More than just private floating hotels, superyachts give travellers access to once-in-a-lifetime encounters in extraordinary locales. Lee Mylne reports on the latest trends from the 2018 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous.
Stepping aboard a superyacht opens a world of luxury, privacy, and exclusivity. It’s a world that increasing numbers of travellers are looking towards as they contemplate cruising in style as the ultimate getaway.
These floating boutique hotels – where fresh flowers, chilled champagne, gourmet meals, and butler service are the norm – are also typically equipped with “toys” such as jet skis, Jacuzzis, tenders of varying sizes and perhaps even a small helicopter.
It’s an exciting time for Australia’s superyacht industry, with new vessels arriving and new destinations – such as Tasmania – being considered to cater to families and travellers with a sense of adventure. The best were on display at the Australian Superyacht Rendezvous, held on the Gold Coast in April.
The Oneworld experience
After several years in the planning, Australia’s newest charter superyacht, Oneworld, has arrived at her berth in Sydney. Custom-designed for the Australian market and built in Dubai, the $10 million, 31.5-metre craft has a 100-person capacity for events and weddings, or for 12 guests overnight.
Oneworld owner, former hotelier and racing car driver, Rod Salmon, says the vessel offers six-star luxury and Mediterranean-style service.
“We’re aiming to deliver Oneworld as the ultimate travelling private resort and on-water events venue, with second-tonone service,” says Salmon.
Oneworld is available for charter on Sydney Harbour between November and July, heading to the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef between August and October.
Captain Matt Baily heads Oneworld’s five full-time crew, all of whom have extensive European charter market experience. A chef is on board for overnight charters, and supplementary staff are employed for large charter events.
Other yachts prominent in the Australian charter market include the 26-metre Aurora, 30-metre Murcielago, 37-metre Masteka 2, and the 40-metre Silentworld, all represented by Ocean Alliance, which has added Oneworld to its stable of 14 vessels.
Apart from the luxurious surroundings, the experiences that draw travellers to superyachts are often the most simple: dark skies perfect for stargazing, bioluminescent water, deserted beaches, discovering 50,000-year-old Aboriginal artworks in the Kimberley, or the cultural heritage of Pacific island nations.
One of Australia’s most popular charter yachts, Silentworld, cruises Australia’s east coast as well as Tahiti, Fiji and the Cook Islands, often working in partnership with private jet company Adagold Aviation to create exclusive travel itineraries for clients. Adagold has managed charters to various remote locations in the waters around Papua New Guinea, West Papua, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, northern Australia, Fiji and Tahiti.
In another exciting development in the yachting world, the privately owned icebreaker, Legend, will for the first time offer one scheduled departure for Antarctica in January 2019, offering a bespoke eight-day polar expedition. Carrying a maximum of 26 passengers, Legend has a guest-to-crew ratio of one-to-one, and facilities such as a 16-seater waterfall spa and onboard expedition guides.
“Guests can hop into a Zodiac and mingle with humpback whales and linger longer at colonies of parading penguins,” says EYOS Expeditions CEO Ben Lyons. “The experience will be theirs to define.”
Oneworld charter rates start at $2,800 per hour or $49,000 (plus provisioning) for opulent three-night escapes.
The Legend expedition is priced from €25,000 per person. Leaving from Punta Arenas, Chile, on 6 January 2019, guests will fly into Antarctica, avoiding the Drake Passage crossing.
The 2019 Australian Superyacht Rendezvous will be held 26–27 April at Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard.