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The Exploration Experience

When asked to describe the experience of exploration yachting in just one word, “liberating” was the immediate, heartfelt response of Fraser Gow, Captain of the 55-metre luxury yacht Gene Machine. We had the chance to sit down with Captain Gow, to hear his fascinating stories, and listen to his sage advice on how to make the most of such an out-of-this-world expedition.


Antibes - Engel & Völkers Yachting - The Exploration Experience - Captain Fraser Gow

STEP ONE – WHERE TO BEGIN?
The first step is to get in touch with your trusted charter broker and ascertain the motivations behind your charter. The sights you’d like to see, the activities that interest you and the culture you’re keen to experience. If you’re searching for icebergs and polar bears, or more along the lines of perfect sandy beaches to enjoy a coconut on, the decision can be much easier than you think.



TAKE THE TIME TO COMPILE A ‘TO DO’ LIST
We all have a list of top ten things we’d like to do on any particular vacation and it is no different when it comes to a charter trip. Make an actual list of all the activities you’d like to experience, marking your 10 absolute top priorities. Your charter broker and crew are specialised in finding out how to make your requests possible. My suggestion is to get creative with your adventure, remaining realistic when establishing a cruising radius to avoid rushing from each location and missing out on things en route.



YOUR PERFECT CHARTER YACHT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PURPOSE-BUILT
After choosing a destination and deciding your must-do itinerary, it’s time to select a yacht! Contrary to popular perceptions, you don’t necessarily need a yacht capable of ice-breaking or running on a nuclear reactor to get off the beaten track. There are so many endless possibilities for places you can cruise to without requiring a purpose-built expedition yacht – where you can always stay within the safety envelope of your vessel.

BE EXPLORATION READY!
Exploring remote destinations is lots of fun, but it is important that safety comes first. Do your due diligence and find out what appropriate gear you will need and whether the yacht provides it or if you’ll have to make arrangements in advance. If you’re planning to explore polar regions, purchasing a ‘Onesie Arctic Jump Suit’ is a great start to help you get prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at you, and will guarantee you enjoy your trip even more!



EXTENDING THE EXPERIENCE
If you’re making the effort to cruise to the ends of the earth you might as well have all the equipment on board to do what you love most. Bear in mind that chase boats, helicopters and seaplanes dramatically expand your operating radius from your yacht, allowing you to potentially see so much more.


A MUST FOR ANY EXPLORATION YACHT CHARTER
Having a guide on board with local knowledge is absolutely vital. Their insider expertise will prove invaluable and ensure you get the most out of your adventure cruise. I also recommend reading up on the history and culture of your cruising destination, as having background knowledge often gives you a greater appreciation of what earlier explorers went through to get there.



WHAT IF I’M NOT ARTIC READY?
Svalbard is a fantastic alternative for a gentler immersion into arctic exploring. It can be reached with relative ease from mainland Norway. Although remote, Svalbard has an international airport allowing guests to come and go as they please. It also boasts several excellent restaurants, one of which once held a Michelin Star, and Norway’s second largest wine cellar. However, be prepared to disconnect from the rest of the world! One of my favourite parts about cruising around Svalbard was the lack of connectivity. Limited Internet access through our Iridium Pilot allowed me to download the latest weather forecasts and ice charts, but not much else! Our guests and crew truly embraced the freedom.


Antibes - Engel & Völkers Yachting - The Exploration Experience

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