• Cars, Jets & Yachts

Top 10 Explorer Yachts in the World

Exploring the seven seas on an explorer yacht is one of the most life-affirming experiences out there.

By Ellie Brade

best expedition yachts

Over the past decade, the popularity of luxury explorer yachts has soared. And with good reason — is there a better way to see the world than from the deck of your own superyacht? Exploring the seven seas while authentically connecting with their natural beauty, is undoubtedly one of the most desirable and life-affirming experiences out there. Here, Ellie Brade presents 10 of the finest explorer yachts currently available for the intrepid travelers among you.

[See more: What are Explorer Yachts?]

Builder : McConaghy Year of build : 2012 LOA : 139.7 ft Number of guests: 9 Crew : 6

There is no mistaking Adastra (pictured above) thanks to her distinctive futuristic design and trimaran hull. Adastra has more than demonstrated her explorer credentials and has traveled the world, turning heads wherever she goes. Highly fuel efficient, she has a very small eco footprint, and her stable hull ensures a comfortable ride. With a trans-Pacific range of 10,000 nm she can cross the Atlantic twice before needing to refuel. An impressively shallow draft of just four feet allows her access to cruising grounds that other explorer yachts cannot visit, meaning very few places are off limits. Her 52-ft beam provides generously proportioned spaces, including the main saloon and a shaded outdoor deck. A light-filled, modern interior ensures an inviting base to conduct adventures from and accommodations include a full-beam master cabin. Adastra’s garage door folds out to create a platform for diving, and she carries plenty of toys and tenders for getting out and enjoying the water.

[See more: Step Inside the Adastra Trimaran Yacht]

Itinerary: Raja Ampat, Indonesia

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Adastra explorer yacht interior

A light-filled, modern interior ensures an inviting base to conduct adventures

Originally built for use in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, Adastra is at home in Indonesia’s warm waters. The archipelago of Raja Ampat — meaning Four Kings — straddles the Equator and has over 1,500 islands and islets, which surround the four main islands of Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool. Very few explorer yachts visit here due to strict regulations, and the area is largely uninhabited, meaning you will often feel as if you have the ocean all to yourself. Crystal-clear waters, endless beaches, and a variety of dive sites and reefs are all waiting to be sampled. Adastra’s draft works to her advantage here, allowing the yacht to move easily between even the shallowest of anchorages.

Start your cruise with a visit to the paradisiacal rain forest-covered island of Kri before cruising towards Gam Island, which offers incredible diving — step straight into the water from Adastra’s dive platform. Move on to Wayag Island, where you can take kayaks into the Wayag lagoon, which is mesmerizingly blue. If you’re feeling energetic, hike inland and upwards to enjoy long views across the water. Cruise through Dampier Strait and spot hundreds of manta rays before visiting Pulau Gam to try and spot the rarely sighted red bird of paradise. Diving fans won’t want to miss traveling south and visiting Misool, which is renowned for its myriad of underwater sites. Venture into the Gua Sacral ancestral caves, which were once an indigenous burial site. Kayaking through Misool’s Blue Water Mangroves, which are peppered with reefs, will have you in awe of the natural beauty.

For sale $10m. Contact Ian Sherwood, sales broker, [email protected] , +44 207 766 4300, burgessyachts.com

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Exterior of Octopus explorer yacht

A helicopter takes off from the Octopus landing pad

Builder: Lürssen Year of build: 2003 LOA: 414 ft Number of guests: 26 Crew: 63

One of the world’s most traveled yachts, Octopus is a groundbreaking expedition vessel that set the tone for the many explorer yachts that have followed in her impressive wake. With eight decks and at a gargantuan 414 ft, it’s no surprise that Octopus is packed with feature after feature, from a full basketball court to the entertainment-focused bridge deck. Her glass-bottomed underwater observation lounge means you can watch fish and sea creatures in their natural habitat. Huge storage capacity lets her carry no less than seven tenders, two helicopters, a submersible for eight guests and two crewmembers that’s capable of diving for up to eight hours, and even a large SUV for onshore adventures. Octopus has undertaken some truly special adventures, including recovering the ship’s bell from the wreck of the HMS Hood, cruising the coast of Antarctica and discovering the wreck of the WWII battleship IJN Musashi off the Philippines. Now, her legacy can continue with a new owner, as she’s currently for sale.

[See more: The Most Expensive Yachts for Charter]

Itinerary: Patagonia

Deck of the Octopus explorer yacht

At a gargantuan 414 ft, it’s no surprise that Octopus is packed with features

Octopus explorer yacht deck

The sun sets over the horizon on one of Octopus’s many decks

Often a gateway to Antarctica, Patagonia possesses an unspoilt beauty. Ripe for adventure, it offers an incredible mix of landscapes with glaciers, hot springs, mountains, remote islands, beaches and a wide variety of wildlife. Begin your journey at Puerto Montt, which ushers you into the company of the Patagonian Fjords and Andes Mountains. Make for the Corcovado Volcano and take in the awe-inspiring National Park. Explore by tender, or even take in the landscape from above in one of Octopus’s helicopters.

The waters boast a diverse ecosystem, and you are sure to spot whales as you cruise — there are many whale research programs around these waters, and the explorer yacht’s glass-bottomed lounge provides an unrivaled view into the kingdom of these giants of the sea. Make your way to the Piti Palena Fjord, located in the delta of the Palena River — this is an excellent spot for fishing. Continue onwards to the Guaitecas Archipelago, which has eight main islands and waters famed for being home to yet more whales and dolphins. North of the archipelago is one of the world’s largest nursing and feeding grounds for blue whales — a sight not to be missed.

For sale €235m (approx. $285m). Contact Matt Emerson, senior partner-director, Americas, [email protected], +1 212 223 0410, burgessyachts.com

[See also: The Best Luxury Yacht Builders in the World]

Exterior of The Beast explorer yacht

The Beast delivers adventure with a side of luxurious living / ©Aaron March

Builder: Profab Engineering Year of build: 2019 LOA: 128.7 ft Number of guests: 12 Crew : 9

With the  yacht’s camouflage exterior, The Beast’s owner describes her as “a little different.” What an understatement! Built to explore, and incredibly stable (no need for sickness pills on this one), this catamaran explorer-style yacht can tackle just about any cruising ground except Antarctica and has a long range of 5,000 nm. Thanks to her 39.4-ft beam, she has an incredible 4,000 sq ft of living space, elegantly fitted out with a modern interior. The Beast is packed with all the equipment needed for enjoying remote itineraries, not the least of which is a 42-ft custom composite fishing boat adorably dubbed The Baby Beast . An industrial-style, 49-ft aft deck is packed with water equipment that includes a custom amphibious tender for driving straight from water to land. A favorite spot is the upper deck with its teppanyaki grill and bar.

Itinerary: New Zealand

Deck of The Beast yacht

The Beast’s sunlit bridge / ©Aaron March

Often described as ‘the whole world in one country’ New Zealand packs a punch as a destination, delivering 9,300 miles of coastline, snow, rain forest, white-sand beaches and a rich local culture. As a relatively young country, New Zealand is a blend of cosmopolitan cities and wild, remote beauty that begs to be explored by superyacht.

Join The Beast in Auckland and soak up the skyline as you head for Great Barrier Island, where you can visit the Glenfern Sanctuary and learn about the country’s native birdlife. The island is a Dark Sky Sanctuary with incredible stars — learn about the significance of the stars to the local culture as you gaze up at the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds.

Head for the Poor Knights Islands, an incredible marine reserve, where you can make the most of The Beast’s diving setup, using The Baby Beast as a base for daily adventures. Continue north to the Bay of Islands, home to a cornucopia of marine life and more than 100 different islands; come ashore and explore the island of your choice on board The Beast’ s amphibious tender. Northland has great spiritual importance, so take the opportunity to learn about the local culture and experience an authentic cultural performance.

Cruise onwards towards Cape Reinga, the very tip of New Zealand where the Maori people believe that souls depart this life for the next, and watch the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, which is an unusual and powerful sight. On the west coast, Ninety Mile Beach is a seemingly endless stretch of golden sand dunes. Away from the marine reserves, make sure to take advantage of The Beast’ s extensive fishing gear Below and right The Beast ; her sunlit bridge and land some fresh seafood to cook on her teppanyaki grill for lunch. Make your way back down the east coast, calling in at Auckland’s Waiheke Island on the way to enjoy a long vineyard lunch before reluctantly returning to civilization.

Charter from $185,000 per week. Contact Fleur Tomlinson, charter director, [email protected] , +64 930 201 78, 37, southyachts.com

[See also: How Much Does it Actually Cost to Charter a Yacht?]

Exterior of Ragnar explorer yacht

Ragnar has been designed to look like an explorer yacht

Builder: Royal Niestern Sander Year of build: 2012 (rebuilt 2020) LOA: 223.8 ft Number of guests: 12 Crew: 17

There is nowhere on earth that Ragnar can’t take you, from glistening ice to remote desert islands. Named for the Norse King of the Vikings, Ragnar is a powerful and luxurious explorer yacht, with full ice-breaking functionality and an impressive 6,000 nm range. Ragnar is able to tackle all conditions, so make the most of your surroundings by taking your pick from her abundant toy and tender collection, with something to suit every type of cruising ground. These include an Airbus EC145 helicopter for heliskiing, a three-passenger submarine, snowmobiles, quad bikes, a 30-ft Marelli ice condition tender and more. Expansive onboard spaces include a top deck hot tub and pool, an observation deck, fully equipped gym and tranquil spa center for soaking away the day’s activities.

[See more: Explorer Yachts with Their Own Land-roving Vehicles]

Itinerary: The Philippines

Deck of Ragnar

Enjoy sunsets in far-flung locations

Guest in hammock onboard Ragnar

High-stakes hammocks aboard Ragnar

Helipad onboard Ragnar

The heli-landing zone on Ragnar

Although well-equipped for colder climates, Ragnar has plenty of warm destinations in her cruising plans, and 2022 will see her visit the Philippines, which is fast gaining popularity as a desirable charter location. Why? With more than 7,000 islands it is an ideal spot for exploring by yacht. Beautiful beaches and clear waters are a given, but each different island group — Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao — has its own character.

Board the yacht in bustling capital city Manila before heading for quieter cruising grounds. As you cruise towards Palawan, the largest province in the Philippines with over 1,700 islands, stop off at the hidden gem island of Busuanga and climb the 700 steps to the top of Mount Tapyas, which delivers incredible views across the region. Busuanga offers unparalleled cruising and plenty to do on land and on the water; hike through rain forests and dive the crystal waters, which are home to several wrecks. Nearby Coron has sacred freshwater lakes that are carefully maintained by the indigenous population — take a swim beneath impressive limestone cliffs that overlook the lakes.

A must-do is a visit to Palawan’s underground river, as is a stop at Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site where you’ll be able to sample what is arguably the country’s best diving. Make your way back to Manila, island-hopping as you go, and relax on board as you admire the landscape.

Charter from $525,000 per week. Contact James Clark, head of retail charter, [email protected] , +44 207 766 4300, burgessyachts.com

Planet Nine

Helicopter taking off from Planet Nine

A helicopter takes off from Planet Nine / ©Studio_M

Builder: Admiral Year of build: 2018 LOA: 240 ft Number of guests: 12 (plus 4 staff) Crew: 20

A world-class explorer yacht, Planet Nine has a guest-centric design with edgy naval-inspired styling. She is ice-classed, allowing her to tackle polar waters, and has an MD-600N Explorer helicopter, hangar and commercial landing pad for arriving and departing in style. Abundant spaces across her five decks, which are all connected by elevator, include social areas such as the cinema room, Jacuzzi, numerous dining spaces, beach club, sea terrace and an entire owner’s deck for ultimate privacy. Three Rupert Marine RIBs are tailored for use in extreme conditions — so you can explore secluded coves or glide past ice floes while spotting local wildlife. Back on board, the observatory delivers stunning 180° views.

Itinerary: Saudi Arabia

Interiors onboard Planet Nine

Ample lounge space for lounging inside / ©Studio_M

Dining area onboard Planet Nine

Al fresco dining aboard Planet Nine / ©Studio_M

As the spiritual home and birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia is rich with history and cultural significance, and has long been a center for pilgrims. Follow in their footsteps on your own journey of discovery. Explore the exquisitely blue waters of the Red Sea, seek endless sand dunes, and immerse yourself in the bustling towns and markets. Fans of diving will delight in all the Red Sea has to offer and can make the most of Planet Nine’s extensive dive gear.

Tabuk, just 62 miles off the border with Jordan, is the start of the Saudi coast and bears Egyptian and Ottoman influences — check out some of the area’s wild beauty spots and walk in the footsteps of the prophet Moses, who lived east of the city for many years. Cruise south towards the town of Al Wajh, which has over 60 miles of untouched beaches on either side. Continuing down the coast, Umluj (called the ‘Maldives of Saudi Arabia’) has 104 islands to its north. Jump on board one of Planet Nine’s RIBs and pick out your own private island. An hour inland of Umluj takes you to Harrat Lunayyir, a black lava field filled with cones and craters.

Visit Yanbu, an ancient spice trading post that was once home to TE Lawrence. A huge desert sits north of the town and gives way to the stunning ocean — a helicopter ride over the dunes will provide an unbeatable view before you touch down back on board for an aperitif as the sun sets. Round off your charter with a visit to historic Jeddah, the gateway to Mecca and crossroad of traders and pilgrims. Marvel at the beautiful architecture, visit the local souk (maamoul, anyone?) and revel in the city’s blend of old and new.

Charter from €650,000 (approx. $791,000) per week, for sale €85m (approx. $103m). Contact Charlie Carveles, sales and charter broker, [email protected] , +377 933 054 44, edmiston.com

Exterior of Latitude

Latitude was built in 1973 and refitted in 2020

Builder: Hitzler Schiffswerft Year of build: 1973 (refitted 2020) LOA: 179.4 ft Number of guests: 12 Crew: 16

In beautiful condition following a mammoth two-year refit completed in June 2020, Latitude will suit outdoor enthusiasts. An expansive lineup of water toys and vast deck spaces — bigger even than yachts twice her size — will keep you outside and busy all day long. This is truly an explorer yacht for connecting with nature and discovering new and remote destinations away from the stresses of everyday life. For those looking to wind down and disconnect, she has a strong focus on wellness and relaxation with a two-tier yoga deck, private masseuse/yoga instructor and a fully equipped open-air gym. Fishing fans will particularly enjoy Latitude — her explorer qualities and hardy design can take you to remote fishing grounds where you can take your pick from her comprehensive lineup of all the latest fishing gear.

Itinerary: French Polynesia

Outdoor deck onboard Latitude yacht

Latitude has a strong focus on wellness and relaxation

Set in the heart of the South Pacific, French Polynesia is a picture-perfect destination that combines a friendly welcome with incredible diving, idyllic beaches and unspoilt beauty. Plus, there’s a string of islands for yacht-hopping. With Latitude planning to spend two years in the region, the explorer yacht and her crew will know all the best secret spots. Join the yacht in Moorea, which pairs volcanic mountains with sandy beaches.

Dive off the coast, where you’ll be in the company of Tahitian stingrays — this will be just the first encounter with impressive sea life during your time on Latitude . Cruise onwards to Huahine, which presents a beautiful backdrop for a morning yoga session. Come ashore and meet the locals, who will be only too happy to tell you stories of French Polynesia’s history.

Next you’ll visit Taha’a, a white-sand island dotted with thatched villas. There is colorful coral off the island’s shores — dive and explore before heading ashore by tender for a picnic and a walk in the lush jungle. Raiatea is well worth a visit; it is regarded as a central point in French Polynesia and is believed to be the source of many ancient migrations to countries such as New Zealand and Hawaii. Finish your visit in Bora Bora, an extinct volcano set amidst an achingly serene lagoon.

Bora Bora is known as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, and with good reason. The vibrant shoreline contrasts with the blue waters, which are teeming with fish, and vibrant hibiscus flowers carpet the side of Mount Otemanu. Make the most of Latitude’s water toys and spend the day in the warm water before a final wind down back on board.

Charter from $161,000 per week. Contact James Clark, head of retail charter, [email protected] , +44 207 766 4300, burgessyachts.com

Exterior of Yersin

Yersin is 95% recyclable

Builder: Piriou Year of build: 2015 LOA: 251.4 ft Number of guests: 18 Crew: 24

One of the world’s most sustainable and green yachts, Yersin ensures guilt-free cruising with an incredibly low cruising footprint — she is even 95% recyclable. This spectacular explorer yacht was built with science and discovery at the forefront of her design. She offers an unmatched opportunity to cruise the world and learn about its oceans firsthand. Able to travel from the Poles to the Equator, Yersin is a true explorer. There has been no compromise on comfort, and her many features include a gym, hammam, spa, cinema, dining spaces, an owner’s suite and eight guest staterooms. Thanks to her history as a luxury research vessel, her setup also includes classrooms (hello, homeschooling), laboratories, a hospital, media room and multifunction tenders. This is a unique yacht that is fully equipped to visit the most remote destinations.

[See more: Yersin: The Eco Superyacht for Sustainable Explorers]

Itinerary: Arctic Circle

Interiors onboard Yersin yacht

The elegant interiors aboard Yersin

Impressive green credentials make Yersin the perfect vessel for exploring the pristine wilderness of the Arctic Circle. A charter aboard this luxurious yet intrepid explorer yacht showcases the region, from epic icebergs and polar bear sightings, to fjord landscapes and fine dining beneath the shimmering Northern Lights. With Greenland acting as your gateway to the Arctic Circle, step on board Yersin in the quaint settlement of Nuuk before raising anchor and cruising towards the vast Jakobshavn Glacier in Ilulissat. One of the highlights of Greenland is the ice itself, with its pure, imposing beauty, and the town of Ilulissat, meaning ‘iceberg,’ is the obvious spot for enjoying this natural wonder.

Travel further to the impressive Eqi Glacier. From here, take Yersin’s tender to enjoy a ringside seat to witness ice calving, where new icebergs are formed as fragments of the glaciers fall into the sea. Having hiked through icy landscapes, sampled the extreme sports of glacier skiing and ice diving, or immersed yourself in the rural communities of this unique region, it’s time to depart Greenland. Watch Uummannaq Mountain recede into the distance as you take the passage to Canada’s Baffin Island. It is full of marine life, so look out for whales and seals as you cruise — they swim undisturbed by the near-silent Yersin. The coastline of Baffin Island is an excellent place to spot the most iconic creature of the Arctic region, the polar bear.

Cruise up the fjords and observe these majestic animals from the comfort of the vessel’s deck or, for a closer encounter, take a private wildlife tour with a local expert. Enjoy a lunch of fish caught fresh by the crew, and after a day in the crisp polar air, warm up by enjoying a sauna in the opulent spa.

For sale from €72m (approx. $87.6m, VAT paid). Contact David Legrand, [email protected] , +377 931 004 50, and Antoine X. Larricq, [email protected] , +377 931 004 50, fraseryachts.com

Exterior of Bold yacht seen from above

Bold’s striking profile from the air / ©Guillaume Plisson

Builder: Silveryachts Year of build: 2019 LOA: 279.8 ft Number of guests: 16 Crew: 20

Designed by fabled aesthetic powerhouse Espen Øino, Bold has a naval-inspired design and is the biggest yacht built by Silveryachts to date. Described by her builders as “a fast, world explorer vessel with a genuine, fully-fledged superyacht finish,” Bold is the world’s fastest explorer yacht with an extraordinary top speed of 23 knots. Her low draft, unparalleled in other yachts of her size and length, also affords access to shallow waters. Accommodation is for 16 guests and includes the master suite with a private salon. Social spaces inside and out include large entertaining decks and a huge open plan ‘loft style’ main salon, with floor-to-ceiling windows that lead directly out to a large wintergarden. An outdoor cinema on the sundeck calls for family movie nights under the stars. Ready for adventure, Bold has a large inventory of water equipment including three different Rupert tenders. A heli-hangar and heli-landing deck allow the use of helicopters if desired.

Itinerary: The Whitsundays, Australia

Bold is set to return home to Australia this year for the first time since her launch — she is the largest Australian-built yacht in the world, and she will be available for charter all around her country of origin. Venturing around Australia’s expansive coastlines requires a yacht with serious muscle, and Bold more than fits the bill. Begin your cruise by heading to Hook Island where you can snorkel before traveling to Blue Pearl Bay for more world-class snorkeling off the back of Bold’s tender. Nearby Langford Island, home to reefs and coral, is another inviting dive spot. Spend some time relaxing on the island’s sandy beach before departing for Chance Bay, where you can hike along the Ngaro Sea Trail towards Whitehaven.

Cruise south to Lindeman Island, which has some beautiful national park walking tracks. Escape even further towards the seclusion of the southern anchorages off Thomas and Shaw islands. Here, you can take your pick from Bold’s toy garage and explore the anchorage. The explorer yacht will then make its way back towards Whitehaven Beach, which some claim is Australia’s finest. Take a walk inland through the rain forest and drink in the views across Hill Inlet before being collected by tender and whisked back to your floating home.

A visit to the Whitsundays wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system — a helicopter ride will guarantee the best views.

Charter from €985,000 per week (approx. $1.2m). Contact Romina Rastelli, EU charter manager, [email protected] , +377 931 029 29, hillrobinson.com

Exterior of Legend yacht with snow covered mountains

Legend is packed with every tender and toy you can possibly imagine / ©Chistopher Scholey

Builder: Icon Yachts Year of build: 1974 (refitted 2015) LOA: 254 ft Number of guests: 22 Crew: 28

Legend is packed with every tender and toy you can possibly imagine. Carrying submersibles, dive gear, snowmobiles, tenders, diving apparatus and more, she has something to suit every climate. Legend has extensively traveled the world, visiting Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Europe and the Baltics, moving effortlessly from sun to ice. Transformed from a Soviet icebreaker in a no-expenses-spared refit, Legend offers high luxury on board with unique features such as a waterfall-fed 16-seater Jacuzzi, 14-person cinema, Balinese spa, modern gym, piano and whisky bars. Her sheer size and impressive internal volume mean that even the longest trips at sea won’t feel claustrophobic — there’s plenty of space to both gather and retreat. For serious expeditions, there is accommodation flexibility on board for up to 10 extra expedition staff. A commercial helideck and two helicopters mean it is easy to join the explorer yacht even in remote anchorages.

Itinerary: Antarctica

The main deck onboard Legend

Legend’s main deck comes complete with Jacuzzi / ©Quinn Bisset

Journey on board Legend to Antarctica, where you’ll become one of the lucky few to have ventured 66-degrees south. Make the most of your mobile nature and get out on the water, whether kayaking through icy waters or gliding across the snow on Legend’s snowmobiles. As a Class 1 icebreaker, she can venture into pack ice sheets.

Join Legend at her anchorage off King George Island in nearby Maxwell Bay. Sail into the Bransfield Strait, passing penguins and icebergs as you go. On your first morning, a mandatory International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) briefing will outline the environmental responsibilities of visitors to Antarctica. Head for mainland Antarctica via the Gerlache Strait, spotting humpback whales along the way. The next morning, travel through the Neumayer Channel and watch calving Weddell, leopard and crabeater seals — an unforgettable sight. Legend’s crew will launch the Zodiac tender so you can cruise through brash ice for up-close encounters with local wildlife. Visit Andvord Bay to spot humpback whales and killer whale pods. Hop into the Zodiac again to visit Cuverville Island and its huge colony of Gentoo penguins. Later, drop anchor at Foyn Harbor and kayak around the wreck of the Governoren — keep an eye out for fur seals.

Cruise to Deception Island, where you can sail into the crater of a live volcano. Atmospheric whale factory ruins and the old bones of Whalers Bay hark back to the area’s past as a whaling center. Enjoy a hike up ‘The Nipple’ with views across steaming lava fields, then round off your charter with a visit to the chinstrap penguin colony on Baily Head, spotting plenty of other wildlife as you go. Disembark at Frei Station and visit the Russian Orthodox Trinity Church, where you can reflect in peace on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Charter from €490,000 (approx. $597,000) per week. Contact [email protected] , y.co

Exterior of La Datcha

La Datcha can let charter guests “set out on the journey of a lifetime to places others can’t reach”

Builder: Damen Year of build: 2020 LOA: 252 ft Number of guests: 12 Crew: 25

One of the newest explorer yachts to hit the water, La Datcha, was designed to fulfill the owner’s brief for a yacht that could let charter guests “set out on the journey of a lifetime to places others can’t reach.” The resulting yacht delivers luxury in spades and is the ultimate crossover between comfort and performance. From her head-turning profile, care of Azure Yacht Design, to countless tenders and toys including two helicopters, snow scooters and a submersible, it is near impossible to narrow down her best features. La Datcha’s six decks boast a modern interior, and when hanging out on board you’ll have plenty of options — head to the luxury spa to unwind or relax after a day of exploring in the observation lounge. Two master cabins make her ideal for two families to share her unforgettable experiences. Able to operate autonomously at sea for up to 40 days, the world is her oyster.

Itinerary: Kamchatka, Russia

Profile of La Datcha from above

La Datcha’s striking profile from above

Dramatically dubbed Russia’s ‘Land of Ice and Fire,’ the Kamchatka Peninsula lies in eastern Russia and stretches over 740 miles. With glaciers, geysers, snow and over 300 volcanoes, Kamchatka’s landscape is like nowhere else on earth. There is plenty of wildlife to spot, including the Kamchatka brown bear. Start your charter in the peninsula’s capital city, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, which is surrounded by three snow-capped volcanoes. Settle in on board, then fly to a nearby mountain top to ski a run or two. Cruise the fjords to reach Vilyuchinskaya Bay and fish abundant waters, whale watch or heli-ski. Enjoy incredible views from the top of the Vilyuchinsky Volcano before heading south towards Russkaya Bay. Take a helicopter flight over the Mutnovsky and Goreliy volcanoes; the brave can ski into the crater of the Mutnovsky volcano, which is home to a hidden glacier.

Back on board, your crew will take you by tender to spot Steller sea lions and sea otters. Cruise north to Cape Shipunsky and Bechevinskaya Bay, once a top-secret submarine base, and enjoy heli-skiing en route. Visit the ‘Valley of Geysers’ in the heart of Kamachatka — this spectacular Unesco World Heritage Site is home to a number of volcanoes including Karymsky, one of the most active in the world. Next, visit Klyuchevskaya Sopka and Morzhovaya Bay, home to yet more spectacular volcanoes. Round off your visit by heli-skiing on Zhupanovsky Volcano before relaxing at the Nalychevo Nature Park. Here, you can bathe in wild springs and hot thermal pools with a chilled glass of champagne in hand.

Charter from€740,000 (approx. $900,500) per week. Contact Stefano Feltrin, managing director, [email protected] , +39 349 858 2600, ladatcha.com

[See more: Luxury Yacht Itineraries to Suit Any Occasion]

Ellie Brade

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The New Class of Expedition Yachts

  • By Kim Kavin
  • Updated: September 17, 2021

Damen SeaXplorer 105

Here’s a fun fact for anyone considering a bucket-list expedition cruise to Antarctica: Regulations there require you to have two helicopters when flying beyond rescue-service range or when landing in the mountains for skiing.

So says Damen Yachting in the Netherlands, which designed its SeaXplorer 105 to have not just a twin helideck but also a weathertight double hangar below it, with a hydraulic lift to get the choppers in and out. Once guests are all safely back on board, the helideck becomes a 3,229-square-foot space that can welcome as many as 200 guests for parties, or be used as a full-size doubles tennis court or a basketball half-court.

The idea behind this icebreaking expedition yacht is not only to be able to cruise anywhere but also to take along whatever and whomever the owner chooses as part of the fun. This concept of going everywhere with everything is permeating the latest expedition-yacht designs.

A more midrange example is the 138-foot Cantiere delle Marche Crowbridge designed by Tommaso Spadolini. The owner requested tender stowage on the upper deck aft so he could use the tender garage as a hold for Optimist and Laser sailing dinghies, along with other toys.

Damen SeaXplorer 105 storage

Yet another yacht embracing this trend is the newest RMK 120 designed by Vripack. It can carry two 24-foot tenders in addition to a smaller RIB and water toys that are stowed in the lazarette.

All of these designs offer the extra carrying space in addition to creature comforts that owners already expect. The RMK 120 has a top-deck hot tub and alfresco dining; Crowbridge has an oversize main-deck galley for family gatherings; and the SeaXplorer 105 has a 3,229-square-foot spa with an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, steam room, massage room, sauna and beauty salon.

Really, at the SeaXplorer’s size range, owners can not only bring along anything they want, but they can also request anything they fancy. As Enrique Tintore of Damen Yachting says, “The scope for client customization is massive. That’s a key part of our proposition throughout the design process.”

Vripack RMK 120

Another company encouraging would-be expedition-yacht owners to dream big is Ocean Independence, which is the central agent for the sale of Project Phoenix. It’s a 187-foot former cable-laying vessel built in 1968, now stripped back to bare steel and awaiting an owner’s vision for transformation into a go-anywhere superyacht at the ICT Shipyard in Turkey. The finished yacht’s range, according to Ocean Independence, will be 11,000 nautical miles, allowing for “untold potential,” depending on how the owner ultimately decides to cruise the world.

Some yacht designers are betting that these types of expedition vessels will be far more than a current trend; they say that for owners who really do want to cruise far and wide, today’s styling and features should have appeal for many years to come.

“If you look at the exterior lines and proportions, the rhythms and angles, these are typical of the Vripack heritage explorer,” Bart M. Bouwhuis, co-creative director at Vripack, says of the RMK 120. “It gives a quiet, harmonious-looking profile that will be everlasting, without compromising on the internal layout. Like a Jaguar SUV, this boat will become an evergreen.”

Continental GT V8 Convertible coupe

Contest 59CS: Interior by Bentley Design Services

For his 60th birthday, Russian musician Garik Sukachev had an idea: build the interior of a Contest Yachts 59CS to match the Bentley

Continental GT V8 Convertible coupe. That idea is now a showcase of hotspur red leather, linen beige hide and diamond-in-diamond stitching. The project’s timing made it not just a birthday treat but also an anniversary event, with Contest Yachts celebrating 60 years in business

and Bentley Motors marking its centennial. “We are well-known for our thorough approach to customization,” said Arjen Conijn, CEO of Contest Yachts. “This project is the ultimate example of this approach, working with Mr. Garik and Bentley to turn a customer’s dream into reality.”

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Welcome to the world of Xplorer. A world of infinite adventures where superyachts and expedition yachts combine. A unique crossover of unlimited luxury and boundless exploration. For innovators. For people who forge their own path, with a clear goal in mind. Avoiding the ordinary, exploring the remote and experiencing the new. Enjoying the limitless beauty of what life has to offer. Choose from one of the three models in the portfolio to get started on your Xplorer adventure.

Infinite Adventures -

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With her bold exterior lines inspired by the natural world she has been built to adventure in, the Xplorer 60 brings together everything you need to venture far and wide with superyacht luxury. Featuring an Ice Class hull, interiors by H2 Yacht Design and award-winning DNA, this innovative hybrid Xplorer could be yours in just a matter of months. The first of this 60-metre Xplorer series is available for delivery in Autumn 2024.

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The Xplorer 77 has proved to be the design that has it all. Bringing extensive capability, unrivalled autonomy and above all luxury space and lifestyle to the most extreme corners of the globe. At the same time, she has looked right at home amongst the world's most prestigious superyachts around the Med and Caribbean whilst still standing out from the crowd. With multiple configurations possible and room to carry everything you could ever need, your dream of exploring the world just got a lot closer.

best expedition yachts

Xplorer 105

Right at the top of our Xplorer range, this yacht represents what has instigated our status as the market leader in luxury expedition yachts. This concept design incorporates decades of shipbuilding and superyacht building as well as expedition know-how, practicalities and developments. A future facing Xplorer geared up to become the master of the seas and adventures alike.

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Best Explorer Yachts for Charter

Why charter an explorer yacht.

Chartering an explorer yacht is the perfect way to explore the world’s most remote locations in ultimate luxury, comfort, and style. Explorer yachts (or adventure/expedition yachts) are designed for cruising the world’s most remote regions yet offer all the luxury of a traditional superyacht. Explorer yachts for charter boast a range of amenities, including luxurious accommodation, gourmet cuisine, spa facilities, entertainment options, and a spectacular selection of tenders and toys, from helicopters to submersibles, providing an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Contact our team to learn more about renting an adventure yacht.

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What are the unique features of an expedition vessel?

There are many features that are unique to expedition vessels. One of the key features is that they are built to ice-class standards and are purposefully designed for cruising in extreme conditions. Explorer yachts are equipped with advanced navigation systems, communication devices, and tenders, while their large volume enables them to carry more provisions and fuel for extended periods at sea. For charterers, this puts the world’s most remote and exciting destinations within reach, including Antarctica , Patagonia, and the Arctic Circle. Other destinations include the Galapagos Islands and exotic locales such as the South Pacific Islands . If you want to explore the world’s most spectacular off-the-radar destination , contact N&J and let our team craft an incredible charter itinerary aboard an expedition yacht.

Helicopter leaving explorer yacht while at anchor

What are some of the world’s most famous explorer yachts?

Some of the most famous explorer yachts include:

  • 417’ft (126.2m) M/Y OCTOPUS
  • 78’6”ft (24m) Rena Umut Kocali U-BOAT NAVIGATOR
  • 279’8”ft (85.3m) Silver Yachts BOLD

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Find the best expedition yacht charter

Northrop & Johnson has access to every expedition yacht for rent on the planet including those built by the world’s most esteemed shipbuilders. Contact our team today, and let us connect you with your ideal vessel.

Find out more about Yacht Charter with N&J here .

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Expeditions Yachts: the Best Way to Voyage to the World’s Most Remote and Rewarding Destinations

The world feels a little smaller in the 21 st century than it did in the Age of Discovery in the 15 th through 18 th centuries, when European explorers sailed beyond the borders of their charts to discover new lands they weren’t even sure existed. But despite all the fast, convenient travel options we enjoy today, there are still many places around the globe that are truly “ off the beaten path ”. Yes, you can fly to Greenland, Alaska, Patagonia or Papua New Guinea, but to truly see and appreciate the natural and cultural wonders these remote destinations have to offer, you need a well-built long-range expedition yacht .  

best expedition yachts

Vessels like the Cheoy Lee Explorer Series yachts , which are designed, built and equipped for long-range bluewater voyaging, are the best means of transportation to challenging cruising destinations such as the ones detailed in this blog. These rugged, reliable s teel expedition yachts feature a larger fuel capacity than a traditional motor yacht, enabling them to cross oceans and cruise to locations with few or no fuel bunkering options. Their layout incorporates enough storage to hold supplies and provisions for weeks at sea. They are equipped for self-sufficient comfort at anchor in places where no marinas or shore power are available. And what’s more, expedition yachts let owners and guests explore the ends of the Earth while enjoying customized, luxurious accommodations and amenities.

Before you set your sights on one of these far-flung destinations, however, we urge you to consult a yacht agent or logistics coordinator who specializes in the region and can help you and your captain pre-plan your route, acquire the necessary permits, arrange for guides, pilots, fuel bunkering, and provisions, and also for security in areas where it’s recommended (such as polar bear county).

“ The further out you go, the more help you need ,” said Rob McCallum, founding partner of EYOS Expeditions Ltd. , which provides logistical and guide services for remote cruising destinations around the world.  

Here is a list of some of the world’s most unique, uncrowded and spectacular cruising grounds. A voyage by expedition yacht to any of these destinations truly makes for the adventure of a lifetime.


The world’s largest island, and part of the Realm of Denmark, Greenland is a remote Arctic destination that is best explored by expedition yacht . “ You can only visit most of it by boat or aircraft; there are no roads ,” McCallum said, adding, “ It’s a place of scenic grandeur .”

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Greenland offers spectacular polar vistas, including icebergs, glaciers and soaring snowclad mountain ranges. Seventy-nine percent of the island is covered by the Greenland Ice Sheet, and it also has a spectacular system of iceberg-studded fjords. Heliskiing is a popular pastime that an expedition company can organize for you. Dogsledding is another unique way to experience Greenland as the natives have done for hundreds of years, and there also are geothermic springs for bathing.

“ You can only visit most of  it by boat or aircraft; there are no roads ”

In summer, the island and its surrounding waters come alive with wildlife, including polar bears, walrus and whales. Deploying kayaks from your yacht puts you right in the middle of Greenland’s natural wonders. The midnight sun will let you experience more each day.

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You also can enjoy cultural exchanges with the Inuit peoples whose ancestors came to Greenland by crossing the Bering Strait. A local guide can arrange for educational opportunities with the Inuit. “ To me, it’s always better to go with someone who can communicate effectively with the local people. It opens doors ,” McCallum said.

Summer is the most popular time to visit Greenland, when the temperatures rise above freezing, allowing parts of the island to live up to its name. The midnight sun typically lasts from late May through late July. Unfortunately, these “white nights” hide another spectacular northern phenomenon, the Northern Lights, which can be seen starting in September.

Permits Required

No special permits are needed beyond clearing customs and immigration.

Fuel Bunkering

Fuel is available in Greenland’s southern towns and fishing ports, where most of the island’s population can be found.  

Since it is a popular destination for cruise ships, it’s natural to assume Alaska is “ on the beaten path ” for yachts as well. But the cruise ships have set itineraries that are easy to identify and avoid, and these expansive northern cruising grounds offer hundreds of nautical miles of remote, spectacular coastline to explore. “ It goes on forever. You could cruise there for four months and not see the same thing twice ,” McCallum said.

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The scenery is varied but majestic, including craggy coastlines, fir-clad islets, glaciers and fjords. Colorful fishing villages provide both a scenic backdrop and an opportunity to hire a guide and fish for fresh, wild salmon. You can also watch bears catch their own salmon dinner!

Alaska is a great destination for whale-watching in the summer months, from majestic humpbacks to orcas with their distinctive black-and-white coloration. Birdwatching is also outstanding in Alaska, which is home to roughly 30,000 wild bald eagles. Your yacht’s kayaks and tender offer the opportunity get closer to nature.

Alaska_©JustinHofman EYOS

Everywhere you cruise in Alaska, you will find rich Native American culture, with more than 200 recognized tribes in the state today. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to view totem poles and to experience native drumming, singing, and storytelling.

It goes on forever. You could cruise there for four months and not see the same thing twice

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Late May through mid-September; with the peak months being June through August. Depending on where you cruise, you will experience the midnight sun lighting up your nights during most of this season.  

Alaska requires cruising permits and depending on the size of your vessel, pilotage in some ports. McCallum advises applying for permits at least four months in advance of your cruise, using a yacht logistics company to streamline the process. “ By getting a permit, you can get to places other people can’t access ,” he said.

There is fuel and even a few marinas in the larger towns, but, McCallum cautions, “ The main towns are few and far between. ”


Located off the northeastern coast of Australia in Oceania, Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, along with a double handful of lush tropical islets. The world’s third largest island nation, it attained independence in 1975.

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A true melting pot, Papua New Guinea is one of the most diverse nations on Earth, with more than 850 known languages spoken in the country. It also reportedly is home to numerous “ uncontacted tribes ”, living in total isolation. Cannibalism is thought to have been practiced by some until quite recently. Guides with knowledge of local tribes and customs can arrange memorable cultural experiences for cruisers here. One of the most amazing is to witness a Baining Fire Dance – a rite of passage for young men.

Papua New Guinea is also a world-class scuba diving destination. It offers miles of pristine coral reefs teeming with life, Pacific atolls and walls, along with the opportunity to dive on wrecks from World War II.

Papua New Guinea_©ReeveJolliffeEYOS©_{SuRi}

The long cruising season lasts from late April through December. “ There is a chance of cyclones, but they are rare these days ,” said McCallum.

Yachts must provide their intended cruising itinerary and secure a cruising permit for Papua New Guinea, in addition to complying with customs and immigration regulations.

Fuel is available in various provincial ports throughout the country.

An archipelago of 88 islands in a remote corner of Melanesia, over 1,100 nautical miles from Australia’s eastern coast, Vanuatu is well worth the voyage to get there. “ Every day is wonderful ,” McCallum said.


The islands are mountainous, formed by ancient volcanoes. In fact, there are still active volcanoes here you visit with a guide, including Mount Yasur on Tanna Island where, if you are lucky, you can peer into the volcano’s red, smoky heart.

The beaches are beautiful throughout the islands, and the diving is even more spectacular. Vibrant coral reefs, blue holes, and caverns are just a few of the natural splendors that await beneath the surface of the neon-blue ocean. If you are a diver, don’t miss the SS President Coolidge, sunk off the island of Espiritu Santo by a mine during World War II. At 656 feet in length, it is considered to be one of the largest wrecks in the world.  

Volcan Vanuatu

With the help of a guide well versed in the native language and customs, you can have memorable interactions with the local people, known as the Ni-Vanuatu, or “Ni-Van” for short. One of the world’s most unique native rituals, called “Nagol” or land diving, takes places every Saturday from April to June on Pentecost Island. Local men and boys climb to the top of a 98-foot wooden tower, wrap vines around their ankles and jump off. Land diving is said to have inspired the modern sport of bungee jumping.

Cruising season is during the winter months, April through October, when both the temperatures and the chance of rainfall decline.  

Vanuatu strictly enforces its customs and immigration policies for visiting yachts.

You can find fuel and a marina in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, located on the island of Efate. But that’s it for the entire region.


Over 185 years since Charles Darwin first set eyes on the Galápagos, this isolated South American island chain, located about 600 miles off the Pacific coast of Ecuador, is still home to some of the most diverse and unique plant and animal species found anywhere in the world. Galápagos National Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, covers about 97 percent of the island chain and offers incredible opportunities for hiking and diving.  

Galapagos Islands

Many visitors come simply to see and photograph species that can only be found in these islands, such as the Galápagos Giant Tortoise and the Blue-Footed Booby. Sport fishing is also popular in the fertile waters around the Galápagos, and it is a world-class scuba diving destination.

There are no marinas in Galápagos National Park, so you will spend all of your time at anchor. However, there are many spectacular anchorages scattered throughout these rugged, mostly volcanic islands.  

SEa Lions Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are a year-round cruising destination. Ocean currents and winds interact to define two seasons: the hot season, generally from January to May, and the cool season, usually from June to December.  

Galápagos National Park has very strict rules and regulations designed to protect the islands’ native diversity and prevent any foreign species from invading them.  

“ All vessels with the intention to enter Galápagos must apply for an entry permit called ‘Autografo’ in advance. Once we have obtained the entry permit, we have to apply for an authorization called ‘cruising permit’, which allows you to visit the protected areas of the Galápagos Islands with a specific itinerary assigned. By law, we have to hire a local naturalist guide and provide food and lodging aboard, ” said Javier Plúa Rizzo of Yacht Agents Galápagos , which facilitates yacht travel to the islands. He recommends starting the application process at least two months prior to your planned arrival.

Fuel is limited in the Galápagos, and is managed by an Ecuadorian state-run company. “’ Fuel code authorization’ is required for a prices amount of fuel requested. There are barges also available for deliveries if needed, ” Rizzo said.  

“ Ever since Patagonia was discovered 500 years ago, it has been described as untouched, vast, exotic, wild and infinite in its beauty ,” said Carlos Miquel, regional director, South American Super Yacht Support (SASYSS ), which specializes in organizing yacht travel to Patagonia, Chile and Antarctica.

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Extending approximately 1,000 nautical miles from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn, Patagonia offers a wide range of different climate zones and ecosystems. There are a seemingly limitless number of activities to choose from, including flyfishing, kayaking, trekking, and heliskiing. The spectacular scenery ranges from   snowcapped mountain peaks, to volcanoes, fjords and cold jungles. “ We divide the itineraries in Northern, Central and Southern Patagonia ,” Miquel said.  

One of the most humbling feelings is to land on a beach at an anchorage and perhaps be the first human being that has ever set foot there

The region is mostly uninhabited, and you can often cruise for miles without seeing another yacht. In fact, more than half of Patagonia is protected by national parks. “ One of the most humbling feelings is to land on a beach at an anchorage and perhaps be the first human being that has ever set foot there ,” he said.

best expedition yachts


When to Go Cruising season is from mid-October and until late April. While daily temperatures vary depending on which part of the county you are visiting, they never dip below freezing. Since Patagonia is considered the gateway to Antarctica for yachts, Miquel points out, “This offers a large window of time to squeeze a trip to Antarctica in between.”  

Permits Required No cruising permits are needed to cruise through Patagonia, but port pilotage is required at major ports. Depending on the vessel’s gross registered tonnage (GRT), a yacht may need to have a Fjord Pilot on board to navigate the Patagonian channels.

There is fuel available at all major ports in Patagonia. Miquel recommends yachts work with their agent or SASYSS to determine the best locations for bunkering based on the yacht’s range and itinerary.  

“ Antarctica was last continent to be discovered, and it is often called the last frontier. Visiting Antarctica is a life-changing experience as visitors will immerse in landscapes and wildlife rarely seen in other parts of the planet, ” said Miquel.

best expedition yachts

Due to Antartica’s extreme climate and terrain, it has never had an indigenous population. So, voyaging there by yacht will put you on the relatively short list of people who have visited the continent since John Davis was the first man to set foot there in 1821.  

Antarctica was last continent to be discovered, and it is often called the last frontier. Visiting Antarctica is a life-changing experience as visitors will immerse in landscapes and wildlife rarely seen in other parts of the planet. 

The few expedition yachts and sailing yachts that visit Antarctica each year typically cruise from Chile to the Antarctic Peninsula, the continent’s northernmost tip. Its towering icebergs and vast, silent landscape are completely awe-inspiring. Nature-lovers also will revel in encounters with huge colonies of penguins, which have no fear of humans, and the huge whales that inhabit these frigid waters. Kayaking here is an otherworldly experience not to be missed.

“ Once in Antarctica, there is no local support infrastructure, besides the help you can get from nearby vessels in case of an emergency. Therefore, any trip to Antarctica needs to be planned well ahead of time and with a team of experts, ” Miquel said.  

The summer months, from late November through mid-February, is the best time to visit Antarctica. “ Wildlife will be going through different stages in their reproduction cycles, so if visitors go early, they will see the building of nests and mating period, to then see the hatching and growing of the babies ,” Miquel said, adding, “ From a navigational point of view, the ice will be more packed early in the season and yachts will be able to cruise and explore further south if they go later during the year. ”  

Yachts need an Antarctic Permit to travel to Antarctica which is issued by the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) . “ These permits are best obtained with the help of an agent or SASYSS or through an authorized and experienced expedition company, ” he said, adding that obtaining Polar Code Certification for your yacht in advance can save time.

“There are no ports in Antarctica and no bunkering available, unless it is pre-planned and pre-paid to come from Chile. To avoid this unlikely and expensive affair, yachts that go to Antarctica need to have a range of 3,000 nautical miles or more, as bunkering is best done before leaving to and after returning from Antarctica,” said Miquel.

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The 10 Most-Exciting Yacht Debuts at the Palm Beach International Boat Show

Besides the debut of smaller vessels, more than 60 yachts over 100 feet will be at palm beach this week. it promises to be a banner event., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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Palm Beach International Boat Show

For superyacht shoppers, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, kicking off its four-day run this week, is set to break records with more than 60 yachts over 100 feet long on display. Last year was also a banner year for superyachts at the show. 

Headliners will include the likes of the 295-foot Corsair Nero ,  the 278-foot Victorious by AKYacht, the 230-foot Turquoise-built Talisman C , and 213-foot Benetti Triumph among brokerage yachts, and in new yachts, the 113-foot Ocean Alexander Puro 35 is making its world debut.  

There are so many gleaming white vessels over 100 feet, in fact, that the fleet will be split between the Palm Harbor Marina at the main show site on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and the Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina two miles north. 

Now in its 42nd year, PBIBS will also showcase hundreds of models of dayboats, cruisers, and fishing boats, as well as marine accessories. Running from this Thursday through Sunday, the show coincides with the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art show, a fortuitous opportunity for yacht owners wanting to add new art to their collections.

Here are 10 must-see boats at this year’s show.

Corsair Yachts ‘Nero’

best expedition yachts

The undisputed star of this year’s Palm Beach show? That would be the 295-foot, classically styled superyacht Nero , built in 2007 and inspired by American financier J.P. Morgan’s legendary 1930s steamer Corsair IV . Nero ‘s attendance at PBIBS marks its return to the charter market after an extensive refit in 2021. Now better than new, the boat is being managed by Burgess. With weekly charter rates from $497,000, the vessel offers five-star accommodations for 12 guests in six cabins, with pampering from a crew of 20. Part of the refit included a full interior refresh by Italian interior designer Laura Pomponi, plus a major focus on wellness. That meant the construction of a new, state-of-the-art gym and spa, the assistance of a certified onboard trainer, a masseuse and beautician. After PBIBS, Nero will spend the winter in the Caribbean before returning to the Med for the summer season.

Ocean Alexander Puro 35P

best expedition yachts

Ocean Alexander is debuting the first of its new Puro superyacht series at PBIBS. The 113-foot Puro 35P comes from the drawing board of Italian designer Giorgio M. Cassetta and is a step back from the polarizing lines of OA’s recent Revolution and Explorer series with their bold, vertical bow designs. Aimed at long-distance cruising, the 35P can carry over 5,000 gallons of fuel and is powered by twin 2,000 hp MAN V12s for a 24-knot top speed. Twin 55kW Kohler generators can also keep the yacht powered at anchor for long periods. Other standout features include extensive glazing in the chiseled fiberglass hull, a forward deck plunge pool, and spacious accommodations for 10 guests. 

best expedition yachts

Think of it as the “starter” Sirena. Aimed at a younger demographic, the Turkish builder’s brand-new Sirena 48 is making its U.S. debut at PBIBS after a global reveal at last fall’s Cannes boat show. Such is its appeal that 27 hulls have already been sold, with 13 of the orders coming from North America. Looking like a scaled-down version of Sirena’s popular 58, its distinctive, trawler-style lines are from Argentinian designer Germán Frers. With more interior space than a typical 48-footer, the yacht offers three staterooms—plus a crew cabin—a spacious, light-filled salon, a large cockpit, an oversized flybridge, and a vast forward social area. Take your pick from twin 550 hp Cummins QSB, or 670 hp Volvo D11 turbo diesels. Or the builder is also offering hybrid power with twin 285 hp electric motors charged up by variable-speed generators that are good for a 30-mile battery-only range.

Feadship ‘Olympus’

best expedition yachts

Picture purchasing a classic 180-foot Feadship superyacht, and then getting a $10 million bill for a major refit. That was the case with Olympus , built by the Dutch masters at Feadship in 1996 to a design by Britain’s Andrew Winch and the celebrated naval architect Frits De Voogt. Sold in 2022, the new owner sent it to the Monaco Marine refit center in La Ciotat, France for a major makeover. It included overhauling the 2,600 hp Caterpillar engines and generators, repairs to the structure, substantial upgrades to the guest areas and crew quarters, and new paint throughout. With the work completed just last year, the vessel is said to be in mint condition. Offered jointly by brokers Fraser and Edmiston, Olympus has an asking price of $28.5 million. With accommodations for 16 guests in eight cabins, the boat’s highlights include two primary suites, tropical-spec air conditioning, and Palm Beach-chic decor.

Benetti ‘Triumph’

best expedition yachts

Italian yachting powerhouse Benetti is showing off its superyacht-building skills with the 213-foot Triumph . Delivered in 2021, this Giorgio M. Cassetta-designed steel-and-aluminum world girder features six decks, a 1,400-square-foot primary suite with outdoor terrace and adjoining lounge, a 750-square-foot beach club, and a touch-and-go helipad. What sets Triumph apart, however, is its lavish interior furnishings put together by the owner along with Benetti Interior Style and Monaco-based Green & Mingarelli Design. It includes pieces by French glassmaker Lalique, marble from Marfil, Statuario and Armani, furs, silk and wool carpets, plus a collection of cool black-and-white wildlife photographs by British fine art photographer David Yarrow. The pièce de résistance? That would be the owner’s Triumph Bonneville motorcycle displayed in the salon.

Fjord 39 XP/XL

best expedition yachts

Germany’s Fjord Yachts, part of the Hanse Group, has a new 39-foot day boat that it’s unveiling at the Palm Beach show. The 39 XP and XL keep all the bold design cues of the bigger Fjord 41 XP and XL, like a big, open cockpit, walkaround center console, vertical bow, mile-high windshield and stretched hardtop. As for the differences between the XP and XL, it’s all about power. The XL comes with a choice of twin 320hp Volvo D4 diesels, or bigger 440 hp D6 versions, both with Volvo stern drives. Likely more appealing to U.S. buyers will be the XP powered by twin 400 hp Mercury Verado V10 outboards giving a 50-knot top speed. Pricing starts at around $500,000.

Turquoise ‘Talisman C’

best expedition yachts

Chandeliers don’t come more dramatic than this. Cascading down the central spiral staircase of the Turkish-built, 231-foot superyacht Talisman C , this jaw-dropping piece of art comprises an array of multi-colored glass balls threaded on stainless-steel rods and illuminated by hanging fiber-optic strands. It’s the creation of Prague-based Crystal Caviar and is one of a number of glass installations on this sleek, low-profile superyacht. Built in 2011 by the Proteksan Turquoise shipyard, Talisman C was designed inside and out by London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, with naval architecture by Italy’s Hydro Tec. With cabins for 12 guests, one of its highlights is a huge primary suite, which boasts more crystal chandeliers and a private library. Twin 2,447 hp Caterpillar diesels give a top speed of 18 knots and a transatlantic range of 7,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. It’s listed with Burgess for $59.9 million. 

Sanlorenzo 44 ‘Kamakasa’

best expedition yachts

Delivered in 2020 and sold to a new buyer just last August, the 146-foot Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy Kamakasa will be for sale at PBIBS. The asking price, through the Italian Yacht Group, is $23.75 million. Lack of use might also be the issue here; the yacht’s twin 2,600 hp MTU V16 diesels have a mere 289 hours on the clock. Built in aluminum to a design by Rome-based Zuccon International Project, Kamakasa was the second hull in the Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy series. One of the top features is a primary suite that spans three levels and almost 1,600 square feet; it also comes with a private Jacuzzi, separate bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a private study. The yacht’s lightweight construction and MTU power combine to deliver an impressive 20-knot top speed.

Bahama 41 GT2

best expedition yachts

As ultimate, reel-’em-in, fishing center consoles go, the Bahama 41 from West Palm Beach-based Bahama Boat Works is as hard-core as they come. But when owners kept asking for a little more comfort for the family, the builder responded. The result is the brand-new flagship 41 GT debuting at PBIBS. While the proven, wave-slicing hull stays the same, the cockpit layout is new. In place of the single bench seat, there are now three-across bucket seats with a second row behind. The wider console now has space for a pair of 22-inch Garmin screens, while the new extended hardtop features sun shades and even a rain shower. Outboard choices stay the same with either twin Mercury V12 600s, or four 400 hp Mercury V10s, good for a 65-knot-plus top speed. Pricing is from around $920,000.

Heesen ‘Book Ends’

best expedition yachts

Launched in 2022, this 164-foot Heesen is part of the Book Ends collection, owned by an American couple who have had more than 18 yachts with the same name. The exterior design of this Heesen was by Omega Architects, while Dutch studio Van Oossanen did the naval architecture. The yacht is part of Heesen’s fast cruising series, which is more efficient than other vessels its size, and can reach 23 knots at full speed with its MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines. The yacht is listed through Ocean Independence for 42 million Euro, or about $45.7 million.

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Explorer Yachts For Sale

Adventurous yacht owners eventually tire of the popular Mediterranean and Caribbean cruising grounds and start looking for more challenging cruising areas. This explains the growing popularity of long-range expedition yachts with vast storage capacity for food, fuel and water, enabling them to roam the world’s oceans for weeks at a time. Here we present examples of world-girdling explorer yachts currently for sale.

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best expedition yachts

The Best New Small-Ship Cruises to Book in 2024

A uthentic. It was Merriam Webster's top searched word for 2023 and one that has dominated the travel vernacular in recent years. And while many would not necessarily associate the word with ocean cruising , the growth in popularity of small-ship cruises-particularly sailings with 500 guests or fewer-indicates that in the cruising world, passengers are seeking a more intimate, less crowded, and yes, arguably more authentic sailing experience.

Take expedition cruising , for example. As the number of adventure-focused ships and yachts has exploded in recent years, these cruises are no longer just about extreme voyages in polar regions. They are also about offering a deeper look into the culture, food, history, and environmental fragility of remote wonders of the world.

Although there isn't a huge number of new small ships being introduced, there are a few notable vessels that have either recently launched or are launching this year with a focus on the idea that smaller is not just better, but more sustainable, too. These new small-ship cruises bring with them some exciting and more immersive new itineraries to destinations both warm and wintry that have us ready to pack our bags and sail away.

Sea Cloud Cruises' "Sea Cloud Spirit"

  • Suggested itinerary: Reset your mind and body on an eight-night sailing through Spain's Canary Islands and on to Morocco on a special cruise featuring experts in restorative health. Pricing starts at $4,895 per person.

What's more authentic-and sustainable-than setting sail on a tall ship where the sails are hoisted up each day by hand? Although not technically new (it was launched in 2021), the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit and its two sister ships, Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II , are upping their game in a push to introduce Sea Cloud Cruises' unique product to North American travelers. The German company has traditionally catered to German and British passengers. As part of its effort to expand its reach and appeal, Sea Cloud is adding wellness programs with daily onboard yoga and guest fitness gurus, in addition to special food- and wine-focused sailings with well-known chefs making appearances. Sea Cloud Spirit , the largest of the three-ship fleet with 69 cabins, was meticulously designed to pay homage to the original Sea Cloud , which was the world's largest private sailing yacht when Wall Street broker Edward Francis Hutton had it built in 1931 for his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post.

The Sea Cloud Spirit combines the experience of decades of traditional seamanship with the modern-day luxuries of a private yacht. Cabins range from 172-square-foot single cabins to 300-square-foot balcony suites with soaking tubs. There's a large fitness center and spa, which has a steam room, sauna, and thermal area for two; indoor and outdoor lounges; and a main dining area, plus a more casual bistro. The action, however, is out on deck, where passengers can stargaze at night or simply gaze in awe at the impressive sails blowing in the wind.

Atlas Ocean Voyages' "World Navigator"

  • Suggested itinerary: Go searching for Arctic wildlife on a 12-night cruise from Reykjavík, which sails along the eastern coast of Greenland and to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago, one of the world's northernmost inhabited areas and home to polar bears, reindeer, arctic foxes, and other Nordic wildlife. Pricing starts at $6,499 per person.

World Navigator , which sailed its maiden voyage in Antarctica this past November, is the third vessel to join the fleet of one of the newest players in small-ship expedition cruising, Atlas Ocean Voyages. The company's 100-cabin expedition yachts are almost identical and provide a hybrid of sorts between traditional expedition and luxury cruising. Cabins are spacious, almost all with balconies, desks, and seating areas. The bathrooms have glass-mosaic tiled showers with rain showerheads, wall jets, and even benches.

Everything on the ship-including the sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows-is designed to provide maximum views. The ships also have spacious pool decks with two hot tubs, a fitness center overlooking the sea, a spa, and water toys like kayaks and paddleboards. There's even extreme camping gear for those willing to brave an overnight under the stars in Antarctica. During North American winters, all three of Atlas's expedition yachts sail in Antarctica. With the addition of World Navigator , the company is launching more Arctic Circle cruises during the North American summers while also adding a host of new epicurean and cultural expeditions in South America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and northern Europe this year.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's "Ilma"

  • Suggested itinerary: Spend a little extra time in port on a 10-day sailing from Barcelona to Lisbon, which has three overnight stays, in Palma de Mallorca and Malaga in Spain, and in Lisbon, Portugal, one of Europe's oldest cities. Pricing starts at $10,600 per person.

Another newcomer to luxury small-ship cruising is the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which debuts its second ship, the Ilma , this year. With 224 suites, the ship is larger than the original Ritz-Carlton yacht, the 149-suite Evrima , which launched in October 2022. On the Ilma , all the suites will have private terraces, including a two-story suite with soaking tub; the coveted, 1,000-square-foot owner's suite has a private outdoor whirlpool. Even the smallest suites are not all that small, at 300 square feet, and come with a personal concierge and 24-hour room service. The yacht boasts what Ritz-Carlton says is the highest ratio of space per guest at sea.

And you can expect to find the same meticulous service standards that you would find at Ritz-Carlton resorts throughout the world as the line aims to impress hotel guests seeking a luxury hotel experience at sea. Onboard are five dining venues, including S.E.A., a European tasting experience designed by chef Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany; Talaat Nam, featuring Southeast Asian cuisine and a sushi bar; and Mistral, a casual come-as-you-are alfresco grill with a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Light bites are served at the marina at the aft of the ship, where you can also hop on a borrowed paddleboard. Oh, and did we mention there are two outdoor pools, too?

Book a terrace suite on the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's newest vessel, Ilma , launching in 2024.

This expedition cruise line will move to all-inclusive pricing later this year

best expedition yachts

Planning an expedition cruise with HX just got simpler.

The brand is moving to an all-inclusive model beginning this fall, bundling more experiences and amenities in its base fares. Regular-grade cabins will include breakfast, lunch and dinner with house wine and beer; Wi-Fi; gratuities; daily expeditions and activities; expedition gear guests can take home and more (a full list can be found here ).

Most of those already come at no extra charge, but the change brings them under one umbrella and expands the inclusions with alcoholic beverages outside of meals.

“We want our guests to fully embrace being curious travellers when they’re with us,” HX’s Chief Commercial Officer, Alex Delamere-White, said in a news release. “By making things as easy as possible, they can focus on exploring remote parts of the world and learning from our expert team. We believe adventure should be all-inclusive, which is why our daily expeditions, talks and access to the science centre come at no extra cost, alongside delicious food and drink.”

Are cruise drink packages worth it?: Not always

HX made the change following feedback from passengers and partners, he added. The new model will be implemented first on voyages to Antarctica and the Galápagos Islands departing in October before being rolled out to the whole fleet and all destinations the following month.

The news comes after the operator rebranded from Hurtigruten Expeditions in December.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

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Elbrus, Europe's highest peak, is a giant dormant volcano that separates Europe from Asia. The straightforward yet spectacular climb is contrasted by the cultural wonders of enigmatic Russia.

With short 12 or 14 day options, the Elbrus Expedition is an ideal objective as your first or second of the Seven Summits.

Large view

Summit celebrations - Mike Roberts

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Historic St Petersburg - Mike Roberts

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The incredible architecture of St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow - Mike Roberts

Large view

Enjoy a hearty lunch at Islam Hut - Mike Roberts

Large view

Acclimatising on the lower slopes of Mt Elbrus - Mike Roberts

Large view

Scenic hikes help acclimatisation prior to the summit climb - Mike Roberts

  • Get a taste of high-mountain adventure on one of the Seven Summits
  • Also one of the Volcanic Seven Summits, comprised of the highest volcanoes on each of the seven continents
  • Opportunity to discover the wonders of St Petersburg or Moscow
  • Experience non-technical moderate-altitude mountaineering
  • Options to Add-On climbs of Kilimanjaro or Peak Lenin

Adventure Consultants offers two options for climbing Elbrus. For those who wish to explore some of Russia's most beautiful cultural cities, Trip 1 is 14 days in duration and starts in St Petersburg and finishes in Moscow. Our shorter Trip 2 is 12 days long and starts and finishes in Moscow.

Being relatively high, Elbrus demands respect and we approach this by climbing higher each day during our acclimatisation phase whilst sleeping at lower elevations at night. A cable car takes us up to accommodation at the base of the climb where we learn basic snow and ice techniques from the guides prior to the ascent. The summit day entails climbing long snow slopes with views over the wooded valleys to the surrounding peaks.

Dates & Prices

Not operating in 2024

Payment Conditions

  • Inclusions & Exclusions - Trip 1
  • Inclusions & Exclusions - Trip 2
  • Payment Details

The price of your trip includes the following:

  • Adventure Consultants mountain guides
  • All expedition organisational requirements
  • Hotel in St Petersburg and Moscow, two nights each city, twin share

Breakfasts in St Petersburg and Moscow

  • City tours in St Petersburg and Moscow
  • All lodging and food while on the expedition after departing St Petersburg until arriving Moscow, according to the itinerary
  • Group climbing equipment, food and fuel when on Mount Elbrus
  • Transfers from hotel to airport for Mineralnye Vody flight and return
  • Flights from St Petersburg to Mineralnye Vody to Moscow

Transport Mineralnye Vody to Elbrus region

  • Chairlift transport and snowcat lift up fees

The price of your trip does not include:

  • Airport transfer from international airport to hotel and return
  • Lunch and dinner while in St Petersburg and Moscow
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Entry visa for Russia
  • Climbing/travel/trip cancellation insurance or rescue costs
  • International round-trip travel costs into St Petersburg and out from Moscow, Russia
  • Excess baggage charges over 20kg allowance on domestic flights
  • Spending on personal items such as gifts, alcohol/bottled drinks, laundry etc.
  • Snowcat or skidoo lift down fees (if you choose not to walk down)
  • Hotel costs and meals in the Baksan Valley if you descend early from the mountain
  • Gratuity to guides
  • Hotel in Moscow, one night at either end of the trip
  • Breakfasts in Moscow
  • All hotels, lodging and food while on the expedition after departing Moscow until arriving back in Moscow, according to the itinerary
  • Group climbing equipment, food and fuel in Elbrus region
  • Flight from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody to Moscow
  • Return transport Mineralnye Vody to Elbrus region
  • Snowcat lift up and chairlift transport fees
  • Lunch and dinner while in Moscow
  • International travel costs into/out of Moscow, Russia
  • Spending on personal items such as gifts, alcohol/bottled drinks and laundry, etc.
  • Gratuities for guides

Account Information

All payments should be made by bank transfer to the following bank and account:

Bank of New Zealand Offshore Branch 42 Willis Street Spark Central Wellington New Zealand

for the account of Adventure Consultants Limited

Account Number: 1000-594771-0002 Account Type: Euros Swift Address: BKNZNZ22

We can also accept your deposit and balance payments by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) plus a 3% credit card transaction fee.

A non-refundable deposit of € 500 is payable to secure a place on the expedition.

The balance of funds is payable 90 days prior to trip start date.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 90 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

  • Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
  • For cancellations made within 90 days of the trip commencement date, we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance payment fee.
  • For cancellations within 60 days of the departure date, a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

We strongly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance via your travel agent if you wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons.

Health & Fitness

The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Elbrus Expeditions.

You can view the trip notes online by clicking the images or download a pdf by clicking the following links: Elbrus Trip 1 Trip Notes 2023

Elbrus Trip 2 Trip Notes 2023

Team Membership

The team will have a minimum size of 6 members and 2 guides and a maximum size of 12 members and 3 guides.

The expedition leader will be scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our expedition leaders have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility.

Mike Roberts cropped

Great staff, great trip and I can’t wait to join you guys for the next adventure. Elbrus 2017

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Cruising the Moskva River: A short guide to boat trips in Russia’s capital

best expedition yachts

There’s hardly a better way to absorb Moscow’s atmosphere than on a ship sailing up and down the Moskva River. While complicated ticketing, loud music and chilling winds might dampen the anticipated fun, this checklist will help you to enjoy the scenic views and not fall into common tourist traps.

How to find the right boat?

There are plenty of boats and selecting the right one might be challenging. The size of the boat should be your main criteria.

Plenty of small boats cruise the Moskva River, and the most vivid one is this yellow Lay’s-branded boat. Everyone who has ever visited Moscow probably has seen it.

best expedition yachts

This option might leave a passenger disembarking partially deaf as the merciless Russian pop music blasts onboard. A free spirit, however, will find partying on such a vessel to be an unforgettable and authentic experience that’s almost a metaphor for life in modern Russia: too loud, and sometimes too welcoming. Tickets start at $13 (800 rubles) per person.

Bigger boats offer smoother sailing and tend to attract foreign visitors because of their distinct Soviet aura. Indeed, many of the older vessels must have seen better days. They are still afloat, however, and getting aboard is a unique ‘cultural’ experience. Sometimes the crew might offer lunch or dinner to passengers, but this option must be purchased with the ticket. Here is one such  option  offering dinner for $24 (1,490 rubles).

best expedition yachts

If you want to travel in style, consider Flotilla Radisson. These large, modern vessels are quite posh, with a cozy restaurant and an attentive crew at your service. Even though the selection of wines and food is modest, these vessels are still much better than other boats.

best expedition yachts

Surprisingly, the luxurious boats are priced rather modestly, and a single ticket goes for $17-$32 (1,100-2,000 rubles); also expect a reasonable restaurant bill on top.

How to buy tickets?

Women holding photos of ships promise huge discounts to “the young and beautiful,” and give personal invitations for river tours. They sound and look nice, but there’s a small catch: their ticket prices are usually more than those purchased online.

“We bought tickets from street hawkers for 900 rubles each, only to later discover that the other passengers bought their tickets twice as cheap!”  wrote  (in Russian) a disappointed Rostislav on a travel company website.

Nevertheless, buying from street hawkers has one considerable advantage: they personally escort you to the vessel so that you don’t waste time looking for the boat on your own.

best expedition yachts

Prices start at $13 (800 rubles) for one ride, and for an additional $6.5 (400 rubles) you can purchase an unlimited number of tours on the same boat on any given day.

Flotilla Radisson has official ticket offices at Gorky Park and Hotel Ukraine, but they’re often sold out.

Buying online is an option that might save some cash. Websites such as  this   offer considerable discounts for tickets sold online. On a busy Friday night an online purchase might be the only chance to get a ticket on a Flotilla Radisson boat.

This  website  (in Russian) offers multiple options for short river cruises in and around the city center, including offbeat options such as ‘disco cruises’ and ‘children cruises.’ This other  website  sells tickets online, but doesn’t have an English version. The interface is intuitive, however.

Buying tickets online has its bad points, however. The most common is confusing which pier you should go to and missing your river tour.

best expedition yachts

“I once bought tickets online to save with the discount that the website offered,” said Igor Shvarkin from Moscow. “The pier was initially marked as ‘Park Kultury,’ but when I arrived it wasn’t easy to find my boat because there were too many there. My guests had to walk a considerable distance before I finally found the vessel that accepted my tickets purchased online,” said the man.

There are two main boarding piers in the city center:  Hotel Ukraine  and  Park Kultury . Always take note of your particular berth when buying tickets online.

Where to sit onboard?

Even on a warm day, the headwind might be chilly for passengers on deck. Make sure you have warm clothes, or that the crew has blankets ready upon request.

The glass-encased hold makes the tour much more comfortable, but not at the expense of having an enjoyable experience.

best expedition yachts

Getting off the boat requires preparation as well. Ideally, you should be able to disembark on any pier along the way. In reality, passengers never know where the boat’s captain will make the next stop. Street hawkers often tell passengers in advance where they’ll be able to disembark. If you buy tickets online then you’ll have to research it yourself.

There’s a chance that the captain won’t make any stops at all and will take you back to where the tour began, which is the case with Flotilla Radisson. The safest option is to automatically expect that you’ll return to the pier where you started.

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best expedition yachts

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