The global authority in superyachting
Top 8 destinations to visit for once-in-a-lifetime adventures
Whether you're planning on exploring cave dive sites, trekking through jungles or taking to the skies with your on board helicopter, there are no limits for adventurers and thrill seekers travelling by superyacht.
1. The Kimberley, Australia
If you are looking for a once in a lifetime exploration experience then The Kimberley in Western Australia has it all – rugged ranges, dramatic waterfalls and a virtually uninhabited coastline. Spanning an area three times the size of England, with a coastline stretching more than 1,000 nautical miles, The Kimberley is one of the few destinations left in the world that you can explore in complete solitude.
Nature is king in The Kimberley with highlights including the Horizontal Falls (pictured), which demonstrate the incredible strength of the region’s famous tides, the spectacle of the Montgomery Reef and the dramatic King’s Cascade up the Prince Regent River. The Kimberley is also dotted with Aboriginal rock art sites and is home to the famous Bradshaw and Wandjina figures.
With more than 2,000 untamed islands and a coastline that is mostly inaccessible by land it is best discovered by yacht. With limited facilities explorer capabilities are required to make the most of this incredible region. The 42 metre Anda, which was built in 1965 in Norway as a buoy tender and converted into a luxury vessel between 2010-2012, is currently available to charter in the region.
Picture courtesy of Anda Ocean Adventures / @boabuas
Big Island, Hawaii
While you may be picturing leis, ukuleles and sandy beaches, Hawaii is also home to ominous volcanic mountains, towering green cliffs, natural hot springs, crashing waterfalls and emerald rainforests.
Explore the Kilauea Caldera by helicopter, take a bicycle tour to Kamokuna, where the volcano's lava flow meets the ocean, and then spend a night at the Four Seasons' new luxury Cottage Hideaway (complete with full staff and amenities). It's unique location at the heart of a 1,000-year-old rainforest will ensure that you'll fall asleep to the sounds of the Hawaiian jungle and wake up to exotic birdsong.
Save plenty of time for diving, snorkelling and relaxing atop one of the many pristine beaches, but don't miss the Mauna Kea Summit, which is located 4,205 metres above sea level. Aside from the amazing hiking trails, the nightly stargazing program offers a life-changing experience.
Superyachts such as 60.35 metre Vive la Via, 86.01 metre Seven Seas, 87.78 metre Musashi and 118 metre Motor Yacht A have all been spotted visiting Hawaii in recent years — while some of the aforementioned chose to anchor in spots like Kailua-Kona and Hilo Bay, Mushashi was spotted docked at Kewalo Basin Harbour in Honolulu.
Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Marisa Estivill
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
For a real taste of the unknown, nature lovers need to head to the Galápagos Islands this year. Celebrate among incredible wildlife both on land and beneath the waves — the intriguing archipelago is a must-do for your bucket list.
Experienced divers can hope to witness turtles, eagle rays, barracuda, seahorses, dolphins, sea lions and 28 species of shark, including the famed hammerhead shark. Due to the strict regulations in place for visiting the Galápagos Islands, diving must be organised with a local dive company, but it’s well worth the effort.
The UNESCO World Heritage site is becoming more and more accessible by superyacht due to the increase in charter vessels available with local guides, which are compulsory for visitors to the islands. Land tours should be organised through national park service approved companies — look out for Galápagos giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, green sea turtles, racer snakes (made famous recently on Planet Earth II) and flightless cormorants.
Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Kimberly Shavender
Now that superyachts have been given the green light to visit Borneo, it should definitely be on your bucket list of off the beaten track destinations.
Though there are a number of convenient anchorages offshore, the best marina for superyachts is at the Sutera Harbour Resort — its deep water 104-berth marina can accommodate yachts up to 54 metres and offers year round protection from extreme weather. The marina clubhouse is luxurious with a range of facilities, including a movie theatre, fitness centre, tennis courts, swimming pool and children's club.
Divers will want to head to the eastern side of this enormous island to anchor off Mabul, as the strict rules state that you must stay a mile off nearby Sipadan Island. As divers have to use local dive operators, tender over to the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort in order to see turtles, bumphead parrotfish, barracudas, manta rays, sharks and a huge range of ocean life.
At the north eastern end of the island lies the Kinabatangan River and yachts with a draught measuring up to seven metres can travel down it with a permit. You can hope to see the Borneo pygmy elephants, orang-utans, crocodiles, kingfishers within the huge variety of wildlife. If you're an animal enthusiast, take a look at our top tips for Borneo's wildlife-packed Sabah.
Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / David Evison
Chilean Patagonia is the ultimate New Year’s adventure. More yachts now visit one of the last wilderness regions on Earth each summer, from small sailing yachts to the luxury megayacht Sherakhan, which visited in 2014.
The main gateway is Punta Arenas, capital of the Magallanes province, but a route from Puerto Montt to Punta Escondido in the north rewards adventurous sailors. Either way, you’re guaranteed astonishing scenery, isolation and a sense of derring do – you’ll need to be self-sufficient on board and flexible in your schedule. The flip side of environmental purity is strict rules – yachts can only navigate during the daytime and often under speed restrictions. But given that this is one of the world’s most pristine environments, slow cruising sounds pretty good to us.
Picture courtesy of Barbara Barbour/Shutterstock.com
Golfito Bay, Costa Rica
Surfers have known about Golfito Bay in Costa Rica for a while. However, it is soon expected to burst onto the yachting scene as construction is underway to build a new superyacht marina in Golfito Bay.
At the moment, facilities are few, which is half the appeal of a tropical fjord National Geographic magazine has called ‘the most biologically intense place on Earth’. That means jaguars, howler monkeys, capuchin, toucans and macaws in the national parks that ring the bay, and the world’s largest marlin in the seas. And the biggest surprise? You’re just a day’s cruising from the Panama Canal.
Picture courtesy of Worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock.com
Smoking volcanoes. Astonishingly abundant life in beautiful seas. Uninhabited islands scalloped by pale pink sand. And, of course, komodo dragons, the world’s largest lizard, looking like real-life extras from Jurassic Park.
Indonesia’s Komodo islands tick all boxes for exotic cruising, making them a dream destination for explorers, nature lovers and divers. And although New Year is on the cusp of the rainy season in January, Komodo is among the driest destinations in Indonesia. The most convenient gateway is Bali’s Benoa harbour, 30 minutes from the international airport, but owners could meet their yacht at Komodo via domestic flights to Labuan Bajo on Flores.
Picture courtesy of Ivoha/Shutterstock.com
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Over New Year leave Angra dos Reis to executives down from Rio. Insiders escape instead to this volcanic archipelago – and not just because visitor numbers are limited to 420 per day.
Though nicknamed the ‘Brazilian St Barts’, Fernando is actually far less glossy, far more rugged. Come to dive, watch dolphins in Baía dos Golfinhos, see Baia do Sancho, a fixture in Brazil’s most beautiful beach lists, hike in tropical wilderness (over half the island is Unesco-listed national park) or laze at day anchorages in myriad bays – swell in summer means Baia de Santo Antonio is the calmest overnight stop. But come too for caipirinhas and fresh barracuda in restaurants like Mergulhão. Natal is the nearest airport, the nearest superyacht harbour is Fortaleza.
If you are interested in visiting the country don't miss our guide to seven days discovering Brazil on a superyacht.
Picture courtesy of Fabricio Travassos/Shutterstock.com