on 29 May 2023
Four Seasons' acclaimed Four Seasons Explorer has relocated from the Maldives to remote Palau where she's now available for indulgent charters.
Remote and untouched – imagine a beautiful wilderness awash with natural and cultural wonders. Four Seasons Explorer is setting sail to one of the world’s last remaining frontiers beginning later this year. Hidden in a remote part of the mighty Pacific, discover Palau – home to more than 340 emerald islands, an astonishing spectrum of marine life, and a 4,000-year-old culture still sustained by the local knowledge of 20,000 traditionally minded people – the most vital element of the unique Palauan culture.
Referred to as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World, with a half million square kilometres of protected marine territory, Palau offers glorious opportunities for divers and snorkellers. But that’s just the start of the island nation’s wondrous appeal. With only 9 of the country’s 340 islands inhabited, opportunities for raw natural adventure abound, while deep cultural immersions range from insights into the rich Palauan dance tradition – awash with powerful chanting, storytelling and vibrant colours – to the intriguing exploration of WWII sites, symbolic bai meeting houses, and centuries of Spanish, German, Japanese and American influences.
Four Seasons Explorer operates like a floating resort, offering daily embarkations and disembarkations, allowing up to 22 guests to explore as deeply – and for as long – as they wish. With the freedom to focus on personal areas of interest among Palau’s many bucket-list wonders, both underwater and on land, all adventures are entirely bespoke.
Guests can also look forward to a variety of on-board experiences, from connecting with Palauan people, chefs and musicians to learning from expert marine biologists and indulging in wellness experiences with spa therapists and yogis.
Four Seasons Explorer is a 39-metre luxury catamaran built by Image Marine of Perth, Australia. Its three decks accommodate 10 staterooms with king beds bathed in natural light from large windows, while the lavish Explorer Suite features an indoor dining area, walk-in wardrobe and private sundeck with panoramic views across the vessel’s bow. Complete with its own PADI 5-Star Dive Centre, recreation desk, restaurant, bar, lounge and library, Four Seasons Explorer features a dedicated team primed to create customized experiences, including a marine biologist, chefs and spa therapist plus dive, snorkelling, freediving and water sports experts.
Aboard Four Seasons Explorer, each day begins with an array of à-la-carte breakfast choices. Meals served onboard are all-inclusive (with the exception of alcoholic beverages) with lunch and dinner menus changing daily, themed on regional creations from Palau and elsewhere in the Pacific, as well as Asia and the West. Highlights include regular beach barbecues complete with insights into Palauan music and culture – always with fresh (and where possible, local) ingredients – gourmet flourishes and an extensive wine list.
More than 1,400 species of fish and 500 species of healthy corals thrive in Palau’s crystal waters and elevated lakes. The nation became the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009, covering more than 600,000 square kilometres of ocean (230,000 square miles) while the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palau’s astonishing spectrum of ocean life makes it a paradise for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
With a draft of 1.9 metres, Four Seasons Explorer can access locations that larger vessels can’t reach, while its PADI 5-Star Dive Centre ensures expert multi-lingual instructors, the latest gear and onboard videographer, as well as custom-designed dive and excursion boats for direct entry to even the most inaccessible dive sites.
Bucket-list amazement lies around every corner for divers, from the glittering stalactite formations of Chandelier Cave to the WWII history of Helmet Wreck; the gorgonian fans of Blue Corner to the dazzling canyons of Peleliu Wall. Experiences are equally awe-inspiring for snorkellers: millions of stingless golden and moon jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake; giant 115 kilograms tridacna clams in Clam City; rabbitfish, turtles and goatfish in the crystal clear Ngedebus Coral Gardens – all accessed via guided excursions with Four Seasons marine biologists.
The scattered islands of Micronesia’s Palau are home to a unique culture and intriguing heritage bound by a deep respect for the environment that has sustained generations of people. Four Seasons Explorer on-shore excursions are handled by insightful guides and include visiting Palau’s oldest bai (meeting house); exploring the Badrulchau Stone Monoliths, estimated to date back to the year 161; marvelling at the cave paintings of Ulong Island; discovering the Belau National Museum, multiple WWII sites, traditional music, lush forests, majestic waterfalls, and more.
Recreational activities on offer include windsurfing, stand-up paddling and kayaking, while wellness experiences showcase soothing yoga, breathing and restorative treatments on-board or on a secluded beach. Explorer guests can bathe in mineral-rich mud, learn traditional Palauan fishing techniques, hike, bird-watch or even learn to pronounce a few Palauan phrases.
Four Seasons Explorer will also be available for fully customizable private yacht charters in Palau for groups of up to 22 – including dedicated charters for surf enthusiasts with the experts from Tropicsurf, from uncrowded “best-kept secret” breaks on the east and west coast reefs to adventurous “surfaris” off the country’s fringing islands during the winter months.
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