Rob McCallum is not just an explorer; he’s a pioneer in the world of expedition travel. With a career spanning over three decades, Rob has led countless journeys to some of the most inaccessible and awe-inspiring places on Earth. From the extremes of the poles to the depths of the ocean, his expeditions have broken new ground and expanded our understanding of the world around us. Using his wildly diverse background and knowledge, he co-founded EYOS and established a reputation for orchestrating some of the most extraordinary and meticulously planned adventures imaginable. Join us for a conversation with Rob about how he makes the impossible possible.

  • EYOS has grown to occupy an incredibly unique space at the intersection of expedition yachting, scientific endeavor, logistics, and marine operations. Were there any specific moments or experiences from your time in the field that made you realize the need to create an organization like EYOS?

I originally had feet in two camps;  commercial expeditions and technical expeditions.  The commercial expeditions were with groups of up to 100 passengers, and we really pushed some boundaries; such as the 65-day circumnavigation of Antarctica by icebreaker.  The technical expeditions were smaller groups to more challenging destinations; RMS Titanic, battleship Bismarck, etc.  In EYOS we saw the opportunity to take intrepid yacht owners, with small group sizes (typically 12)  away from the Med and Caribbean, and out to more remote and pristine destinations.  It has been a huge success and now we have worked with almost a hundred yachts, but also many science entities, filmmakers, and government agencies who need advice and support to safely deliver their mission.  EYOS is unique;  a one-stop-shop that can get almost anyone almost anywhere.

Photo: Reeve Jolliffe
  • EYOS has become synonymous with tailor-made adventure travel. Can you tell us about the philosophy behind EYOS and what sets an expedition with EYOS apart from others in the industry?

What sets us apart is our experience.  We have a team that has collectively delivered over 1500 safe and successful expeditions; to every continent, on every ocean, from high altitude to the deepest depths. This vast platform of experience provides the foundation we use to launch all of the new and innovative expeditions you see in the media.  

Our core philosophy is that if it does not break a law of physics, it’s absolutely possible….it may be a significant challenge and involve incredible levels of planning and preparation; but it is possible. Amundsen said “If you’re having an adventure, you did not plan properly”….and I agree with that. We are not adventurers in the way that Amundsen meant it.  Instead, we are expedition tacticians who have enabled our clients to set records and capture their dreams.

  • You’ve been a part of some astounding projects that at first sound unthinkable. From record-setting dives to the ocean’s deepest points to the retrieval of an interstellar meteor on the ocean floor. What does it take to go from an initial, seemingly impossible idea, to a successfully executed plan?

It’s about experience, mindset, tenacity, and the art of the possible. It can be a long and complex process to take an expedition from conception to feasibility, through planning and development, and out to management execution in the field; but it is so fun!  Working with a client who shares the passion for a new horizon or a technological advancement is a self-sustaining creative whirlwind. The secret to any successful expedition is planning…..not just the primary plan, but all the alternates and backups so that you have every eventuality covered. Authentic expeditions are not tours….they are not pre-scripted…so you need to have planned for changes in ice, inclement weather, or technical challenges.  That way you won’t miss a beat on the way to your ultimate goal.

Photo: Reeve Jolliffe
  • In your opinion, what role does exploration play in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of the natural world? How do you see the future of exploration evolving in the years to come?

We have a well-deserved and longstanding reputation as being the foremost provider of expedition services to the world’s yachting fleet…..but we offer those same services to scientists, government entities, and filmmakers.  By getting scientists to the more remote and more challenging parts of our planet, we provide them with a platform for their research.  Exploration is simply curiosity that is acted upon, and science is based entirely on curiosity….so explorers and scientists have always made natural shipmates.  EYOS is now supporting science-based expeditions for Nekton, for Ocean Census and for many of the privately funded research vessels by infusing expedition/exploration expertise into their planning and operations.


Photo: Reeve Jolliffe
  • Is there any special project that you dream of working on?

We are co-founders of Yachts for Science, a small entity that seeks to build a conduit between the world’s yacht fleet and the science community.  Yachts often idle for long periods and scientists are always looking for vessel time in order to conduct their research.  Imagine if all of the world’s yachts could use some of their spare time to help achieve scientific discoveries?  It would be a tremendous outcome for both parties, and of course for humankind. YFS is an important component of my work at present

We deliver dozens of expeditions each year, but on a personal level, I’m working on several ‘special projects’ that will emerge over the next 12 months.  A grand traverse of Antarctica by all-wheel drive, the search for a large Interstellar Meteorite near the Azores, two very specialized global circumnavigations…..there’s always something on the drawing board.  It’s what has always made this job so fun.