Northern Europe is amongst the numerous extraordinary luxury yacht charter destinations in 2022 and one of the best kept secrets: While the rest of the world flocks to the Mediterranean, the white sand beaches of Sweden and the golden sands of the Netherlands are mostly populated by the locals. Although temperatures don’t climb as high as they do in the Mediterranean, this might prove to be another bonus: No need for a siesta at the height of the day – instead, you can tour the historic Diamond Quarter in Antwerp, cycle along the stunning coast or put your energy to kayaking and paddleboarding through the Norwegian fjords to see the waterfalls up close.
Far to the east of the Gulf of Finland lies St. Petersburg, a fantastical city both familiar and enchantingly otherworldly at any time of the year. The strong cafe culture and wide-open parks reveal the city to be one of opulence today as well as in times gone by. On a whirlwind tour, charter guests should visit the State Hermitage Museum for art and culture, the late 19th Century church ‘Saviour on the Spilled Blood’ which is as lavish inside as its colourful onion domes, and former-palace-turned-museum Peterhof, complete with gardens and an impressive fountain display.
Iceland, Greenland & Svalbard
These Arctic destinations are an unusual choice for a summer luxury yacht charter, but their unique beauty has been gaining more mainstream interest in recent years. The volcanic landscapes in Iceland look as though they have come straight out of science fiction: Windswept black sand beaches and incredible brilliant orange lava creeping across dark lifeless fields. The glacial caves along the southern coast glow like blue and white glass, and waterfalls ensconced in wild forests billow endlessly.
There are natural hot springs to settle into and soak tired muscles while you admire the surrounding snow-capped peaks, and the adventurous can kayak through the bays and dog sled to the best winter sports sites. The summer days are everlasting under the midnight sun, and in winter to see the Aurora Borealis in person is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
In addition to these impressive natural wonders, there is the opportunity to learn about local culture, taste local cuisine and discover the art and history that characterise these amazing countries.
Alaska, Patagonia & Antarctica
Three other destinations in the Pacific are worthy of consideration for explorer yachts that want to roam to the ends of the Earth and come back with a few tales to tell.
One incredible sight follows another as you cruise through the Alaskan wilds, perhaps the greatest being Glacier Bay and its crackling, calving glaciers. Hike along trails, go wildlife watching and learn about the history of the region through national park guides. Head west for the Kenai National Park to spot otters, black bears and eagles, and satisfy your lust for adventure by kayaking, fishing and other sports.
The huge expanse of Patagonia is home to many striking landscapes, among them deserts, grasslands and forests as well as sandy beaches for sunbathing and partying under the stars. See the namesakes of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares reflected in its mirror-like lakes, marvel at the breath-taking Marble Cathedral and find even more scenic locations amongst the archipelagos as you cruise south to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
A trip to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness whales, penguins and seals living in pace with the seasons. Learn about the experiences of those working at the old whaling stations, take in the famous Drake Passage and kayak through the ice floes to better connect with this powerful environment. Warm-up in the hot springs-fed waters at Deception Island and then return to your luxury yacht for a top-quality meal, entertainment and a perfect night’s rest.