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THIS YEAR’S OBSESSION

With children, every year seems to bring a new obsession. Pelorus has put together a series of yacht experiences and adventures that will allow you and your children to dive deep into their every obsession from military history to pirate treasures. 

Whale Encounters in Australia 

Each year in Australia, during the months of June and July, minke whales migrate to a stretch of reef south of Lizard Island known as Ribbon Reefs. Thanks to their inquisitive nature, an opportunity presents for incredible close encounters with these captivating creatures. Based out of Port Douglas, explorer yacht BELUGA is no stranger to cruising the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. With a vested interest in reef conservation and local marine life, her owner, captain and crew have developed a relationship with the Queensland based Minke Whale Project, an organisation that carries out research into dwarf minke whale biology and behaviour, the social and economic values of the whales and the sustainable management of swim-with-whales tourism. 

During this BELUGA yacht expedition, you’ll be joined by a guest researcher from the Minke Whale Project who you’ll have the opportunity to assist with gathering data, tagging and identifying individual whales. You’ll also be accompanied by dive masters who specialise in encounters with minke whales and who strive for their protection. As you reach the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll prepare for your first dive or snorkel with the minke whales at a world famous site named ‘Steve’s Bommie’, preceded by an in depth briefing. Steve’s Bommie offers incredible diversity and density of marine life and alongside the minke whales you can expect to see reef sharks, rays, schools of trevally, anemone fish, stone fish, nudibranchs and vibrant corals. 

(Best time to go Jun-Jul (perfect for a post-graduation celebration). Experience starts at AUD 99,000 for 5 nights / 6 days and up to 8 guests (inclusive of special permissions and yacht charter).

African Wildlife with a Killer Queen Soundtrack

When your little one has a fascination with the natural world and has just discovered the joys of Bohemian Rhapsody, include a trip to Zanzibar, the birthplace of Freddie Mercury, on your east African yacht expedition. After a week of wildlife encounters, snorkelling with whale sharks, visiting elephant sanctuaries and using the yacht’s toy chest in pristine waters, wake up, anchored near Stone Town. Explore Prison Island, a crucial home for the endangered Aldabra Giant Tortoise. Take the opportunity while you are here to aid crucial conservation work on the island that works to monitor, protect and preserve these enormous, endangered creatures.  

Make your way to the east side of Zanzibar where a local expert will guide you on a deep sea fishing expedition. Discover local spots known for their abundance of fish and take your fresh catch to a pristine and secluded beach. Here your chef will be waiting for you and will cook your catch to perfection over an open beach fire. 

Discover the largest indigenous forest on Zanzibar Island in the Jozani-Chwaka National Park. Spot the endemic species of red colobus monkey, a critically endangered species you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Try to chance to spot other monkey species as well as bushbabies and more than 40 species of birds. 

Make your way to Stone Town where you will enjoy a discover Mercury House. Mercury spent parts of his childhood within this house. He was born in Zanzibar, as his parents were living there so that his father, Bomi Bulsara, could continue working with the British Colonial Office as a cashier. From here, enjoy sundowners and dinner on a gorgeous rooftop terrace overlooking the sultan’s palace and the remnants of this famous Zanzibarian town with a private concert featuring his music. 

(Best time to go – June – Feb (Christmas Holidays for additional whale sharks and turtles, summer for migrating whales). Pelorus experiences start at USD 30,000 and are highly tailored – the above can be done from private or charter vessels.

WWII – Solomons

Explore volcanic islands, crocodile-infested mangroves, blue lagoons, tropical islets, and emerald waters scattered with WWII relics. Land in Honiara where you will be escorted to your yacht. Take in the sights of east Honiara, including the relics, monuments, and memorials of its traumatic WWII history. Hike further inland to reach the Tenaru Waterfalls where you will face a dramatic volume of cascading water falling from 63 metres above you. You can also take advantage of the spectacular diving around this island, particularly at Ironbottom Sound, a passage between The Florida Islands and Guadalcanal. Here, you will uncover dozens of ships and planes that sank in these waters during the Battle of Guadalcanal including a 106m-long US Navy destroyer and a 150m-long oil tanker. 

Another day in this remote paradise will see you anchor near Tulagi on the southern side of The Florida Islands. Here, you will continue your WWII wreck discovery and dive a Japanese seaplane that lies 30 metres below sea level, as well as the Kenowa and Moa shipwrecks. Russell Island is another excellent dive location, with crevasses and caves carved deep into the side of this jungle-dense island. Your yacht will anchor near Karomulun Point which is close to several spectacular dive sites. These include the iconic sun dappled reef canyon known as Leru Cut and the Blue Wall, which has shelves covered in a unique display of nudibranchs. Here, you can also dive the Mirror Pond, an incredible reef with a sheer wall that reflects the jungle overhead. 

Cruise to Kavachi, one of the most active submerged volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean, and a hotspot for reef sharks. Enjoy a spot of snorkelling here before making your way to the Varea River where you will head out in canoes with your guide to spot saltwater crocodiles. 

(Best Time to go – May-Sept or Nov – Jan (Summer Holidays are ideal, better for over 10’s, options to incorporate dive certification for the family as part of the charter. Pelorus experiences start at USD 30,000 and are highly tailored – the above can be done from private or charter vessels.

Credit Pelorus, Jack Mckee and John Rumney

Volcanoes & Mayan Ruins in Central America

Central America boasts some of the most diverse and rich landscapes in the world.  This journey along the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala will see you exploring dry forests, otherworldly volcanoes, and dense tropical cloud forests. Taste authentic delicacies, take part in cultural ceremonies and learn about the storied history of these Central American countries. Begin your journey in southern Nicaragua. Land in Managua where your captain and expert guide will meet you and escort you to your waiting yacht on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. After your first night onboard, hop in a helicopter to  Ometepe Island. This stunning Island lies in the centre of Lake Nicaragua and is comprised of two volcanoes that rise out of the lake.  

Explore Charco Verde Reserve, a wooded ecological reserve rich with wildlife and surrounded by black-sand beaches. Hike along the winding trails that twist through the reserve and spot families of howler monkeys swinging through the trees, Enjoy a wild lunch designed and set up by your yacht crew on a secluded beach before heading to  Ojo de Agua (Eye of Water), a natural spring in the middle of the island where you can dive in for a cooling swim. Refreshed, make your way to Magdalena Farm where you will be shown 2,000-year-old  Petroglyphs carved deep into the stone, and evidence of the ancient civilisation that once existed on Ometepe Island. 

Arise early and leave your vessel to arrive at Masaya Volcano before the sun rises. Watch lava glow in the crater lake in the dawn darkness. Explore the depths of the park, discovering lava tubes and caves imbued with native Nicaraguan history and culture. Head into the lowlands and browse the famous Masaya artisans’ market where you can find craftwork of all kinds from high-quality, handmade shoes to valuable ceramics. Meet with local artisans who will welcome you and demonstrate how they create their stunning handworks such as colourful hammocks.   

Explore Nicaraguan White Villages atop the Catarina hills to appreciate the incredible panoramic view of Apoyo  Lake and Mombacho  Volcano. End your day in Granada, a charming colonial city perched on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Learn about this city’s storied history that involves French pirates and British colonists. Wander down cobblestone streets and return to your waiting vessel where you can enjoy a Michelin-level dinner on the aft deck. 

(Best time to go – Year round (perfect for a half term). Pelorus experiences start at USD 30,000 and are highly tailored – the above can be done from private or charter vessels.

Experience the Renaissance in Venice 

Arrive in Venice where you can enjoy taking in the stunning beauty of this famous city. First head to Murano. A fascinating island, a short distance from Venice it feels like another world with far fewer people and a more laid-back atmosphere. Murano boasts a somewhat mysterious history. The Doge of Venice ordered all glassmakers move to this island in 1291 and from then the glass makers and their craft were kept secret from prying eyes that were eager to steal the coveted secrets the island held. 

Today these secrets are no longer so tightly hidden. Head to one of the famous Venetian glass factories where you and your children can watch a glass blowing demonstration. Watching these skilled master craftsmen work as their families have for generations is a truly exceptional sight and it is sure to leave you in awe of their skill and talent. 

Head from Murano on to a mask painting class. Learn about the famous Venetian masque and get the chance to decorate some of your own. Leave with your mask as a souvenir to show friends and family when you return home. 

After a leisurely breakfast on board, looking across the grand canal, head onshore and undertake a treasure hunt through the floating city. You and your family will be on the hunt for the imaginary creatures of Venice. Notice stone winged lions, dragons, and even monsters that dwell in every corner and on every building of Venice. Search for these creatures as you make your way across the city from St Mark’s Square all the way to Castello. Solve riddles and brain teasers and if you find all the creatures then you and your family will be rewarded with a unique prize. 

When you arrive back onboard you will be dazzled by the transformation that has taken place throughout the yacht. Musicians, players and decorations will have been produced, along with full costumes provided for the family to enjoy a private masquerade ball on the sundeck. Meet historical characters such as Casanova, Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, Antonio Vivaldi, Marco Polo and even the Doge himself as the evening progresses. The children will learn pattern dances, ask questions, and feel like they have been transported back into the Renaissance. 

(Best time to go Apr – October (perfect for a bank holiday weekend break, or part of a longer charter). Pelorus experiences start at USD 30,000 and are highly tailored – the above can be done from private or charter vessels.

Pirate Boot Camp (Special event charter)

Pelorus have created a fully immersive pirate ‘boot camp’ for a group of children and their families, taking place over the course of a full week’s charter. Starting with small laser’s alongside the main vessel, the children will learn the basics of sailing with personal instructors and begin to feel confident on the water. Over the course of the week, they will learn to climb the rigging and tie knots with the deck team as well as spending time with the captain to learn about navigating using compasses, charts and sextants.  

Having earned their stripes as a group, one morning the children will wake to learn that the ship has been taken over by a motley pirate crew (including film team), who have been on the hunt for buried treasure! Given the chance to join them, they will then embark on a huge, island and ocean spanning adventure, reminiscent of the best that the Goonies, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Peter Pan have to offer. 

Deploying their fleet of lasers they will race across lagoons, follow tracks into the jungle to discover ziplines set up through the canopy and rivers to tube down. In teams the children will meet helpful (and not so helpful) characters along the way, collect gear and unscramble clues. Using submersibles will help them retrieve supplies thought lost in the deeps and they will emerge on a hidden beach to find an incredible bounty of treasure and treats being protected by a rival crew. With the aid of water guns, balloons and paint pellets, a battle for all time will be enacted on the shore. 

Successfully winning through, A Pirate King or Queen will be crowned and the fun will extend into the evening as a Piratical Rumbustification party begins, with bonfire, BBQ and musicians culminating in a curated firework display, worthy of the theme.  

(Can be set up anywhere in the world to suit but Pelorus advises Caribbean, Central America, and the South Pacific as favourites ). Pelorus experiences start at USD 30,000 and are highly tailored – the above can be done from private or charter vessels (not inclusive of equipment such as submersibles etc).

As Featured By Boat International

“For the team at Pelorus, nothing beats working with parents to design a custom experience around their children’s latest passion.” 

“One group of children and their families dreamt of joining Blackbeard’s crew. Pelorus created a fully immersive prorate boot camp, where guests young and old mastered the basics of sailing in dinghies and learned to climb the rigging and tie knots. They then embarked on a multi-island treasure hunt with the yachts crew members, a team of actors and a film crew. The hunt involved everything from submersibles to jungle zip lines, culminating in an epic battle on a beach, with music, a bonfire, and fireworks.”

Pelorus was thrilled to share our unique yachting ideas with Boat International for their November 2021 issue. When it comes to these types of trips, your child’s mind is the limit. It’s a great way to capture young imagination and unite everyone in discovery and adventure.