Somewhere between the North Pole and the wide valleys of Finnmark, Norway’s northernmost mainland state, the inhospitable yet magnificent landscapes of an Arctic archipelago are quite literally off the radar for most travellers. Needless to say, we think the Svalbard islands constitute a top-shelf getaway option for those looking for evermore far-flung destinations (and, as chance would have it, those looking for the Global Seed Vault, though that’s another story). But the remote, Nordic archipelago will become a little more accessible in 2020 – as long as you book yourself into a luxury cabin on a superyacht cruising around its islands, that is.
Chartering the show-stopping M/Y Sherakhan, a vessel to put Richard Branson’s marine toys to shame, Adventure Yacht Charters is set to put to sea with what we predict will be among the most experiential journeys of the year for adventure travellers and wildlife enthusiasts. The whopping 70-metre yacht will leave Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement, on 19 June for an eight-night, escapist expedition to the furthest reaches of the secluded island chain, inviting travellers to wallow in views of rugged and untouched wilderness and observe elusive species like polar bears, humpback whales and orcas in their natural habitat (not that we were planning on early morning dips into the icy waters, anyway).
Before you ask: only because you’re in the Arctic Circle, doesn’t mean you’ll be missing certain creature comforts. We look forward to being on top of the world both geographically and with regards to accommodation. The Sherakhan is home to some of the most spacious suites we’ve seen, on or off land, along with a state-of-the-art spa and beauty salon and al fresco dining for sunny days – you know we’ll be sipping on some bubbly on the upper deck, eyes peeled for fountains of water shooting up from the glacial depths around us.