Ocean Alliance conducts familiarisation in New Caledonia onboard MASTEKA II and IROUE
Ocean Alliance, has hosted international media onboard 37-metre superyacht, MASTEKA II, and 25-metre motor yacht IROUE, for five days in New Caledonia. Considered as one of the emerging yacht charter destinations, MASTEKA II is the first foreign-flagged superyacht to have been granted a charter licence for the French territory. Hosted in collaboration with Château Royal Beach Resort & Spa, the familiarisation aimed to highlight not only the natural beauty of the destination but also the cultural experiences specific to the archipelago nation.
Arriving into Noumea, journalists, expert travel agents and charter brokers from Europe and Australia represented Northrop & Johnson Monaco, Boat International, Robb Report, Signature Media, and LATTE plus social media travel influencers, Brent Wallace and Thomas Staunton. Freshly arrived on a Business Class flight, guests were greeted by a welcome reception at the Complexe Chateau Royal. The evening was also the opportunity to introduce representatives of New Caledonia’s Tourism body, NCTPS, the Consulate General of Australia in New Caledonia, and national Chamber of Commerce.
“As we slowly approached the Isles of Pines (rather luxuriously aboard the Masteka II), the one thing that struck me were the breathtaking landscapes. The combination of jutting rocks and glistening turquoise waters offset against swaying palm trees and towering pines are like nothing I’ve ever seen,” stated Carla Griscti Robb Report Australia and New Zealand.
Once onboard MASTEKA II, the guests spent the coming days cruising the southern tip of the Caledonian Lagoon – the largest lagoon in the World which is also UNESCO World Heritage listed. Starting at the Île des Pins, guests were able to discover the island as well as sandy beaches and fringing reef. To capture the full experience of chartering, the group was led on a private canoe tour taking in the deserted beaches, otherwise not easily accessible to visitors, and the naturally occurring crystal clear ‘swimming pool’, La Piscine Naturelle.
“New Caledonia is stunning, off the beaten track destination that has only recently opened up to the yacht charter market. It is a paradise for nature lovers and people looking to escape from it all. Keen divers will surely be impressed by the abundant underwater life. Beautiful bays and white sandy beaches await those wanting to sunbathe and relax. The main island offers an interesting blend of Melanesian and French cultures. The highlight of our cruise was the Isle of Pines with its unusual, picturesque nature, and the excellent tour given by the local guide, combined with a sail on a traditional outrigger canoe called la pirogue and the walk to the natural aquarium.
A yacht offers the most convenient way to discover this destination. The numerous anchorage possibilities allow for varied diving and simply being close to nature with few, if any others around you.
MASTEKA II is a well-maintained charter yacht run by a friendly, approachable and professional crew. The captain is experienced and I would not hesitate to put any clients in his hands.” commented Anna Franciszkiewicz, a charter broker from Northrop and Johnson Monaco.
The itinerary was designed to give the flavour of chartering in New Caledonia and would not have been complete with a water sports and wellness programme.
“The trends are clear. Those charter guests interested in the South Pacific want to be immersed in the destination – culturally and physically. In addition to learning about the Melanesian culture, we wanted our familiarisation guests to discover New Caledonia on and below the water so the crew of MASTEKA II offered snorkelling, diving, stand up paddle boarding and motorised water sports. We were also spoilt by some amazing destinations for yoga sessions,” explained Charter Experience Manager for Ocean Alliance, Laurie Foulon.
Whilst onboard, Captain Matt Stafford, and his crew of eight were on hand to impart their knowledge about the destination. Chef Shayne Turbin also prepared a well balance menu with French influences utilising the fresh produce and seafood found locally. Whilst dive guide and marine biologist, Bastien Preuss, gave a personal tour of the coral gardens imparting his doctorate level knowledge on the marine environment.
“Immense natural beauty, exceptional service and sumptuous French cuisine was what I expected from New Caledonia, yet I was a delightfully surprised to have the opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture of the islands from a local native on Isle of Pines no less! It is a moment which will stay with me for a long time and considering I spend most of my time travelling to remarkable places, it really indicates just how special it was,” said Mr Brent Wallace.
“New Caledonia is only two hours flight from Sydney and a fraction longer than it would take to get from the west coast of America to Bora Bora. Within 30 minutes of stepping off the plane, charter guests can be on the back of MASTEKA II enjoying a French rosé. Then, in less than a day’s cruise, they can be in a UNESCO World Heritage protected haven rich with natural beauty and Melanesian heritage,” stated Ocean Alliance’s Managing Director, Joachim Howard.
Ocean Alliance wishes to express special thanks for their support to Château Royal Beach Resort & Spa, AirCalin for their flight support, and the New Caledonian Tourism Body, NCTPS.
To register your interest to join the next familiarisation or to view MASTEKA II, please contact Ocean Alliance on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 (0) 405 767 869.