This year’s Explorer Yacht Summit took place on November 10th at the Yacht Club de Monaco. It is the only international summit dedicated to the explorer yachting sector.
In short, the summit confirmed that innovative greener yacht design with a focus on exploration is the future. Owners and charter clients are looking for new remote experiences. Crew needed for these yachts are passionate and multitaskers. New technology in combination with scientific research and humanitarian aid work gives another dimension to yacht exploration adding an earth-saving dimension.
Why explorer yachts need to hire passionate crew who can join the scientific research
Extreme explorer Victor Vescovo gave a mind-blowing presentation, having visited the deepest points of the Earth’s five oceans. He implored all yacht owners to assist with the mapping of the oceans as 70% of the ocean still remains unmapped. Victor also recommended organisations connecting exploration yachts with scientists and is himself fully involved. He emphasised that: “The world’s yacht owners can do more to advance science!”
He was followed by Stephen Edwards, Captain of a 60m SY Seahawk, who presented impressive scientific studies of tiger sharks in French Polynesia and the Galapagos together with the fabulous community work they have done for the youth connecting them with the ocean.
Stephen spoke with us about the need for passionate crew with a different mindset and how they, with an 'off-the-shelf' Perini Navi, are assisting marine science and community.
“Seahawk encourages other yachts to do the same for the planet”. Captain Edwards has learnt that “anything is possible if you put your mind to it” and confirms that “One’s appreciation of the world changes when you have scientists on board.”
Explorer yachts trends
The Charter Panel confirmed that explorer charters are in high demand and that there is a need for access to more charter yachts in remote locations.
An interesting fact presented was that most of the world’s explorer yachts are in the 40m range and that there are 88 explorer yachts currently in build around the world.
We discovered that vessel conversions have become a very popular option and are often less expensive than a new build. The owner interaction also plays a very important part in the conversion process as it creates an experience for the owner from day one.
Exploring the planet – best destinations for explorer yachts
The beauty of explorer yachts is the ability to discover the planet and see and experience remote areas. When it comes to particular destinations, the speakers shared their experiences and recommendations.
Captain Gareth Nicholls of M.V Pioneer spoke passionately about exploring Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago set between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The wildlife, especially the polar bears, are an impressive sight and it makes Svalbard the perfect exploration destination for families. “It’s a fantastic location and super remote, and it is actually very easy to get to which is surprising to the guests. There is nothing else other than wildlife which I think is what us explorer yachts are all about!”
He was followed by Captain Winston Joyce-Clarke of M.V. Seawolf who shared footage of some amazing parts of Indonesia, exploring different cultures and languages from one village to the next. He explains that Indonesia also offers some of the most diverse reefs on the planet; “Indonesia never disappoints!” explained Captain Winston showing how short-distance cruising can be just as exciting if in the right areas: “You can quite comfortably spend a year there before going anywhere else.”
Last speaker, an experienced explorer and yacht owner Lord Laidlaw who is turning 80 this year shared some fascinating stories and future exploration plans. He has owned 44 yachts so far and is building another two. He strongly encourages any owner of a yacht with a steel hull to go exploring, saying “It is never too late!”