‘The Bear Essentials’ for Arctic Cruising

For many Captains and crews of expedition yachts heading with us to Svalbard or through the Northwest Passage, this will be the first time that they have cruised through bear country. Indeed, the opportunity to encounter polar bear is one of the primary draw cards for many Owners wanting to head North. Having competent, and armed, specialists used to working in bear country is essential for the safety of a yacht's Owner, guests or crew.

Melanesia: the forgotten part of the Pacific

After our recent expedition through Melanesia (sailing from New Caledonia to Fiji) our clients where entranced by the welcome smiles and genuine warmth of the Melanesian welcomes we received all the way through Vanuatu. Although very few expedition yachts spend any time in Vanuatu (those that do venture here usually pause a trans-Pacific route at Port Vila for a day or two), this tiny nation of Pacific islands has some amazing experiences to offer. In fact, we find it one of our favorite destinations anywhere on the planet and one that is most suited to luxury expedition yachts.

Polynesia; off the cruising route

The Pacific Ocean is the greatest geographical feature on Earth. At its widest point it is nearly 8,000 miles / 13,000 kilometers across, large enough to contain all the continents; Herman Melville called it “the tide-beating heart of the world.” We recently completed an expedition through the Tuamotus and Marquesas and into the Line Islands; the guests traveling with us were amazed at the spectacular experiences awaiting them.

Planning for ‘Plan B’ and beyond.

In the expedition world it is often said “Anyone can work Plan A; it’s Plan B where the work starts and by Plan C things are getting interesting!” Like many of the mariners we work with, much of our time is spend planning for the worst-case scenario, simply to make sure it’s covered in the unlikely event of an emergency. This forward planning, and our decades working around changing circumstances in every destination, directly impacts the quality of experience our guests enjoy.

Project Deep Challenge success!

Many of us in the nautical world watched James Cameron’s recent deep dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench with fascination; a private citizen accomplishing something that no government has done since 1960. An awesome technical achievement accomplished under tight security that allowed a private citizen to re-visit to most extreme depths of the abyss. EYOS Expeditions staff were heavily involved in the preparation for the deep dive and coordinated all of the in-country logistics for the Project Deep Challenge training programme undertaken in Papua New Guinea immediately prior to the successful dive.

How Owners’ advance planning pays off, and new faces at EYOS.

Over the last five years, the number of private yachts seeking to explore remote coasts and switch into ‘expedition mode’ has increased steadily. Many owners are planning expedition cruises to extremely remote areas and often it is new Owners who are most ambitious; they have purchased a expedition vessel to get them to where they want to go. A bit of advance planning by Owners can yield untold dividends and ensure their dreamed for expedition is an unqualified success.

After Monaco: What should designers understand about Expedition Yachts?

The Monaco Boat Show has always been a spectacular display of the best of what’s on offer in the yachting world. As a company with a strong focus on expeditions to remote coasts, we often feel that whilst many of the boats are technologically advanced and aesthetically very beautiful, they are (sadly) rather impractical for anything other than calm weather sailing. It has always seemed such a shame that vessel worth so much money could be made beautiful, practical and extremely capable if there was just a little more effort placed in the design phase.

Sailboat in The Kimberley, Australia

EYOS Expeditions’ Annual Migration

It isn't much of a secret: we love the polar regions. We simply adore the opportunities to visit the Arctic and the Antarctic and observe the creatures that make these pristine environments their homes. However, each year we also enjoy the chance to shed our parkas, fill the Scuba tanks and warm our bones in some of the most culturally rich or remote tropical locations.

What makes an Arctic expedition successful?

Svalbard on a crisp summers morning is hard to beat! Anchored in an ice-free harbour set against a background of a ‘chocolate box’ alpine vista, there seems little one could improve on in the 24 hours of day light in perfect blue sky weather. The difference between what ‘makes or breaks’ an Arctic expedition in perfect conditions is often the type and quantity of wildlife that is observed. Perfect weather alone is not enough to capture those fantastic images of walrus cavorting amongst the ice, or polar bear (and cubs) traversing through their domain. Any expedition seeking good wildlife sightings will need a skilled and experienced Arctic guide, and a several good sets of optics.

Joining the Antarctic Community; EYOS Expeditions becomes a full member of IAATO

EYOS Expeditions, already a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Tour Operators. recently became a full member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators during IAATO’s Annual General Meeting in Hobart, Tasmania. EYOS Expeditions is very keen to make an active contribution to the Association and we immediately volunteered to join the marine committee. With our experience with smaller privately owned vessels, EYOS looks forward to making an active contribution to the committee, the majority of whom come from a large vessel/commercial expedition context.

Polar Possibilities: Charter yachts outside of the Mediterranean or Caribbean

Strong interest in the North West Passage, a solid set of bookings for Svalbard and a rapidly expanding Antarctic market are all signs that the superyacht fleet is getting itchy feet! EYOS Expeditions is working with a number of owners/Captains who have picked up the ‘change in tide’ and sense that many charterers are interested in getting off the beaten trail and far away from the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

Northwest Passage 2011: ‘Europe to the Pacific over the top!’

As we prepare for the upcoming Arctic season it is interesting to note the strong interest in the Northwest Passage. EYOS Expeditions is working with a number of owners/Captains to arrange a traverse of this fabled route this summer and in 2012. Many private yachts make the traverse from Atlantic to pacific via the Panama Canal, though a few send their vessels around Cape Horn so that whilst they are in southern Argentina they can strike across the Drake Passage for the Antarctic.

EYOS Expeditions wins award; We’re ‘On top of The World!’

EYOS Expeditions was delighted to be recognized as one of the ‘Top Ten Tour Operators’ to The World, presented in Fort Lauderdale this month. The award was presented jointly by Capt. Dag Saevik (Master, MV The World) and Mr. Tom McAlpin (CEO) and accepted by Rob McCallum. “We accept this with great pride. Most of our expeditions are with clients who wish to remain anonymous and low key, so we don’t often get to celebrate our success in public view."

Reflecting on Antarctica at the end of a season

Antarctica has once again cast her magic spell on us, and more importantly all of our clients. Even though most of them are travel hardened experts who are highly discerning in their praise, Antarctica is almost always pronounced ‘the trip of a lifetime’ for many of them. Interestingly, almost half of our clients this season had been South with us before-- a strong testament to the seductive powers of ‘The Last Continent.’

Antarctica 2010/11: ‘Back where we began’

Antarctica is at once our nursery, playground and own backyard. It’s where most of the EYOS Expeditions team became captivated by the thrill of expeditions, and although they now lead expeditions on expedition ships, private yachts and charter vessels all around the globe, Antarctica still beckons for ‘just one more trip’ each season.

Greenland Expedition 2010

There’s nothing like calm seas, perfect weather and glaciers that carve on cue to make an expedition look easy! In reality it took several months of planning to make this private expedition run like clockwork, but it was well worth the effort. Working with the Captains and owners of an expedition yacht is actually one of our most rewarding roles: we get to turn voyage plans into expedition reality.

Northwest Passage: ‘The New Frontier’

The very name evokes images of polar explorers and their tales of triumph and tragedy, hardship and success, the transformation of hard men into legends, or their consignment into icy obscurity. Long regarded as impassable since those fabled attempts of the heroic era, a quirk in changes of modern era seasonal ice cover makes the NorthWest Passage able to be navigated by expedition ships.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea: ‘Land of the Unexpected’

We were delighted when our clients asked us to plan a two-week Papua New Guinea expedition for them. With the most diverse anthropology on Earth, this remarkable nation is also blessed with extremely rich biodiversity. For expedition ships, particularly those wanting to access remote coast areas for snorkeling and diving, it really is a tropical paradise.

Line Islands-Mid Pacific: ‘Lickedy Split Logistics’

When an expedition ship leaves the dock for destinations only rarely visited and partially known, it is imperative that everything that might be needed is on board, for anything crucial left forgotten rapidly falls out of reach. In a recent case, our client had been let down by several suppliers and needed urgent help to get this high profile expedition back on track.

polar bear in Arctic

World’s First: A permit signed by Putin, 200 polar bears and a visit to Wrangel Island

The mission brief was simple: pull together a dream team of polar specialists, plan a "World's First" itinerary and leave a taste for expeditions that will leave the clients gasping. With just under a month allocated for this private yacht expedition to the Russian Far East and the Bering Sea, we had a broad canvas on which to work. The technical challenges were just that—challenging. The political ones were quite a bit tougher! How does one get to be the first non-Russian flagged vessel to be allowed to visit Wrangel Island, the polar bear capital of the world?

EYOS Expeditions: What’s in a name?

EYOS began as a rather long-winded ‘Expedition Yacht Operations Specialists’, but after the first year and two dozen expeditions this was mercifully shortened to ‘EYOS Expeditions’. Now, with expeditions running all over the world and occurring every month of the year, we have not forgotten our early beginnings.

Antarctica 2008: Jumping over the ditch

How to enjoy two weeks of family fun during a private yacht charter in the Antarctic? Easy! How to enjoy it when several members of the family are prone to severe seasickness? Hmmmmm….. The answer lay in combining a private yacht charter with two private air charters: one to fly everyone in and one to fly everyone out again. In the process, we achieved another world first! Arriving by air allowed the family to complete the transfer from LAX to our 48m charter yacht in 17 hours (a journey that normally takes three days) and without even a hint of seasickness. Less time spent rolling around in the Drake Passage also meant extra days in the real Antarctic. With the right vessel we were able to push further south than commercial expedition ships on tight timetables.