjords and head to St. Petersburg for the stately squares, cafe culture, colourful cathedrals and evening entertainment in grand halls that will be remembered long after your charter has ended.