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Founders’ note: The rise of expedition yachting

By working with captains, and utilising a global contact network, PELORUS are enhancing expedition yachting

Words by PELORUS

There is a shift taking place in expedition yachting: people are suddenly waking up to the fact that a yacht is the best possible way to explore the remote corners of the world. And it allows them to do it in luxurious comfort, surrounded by all the creature comforts they are accustomed to. New-build explorer yachts are entering into the market place with more frequency, refurbishments are looking at ways of adapting older yachts to cater for more audacious clients, and traditional yachts are now wanting to go further than their old stomping grounds.

This changing tide signifies an exciting trend in yachting – it’s why PELORUS have a department with a sole focus on yacht expeditions. “We specialise in three elements,” says PELORUS founder Geordie Mackay Lewis. “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.”

Historically, luxury yachting has always been about the white ‘table cloth experience’, but the current rising trend is one of a more genuine, exploratory experience. Owners and charterers are looking to explore further afield; for more intimate encounters with wildlife, indigenous tribes and nature. Operating in lesser-known parts of the world, however, demands a huge amount of research and logistical preparation. This is where PELORUS comes in.

What does PELORUS do?

“We cover all the various elements of planning,” continues Geordie, “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.”

Designing these experiential cruising routes is done in collaboration with the captains, whose knowledge is vital to the creative process. “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 scrutinise 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

Operating in faraway regions can mean an increased level of red tape and caution. However unique and special the experience, the safety of all those on-board is of utmost importance. Nothing is left to chance. “We conduct detailed risk assessments and work with specialists in each area to maximise enjoyment and ensure safety,” says Geordie. “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 are currently working on cruising experiences in Patagonia, Svalbard and Papua New Guinea, and in a similar fashion to their bespoke land itineraries, the focus is on the experience above all else. “We delve deep into what makes the client tick and what they wish to achieve,” continues Geordie. “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.”

The rise of expedition yachting means that experiences and sights that were once distant to all bar the hardiest explorers are now realistic opportunities. For clients of a more intrepid nature, the world’s most exclusive and untouched regions can be discovered and enjoyed in total privacy and safety – it’s genuine 21st-century exploration, but with a level of comfort equally as suited to Monaco or the Caribbean. The potential is huge: it’s an evolution that the PELORUS yachting division is incredibly excited to be part of.

Contact our Yacht Expeditions department on elise@pelorusx.com or +44 20 3848 5424

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