In early September, I spent few days on board the Hanse Explorer superyacht, in Norway. This has been a dream of mine for many years, to see those mighty dark-coloured granite mountains, forming the most curious bays around the coast. We cruised the Norwegian fjords north from Bodo and I witnessed nature, beautiful, pure and captivating.
I flew to Bodo via Oslo (there are several flights a day). Bodo is a small, modern town with a lot going on – it is going to be a 2024 European Capital of Culture. It’s well supplied and rather quiet with most cars running on electricity.
We boarded Hanse Explorer and were welcome by Captain Andriy and his delightful crew. I remember noting down those words: Andriy is gentle and chatty, interested in people. Nothing is too hard for him and there is always a smile on his face. He is very comfortable in this rather remote area and obviously loves it. The crew was attentive, professional and welcoming to us all.
Hanse Explorer is a very steady super yacht, very comfortable. It has an industrial look from the outside, just as one would expect of a well-built secure explorer. But inside, it is spacious and luxurious, decorated in light colours of wood and modern art. The stabilizers are fantastic! We had several night rides, and I didn’t feel any of them. Everything has been thought through well on this yacht. We were shown around and were amazed by the storage space below deck and how organised everything was.
The master cabin is on the upper deck and has an outdoor area, too. The other six guest cabins are all on the same level. My double cabin was a great size, well thought through with a very comfortable bed. Large window allowed for the most incredible, ever changing view along the way.
Our route was:
We swam in a very cold sea, it was so invigorating. We kayaked, we hiked in places and we caught fresh fish for our meals. In the evenings, we sat down after dinner to listen to some of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories from two expedition leaders, Richard and Ange.
I was mesmerised by everything. The environment was beautiful beyond words. The peacefulness of the area had an instant impact on us all. Life was suddenly a lot quieter and somehow slower. I was aware of every moment of that extraordinary trip.
We had two explorer experts, expedition leaders with us:
Richard White – Expedition Leader, Polar areas specialist, botanist and ornithologist.
Richard takes Hanse Explorer to the polar areas such as: Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland, Norway, Patagonie, South Georgia, The Falklands, Antarctica.
Spending few days with Richard was extraordinary. We learned a lot about the polar areas and what one can experience there when on a guided tour like this one. Those must be trips of a lifetime. Our client did a heli-skiing trip with this team earlier this year, in April, in Greenland and said exactly that: ‘Thank you for this extraordinary trip of a life time!’
Angela Pennefather – Expedition Leader and Melanesian Specialist
Ange is promoting ‘Cruising with conscious’ and I loved listening to her talking about that: ‘Cruising is not just about beautiful places and activities, but also about humanity. What we have in Papua New Guinea are rituals and ways of life that might not last this generation.’
Those are the cruises for clients who have sense of adventure.
Ange was born of two cultures: Australian & Papua New Guinean. As such she has a unique perspective on both Melanesian and European cultures that she openly shares this with the visitors she guides through her beloved Melanesia. She is fluent in neo-Melanesian languages and provides a deep insight into broader Melanesian cultures. Her knowledge extends far inland; the result of decades following her father on his ceaseless visits around his coffee plantations, on long distance overland treks and his exploration of WWII sites.
On a higher level, Ange’s warmth and deep local knowledge will interpret the rich cultural tapestry of this most diverse of destinations, and simply bring the people, landscape, and energy of Papua New Guinea to life.
SVALBARD, GREENLAND, ICELAND, NORWAY
PATAGONIA, SOUTH GEORGIA, THE FALKLANDS, ANTARCTICA
MELANESIA: PAPUA NEW GUINEA, VANUATU, THE SOLOMON ISLANDS
PATAGONIA, SOUTH GEORGIA, THE FALKLANDS, ANTARCTICA
I listened to Richard talking about ANTARTICA, the history of the area and the places that he guides the yacht and the guests to. His knowledge is of a historian who has devoted his life and passion to those remote worlds. He spends around six months each year in those remote area.
The best time to travel to this part of the world is between November and February. December and January have long twilights which makes it great for night navigation.
A vast continent of ice and the awe-inspiring power of raw nature, Antarctica is the world’s most pristine environment, offering unparalleled landscapes, natural beauty, an abundance of remarkable wildlife, and exhilarating adventures.
Every voyage to Antarctica is unique, with the route followed decided by the weather and ice conditions as you explore this last truly wild continent. A flexible itinerary allows the yacht to follow the best conditions, using near-constant daylight to discover the amazing Antarctic Peninsula coastline of mountains, fjords, and islands.
Meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile, a gateway to Antarctica, fly to King George Island, Antarctica to embark the yacht. Once on board, spend seven days exploring this remarkable continent in the height of the austral summer, a time when wildlife activity and weather conditions are at their best.
Your expedition leader will arrange landings each day to visit wildlife colonies or historical sites, set in a landscape like no other. Watch whales from the tenders, kayak among huge icebergs in the company of penguins as you explore coasts of sculpted ice in silence, or go farther—ski touring the incredible mountains around the yacht. Simply spending time on deck is mesmerizing as you cruise crystalline channels flanked by towering mountains rising straight from the sea.
Your expert team will help you spot the wildlife and provide insights making this truly a journey of discovery in one of the most amazing places on our planet.
Trips like this are planned well in advance, at least a year, ideally two years ahead and should allow for at least 10 days to accommodate any possible changes in weather that might dictate the crossing.
There are two options for Papua New Guinea, both with an expedition guide on board:
Papua New Guinea’s rich coastline and string of offshore island atolls is best explored by private yacht.
A destination unlike any other, the country’s 5,000 different clans, together speaking over 850 separate languages, form the most culturally diverse nation on Earth. Similarly, the diverse landscapes that stretch from oceanic trenches to expansive tropical reefs provide home to five percent of wildlife species found on the planet.
On arrival in Rabaul, join your private yacht that will serve as your home and expedition platform through Papua New Guinea. Your yacht will voyage each night, leaving the day free to explore and enjoy the wonders of this seldom-visited Pacific nation. Your expedition will expose you to a variety of landscapes and activities.
PNG offers superb scuba diving and snorkeling, bird watching, hiking and general exploration. Your expedition leader will introduce you to the rich cultural diversity of the region, rarely explored places full of ancient rituals and traditional art.
Whether traveling by sea or on land, an experienced expedition leader who understands the traditions and cultures as well as the best locations to visit is the key to the most authentic experiences possible in Papua New Guinea. Our expeditions have left visitors humbled by the warmth and sincerity of the welcome they have received and profoundly affected by witnessing remarkable cultural ceremonies and ways of life that are disappearing in the modern age.
HANSE EXPLORER ACCOMMODATION:
Hanse Explorer can accommodate up to 12 guests in 7 en suite cabins.
The expansive Master cabin, 485 sq ft, is on the Upper Deck and features a large private lounge area.
The remaining 6 en suite cabins, all approximately 182 sq ft, are on the Main Deck and can
be configured for either double or twin sleeping arrangements.
From the Hanse Explorer guest book:
‘One of the greatest experiences of our well travelled life …’
Talk to us about any of the above mentioned destinations, whether it is visiting the polar areas, northern Europe or Papua New Guinea.
Contact us for more information: email@example.com