FLIBS 2019

Pacific & Oceania
Luxury Yacht Charter Destination

The Pacific and Oceania offer some of the world’s most stunning cruising areas and varied scenery.  From Australia’s cosmopolitan cities and Great Barrier Reef, to New Zealand’s mountains and vineyards, Oceania, also encompassing Micronesia and Polynesia, abounds in antipodean adventures.

Australia is a continent like no other, and its varied coastline and the Great Barrier Reef is an ideal destination for the adventurous charterer.  The bright lights of the cities and the tropical islands provide a vibrant backdrop for a cruise in the southern hemisphere. Dotted along the east coast of Australia are some of the country’s best known cities, such as Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. The latter is an excellent place to embark on a charter to the Great Barrier Reef, where days can be spent tracing the coastline, swimming and snorkelling in the brilliant coral waters amongst the kaleidoscopic marine life.  

The Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands which lie between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, offer their own remote wonders.  Rainforest gullies adorn the interior and along the coast, stretching between the islands, are strips of white sand beach.

For lovers of sailing, time a visit to Australia to coincide with the annual race from Sydney to Hobart, which sees over 125 yachts jostle for space on the start line of this 630 nautical mile sprint.

New Zealand, though relatively close in proximity to Australia, is vastly different both in terms of its culture and its geography.  Music, art, language and literature are an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s culture and the country’s vibrant history begins with the arrival of the Polynesians over 1,000 years ago.  Today, the indigenous Maori community shares the country with over 4.6 million Europeans.

New Zealand is comprised of two main islands; the North island, and the South island.  Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, on the North Island, is an ideal location to commence your trip.  From here, journey north to the beautiful Bay of Islands or head south to the Bay of Plenty where you’ll find Waiheke island and the only active marine volcano in the world.  Wine lovers will enjoy excursions ashore to the many vineyards; the North Island is famed for its Chardonnay production, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. These grape varieties are also cultivated on the South Island but here, Sauvignon Blanc is king.

The South Island is famous for its Southern Alps, where glaciers and mountainous terrain can be explored by helicopter or on skis!  The marine life surrounding the South Island is hard to miss too and whale watching from the yacht’s foredeck whilst dolphins ride the bow wave is an incredible experience.  

North of New Zealand and venturing towards the South Pacific Ocean, the islands of Fiji and further north still, Micronesia, are famed for their rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons.  Fiji is a leader in ecotourism and boasts a pristine natural environment. Step off the boat here to indulge in luxury spas or enjoy playing Robinson Crusoe on one of the island’s that can be privately rented.

In Micronesia, a notable point of interest are the Nan Madol ruins on the island of Pohnpei.  Known as the Venice of the Pacific, this man-made city with ocean-filled channels once housed a thriving, royal civilization with huge basalt pillars marking the residences of kings and sorcerers. Human activity here can be dated back to the first or second century AD and these remnants of an ancient Pohnpeian civilization are still being studied and explored.

French Polynesia is found further east in the South Pacific Ocean and the area is comprised of more than 100 islands stretching across 2,000km.  Sculpted by sky-piercing mountain peaks covered in dense green forest and surrounded by turquoise lagoons, the islands offer both high-end luxury at resorts (those found on islands like Bora Bora have become something of a signature of French Polynesia), as well as a more simple, laid-back island way of life with local villages opening their doors to visitors who want to get closer to the culture.  Top experiences include scuba diving in Rangiroa - one of the world’s largest aquariums, exploring the tropical and waterfall-laden Tahiti, and simply counting the infinite shades of blue visible from the yacht’s top deck.

In the North Pacific, Hawaii is your last stop before reaching the west coast of America.  Hawaii comprises eight main islands and hopping from one to the next you’ll discover tropical rainforests, towering cliffs and canyons, and bustling cities at the ocean’s edge.  The island of Maui offers heavenly beaches, tumbling waterfalls and several charming small towns set against the backdrop of volcanoes at Haleakala National Park. Hawaii itself, the ‘big island’, features dramatic expressions of nature, with jet-black sands receding into lush valleys which climb to reach snow-capped peaks. Positioned so far from any other main land mass, a night at anchor here delivers a dazzling night sky - ideal for contemplating which corner of the earth you’ll visit next.

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