Thrill-seeking supercat Hemisphere doubles down on adventure, offering charter itineraries in Australia.
By Kim Kavin
On a recent day, Capt. Gavin Bladen took the owner of 145-foot (44.2-meter) PendennisHemisphere to New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park for a helicopter tour. It included landing on glaciers and descending 1,904-foot (580-meter) Sutherland Falls, one of the most scenic sites in this part of the world. Then it was lunch at a luxury alpine lodge before the owner and guests returned to Hemisphere for scuba diving in Doubtful Sound. They saw not one, but two shark species they’d yet to encounter elsewhere: a broadnose sevengill and a carpet shark.
It may sound like a once-in-a-lifetime day, but it is a typical schedule aboard the world’s largest sailing catamaran. She was built and outfitted for adventure, and she is living up to the dreams of her owner and charter guests alike. Her next stop? Australia, where she has charter availability through October in Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, from the Whitsunday Islands north through the Ribbon Reefs and Cape Tribulation.
Australia will be a homecoming of sorts for Bladen, who started out as a deckhand at the Cairns Dive Centre in 1992 and worked for a Whitsunday Islands scuba company before joining the luxury yacht community. “Twenty-three years later,” he says, “it will be nice to return to the place where it all started!”
Bladen’s enthusiasm permeates every itinerary the yacht sets. Since she was launched in 2011, Hemisphere has taken guests searching for whale sharks in Honduras, diving around Bonaire, cruising through the Panama Canal, exploring in the Galapagos Islands, meandering through multiple South Pacific archipelagos including the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands and Fiji, swimming with humpback whales in Tonga and diving with great white sharks in New Zealand.
Sure, there has been relaxation in between, such as wine tasting in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, but Hemisphere is outfitted for fun, and Bladen plans to make the most of her equipment in Australia, too.
While there, he hopes to take guests snorkeling with dwarf minke whales, hiking through the Daintree Rainforest, diving at the wreck of 350-foot (107-meter) SS Yongala, gamefishing for black marlin aboard Hemisphere’s 54-foot (16.5-meter) tender and for helicopter flyovers and diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
“Hemisphere takes scuba diving seriously and is probably one of the best options within the superyacht fleet to cater to clients who wish to dive,” he says. “She is a certified PADI dive boat/training facility, and we always maintain two PADI instructors on board at all times, and all crew on board are certified divers ranging from open water to rescue divers.”
The world’s largest coral reef system is obviously a great place for Hemisphere’s scuba program, and Bladen is working to ensure private moments within the popular diving region.
“The whole area falls under the control and watchful eye of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority,” he says. “Hemisphere will be working closely with the park to create itineraries for Hemisphere’s guests to cruise through rarely visited and unspoiled reefs—and away from the crowded day-tripper locations.”
And then, the adventures will continue. After spending six months in Australia, Hemisphere is expected to visit Raja Ampat, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
That is, Bladen says, “before we push further afield again.”
Hemisphere accommodates 10 to 12 guests at a lowest weekly base rate of $260,000.
For more information: Burgess Yachts, 310 424 5112,