EYOS, the leader in superyacht expedition charters to the most culturally rich places on earth, announces Hanse Explorer will be available for charter in Melanesia from May to September 2024. This is one of the first times an international superyacht will be based in the region for a full summer season. Despite being one of the least explored places on earth, Melanesia, which encompasses Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia, is familiar territory for EYOS: co-founder Rob McCallum lived in Papua New Guinea for 13 years.
“Melanesia has long been part of EYOS’s DNA,” says McCallum, a Divemaster and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Thanks to McCallum’s deep network of local relationships and the rare insight of EYOS expedition leaders such as Angela Pennefather, who was born and raised in PNG, guests will discover the region through a locals’ perspective, exploring WWII shipwrecks, witnessing sacred rituals and ancient rites of passage, and encountering the incredible diversity of the islands and their aquatic ecosystems.
EYOS can help guests craft a fully bespoke itinerary through the region—from the spectacular volcanoes of Vanuatu and the colourful underwater world of the Solomon Islands to the rich tapestry of 5,000 tribes (speaking over 850 languages) of Papua New Guinea.
As Hanse Explorer sails through crystalline waters, the islands’ mesmerizing landscapes will come into view: smouldering volcanoes, gushing waterfalls, colourful reefs, remote jungle villages, and lush green mountains. In Papua New Guinea, guests can snorkel or dive in Kimbe Bay—home to over 70 percent of all coral species in the Indo/Pacific and featuring more than 200 reefs and dive sites—while in Vanuatu, guests will have the experience to witness the fiery eruptions of volcanoes at night.
Flexible itineraries will offer a fascinating glimpse into local life: from the spectacle of Pentecostal land diving in Vanuatu (where young men hurl themselves off 100-foot wooden towers with vines twined around their ankles) to Mud Dance ceremonies in the Solomon Islands. In Papua New Guinea, guests will have the opportunity to explore the Baining Mountains to observe young Baining men perform the Fire dance, marking their initiation into adulthood, or attend a sing-sing gathering where various Highlanders share their cultural differences through song, dance, and music.
For guests wanting deeper immersion in Papua New Guinea, there will be an opportunity to head out on an ‘air-safari’ to overnight in Mt. Hagen, located in the heart of PNG. EYOS is one of the only companies with the expertise to combine a yacht charter along the coast with a multi-night interior PNG experience in the Highlands. Located at 5,000 feet above sea level, the area is home to a number of different tribes who were the last to be exposed to outside influences. There will be opportunities to meet local tribesmen who live much the same way as they have for millennia.