The genesis of Stefano Pastrovich’s latest expedition cruise ship was born from a crisis. No, not Covid-19—though Pastrovich Studio’s latest creation could well bring a solution to the challenges that we may see in travel, at least for the foreseeable future.
Back in 2008, as a financial meltdown gripped the world, Pastrovich and his team of naval architects recognized that many cultures were embracing a new entry point to the enjoyment of luxury goods—namely, the charter market. The team focused their efforts on the accessibility of luxury, rather than sole ownership. More recently, Pastrovich has observed a new generation of consumers emerge, with similar passions.
“These adventure tourists dream of exploring the seas in maximum comfort, luxury, and privacy, chasing the experience,” Pastrovich told Robb Report. The “X-Travelers,” as Pastrovich calls them, seek out boutique hotels, luxury concierge services, and private jets. “But,” he adds, “they have not yet found a cruise ship capable of making their dreams come true.”
The X-Expedition Cruise yacht is designed to fill that void.
The 331-foot-long vessel, with a 62-foot beam, represents a unique hybrid of construction techniques. It marries the engineering and design components that define superyacht projects with the modular principles used to build contemporary cruise ships—where the cabins, windows, vertical accesses, and the common areas fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Pastrovich is particularly proud of the modular design. “This enables us to achieve cost-efficient management and construction times,” he says, “without sacrificing luxury construction detail. And just as important—without sacrificing beauty.”
With its modular design, the X-Expedition Cruise can be easily constructed in what Pastrovich calls the ship’s optimal configuration: 108 guests are accommodated in 48 standard suites, 4 deluxe suites, and 2 owner suites. Those quarters encompass 312 square feet, 624 square feet, and 936 square feet, respectively. The ship’s owners can also select a deluxe configuration, which accommodates 84 guests in 24 standard suites, 16 deluxe suites, and 2 owner suites; or the penultimate owner configuration, which accommodates 64 guests in 24 deluxe suites and 4 owner suites.
Regardless of configuration, the vessel’s most compelling feature is its ability to offer passengers a cruise experience that closely resembles a private superyacht. “Space makes for privacy,” he says, “and privacy determines exclusivity.”
The new vessel also has the latest generation hybrid power by Wärtsilä. Already environmentally friendly with lower emissions, shifting into its extreme “green” mode—which produces no noise, vibration, or emissions—delivers an authentic back-to-nature sensibility. “Nature is the protagonist, and the ship is an instrument,” says Pastrovich, “so guests have the opportunity to enjoy nature’s symphony of sounds undisturbed.”
The naval architect acknowledges that cruising on smaller ships is a travel experience that has grown more popular in recent years, but he believes the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic will only intensify demand for that type of cruising experience. “The pandemic has changed the general attitude towards isolation and privacy,” he says. “People are rediscovering the importance of paying for a higher space-to-passenger ratio.”