10 of the best superyachts with submarines

If you haven't already heard, submarines are officially the coolest piece of kit to keep on board. With room for up to six guests and tailor-made to fit the weight and height restrictions of a superyacht tender garage, exploring the underwater world has never been easier for the superyacht set. Discover ten of the best sub-carrying superyachts on the water...

La Datcha

Credit: Imperial Yachts

The ice-classed La Datcha is an intrepid explorer built for adventures in the world’s wildest regions and is equipped with toys for every climate. A pair of helicopters - twin Airbus H125s – can whisk guests off for an afternoon of heli-skiing, while a three-person Triton submersible, made to match the mothership, is suited to cruising in warmer climes where the sea below is bustling with aquatic life. La Datcha is available for charter with Imperial.

Legend

Credit: Shelton DuPreez

Legend started life as a Soviet icebreaker and, after receiving the full superyacht treatment in 2016, now cruises as the ultimate luxury explorer. Legend’s toy box is impressive – to say the least – but her submarine is by far the coolest toy in her collection. The U Boat Worx C Explorer 5 submersible can take up to four guests (plus a pilot) down to a depth of 200 metres. She is also capable of carrying up to 19 crew on board, plus an extra 10 expedition crew including a doctor, ice-pilot, and expedition leaders, for an adventure like no other. Legend is available for charter with Y.CO.

Hodor

Credit: Clint Jenkins

Nicknamed the ‘world’s largest floating toy box’, the 66 metre Hodor is the first of a new breed of shadow cats designed to make the storage, launch and recovery of toys and tenders as slick as possible. Her top deck alone carries a 7.3-metre Novurania catamaran RIB, nine-metre Metal Shark landing craft, and an insane 388 Skater race boat. Below, in the belly of the beast, she carries nine jet skis, four Yamaha ATVs, four Yamaha TW200 trail motorcycles, a hobie cat and two laser dinghies and a Seamagine Aurora-3 submersible. The submarine garage is housed in the centre of Hodor, and its launching system uses air casters to locate from the garage to the beam cranes.

Game Changer

The 72 metre Game Changer was built in 2017 based on the same patented Damen Sea Axe hull as Garcçon, but with a 2.04 metre stern extension for a helicopter hangar. Among the many toys and tenders stored on her aft deck is a Wajer 38 dayboat, a 10.5 metre military-style RIB and a three-person U-Boat Worx C Explorer submarine.

Stern

Credit: MOOWE

Stern (previously Cecilia) stands out among this list of sub-carrying superyachts. Not only is she the smallest but, unlike most of her much larger counterparts, the submersible isn’t stored on deck. On Cecilia, a three-person U-Boat Worx SYS3 (complete with a Jules Verne-esque manipulator hand – which clutched a bottle of Bollinger during her Monaco Yacht Show debut) is actually stored in the beach club. It simply slides out on a sophisticated crane installed overhead.

Axis

Credit: Jeff Brown/Breed Media

Serial superyacht owner, adventurer, environmental warrior and treasure hunter, Carl Allen owns a seriously impressive fleet of toys, tenders and yachts, known collectively as the Allen Exploration fleet. His 50 Westport, Gigi, travels with a 55 metre Damen support vessel in tow, named Axis (previously New Frontiers), and is key to Allen’s primary mission to study plastic pollution and fish migration and secondary mission to hunt for treasures lost at sea. The fleet also includes an Icon A5 aircraft and a Triton 3300/3 MKII submarine, both stored on Axis’s deck.

Octopus

Image courtesy of Fraser and Burgess

Explorer yacht Octopus is already pretty famous thanks to her notable owner – Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen – and the fact that she is the largest expedition yacht in the world. But the 126 metre Octopus added another feather to her cap, and gained kudos from the mainstream press, when her submarine discovered a long-lost WW2 shipwreck, Musashi, at 1,000 feet of water. The bright yellow submarine, named Pagoo, can carry 10 guests and is stored in the yacht's floodable well-deck at the stern.

U Boat Navigator

U Boat Navigator is a 24 metre expedition yacht designed to provide the ultimate dive experience to all guests that step aboard. Well-equipped for a subaquatic adventure, U Boat Navigator is home to two Triton submersibles, including a custom three-person Triton 3300/3, the same model used to film the BBC’s award-winning Blue Planet II. Meanwhile, a second, slightly smaller sub acts as a support vessel. The yacht also runs a full dive centre set-up along with tri-mix facilities, a decompression chamber and a tender to whisk guests to the best dive spots. U Boat Navigator is available for charter with Fraser.

SuRi

The 63.69 metre explorer SuRi has recently undertaken a two-year expedition to map the ocean floor as part of a wider mission, in partnership with Cookson Adventures, to create a complete map of the ocean floor by 2030. The mission’s submersible of choice is a seven-seater U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7, capable of reaching depths of 300 metres and piloted by Ofer Ketter. Other toys include a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, SeaRey seaplane, nine metre Stan-Craft Wooden Speedster and two BMW GS650 motorcycles – to name a few.

OceanXplorer

Credit: Andy Mann

To call OceanXplorer a superyacht might be a stretch. You won’t find any sundeck swimming pools or two-storey master suites with sweeping views out across the foredeck. But that doesn’t mean she’s not “super”. The 87 metre expedition vessel started out life as a commercial surveying ship before she was converted into the ultimate research vessel by filmmaker Mark Dalio in partnership with non-profit organisation OceanX. The vessel is home to two twin Triton submarines that can dive to a depth of 1,000 metres, launched and recovered via an A-frame crane on the stern.

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