Top 20 Largest Explorer Yachts

Enigma XK | 71.40m 234′3″

Built in 1988 ,United Kingdom

Enigma XK was built in 1988 as Norna, a tough Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency patrol vessel. During her government service she patrolled the freezing waters of the North Atlantic for illegal fishing.

She was taken out of service in 2010 and has been converted by the Atlantic Refit Centre into an explorer yacht. The vessel was in good condition and so designer Philippe Briand chose to keep most of the original boat, including the original funnel.

Enigma XK has a range of 12,000 nautical miles and completed a season in Antarctica in 2015.

Builder: Richards (1988) / Atlantic Refit Center (2014)
Naval architecture: McFarlane Ship Design
Exterior Design: Philippe Briand
Interior Styling: Veerle Battiau/Vitruvius

  • Builder: Richard Lowestoft
  • Country of build:United Kingdom
  • Delivery year:1988
  • Length Overall: 71.4 m
  • Beam:11.6 m
  • Gross Tonnage1395 t

Cloudbreak | 72.50m (237’10”)

Named after a notorious wave off the coast of Fiji, Cloudbreak was built for an owner with a passion for heli-skiing and global exploration.

German yard Abeking & Rasmussen delivered this explorer yacht in 2016, having worked with designer Espen Øino to create her steel hull and aluminium superstructure. Her warm and inviting interiors by Christian Liaigre feature a superyacht gym, sauna and massage area.

Builder / Naval Architecture: Abeking & Rasmussen
Exterior Design: Espen Øino
Interior Styling: Christian Liaigre

Picture courtesy of Christopher Scholey

Nautilus | 73m 239′6″

Built in 2014 ,Italy

Picchiotti’s flagship, Nautilus, is based on her Vitruvius series predecessors: 50m Exuma and 55m Galileo G. The yacht is a collaboration between Vitruvius Ltd, Philippe Briand and the Perini Navi Group.

Nautilus is built in aluminium and features a special BOS Hull (Briand Optimized Stretched Hull). The explorer yacht differs from the first two yachts in the series due to her advanced diesel-electric propulsion system. With her two azipods she can cruise at 12 knots for over 7,500 nautical miles.

Nautilus also features a range of innovations designed to help reduce her footprint on the areas that she visits, including systems to deal with exhaust fumes and for dealing with garbage management and storage.

“Our intention was to be able to go to any area in the world and retain everything on board in the event of a lack of (disposal) facilities ashore,” said captain Eddie Cooney.

Builder: Picchiotti
Naval architecture & Exterior styling: Philippe Briand / Vitruvius
Interior design: Rémi Tessier
Former names: Grace E

  • Builder: Perini Navi
  • Country of build:Italy
  • Delivery year:2014
  • Length Overall: 73 m
  • Beam:13.2 m
  • Gross Tonnage1835 t

Planet Nine | 73.2m (240')

Built in 2018 ,Italy

Planet Nine is an ice-classed explorer was designed to roam the globe.

Standout features include a commercial-standard helipad on the aft deck with a large hangar beneath for her MD-600N Explorer helicopter, and a side-loading garage providing space for three custom Rupert tenders.

Power comes from a pair of 2,575hp Caterpillar 3516 engines for a top speed in excess of 16 knots. When trimmed back to 14 knots, she can cruise for 6,000 nautical miles without needing to refuel her 245,500 litre tanks. A dynamic positioning system makes it easier to visit remote and environmentally sensitive areas.

With massive 2,100 GT of volume, she can accommodate up to 16 guests with 26 crew on board, and features a panoramic observatory lounge, onboard cinema, and beach club.

Builder / naval architecture: Admiral - The Italian Sea Group
Exterior design: Tim Heywood
Interior design: Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi

  • Builder: Admiral - The Italian Sea Group
  • Country of build:Italy
  • Delivery year:2018
  • Length Overall: 73.2 m
  • Beam:12.8 m
  • Gross Tonnage2100 t

Naia | 73.61m 241′6″

Built in 2011 ,Spain

The 73.61 metre steel expedition-capable superyacht Naia (ex-Pegaso) was launched in 2011 by Freire. As well as being one of the world's largest explorer yachts, she is the largest superyacht ever to be built in Spain and underwent a three month refit in 2014 for her new owner.

Naia has many of the attributes of a high-spec explorer yacht, including an HCA certified helipad — the sort normally found on North Sea oil platforms. The black water treatment system is so thorough that the yacht compiles with the strictest regulations, meaning she can travel to Alaska, and four satellite domes provide continuous internet connectivity.

Builder: Freire
Naval Architecture: BMT Nigel Gee & Associates
Exterior Styling: H2 Yacht Design
Interior design: Mark Berryman

  • Builder: Freire
  • Country of build:Spain
  • Delivery year:2011
  • Length Overall: 73.6 m
  • Beam:13.2 m
  • Gross Tonnage2059 t

Sherpa | 74m 242′7″

Built in 2018 ,Netherlands

Sherpa’s name reflects the immense carrying capacity of this 74 metre superyacht. Sherpa features vast expanses of open deck space for storing everything from tenders to helicopters. The yacht’s two giant boom cranes are the largest ever fitted to a Feadship and offer a maximum reach of 20 metres. Designed by British designers RWD and delivered in 2018, Sherpa features a number of luxury finishes such as teak decking, stainless steel detailing and accommodation for up to 13 guests, as well as 22 crew. Power comes from a pair of MTU 16V4000 M53R engines for a top speed of 15.7 knots and a globetrotting range of 5,200 nautical miles at 13 knots

Builder: Feadship

Naval ArchitectureFeadship De Voogt Naval Architects

Exterior Styling: RWD

Interior Styling: RWD

  • Builder: Feadship
  • Country of build:Netherlands
  • Delivery year:2018
  • Length Overall: 73.6 m
  • Beam:13.2 m
  • Gross Tonnage1802 t

Bella Vita | 75.4m 247′5″

Built in 2009 ,Germany

Bella Vita, previously Northern Star_, was delivered to her owner by Lürssen in 2009. Having owned a previous smaller explorer yacht with the same name (now Polar Star),_ the owner knew what he wanted when he ordered a larger version.

Similar in style to his previous yacht, Northern Star features an ice-class hull and is robustly designed for permanent use in the northern hemisphere. With a range of 6,000 nautical miles, she combines the luxury of a superyacht with the go-anywhere capability of an explorer yacht.

Northern Star also carries two sturdy Zodiac Hurricane Adventure RIBs as well as a stylish Hinckley tender.

Builder / naval architecture: Lürssen
Exterior styling: Espen Øino
Interior design: Pauline Nunns

Luxury yacht Northern Star available for charter

  • Builder: Lurssen
  • Country of build:Germany
  • Delivery year:2009
  • Length Overall: 75.4 m
  • Beam:13.5 m
  • Gross Tonnage2205 t

Yersin | 76.60m 251′3″

Built in 2015 ,France

Yersin is a steel-hull, ice-classed explorer yacht built at Piriou commercial yard in Brittany. Piriou collaborated with exterior designer Pierre-Jacques Kubis to design a motor yacht capable of cruising the most extreme conditions.

Built for oceangoing navigation, transoceanic passages and ice exploration, Yersin is to be used for research. She carries several tenders to aid the campaigns.

She has a huge range of 12,000 nautical miles and can go for 50 days without needing to take on supplies, meaning she doesn’t need to make landfall very often — a key requirement to make it onto our list of the world's largest explorer yachts.

Builder / Naval architecture: Piriou
Exterior Designer:  Pierre-Jacques Kubis

  • Builder: Piriou
  • Country of build:France
  • Delivery year:2015
  • Length Overall: 76.6 m
  • Beam:13 m
  • Gross Tonnage2200 t

Legend | 77.40m 253′11″

Built in 1974 ,Netherlands

Legend (ex-Giant I) was built in Holland as a Class 1 icebreaker for the Soviet Union merchant marine. She served the Russians for 26 years as an oceangoing salvage tug and electronic eavesdropping vessel. After breaking down in an American port she was abandoned and sold at auction by the American authorities. She was bought by René Herzog and converted into a charter yacht.

Legend has since completed a 12-month refit at Icon Yachts, which included a 3.6 metre aft deck extension to equip the yacht with a swim platform and swimming pool. The helipad is commercially certified and a submarine can be stored in a forward garage. The bulwark and deckhouse were also extended to give her sleeker looks.

Builder: IHC Holland (1974) / Giant (2003) / Icon Yachts (2016)
Naval architecture: IHC Holland
Exterior styling (2014): Diana Yacht Design
Interior design (2003): John Misiag

  • Builder: IHC Verschure
  • Country of build:Netherlands
  • Delivery year:1974
  • Length Overall: 77.4 m
  • Beam:13.5 m
  • Gross Tonnage2290 t

Sea Ranger | 77.73m 255′1″

Built in 1973 ,Germany

In 1994 the Malta Drydock Company converted this oceangoing, ice-classed tug into a luxury yacht for French entrepreneur Jackie Setton. Having changed hands several times she was then sold at auction in 2013 and renamed Sea Ranger.

She has been dubbed as the ultimate expedition yacht. She has a basketball court on her decks along with a swimming pool and helicopter pad, plus the ability to carry a 40 foot cabin cruiser and numerous other small boats on her deck.

She has a staggering range of 31,000 nautical miles she has already cruised the world several times, including visits to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Builder: Schichau-Unterweser (1973) / Malta Drydock Company (1994)
Naval architecture: Kusch Yachts
Exterior styling: Lothar Schimpf
Former names: Simson S, Lone Ranger

  • Builder: Schichau-Unterweser
  • Country of build:Germany
  • Delivery year:1973
  • Length Overall: 77.4 m
  • Beam:13.23 m
  • Gross Tonnage1890 t