More superyachts visited Antarctica last season than ever before, according to experts in the region.
The extreme destination appeared to have a bumper season with three superyachts — including Vava II and Enigma XK — spending extended periods of time in the region. Two of the superyachts were charter yachts and reportedly enjoyed full seasons. Luxury residential boat The World also spent a period of time in the region.
EYOS expeditions, who organise bespoke superyacht trips in remote locations, believe a “new generation” of superyacht owners are causing the rise.
“More than five years ago, there was maybe one superyacht visiting Antarctica each season,” said EYOS CEO Ben Lyons. “Now there is a new generation of owners looking to explore far beyond the traditional Mediterranean and Caribbean yachting circles — they want to see, do and experience more. Many of them view a yacht as an opportunity to really explore away from others — to use the mobile nature of a yacht to its full extent.”
This trend looks set to increase as last year Boat International reported a surge in the number of explorer yachts being built as owners seek to visit remote destinations. The Global Order Book, produced by Boat International’s sister publication ShowBoats, showed that 55 explorer superyachts were under construction — a 17% increase on 2014.
EYOS also believes that other factors, such as the development of toys — including submersibles and helicopters — making adventurous activities more accessible and families wanting to visit destinations that will have a long-lasting “impact” on their children, are also contributing.
“As more yachts complete successful Antarctic expeditions, more owners realise that it is in fact feasible to visit Antarctica,” Lyons added.
However, if you want to visit one of the world’s most incredible ice destinations the advice is to plan in advance. There is lengthy permit process for Antarctica, which takes a minimum of six months. In the case of EYOS the company requires an ice pilot or expedition leader to visit the yacht prior to the visit so that necessary modifications can be made to ensure the yacht is safe and suitable for Antarctic travel.
If you are interested in visiting the region don’t miss our guide on how to plan and prepare superyachts for cruising in extreme destinations and our guide to 10 days in Antarctica on a superyacht.