While the vast majority of us will never be able to relate to this "problem," it is conceivable that the world's super-rich could eventually get bored of cruising the same ol' Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. Reaching more remote, less hospital locations, however, would take a special kind of yacht ... and that's just what the ice-breaking SeaXplorer is intended to be.
The SeaXplorer is being built by Dutch shipyard Damen, and was designed in partnership with yacht-builder Amels, extreme travel company EYOS Expeditions, and Azure Yacht Design & Naval Architecture. Buyers will actually be able to choose between three sizes of yacht, ranging in length from 65 to 90 to 100 meters (213, 295 or 328 ft). The largest will accommodate up to 30 guests and 50 crew.
All three models will feature Damen's existing Sea Axe bow, which reportedly allows ships to smoothly slice through waves instead of roughly slamming into them. That design, however, proved not to be conducive to ice-breaking. Instead, the Damen engineers gave the SeaXplorer an ice-breaking stern – when it comes time to move through ice caps up to 90 cm (35 in) thick, the yacht's two propulsive pods turn around 180 degrees, and it essentially reverses its way through.
Because the ship could be gone for a long time in relatively uncivilized places, it's designed to remain self-sufficient for up to 40 days at a time. Those locations could be ecologically-sensitive, so it will additionally utilize environmentally-friendly features such as a zero-discharge waste system.
The yacht will also have space for a helicopter, along with one or more rescue boats, dive support boats, Zodiacs, submersibles and personal watercraft like jet skis. Other features – on the four-level 100-meter model, at least – include indoor and outdoor lounges, an elevator, a dive centre, a swimming pool and sauna, plus facilities such as a mess hall, hospital, gym and internet cafe.
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