Damen Yachting's Unique Seaxplorer La Datcha Heads For Kamchatka
Yacht Style|Issue 58
Heli skiing and volcano visits on the Russian Far East’s Kamchatka Peninsula are among activities offered to charter guests aboard Damen Yachting’s recently-launched luxury SeaXplorer 77m La Datcha, described as “a unique project never seen before in the yachting industry”.
Bruce Maxwell

Availability is from July to December, and the rate €740,000 (about US$885,000) a week plus 30 per cent advance provisioning allowance. Bookings are reportedly brisk. After that La Datcha heads for Cabo San Lucas, a sportfishing mecca on the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California, and then, via Chile, to the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

Other exotic cruises, some working with EYOS Expeditions, are to include the Bering Sea and Alaska, the Northwest and Northeast Passages, Arctic Svalbard and Greenland, as well as remoter parts of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Southeast Asia, Maldives and Seychelles are in the schedule too. Her first shakedown cruises took place in the Indian Ocean late 2020, and she is calling at Singapore for some yard work before the East Asia voyage to Kamchatka.

Says La Datcha’s website: “The Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas and their islands are undoubtedly beautiful, but altogether they amount to only 5 per cent of the world’s coastlines. Most luxury superyachts never venture any further, leaving 95 per cent of route unexplored. If you are willing to go off the beaten track, we are there for you”.

In Kamchatka alone, Marketing and Sales Director Dasha Tinkova talks of brown bears, tundra wolves, Arctic foxes, snow sheep, reindeer, moose and muskoxen. The 1,250 km peninsula almost encloses the Sea of Okhotsk, where La Datcha will position for some charters, and offers all six species of Pacific salmon, Arctic narwhales, beluga whales and walruses, plus superb diving.

Huge sea eagles soar overhead, and this remarkable “land of ice and fire” has 160 volcanoes, 29 of them active, in a World Heritage Site. Klyuchevskaya Sopka at 4,750 m is the highest volcano in the Northern Hemisphere. Close offshore, the mysterious Kuril- Kamchatka Trench is 10,500 m deep.

To tackle such environments, a very special vessel is needed, so the owner’s team, project managers, designers, builders, EYOS and others combined to produce an ocean-going charter yacht reflecting Amels’ advanced superyacht outfitting abilities on a tried and tested Damen Yachting SeaXplorer hull.

Says Rose Damen, the builder: “The SeaXplorer is a design and concept that appeals to those who are excited by the idea of adventure and exploration, but are still looking for that crossover with luxury yachting. That is exactly where La Datcha’s journey began.

“The owner wanted to bring a whole new approach to the explorer market. A yacht built for adventures in the far-flung corners of the world, without any compromise on the luxury experience, and with a commercial goal. This was to be a yacht intended for charter in both polar and tropical regions.

“With such a vision, our goal was to deliver the first purpose-built Explorer yacht in time to charter a few weeks after delivery. We took our SeaXplorer range as the build platform for this 77 m vessel”.

EYOS Expeditions was aboard from the outset, and Damen says it benefitted hugely from their operational know-how and experience. This was the key in achieving a level of capability “that cannot be found in traditional superyachts and conversion designs”.

“We incorporated hundreds of operational design features based on real expedition experience, and were able to customise and build to the owner’s brief, including many unique features which truly make her one of a kind”.

That brief began forming in 2017 when the owner took an interest in an Amels 60 m Limited Editions design, attracted by the clean vertical lines of the axe bow, but once he saw the SeaXplorer concept, this instantly became his designated project.

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