Featured by Yachts International.
They call it “The Last Frontier,” a place where almost nobody goes and even fewer people stay. The Kimberley is a region in northwest Australia that’s about the size of California, but where only three towns have more than 2,000 residents. Steep oceanfront cliffs, deep inland gorges and a lack of roads mean the only ways to explore much of the Kimberley is by ATV, helicopter or boat. In the handful of coastline spots where tourist stopovers exist, they call them “wilderness retreats.”
It’s exactly the kind of place that appeals to the owner of 138-foot (42-meter) ANDA, which launched in the 1960s as a Norwegian icebreaker and was converted to an explorer yacht during a two-year refit completed in 2012.
At the time you read this, ANDA was scheduled to be arriving for her second tour of the Kimberley, where management company Ocean Alliance says she will be the only yacht open for charter through September.
“The owner is a keen fisherman, and so uses ANDA along with his [52-foot] game-fishing vessel Fortescue for expeditions to the Abrolhos islands and Montebello Islands, which are renowned [for having] some of the best game-fishing in Australia,” says ANDA’s captain, Alan Martlow. “We completed a two-week voyage to the Kimberley in September 2015, but 2016 is the first season that Anda is being made available for charter for luxury Kimberley expeditions.”
ANDA’s crew works with a local guide who is married to a landowner in the Kimberley, giving charter guests access to some of the most exclusive parts of the region. During the owner’s trip last year, he was able to visit a local pearl farm, an indigenous artists’ group and some spectacular scenery—a 250-foot waterfall, a reef filled with turtles and fish, and local Wandjina rock art featuring the mythological cloud and rain spirits of aboriginal people— all courtesy of a local helicopter pilot.
Charter guests can access those experiences and more by way of ANDA’s twin 23-foot (7-meter) jet tenders, both of which have sun protection for hours-long expeditions. ANDA takes 10 guests, and each of the tenders can accommodate five guests plus crew.
The Fortescue is available at an additional rate and is ideal for charter guests who want more of a focus on sport fishing. Her 20-knot speed allows for full-day trips hunting northern bluefin tuna, mangrove jack (a type of snapper) and barramundi (a type of sea bass best known for its use in Thai cuisine).
That’s not to say ANDA herself isn’t up for long-distance adventure. Her 6,500-nautical-mile range gives her more than enough capability to explore the whole of the Kimberley for anyone wanting to book a multi-week charter.
She’s a good deal for American clients right now, too, since her weekly base rate of $175,000 is in Australian dollars. The conversion to U.S. dollars was about $134,900 at press time.
“A journey on ANDA can be tailored to be as adventurous or as relaxed as the client desires,” Martlow says. “We can set the itinerary in advance, but we have the flexibility to change it as conditions or guest preferences change. The Kimberley is for those travelLers who have a keen interest in stunning geography, history and wildlife. They want an adventure like no other, that hasn’t been done before.”