Holidays can fall into one of two camps. They can be a welcome respite from the bustle of modern life, a detour of calm reflection and serenity before returning to tackle the world anew.
They can also easily descend into bureaucratic nightmares, as the hassle of hotel bookings, coordinating travel and scouring the local area for entertainment negate the calming effect your getaway might have had – especially with restless young ones in tow.
It’s not surprising then, that more and more travellers are seeing the benefits of the superyacht: that unique blend of romantic, seafaring adventure and plush seclusion. For much the same cost as a rented villa, one can step onto a fully-staffed sailing or motor yacht, and enjoy a five-star floating hotel that does the hard work of exploration for you.
The word ‘yacht’ comes from a Dutch term meaning ‘hunt’, and refers to a high-speed vessel traditionally used to track pirates. Thankfully the modern craft is more likely to host on-board spas, personal sound systems and infinity pools than harpoons or cutlasses – though the freedom of charting a course through open water retains that peerless sense of adventure.
The unrivalled privacy of a chartered yacht, too, means these amenities don’t need to be shared with the rest of the jet set you might usually rub shoulders with. As docks and airlines get better connected and switched-on to the needs of the vacationing class, there are now more ‘must-see’ holiday destinations than ever – though they’re often oversubscribed and heaving with crowds as a result. The superyacht offers a scaled-down, personalised resort that takes away the pressure to look for local sights, cruising you past hidden coves, beaches and fjords far off the beaten track.
Global luxury-yacht provider Ocean Independence might commandeer the largest crewed charter fleet in the world, but the focus is still on intimate, individual experiences – no doubt helped by the marine expertise of each crew member caring for you on-board. Each vessel is specialised to the letter, from the scale of the galley and crew to the nationality of the wine served on board. Whether you prefer the sight of a Zefiro’s billowing sails, or the sleek silhouette of motoryacht Okko, the wide variety of unique yachts in today’s charter fleet means your needs can be easily catered to in any environment.
The technological advancements of the modern world naturally make their way on board too, meaning even children and younger adults can count on a range of entertainment – though, with the variety of views on offer, they might not need to.
It is only by boat that you can fully appreciate the stunning vistas of a country like Norway, replete with towering waterfalls, teeming wildlife and majestic glaciers. Not to mention that most breathtaking of sights – the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, a literally magnetic light display that attracts the most dedicated nomads to the region each winter season.
And with the option to stop off at a secluded port and add hiking, fishing, or whale-watching to your itinerary, a private cruise along the 20,000km of tranquil Nordic coast might just offer the best of land, sea and sky. The Norwegian feeling of ‘koselig’ offers a cosy intimacy perfect for bonding with family during your travels, and each guest in your multi-generational crew is bound to find something they can enjoy together.
The sense of koselig roughly translates to ‘cosy’ or ‘warmth’, not a literal warmth, but that feeling you get when surrounded by good friends over a long, luxurious meal - Debbie Gribble, Charter Manager at Ocean Independence
For those after the classic yachting experience, the French Riviera remains a classic highly sought-after drop-off point for many, even when adrift on the water; after all, there’s nothing to stop you taking the famed local cuisine on board with you. With white, lazy beaches and the latest in summer style shown off in every cove, you could hardly blame yourself for sticking with tradition.
Travellers have been utilising France’s warm Mediterranean coastline as a health resort for over 200 years, though there’s much to be said for the current century’s improved connections to the surrounding medieval villages and idyllic countryside – blossoming alongside the vitality of Monaco, the glamour and cinephile culture of Cannes, and the glittering scenery that inspired generations of French painters from Claude Monet to Jean Renoir. All this just outside your porthole, with none of the limitations of normal resorts to tie you to the same view every morning.
Words can never do justice to the sights: that’s why we feel an urge to travel for ourselves. Few hands are safer than that of a skilled deckhand, and with a range of tranquil destinations at your disposal – whether Greece, the Bahamas, or the South Pacific takes your fancy – it’s never been a better time to sample the superyacht experience.
Ocean Independence is a brokerage specialising in luxury yachts and superyachts, and operate the largest chartered fleet in the world. Follow the link above for more information on their specialist yachts and bespoke travel experiences.