pri­vate yacht va­ca­tions

Thrill-seek­ing su­per­cat Hemi­sphere is of­fer­ing char­ter itin­er­ar­ies in australia.

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Thrill-seek­ing char­ter su­per­cat

Hemi­sphere dou­bles down on adventure; Cel­lar & Gal­ley

On a re­cent day, Capt. Gavin Bladen took the owner of 145-foot (44.2-me­ter) Pen­den­nis Hemi­sphere to New Zealand’s Fiord­land Na­tional Park for a he­li­copter tour. It in­cluded land­ing on glaciers and de­scend­ing 1,904-foot (580-me­ter) Suther­land Falls, one of the most scenic sites in this part of the world. Then it was lunch at a luxury alpine lodge be­fore the owner and guests re­turned to Hemi­sphere for scuba div­ing in Doubt­ful Sound. They saw not one, but two shark species they’d yet to en­counter else­where: a broad­nose se­v­engill and a car­pet shark.

It may sound like a once-in-a-life­time day, but it is a typ­i­cal sched­ule aboard the world’s largest sail­ing catamaran. She was built and out­ft­ted for adventure, and she is living up to the dreams of her owner and char­ter guests alike. Her next stop? Australia, where she has char­ter avail­abil­ity through Oc­to­ber in Queens­land and the Great Bar­rier Reef, from the Whit­sun­day Is­lands north through the Rib­bon Reefs and Cape Tribu­la­tion.

Australia will be a home­com­ing of sorts for Bladen, who started out as a deck­hand at the Cairns Dive Cen­tre in 1992 and worked for a Whit­sun­day Is­lands scuba com­pany be­fore join­ing the luxury yacht com­mu­nity. “Twenty-three years later,” he says, “it will be nice to re­turn to the place where it all started!”

Bladen’s en­thu­si­asm per­me­ates ev­ery itin­er­ary the yacht sets. Since she was launched in 2011, Hemi­sphere has taken guests search­ing for whale sharks in Hon­duras, div­ing around Bon­aire, cruis­ing through the Panama Canal, ex­plor­ing in the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands, me­an­der­ing through mul­ti­ple South Pacifc ar­chi­pel­a­gos in­clud­ing the Mar­que­sas, Tuamo­tus, So­ci­ety Is­lands and Fiji, swim­ming with hump­back whales in Tonga and div­ing with great white sharks in New Zealand.

Sure, there has been re­lax­ation in be­tween, such as wine tast­ing in New Zealand’s Marl­bor­ough re­gion, but Hemi­sphere is out­ft­ted for fun, and Bladen plans to make the most of her equip­ment in Australia, too.

While there, he hopes to take guests snorkeling with dwarf minke whales, hik­ing through the Dain­tree Rain­for­est, div­ing at the wreck of 350-foot (107-me­ter) SS Yon­gala, gamef­sh­ing for black mar­lin aboard Hemi­sphere’s 54-foot (16.5-me­ter) ten­der and for he­li­copter fy­overs and div­ing at the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“Hemi­sphere takes scuba div­ing se­ri­ously and is prob­a­bly one of the best op­tions within the su­pery­acht feet to cater to clients who wish to dive,” he says. “She is a cer­tifed PADI dive boat/train­ing fa­cil­ity, and we al­ways main­tain two PADI in­struc­tors on board at all times, and all crew on board are cer­tifed divers rang­ing from open wa­ter to res­cue divers.”

The world’s largest coral reef sys­tem is ob­vi­ously a great place for Hemi­sphere’s scuba pro­gram, and Bladen is work­ing to en­sure pri­vate mo­ments within the popular div­ing re­gion.

“The whole area falls un­der the con­trol and watch­ful eye of the Great Bar­rier Reef Marine Park Author­ity,” he says. “Hemi­sphere

will be work­ing closely with the park to cre­ate itin­er­ar­ies for Hemi­sphere’s guests to cruise through rarely vis­ited and un­spoiled reefs—and away from the crowded day-trip­per lo­ca­tions.”

And then, the ad­ven­tures will con­tinue. Af­ter spend­ing six months in Australia, Hemi­sphere is ex­pected to visit Raja Am­pat, Palau, Pa­pua New Guinea, the Solomon Is­lands, Van­u­atu and New Cale­do­nia. That is, Bladen says, “be­fore we push fur­ther afeld again.” Hemi­sphere ac­com­mo­dates 10 to 12 guests at a low­est weekly base rate of $260,000.

above: Hemi­sphere’s in­te­rior dé­cor has an in­ter­est­ing mix of fab­rics and ma­te­ri­als. left: The sail­ing cat’s draft lets her an­chor close to beaches.

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