While the world has changed in many ways, one thing hasn’t changed, and that is the desire to explore. Current health restrictions and safety regulations on travel mean that traveling is less of a spontaneous decision, with more emphasis on creating special experiences together in a small group of family and friends. And after the past two years, who can blame us for wanting to make every moment count? If anything, a private yacht charter ticks all the boxes for a truly memorable getaway so now is the right time to plan that family reunion or celebrate your special occasion with your loved ones. Read on as we share our picks for the top five locations in the world to indulge in such luxury!
Jewel of the Sea
Travel in this day and age has taught us that space is not only a luxury, but a necessity. What better way to experience that than with a private escape aboard a long-range explorer luxury yacht sailing the pristine seas of the Eastern Indonesian archipelago? While most operators in the region offer traditional phinisi or casual dive liveaboards, the 197 ft Aqua Blu brings a high-end Mediterranean-style experience that will suit all your modern cruising needs with the ultimate elegance and style.
Spread across five spacious decks and 15 sophisticated design suites, every single detail of the ship is yours to enjoy on either 7- or 12-night itineraries when you charter the entire vessel. Whether it is discovering the region’s gastronomy via our delicious culinary offerings, sipping sundowners against the arid backdrop of the Komodo National Park, following in the footsteps of the old-world explorers in the Spice Islands, learning the difference between Ocean and Reef manta rays from our expert guides, diving some of the best sites in the Coral Triangle, jumping into a stingless jellyfish lake or even swimming with whale sharks, there is a whole new world to discover that remains untouched and wholly yours.
Aqua Tip: Because Aqua Blu has a maximum capacity of 30 guests, a private yacht charter is the perfect choice for those who want to navigate exotic locales in intimate groups. We also offer special charter rates, which create more value for smaller groups as opposed to individual bookings.
Heart of the Rainforest
It may not be the most obvious choice of locations when thinking of a private yacht charter, but the depth of the Peruvian Amazon is only able to be explored via small ship expedition. As the Amazon rainforest – often nicknamed the ‘world’s pharmacy’ – houses earth’s largest and most diverse collection of plant and animal life, it is only natural that a focus on flora and fauna requires a more sensitive approach to discovery.
Because Peru offers the most accessible path into the headwaters of the Amazon River and the Pacaya- Samiria National Reserve where the waters are low in sediment and rich in aquatic life, the best expeditions are the ones that provide highly customized journeys led by local experienced naturalist guides. The 1:1 crew to guest ratio and small-group excursions aboard Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera means that a lesser human presence leads to more up-close wildlife sightings of the legendary pink dolphins, red-bellied piranhas, playful titi monkeys, beady-eyed caymans, a plethora of rare bird species, and even the elusive jaguar among many others in an environment that is designed to conceal them.
Aqua Tip: Choose from our year-round Amazon 3-, 4-, and 7-night itineraries which are highly personalized or why not create your own when you speak directly to our Aqua Expeditions Reservations Team? From pre-voyage to after your trip, each staff and crew will know your name, take note of the little details of personal preferences and dietary requirements (yes, even vegan!). Our boutique size and ability to remain flexible allows for every experience to be curated to each guests’ abilities and interests.
If you’re looking for minimized human interaction, venturing into unspoiled sanctuaries to witness the beauty of nature and wildlife via a private yacht charter is a good idea. Voyage south toward the edge of the world where the far-flung raw scenery of Chilean Patagonia will astound you and a small group of friends or family.
Photo by Claudia Kirchberger on Unsplash
As you marvel at the rugged coastline and the legendary archipelago of Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of the South American continent, you will navigate the stony fjords that have been carved by ancient ice movements, to discover the wonders of the snowcapped peaks of Karunkina Natural Park, Admiralty Sound, the Magdalena Channel, and Glacier Alley. Learn about glacial systems, geology, environment, wildlife, and the storied past of the region as you partake in some of the best hiking in the world with stunning waterfalls as your backdrop, observe calving glaciers, and whale and dolphin-watch. You will even get up close to elephant seals, Magellan penguins and Andean Condors as you explore in zodiacs and follow in the footsteps of Darwin and Captain FitzRoy when sailing through the Beagle Channel and rounding Cape Horn.
Aqua Tip: While Patagonia is open all year round, it is worth noting that the seasons are reversed from the northern hemisphere. Weather and temperatures vary, but the winter months (June to mid-September) have the least amount of wind and are the time of year with the most beautiful landscapes.
If there is something we have missed in our travels over the past two years, it is the cultural aspect of discovery. The answer to diving deeper into a destination in a meaningful way is by way of a private yacht charter. In a destination such a Vietnam or Cambodia, cultural immersion into the rich heritage and tradition of the region is combined with soft adventure like cycling, nature hikes, and kayaking along the Mekong River together, as well as through a culinary journey onboard.
Each adventure aboard the Aqua Mekong is personalized to each guests’ preferences, no matter the fun or fitness level. The comforts of a small ship private expedition means that guests are able to settle into eye-level cruising and watch nature pass by, and when it is time for daily excursions, it is in a highly controlled environment where guests are limited to eight per guide in a private tender. As you follow in the footsteps of the legendary King Jayavarman VII who sailed the Mekong in the late 12th century to build the grand Khmer empire, you will be able to observe the migratory birds of the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary on the Tonle Sap Lake, discover magnificent carved temples, kayak through the caramel waters alongside pastoral Mekong Delta villages, be blessed by Theravada Buddhist monks, or cycle through fruit orchards and paddy fields.
Aqua Tip: A private and personalized 7-night yacht charter itinerary that leaves from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam all the way to the UNESCO-listed city of Siem Reap, Cambodia makes for an ideal and thorough unveiling of the region’s mysteries and wonders that is far from crowds and throngs of tourists.
Land Before Time
You could be forgiven into thinking you have traveled back in time when you visit Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago. In fact, this very special group of volcanic islands remained undiscovered until 1835, when Charles Darwin arrived aboard the HMS Beagle, and still preserves much of its original condition. With its proximity to the equator, volcanic activity, and influence from three ocean currents, it developed a distinctive set of unique land and marine ecosystems that remain to this day.
A private yacht charter while visiting the region’s most iconic islands will offer you the rare opportunity to observe the endemic wildlife as they go about their daily life completely undisturbed by other human presence. Think giant Galapagos tortoises, humpback whales, Darwin finches (so named for their role in Darwin’s eureka moment for his theory of evolution), Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, Española lava lizards, as well as land and marine iguanas among so many others. But that’s not all, the dramatic landscapes caused by dynamic geological movements and the islands’ dark swashbuckling past will have you hooked for adventure and ready to go!
Aqua Tip: As the islands are highly protected, guests may travel only with authorized and trusted operators or vessels on strict itineraries and be accompanied by official naturalist guides at all times. This is to practice the ‘leave-no-trace’ principle, an important exercise that goes a long way to safeguarding the fragile environment of the archipelago.
It is Aqua Expeditions’ mission to provide soft but thrilling adventures combined with a cultural immersion into each regions’ rich heritage and traditions, ensuring once-in-a-lifetime, meaningful experiences on every journey whether it in East Indonesia, along the Mekong River, or on the mystical Peruvian Amazon. Speak to any of our Reservations Team on our live chat at www.aquaexpeditions.com for more in-depth information about our private yacht charters.