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Expedition Experts

Ben Lyons, CEO of EYOS Expeditions, spoke to us about “world firsts” and record-breaking expeditions, as well as exciting client requests, and future projects for the most ambitious expedition into the deep blue so far this century.

Antibes - Engel & Völkers Yachting - Expedition Experts

Could you tell us about one of your successful “world’s first” travel expeditions?

We pioneered ‘fly-in/fly-out’ superyacht expeditions to Antarctica, to avoid travellers having to cross the rough Drake Passage. We were the first company in over 60 years to get a permit for a foreign vessel to visit Wrangel Island in Russia – with a permit signed by Putin himself, no less! We were also the first company to dive to 1,000 metres, and to be granted a permit to operate a personal submersible in Antarctica!


What’s the most interesting travel request you have come across?

A private yacht wanted to go to the Ross Sea – an extremely remote part of the world, much further south than where all the other yachts go in Antarctica. The trip was a huge success and set a Guinness World Record for the furthest south that any vessel has ever gone in history!


How do you stay competitive?

EYOS has a history of innovation. We have effectively pioneered this industry and remained at the forefront of ground-breaking expeditions on board superyachts. Our team is, without question, the most experienced in the industry – from the captains to expedition leaders, we have attracted the top talent. By staying focused on making sure we have the most expert and experienced team both in the office and on the vessels, we retain a significant advantage over any new entrant.

What are the key trends you see?

People want to push the boundaries – in several different ways. There is the physical boundary – in the sense they want to take to helicopters or submersibles and go beyond merely what is found at sea level. Clients are looking for experiences – for something beyond tangible possessions. For many of our clients, it is a chance to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with families. Yachts in the wilderness provide the perfect environment for that. We also see more and more clients looking to use their yachts for scientific or conservation reasons. Assisting scientists and learning more about the natural world is another trend.


What are the up-and-coming destinations?

We are seeing more and more interest in the Northwest Passage. Aside from the polar regions, there is growing interest in Papua New Guinea too. The untouched culture, the exquisite tropical scenery, WWII history and excellent diving opportunities all make for an excellent trip.


What is the Five Deeps Expedition?

We’re actively involved in a pioneering scientific expedition – the Five Deeps (fivedeeps.com). This is something that has never been done before, and we couldn’t be prouder to have been selected to run and manage this expedition. Only three people have ever reached the deepest part of the ocean. Compare that to the number of people who’ve gone to the moon! I’m fascinated by the ocean and believe there’s much to learn from properly exploring life below the surface. Thankfully, with the Five Deeps Expedition, we will inevitably be learning a great deal just by visiting places no-one else has been before.

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