With burgeoning interest in adventure charter and more explorer yachts under construction than ever before, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that you don’t need to head to the world’s most popular cruising grounds for the best experience on the water. Ahead of the Explorer Yachts Summit, taking place 10th November in Monaco, we’ve picked some of the world’s most exhilarating cruising grounds that are well-worth veering from the well-trodden path.
While the South Pacific is becoming increasingly popular with superyachts, there are still spots that are seldom explored. The Solomon Islands remain the South Pacific’s best-kept secret – and they are only a three-hour flight from Australia. This unspoiled paradise has hundreds of uninhabited islands where you can drop anchor and make fresh footprints on a secluded beach.
With moss-green peaks, vivid turquoise lagoons and an abundance of marine life, there are endless reasons to discover French Polynesia by superyacht. With more than 118 idyllic islands to explore, French Polynesia stretches over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean.
While Australia may not sound adventurous, the heat of an Australian summer makes the country’s long golden beaches a fantastic charter destination for the winter season. With. 25,800 kilometres of stunning coastline and the world’s largest coral reef system, there is much to explore here in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, its tropical and temperate waters, prime surfing spots, world-class attractions, exotic wildlife are enough to lure anyone to the land down under.
At nearly 300,000 square miles, Borneo is the largest island in Asia and the third largest in the world. Sitting just above Indonesia, Borneo is home to huge diversity, from jungles and towering rainforests to splendid beaches ringed by kaleidoscopic reefs. Governance of the island is split between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei and each area has a unique cultural spirit, which makes exploring the island an exhilarating and diverse experience.
Superyachts here can marvel at the island’s green-carpeted Mount Kinabalu which stands at 4,095 metres tall and explore famed offshore diving spots such as Sipadan Island.
Offering 800 miles of pristine coastline and lush rainforests teeming with exotic flora and fauna, Costa Rica is a Central American paradise. Only recently has the passing of charter legislations allowed the opportunity for Costa Rica to become a yachting haven. The landmark ruling comes after a significant contribution from superyacht charter broker Fraser, which worked alongside The Costa Rica Marina Association to lobby for changes in superyacht regulations.
Perhaps considered to be more on the extreme side, the cool climbs of Alaska are just 500 miles from the rest of the US, and primed for superyacht exploration. This sparsely populated northern state offers more coastline than all the other US states combined with more than 6000 miles to explore. Cruise the Inside Passage to go whale-watching and glacier-spotting. Alternatively, venture on land for dog sledding, guided bear tours and visits to traditional local villages.
From southern to northern Patagonia, there are myriad waterways that cut through sky-high mountain ranges, passing blue glaciers and pristine anchorages. With plenty of of adventure and chances to commune with nature on hand, visiting superyachts can spend their days heli-ski on a volcano, whale-watching, kayaking and trekking while taking in the spectacular scenery.
Perhaps the spot which is associated with the most adventurous explorers, Antarctica is the largest wilderness on the planet, devoid of any development save a few scientific stations. While cruising here, guests can soak in a spa tub sipping champagne while watching icebergs float by, and visit colonies of penguins thousands deep. This is exploration at its most extreme, and thanks to increasingly capable explorer yachts, its icy fields are well worth a visit.
The allure of the mythical Northwest Passage is to boldly go where few have gone before. The sea route that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, through the unforgiving Canadian Arctic, was first completed by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1906 – since then there have been fewer than 160 transits. The route spanning the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic promises gargantuan icebergs, thriving marine life and historical marvels.
A nature lover’s paradise, the Galápagos is the ultimate bucket list destination for many. However, it has strict charter rules that are designed to help protect the fragile ecosystem. There are a handful of excellent charter yachts year-round with naturalist guides on board, which can not only showcase the very best of this cruising ground, but highlight ways to preserve it.
Far-flung destinations like these will be a topic of conversation at the Explorer Yachts Summit, which will be hosted on November 10, 2022 at the Yacht Club de Monaco.Buy tickets