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Schooner Athos Going to South Pacific

It’s been four years since the jaw-dropping sailing yacht Athos launched from the Holland Jachtbouw shipyard, and yacht-spotters still gasp every time she cruises into a new anchorage. Her sheer proportions are startling: 203 feet of length overall, a 201-foot-tall mast, and 5,784 square feet of sail area. Her classic good looks also turn heads, given how few two-masted schooners are on the world’s waters today. She’s a rare sight, a new build with the elegance of a bygone era. When Athos makes an appearance, those of us standing on the breakwater feel like we’ve been transported back to the early 1900s, the golden age of sailing yachts.

athos

Until now, Athos has cruised primarily in the Caribbean and Mediterranean (along with an expedition to Greenland in 2013). She’s going to stick to the waters she knows in the Caribbean this coming winter, but after that, according to the charter managers at McMaster Yachts, Athos will be heading to the South Pacific with availability in some seriously exotic locations through early 2016.

Athos, however, is far more than just a pretty prom queen. Designer Andre Hoek worked with the Holland Jachtbouw team to incorporate a number of technological innovations, including all kinds of double redundancies, a hydraulically operated centerboard and a dynamic positioning system for comfort at sea—innovations the owner is now planning to put to serious use with an upcoming itinerary that will take the yacht halfway around the globe.

The current plan is to have Athos in position by May 2015 in the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands. After that, she’ll head to the Ha’apai and Vava’u island groups plus greater Tonga. By late October she should be in Fiji, and by early 2016 she will be available in New Zealand.

Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand are destinations with plenty of competition for luxury yacht charter nowadays, but the Marquesas, Ha’apai, Vava’u and greater Tonga are locations where a yacht the caliber of Athos is practically unheard of for charter.

The Marquesas are part of French Polynesia, which includes Tahiti and Bora Bora, but the Marquesas are much farther afield from the populated tourist islands, a good 850 miles from Tahiti and thus far less-traveled for yacht charter itineraries. The Ha’apai archipelago in Tonga is similar. Occasionally, a top-notch charter yacht passes through Vava’u and greater Tonga, but to see Ha’apai offered as a charter destination is a rarity.

Athos is being offered in all these destinations at a weekly base rate of €160,000 for 10 guests. The idea of her cruising into remote harbors is almost as jaw-dropping as Athos herself. Natives aren’t the only ones who will be getting restless—longtime charter clients are going to start scampering, too, to get the best available cruising dates.

If you’re interested, call now for a charter booking. Athos herself may stand the test of time, but these opportunities will be fleeting.

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