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Rob McCallum

Founding Partner, Expedition Leader and Divemaster

Areas of Expertise

Deep Ocean Exploration

Rob is the deepest-diving New Zealander having attained full ocean depth (10,925m) in the Challenger Deep in 2021.

He has planned, managed and led deep submergence expeditions across every ocean, including the Five Deeps Expedition , the multi-year ‘Ring of Fire Expedition’, all of the world’s 10,000m+ trenches, the world’s deepest shipwreck (6500m), RMS Titanic (7 times) and the battleship Bismarck.  Rob was the vessel manager of RV Alucia for her successful search for AF44.

In 2023, Rob led the ‘Interstellar Expedition’ for Harvard University, successfully locating the world’s meteorite from outside our solar system at a depth of 1700m.

Arctic and Antarctic

Rob has spent three decades guiding and leading expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. His work in the remote Antarctic has included several record-breaking expeditions to the Ross Sea and multiple visits to the South Pole. In the Arctic, his expeditions have spanned the Arctic Circle including record-breaking transits of the North West Passage the first descent to the deepest point of the Arctic Ocean.

South Pacific and Melanesia

Rob has lived, worked and visited Melanesia for 5 decades, including 15 years living in Papua New Guinea where he gained extensive knowledge of the region and its intricate culture. He has completed dozens of expeditions throughout Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands for international agencies, academic institutions and private clients.

Expedition Vessel Design

Rob managed the 4-year design and construction of the research vessel and yacht Alucia, considered a turning point for the world’s expedition fleet, demonstrating the extraordinary capability of hybrid design combining science, film making and private exploration. Alucia remains a reference vessel for many modern designs.

As part of the core design team for SeaXplorer, Rob contributed his deep experience in global expeditions (on a wide variety of vessels) to the design DNA of the Damen ‘SeaXplorer’ range.

Ocean Science

Rob is a founding partner of Yachts for Science and serves as a Trustee to Nekton and Ocean Census. Rob has acted as a mentor for several ‘emerging explorers’ for The Explorers Club. He is widely consulted in regard to privately funded ocean science and philanthropic ocean research.


In addition to working with exclusive clients interested in exploring beyond the beaten path, Rob has consulted for Harvard University, the Norwegian Navy, National Geographic SocietyDiscovery Channel, , BBCNHK , CNN and a wide range of philanthropic entities and Family Trusts. 

Other Notable Things

Rob is a licensed aircraft pilot, a PADI Divemaster, a published author, a Fellow of the Explorers Club (recipient of the 2020 Citation of Merit) and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.