The Galápagos Islands
Since 1978, The Galápagos Islands have held the prestigious honor of being the world’s first protected UNESCO site. This came roughly 20 years after the Ecuador Government designated all uninhabited land a national park. Unsurprisingly, The Galápagos Islands have become one of the top nature and wildlife luxury yacht-charters in the world.
Recognition of the incredible wildlife and incomparable nature of the volcanic archipelago, however, came much earlier. In fact, Charles Darwin wrote his 1859 scientific literature, The Origin of Species, utilizing his finch bird research, conducted in The Galápagos.
A luxury yacht charter to the Galápagos will bring you face to face with the rarest birds, turtles, and lizards in the world. The vast marine area is the second-largest protected zone, only after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Perhaps most well known for their turtles, 21 of the 23 reptile species found in the Galapagos are indeed native to the area. Most strikingly, some of these tortoises can grow to weigh nearly 600 pounds! Climb the Alcedo Volcano and witness these fascinating reptiles all around you.
The convergence of three bodies of water has also brought about a diversity of fish, unseen elsewhere. Over 400 species call the islands home, many of which reside in the underwater volcano, Devil’s Crown, off Floreana Island. World-class snorkeling awaits visitors at this rich ecosystem full of King Angelfish, sea lions, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks.
If you haven’t yet been convinced, The Galápagos are also home to the only Penguin in the north hemisphere able to breed the tropics. Also unique to the area are the red-footed Booby birds, who reside only in the Galapagos. Wildlife and nature lovers will certainly find themselves in a constant state of awe aboard a yacht charter to The Galápagos.
Due to its sheer size and position, the United States has some of the most diverse landscapes and wildlife in the world. Many Americans however, overlook the more remote, sometimes frozen, states like Alaska.
For anyone fond of natural beauty and both marine and mountain animals, this is a huge mistake. Alaska, specifically southeastern Alaska, boasts the unparalleled Tongass National Forest, comprising 2,600 square miles of steep mountains and glaciers, with a network of 350 nautical miles of waterways. A superb choice for wildlife luxury yacht charters, if there ever was one.
Sail the winding waterways between Ketchikan in the south and Glacier National Park in the north to capture the best scenery and intriguing seaside towns. From your yacht charter, you’ll find orca whales, humpback whales, and wild salmon swimming the icy waters below. By the fjords’ edge, look for brown bears, deer, and moose, while bald eagles gracefully soar overhead.
After Ketchikan, head towards Prince of Whales Island where you can fish the plentiful salmon and halibut. Instead, head north to Sitka, known for its unique blend of Russian and native Tlingit culture. Visit the quaint downtown and then venture to the Saint Lazaria Islands to see over 7,500 nesting birds atop the main 65-acre volcanic island. From Puffins to Gulls and the Black Oystercatcher, you’re in for some of the most spectacular bird watching in the world.
Continue north towards Admiralty Island where you can kayak, stand up paddleboard or enjoy more world-class fishing. Onshore, you’ll encounter the largest Brown Bear population on earth. Next, you can visit the hot springs of Baranof Island before sailing to the Sawyer Glacier.
End your trip by heading ashore in the capital city of Juneau. Dine on the freshest seafood, or take a hike up the Mendenhall Glacier sitting, rising above the city.
Please head to our Alaska yacht charter itineraries for even more inspiration.
The small nation of New Zealand comprises two fairytale islands almost too beautiful to be real. Coastal areas of both the north and south islands are a natural paradise of protected coves, marinas, and rare species that greatly outnumber the human population.
What’s more is that New Zealand’s summer falls during the North American winter, making for a great holiday-season escape. Combine this with the beaches of nearby Sydney, Australia, and you’ll have a very pleasant New Year’s vacation.
New Zealand’s south island features the Marlborough Sounds in the northeastern corner, teeming with bottlenose dolphins and rare Hector’s dolphins. Spend time on Motuara Island for yellow parakeet and Saddleback bird watching at the Sanctuary. These birds thrive here in a protected and predatory free environment. The nearby Cook Strait is home to Baleen Whales, which can be seen during their migration in the winter months.
On the north island, New Zealand’s sailing culture permeates its people and society. The capital of Auckland serves as a home base for many superyachts, regatta events, and endless sea adventures.
Just offshore, visit the secluded Ponui and Chamberlin’s Islands to see New Zealand’s only wild donkeys and infamous kiwi birds, who do not fly. Head further east to Great Barrier Island, 60 miles northeast of Auckland. Go fishing by day and by night, enjoy the Dark Sky Sanctuary, the world’s first island to earn such distinction.
Next, sail north to the 144 islands known as the Bay of Islands. Be sure to visit iconic Whangaroa Harbour, a deep-sea fishing haven surrounded by volcanic rock. Here, you can fish for snapper or delicious shellfish, go scuba diving at the Rainbow Warrior wreckage.
Whether you’re intrigued by arctic landscapes or exotic animals, nature and wildlife luxury yacht charters are some of the best ways to explore our world.