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Expedition and Explorer Yachts

Explorer Yachts

Not everyone is satisfied with merely cruising around Caribbean islands or the European coastline aboard a lavish superyacht. Expedition (or explorer) yachts are for the more adventuresome - these powerful superyachts are rugged on the exterior, built to take on any sort of waters. Style and comfort are not sacrificed, however, as their interiors are usually sophisticated and luxurious. Fully equipped with everything you would find on board a superyacht, these luxury expedition yachts offer their owners or guests exhilarating freedom and flexibility to explore the vast and stunning waterways of our world from deluxe, tasteful accommodations. This winning combination is becoming increasingly popular and available.

Expedition yachts are meant to venture in remote or "unexplored" areas, revealing beautiful natural ecologies that are rarely seen firsthand and are in danger of disappearing. This tough new breed of luxury superyachts has emerged only in recent years out of the desire for self-sufficient adventure, and, being built for safety, endurance, performance and comfort, these vessels provide the best of the best.

The key features and benefits of expedition or explorer yachts

They get you where you want to go

What thrills you? Observing wildlife from obscure jungle rivers? Crossing the paths of whales and penguins in the Arctic? Experiencing the best fishing and diving on the globe? Expedition yachts, equipped with the range and reliability to safely explore any area of our world by water, make these exotic opportunities a reality. It may be surprising to learn that these vessels are also extremely fuel efficient, aiding in their incomparable range for cruising and ability to access anywhere you may dream to go.


Explorer yachts are designed to be high volume with abundant space. This enables those on board to live in ultimate comfort during extended cruising. Typically, the accommodations for both guest and crew are more spacious and larger than on an average superyacht. Bearing longer voyages in mind, living space is a major consideration when these vessels are being designed and built. While an average luxury yacht will have a stateroom for the owner or main guest, an expedition superyacht will include a private suite. This will encompass not only a master cabin, but often an office area, saloon or sitting area, and a personal deck as well.


Along with providing more space than typical on superyachts, explorer yachts are designed to be as stable as possible, even in the wilder conditions they may encounter. Stylish décor and interior luxuries counteract their formidable exteriors.

Extra Equipment and Toys

Increased hull volume provides more space to house specialized equipment and toys. What gets included on expedition yachts depends on the owners and their interests and hobbies. An avid fisherman will likely install a large hard-sided tender to enjoy excursion fishing voyages. These can be over 30 ft in length and are lifted onto the mother ship’s deck by crane.

Those who are interested in marine ecology may include an impressive array of dive compressors and equipment on board, as well as small submersible submarines. Others may install a helipad to do more exploration of the ocean or coastlines by air.

True to its nature, an expedition yacht will likely have a comprehensive selection of toys and gadgets on board for the purpose of terrain or marine exploration. Common to many superyachts, water toys such as Jet Skis and snorkeling gear are normally included as well.


The deep displacement hulls create a more stable environment for the guests, even in rough seas. Explorer yachts are occasionally converted from commercial vessels that were used as ocean-going workhorses, such as a survey ship, tug or even deep sea trawlers. These were chosen for the strength and reliability that explorer yachts are known for. It is not unusual for these yachts to boast commercial grade safety equipment, top-of-the-line fire systems, and reinforced windows on the bridge. Explorer yachts with reinforced hulls can also be used as ice breakers, ideal for exploring the Artic.

Fuel efficiency

Smaller engines that require less horsepower and large displacement hulls contribute to the outstanding fuel efficiency of expedition yachts. They will often cruise at hull speed and have specialized propellers, stabilizers and engines for optimum efficiency. For example, an average expedition yacht may be able to cruise at 10 knots using just over 100 liters per hour. In comparison, a superyacht of similar length and much smaller volume can use up to ten times that amount jetting between islands or coastal anchorages.

Long Range

Explorer yachts are typically able to do long range cruising. Accomplishing more miles between refueling is achieved by both fuel efficiency and larger fuel tanks. This also means that the vessels are able to explore areas that do not have reliable refueling ports nearby. These yachts have, on average, between a 4,000-6,000+ nautical mile range. Some of the larger ones can sail from the Bering Strait around Cape Horn in one go: 13,000 nautical miles at 11 knots, no refueling necessary.

Reduced maintenance and Increased use

Less maintenance is another advantage of using an expedition yacht. Their sturdy steel hulls and often aluminum superstructures, along with less teak and fiberglass for the crew to varnish and polish, decreases the maintenance necessary to keep the yacht. This equates to more time for the guests to discover the wonders of our world and more time for the crew to ensure that they do so with maximum enjoyment and safety.

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