If you are looking to extend your winter ski season up until May, 72 metre charter yacht Nansen Explorer will be venturing to the ends of the earth on her first-ever visit to Greenland.
“It’s off-piste – no resorts, no groomed trails, nothing like that,” says EYOS Expeditions chief executive Ben Lyons. The former Captain of National Geographic Endeavour and National Geographic Explorer is describing the backwoods skiing experience in southwestern Greenland, where EYOS has announced two new charter itineraries on board Nansen Explorer.
The recently refitted superyacht will be testing her polar capabilities in Greenland’s frozen wilderness until late summer 2022, beginning and ending charters in the fjordic town of Kangerlussuaq. The EYOS team began scouting for new destinations over a year ago before choosing Greenland, which Lyons says is “uniquely suited to Nansen.”
With her robust Ice-1A class hull and expedition-capable features, this 72-metre superyacht is perfectly suited to such an off-the-beaten-track destination. “We wanted to focus on polar regions, and the first thing we wanted to do is take advantage of this enormous, commercially certified, well-sheltered helideck that's on the ship stern,” says Lyons.
Greenland’s rocky coast was the perfect fit with its combination of ice water cruising and helicopter-accessible slopes. “Greenland is one of the best places in the world for heli-skiing because you can ski down fresh virgin tracks. There are stunning landscapes and there's the ability to ski from slope to sea – an incredible experience. So we thought that was a really interesting area to focus on and take advantage of the ship’s capabilities.”Read More/The ultimate guide to heli skiing
But a hardy hull is certainly not the only selling point for Nansen Explorer charters. Following an extensive refit in spring 2021, the yacht’s tough exterior conceals a luxurious interior with seven spacious cabins, a formal dining room for enjoying Michelin star-standard meals and a lounge with a cosy fireplace to warm up after a day outdoors. Spaces are decorated in a slick Scandinavian style, with a palette inspired by natural Arctic hues and complimented by a collection of wildlife photography from the region.
A “hybrid” is how Lyons now describes the superyacht, which was originally delivered as a commercial vessel in 1983: “She’s got this sort of rugged hull that’s battle-scarred from pushing through ice flows for many years, but then inside you have this totally new and refurbished interior that was designed for 60 people and now accommodates only 12 people – and with a superyacht crew, and a superyacht food service level." Other new features on board include a gym, a mudroom for expedition kit and a hangar for toys ranging from kayaks and zodiacs to paddleboards and diving gear.Read More/Exploring Iceland on board 72m superyacht Nansen Explorer
Heli-skiing charters will be taking place until May, after which point Nansen Explorer will continue her Greenland cruise, venturing further north for what Lyons has named the “classic” charter. This itinerary will “focus more on kayaking in beautiful fjords, cruising by dramatic icebergs and visiting small local villages.”
The helipad will be used for sightseeing tours from above, with toys taken out for excursions by both land and sea in regions including Maniitsoq, Sisimiut, Ilulissat, Aasivissuit, Eternity Fjord and Kangaamiut. From cultural trips to potential wildlife sightings, the region is ripe for exploration by superyacht.
“The west coast of Greenland has incredible landscapes, it's got a wonderful culture in small, charming villages where you can go to visit great local art,” says Lyons. “At the same time, it has incredible icebergs in Disko Bay [but] that unpredictability of ice in Disko Bay is very much there. So you want to have a ship that you're confident is going to be able to navigate the ice flows.”
With a growing fleet of explorer yachts now in build, Lyons has noticed that “there’s definitely a demand” for remote cruising within the superyacht industry, which is edging into the realm of charters. “I think more and more now, people are seeing these yachts going to these unusual destinations. So there's an awareness about going to these remote destinations that simply didn't exist 10 years ago,” he says.
The aim of Nansen Explorer’s new itineraries is to appeal to this adventurous client base. And it’s working. “The second half of the summer is already fully booked with charters,” Lyons confirms. But if you’re worried about missing the boat to Greenland this season, there’s still plenty more polar cruising on the horizon for Nansen Explorer, with trips to the Canadian Arctic and Northwest Passage scheduled in August, followed by a return to Antarctica in October 2022.
Nansen Explorer is available to charter through EYOS Expeditions, with a weekly charter rate starting from €295,000.
Single cabin charters in Greenland are available in June 2022, starting at €15,000 per person.
For heli-skiing charters between April and May 2022, single cabins are available from €20,000 per person.