Exploris has as much swagger and technical prowess as any recent expedition concepts in the rarified 100-meter-plus class. The 328-footer from London-based Gresham Yacht Design combines an Ulstein X-Bow and ice-class hull to take owners and guests into the most distant corners of the planet. More than just a cool name, the X-Bow was designed for the commercial shipping sector. Its unique inverted shape provides a softer, drier ride—not to mention more interior space forward—than other gargantuan vessels. Exploris will also have highly efficient Azipod drives that provide a 7,000-mile range. In navigational terms, the yacht can crisscross the Atlantic without refueling.
Steve Gresham, who has been involved with firms like Tony Castro and H2 Yacht Design on some of the world’s largest superyacht designs, supersized areas that are squeezed into, or absent from, smaller superyachts. The helicopter hangar is designed for the sizable AgustaWestland Grand or Eurocopter EC135, while the CAP 437 helipad can accommodate even larger models like the 12-passenger Sikorsky S-76. Exterior stairs from the helipad lead directly up into the heart of the beach club, which features an outdoor terrace around a 33-foot. pool. This design is arguably the best stairway to heaven on any yacht.
The helicopter hangar is near the “mooring room” on the main deck, which includes the tender garage. Two 40-foot tenders, multiple toys, and a Trident submersible can be housed in this garage. A decompression chamber and diving package can also be included for owners who want to explore underwater.
Gresham’s excellent use of the yacht’s 59-foot beam includes wide walkways and large foredecks on every level. The “promenade” deck above the bridge deck includes an observation platform. “The owners also have a private deck area and below that is a forward-facing observation lounge,” notes Gresham. The main saloon is also situated forward, instead of a traditional aft position, for seamless connection with the observation area.