“As a species, we’ve always been discoverers and adventurers, and space and the deep ocean are some of the last frontiers,” said Paul Allen. With the late Allen’s Octopus topping the list of vessels in the current fleet at the time of writing, an explorer is a robust yacht built with the intention of covering long distances and discovering even the most remote parts of the world.
In the spirit of discovery and exploration, SuperYacht Times has compiled a list of some of the largest explorer yachts currently in build or part of the fleet today.
REV Ocean - VARD Group AS - 182.9mPhoto: Lawrence HislopThe in-build VARD yacht REV Ocean is scheduled for delivery in 2021 and, upon completion, will be the largest explorer yacht in the world measuring over 60 metres longer than the current frontrunner. REV Ocean shows off an exterior design by Espen Øino and interiors by H2 Yacht Design. The yacht will have a volume of 17,440 GT, accommodation for up to 55 scientists and 35 crew in research mode, or 36 guests and 54 crew when being used for a luxury expedition. She is currently in Norway for the outfitting phase of her build, during which the groundworks will be laid for the research and operations of the vessel.
Solaris - Lloyd Werft - 138.96mPhoto: Christian EckardtThe Lloyd Werft-built steel and aluminium yacht Solaris is expected to hit the water later this year. The 138.96-metre superyacht with a volume of 11,011 GT is said to reach speeds up to 18 knots.
Octopus - Lürssen - 126.2mPhoto: Charl van RooyMicrosoft co-founder Paul Allen owned the 126-metre Lürssen yacht Octopus until his untimely passing at the end of 2018. The 9,932 GT superyacht built in 2003 is powered with diesel-electric propulsion. Octopus has two helipads as well as two helicopters which have their own garages on deck, as seen in recently released images of the yacht shared by her central sales agents Fraser and Burgess. Norwegian designer Espen Øino designed the exterior for the yacht and Jonathan Quinn Barnett is responsible for the interior design, which includes a spa, library, cinema, gym and a basketball court.
Ulysses - Kleven - 116mPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesAlso sporting partial Norwegian design is the 116-metre Ulysses, which was created in collaboration with designers Marin Teknikk AS and the Auckland-based design firm Oscar Mike Limited. Delivered to her owner in the summer of 2018, Ulysses has a vast selection of toys and tenders including a 20.7-metre Princess yacht secured to her foredeck.
Luna - Lloyd Werft - 115mPhoto: Guillaume PlissonDelivered to her owner in 2010, the 115-metre Lloyd Werft-built superyacht features in-house naval architecture, exterior lines by Newcruise and an interior design by London-based Donald Starkey. Luna has one of the widest selections of amenities among the fleet today, including two helipads, an array of tenders and a generously-sized beach club. The 5,655 GT superyacht can accommodate up to 50 guests, who are taken care of by up to 18 crew.
Le Grand Bleu - Bremer Vulkan - 112.8mPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesThe Bremer Vulkan yacht Le Grand Bleu, delivered to her owner in 2000 by the German shipyard, has naval architecture and an exterior design by Kusch Yachts and interiors by Bannenberg & Rowell. Le Grand Bleu’s superstructure is made up of a combination of steel and aluminium and is powered by twin Deutz engines allowing her to reach a top speed of 17 knots. She has benefited from several refits throughout the years, with the most recent taking place in 2016 at Blohm & Voss in Germany.
Andromeda - Kleven - 107mPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesThe six-deck Kleven-built yacht Andromeda, previously known as Ulysses, was delivered to her owner in 2016. With her 107-metre length and her volume of 5,937 GT, yacht Andromeda is able to host up to 30 guests. The yacht received a significant refit, which included a new paint job, in 2017.
Icecap - Lürssen - 107mPhoto: LurssenDue to be delivered in 2022 and designed by Norwegian firm Salt Ship Design, Icecap will be among the largest explorer superyachts on the water. The yacht is designed for exploring off the beaten track and is being built to ice class specifications. With her helipad and sunken helicopter hangar, the yacht’s occupants will have easy access to any shore.
Voyager - Swiftships - 91.4mPhoto: Voyager Maritime Alliance GroupVoyager, which has also sailed under the names Candy Trader, HOS Trader and Danah Voyager, took to the seas in 1997 as an offshore supply vessel built by Swiftships and was converted to an explorer superyacht at the Louisiana-based Leevac shipyard. This conversion included a 12-metre extension of the hull and the addition of a raised helicopter platform.
Olivia O - Ulstein Verft - 88.51mPhoto: Rob Pritchard - Words & Actions Ltd The 88.5-metre X-bow yacht Olivia O was officially handed over to her owner in May 2020 and headed straight out for a summer season in the Med. Over four years in the making at the Norwegian yard Ulstein, she has a hefty beam of 16.3 metres and a high freeboard created by the ship’s unique X-Bow hull shape, developed to withstand all weather conditions. With in-house naval architecture by Ulstein Verft, the shipyard collaborated with Espen Øino on the exterior design to form a layout that includes a helicopter pad, a 10-metre pool and a full-beam tender garage.