Brand new boats you need to know about
There’s something particularly special about taking in the sights of the world aboard a luxurious vessel. We’ve put together a selection of new vessels and boat trips for 2019 that show four very different water worlds. What they do have in common is an extremely high level of luxury and service. You’ll be very well-looked after whether you’re in the Galapagos, Vietnam or the Caribbean.
Belmond Pivoine, Champagne, France
A recent addition for 2019, the chic Belmond Pivoine is a brand-new barge. Set adrift your preconceptions about canal journeys: life aboard the four-cabin, privately chartered Pivoine, is serene luxury. There’s a staff of five to look after you, roomy cabins that resemble smart hotel bedrooms, and a heated pool nestled in the prow of the barge. Pivoine will take you via Epernay to glide into the Champagne wine regions, where there are day trips to champagne houses for tastings and cellar tours. Back on board the chef will rustle up delicious locally sourced lunches and candlelit dinners while you gently drift through the waterways of rural France. Bikes are on hand for a cycle through peaceful villages and bucolic landscapes. When you come back on board, expect cold towels, cocktails and canapés waiting for you.
Heritage Line Ylang, Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam
Imagine the sails unfurling in the breeze on this beautiful vessel as you gently cruise around the forested karsts that rise up from the misty seascapes of the Lan Ha Bay. This lesser-visited region makes a great alternative to busy Ha Long Bay and on Ylang, whose maiden voyage is August 2019, you’ll experience hand crafted Asian-Vietnamese features paired with luxurious modern design. The interior of the vessel is filled with light and the ten suites have floor-to-ceiling windows or balconies, some with jacuzzi. During the day, you can swim, kayak or do yoga on deck and when the boat moors near jungle-clad Cat Ba island, spend time exploring the wild interior discovering waterfalls, lakes and hidden beaches.
MV Theory, The Galapagos Islands
This year, luxury expedition yacht MV Theory joins MV Origin in offering high levels of comfort while exploring the wilds of the Galapagos. The two yachts have taken modern luxury small-ship cruising to another level with superb facilities, Jacuzzi’s and day beds alongside the best guides and crews in one of the world’s best natural wildlife reserves. Start your day with a Zodiac trip to hike volcanic lava ridges, observe marine life in a glass-bottom boat, or paddle board the striking seascapes. On these adventures, you see wildlife that spans the animal kingdom – iguanas, boobies, sea lion, dolphin and the Galapagos tortoise to name just a few. Back on board share your stories from the day and enjoy delicious sustainably sourced food, before retiring to your comfortable cabin.
Luna Catamaran, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea
The British Virgin Islands are back in business, and after a herculean effort to re-build after Hurricane Irma, the dazzling islands are looking better than ever. Now could be the perfect time to explore the BVI’s by chartering a private catamaran. Spacious Luna, with four cabins and plenty of sunbathing spots, will be your passport to Caribbean freedom. She comes fully staffed, but you’re in charge, so you can work your own itinerary giving you as little or much activity as you would like. Enjoy the quiet life? Sail past uninhibited islands, snorkel shipwrecks where turtles drift by, and moor up in peaceful coves with only the lapping of waves to accompany sunset. Want to feel the thrum of Caribbean life? Swing by Jost Van Dyke island, for beach bars, restaurants and a buzzy vibe. With your own vessel you can have the best of both worlds while you drift the cerulean blue waters of the Caribbean.