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Yacht Experiences

Founders’ Note: The Rise of Expedition Yachting

Working closely with experienced captains, and using its global network of contacts, Pelorus is enhancing the expedition yachting experience

Words by Pelorus

There has been a recent shift in the perception of expedition yachting: people are realizing that the best way to discover the world’s most far-flung places is by yacht. It offers luxurious comfort as you travel, and you can have all your creature comforts while otherworldly panoramas pass by beyond the portholes.

Meeting this demand is an increased frequency of new-build explorer yachts entering the marketplace. Older yachts are being refurbished for visionary clients, and traditional yachts are looking to push further beyond their familiar ports of call.

Identifying this burgeoning yachting trend, Pelorus has a department specifically tasted with yacht expeditions. “We specialize in three elements,” Pelorus founder Geordie Mackay Lewis says. “The experience, the location, and the technical aspects. While other luxury travel operators believe the yacht is the experience, at Pelorus we see it as a platform for the experience.”

In the past, luxury yachting was all about the “white tablecloth experience”. The current rising trend has a focus on a more genuine, exploratory experience. Traveling further afield, the priority for owners and charterers has shifted towards authentic encounters with indigenous tribes and close-up interactions with the wild world. To reach these distant destinations requires an immense amount of research and logistical preparation. That’s where Pelorus comes in. 

What does Pelorus do?

“We cover all the various elements of planning,” Geordie continues, “from cruising route consultation and detailed logistics, to drawing on our extensive expertise in designing land- and sea-based experiences to create unique yachting itineraries.”

To enhance these experiential cruising routes, Pelorus works closely with the captains whose knowledge and experience are essential. “By working closely with captains, we understand the limitations of the vessel, the crew, and the guests or owner. It’s about making everything seamless and keeping all logistical issues away from the guests. Pelorus shares the same objectives as captains: to provide the best possible experience, executed to the highest standards. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

“Once we have the brief from the captain and clients, our first action point is to understand the logistics: how long it’ll take to get visas, permitting, the best times of year to go, etc. Providing this is all fine, we contact our experts on the ground, who have an incredible knowledge of the region and the experiences available.

“Once the general itinerary is planned, we focus on how to pull the technicalities together, ticking all the right boxes when it comes to luxury as well. We scrutinize all the regions on the cruising route, determine anchorages, consider vessel capabilities, and establish what additional resources we may need to bring in.”

Safety and Security

Traveling to distant regions can bring an increased amount of red tape and caution. But however extraordinary the voyage, the safety of everyone on board is paramount. Nothing is left to chance. “We conduct detailed risk assessments and work with specialists in each area to maximize enjoyment and ensure safety,” Geordie says. “This may mean saying no to a client if the conditions dictate it. Specialists in each region will test everything we offer to ensure safety.”

Pelorus is in the process of crafting experiential voyages in Svalbard, Patagonia, and Papua New Guinea. As with its tailor-made land itineraries, the quality of the experience is the most important element. “We delve deep into what makes the client tick and what they wish to achieve,” Geordie continues. “Utilising multiple assets, either organic to the specific yacht or from external sources, we then build experiences which really get under the skin of the territories we are cruising.”

With the rise of expedition yachting, experiences that were once the preserve of all but the hardiest explorers have now become attainable for many. In this age of 21st-century exploration, those seeking more challenging and intrepid journeys can reach their goals in distant, untouched regions—while still enjoying a level of comfort reminiscent of the Caribbean or Monaco. It’s exciting to watch how this trend develops, and the Pelorus yachting division is thrilled to be at the heart of it.