WATCH: Series 1 Episode 7 The South Pacific by Superyacht here.
Australia InDepth Series 1, An Infinite Charter Destination, has focused on the thrilling all-year-round opportunities for superyachts and their guests throughout Australia. From the rugged Kimberley down to the iconic setting of Sydney Harbour, Australia is a destination that promises it all.
However, the rising interest from superyachts in heading Down Under is the fruit of progress made by the entire South Pacific region to provide an alternative cruising destination. Accessing the remote wonders of the South Pacific has been made easier for yachts thanks to improved legislation, advancements in infrastructure, and a consistent emphasis on expedition yachts.
The South Pacific rejuvenates the authenticity and spontaneity of the yachting experience, with something and invigorating around every corner and in every bay.
“The South Pacific definitely offers a new location and a new season for yachting,” says Captain CJ of S/Y JOY. “I believe there is more of a demand for expedition type of yachting. Places like Fiji and throughout the South Pacific are becoming more and more popular for owners interested in adventure, in things that they haven’t experienced or seen before.”
The sentiment is echoed by Captain Lee Yeoman of M/Y BIG FISH. “With the change in mindset and wealth we’re seeing with the new generation,” comments Captain Yeoman, “people are more focused on experiences. I think we’ll see a shift to these more exotic locations and expedition style cruising.”
The first stop for yachts entering the South Pacific through the Panama Canal are the paradisiacal Islands of Tahiti.
“Tahiti is positioned exceptionally well as if it was planned that it should be a superyacht destination,” explains Captain Tom Francis of M/Y ULTIMATE LADY. “As a yachting destination, it offers incredible diversity. It’s paradise, and each archipelago has its own paradise and unique features.”
The Islands of Tahiti offer incredible experiences from untouched natural beauty to its rich and welcoming culture, with the perfect combination of water and land activities for adventure-minded guests.
The challenges of recent years has, if anything, strengthened Tahiti’s position as a safe haven for superyachts. As Manoa Rey, Marketing Coordinator of Tahiti Tourisme, explains: “After the last two years, our weaknesses have become assets, and isolation now rhymes with preservation and intimacy. The Islands of Tahiti are not a mass destination. We really want guests to take time to reconnect with themselves and with the world.
“The Islands really cater to the exclusive nature of superyachts because of their isolation, where you can enjoy your time with family and friends away from the crowds.”
Heading west from French Polynesia, the island adventure continues in Fiji. In the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji has long been a revered destination for superyachts – where exploration meets indulgence in a pristine environment.
“I think Fiji is unique for superyacht cruising because there are so many groups of islands that offer different cultural experiences, different traditional, and also attractions,” shared Cynthia Rasch, CEO of Fiji’s premium superyacht marina, Port Denarau. “There are so many cruising areas in Fiji that it’s entirely about what you’re after as a superyacht.”
With 333 islands throughout Fiji, superyachts are never far away from a secluded bay to anchor in complete tranquillity, nor is the adventure of the coral capital or hot springs ever far away.
“You’ve got waterfalls, you’ve got hiking, rainforest, beautiful atolls, turquoise waters, flat and calm anchorages,”reflects Captain Lee Yeoman. “That’s really quite special.”
“Everything is raw and exciting,” adds Captain CJ. “You can move into an anchorage and it almost looks like there’s never been anyone there before.”
Heading South, New Zealand’s prolific sailing culture and dramatic landscapes make it one of the world’s great natural playgrounds for superyachts.
“New Zealand is small in population, but we have an amazing impact on the superyacht industry,” explains Stacey Cook of Superyacht New Zealand. “New Zealanders have a very strong connection to the water. Boating is now the number one recreational activity and that is showcased throughout New Zealand with our community events, our activities on the water, sailing, boating, and fishing. It’s a very strong Kiwi aspect.”
What is so staggering for yachts arriving into New Zealand is the sheer diversity of cruising grounds and dramatic landscapes to discover, even within a short distance, making for a spectacular guest experience.
“You’ve got everything from subtropical to subantarctic in such a short distance,” says Captain Matt Lovett of S/Y SASSAFRAS. “If you want to be a little more adventurous, the Marlborough Sounds has endless little coves and bays to visit, and then ever further south, the Fiordland is the pinnacle of wilderness cruising.”
New Zealand’s vibrant sailing culture and heritage is showcased in the major regattas held in the country, with the Millennium Cup a particularly enticing drawcard for superyachts.
“The Millennium Cup is my favourite part of the year from a yachting point of view,” continues Captain Lovett. “For any yacht or captain thinking about doing some racing, the Millennium Cup is a fantastic introduction to superyacht racing. It’s fun, relaxed, and the sailing venue is second to none.”
The South Pacific’s major cruising destinations have banded together to establish a thriving alternative cruising region. This collaborative approach to share knowledge has given captains the confidence to plan a South Pacific adventure. Everything is ready for superyachts to make the most of this profound yachting paradise.