Nature has given urban dwellers some great surprises under lockdown, and if this has inspired you to see what else there is in the untouched parts of the world, then luxury yacht Black Pearl is a sensational treat amongst the charter grounds surrounding Palau.
This Micronesian island is nestled in the sapphire blue waters of the Indian Ocean, where rays, turtles, sharks, migrating whales and dolphins are all possible encounters in addition to 2,000 fish species and 300 kinds of coral. The Rock Islands archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for the inland saltwater lake filled with stingless jellyfish that visitors of all ages can snorkel with, plus there’s the ‘Milky Way’, where a limestone mud creates a natural spa treatment.
Long Lake is a must-see for its baby spotted eagle rays, feather tail stingrays, giant clams and turtles, while endemic birds such as kingfishers, the Palauan flycatchers and other more brilliantly coloured species sing from the branches above.
The ruins of stone villages and burial sites add to the sense of adventure, but none more so than the numerous WWII wrecks lying just under the surface of the water: Kayak over a Japanese Zero fighter plane at Fantasy Island, and Scuba dive among the vivid coral gardens and more ominous sunken ships in the depths.
M/Y Black Pearl is an amazing 46m/152ft vessel launched in 2019 and designed with diving expeditions in mind for up to 20 guests in 14 spacious twin en-suite cabins. Never has there been a better opportunity for large Scuba diving groups to visit such wonders as Nemelis blue holes, the Peleliu Express drift dive, the Siaes Tunnel and the Chandelier Caves when there are rooms dedicated to dive equipment care and storage, Dive Masters among the crew, and an emergency decompression chamber as an extra safety precaution on deeper, more experienced dives.
After exploring what’s below, guests can warm up on the sun-drenched bridge deck forward or the Jacuzzi on the main deck aft. It doesn’t matter whether everyone is an avid diver, or partners or friends along for the adventure – there are two spa massage therapists to remove knots and provide a range of treatments to rejuvenate the skin and boost energy levels.
As you cruise between destinations, the elegant contemporary interiors create desirable areas to sit back and relax in paradise: Take your meals in the large buffet-style dining hall where velvety blue seating makes a comfortable place to socialise as well. The professional chefs have the expertise to cater to allergies and all dietary requirements for greater peace of mind. Massive windows throughout let the sunlight pour in, and the sky lounge entertainment hub is ready day or night for films, console games, card games, or even a workout with the great selection of gym equipment.
There are also paddle boards, an inflatable slide and fishing gear among the great selection of water toys. This final option gives everyone the opportunity to catch their lunch in Palau’s rich fishing grounds, where bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, marlin, wahoo and much more can be snagged and prepared to perfection.
Your trip doesn’t have to be spent entirely out at sea or among uninhabited islands, and Koror will entice you with unique local crafts, modern galleries and boutique stores, myriad museums detailing the island’s past – particularly during WWII – and a bustling nightlife.
Always available will be the sundeck and its plush sun loungers and sunbeds for napping in the sunshine or shade. This area is just as desirable at night and the group can stargaze using the telescope on nights as crystal clear as the waters.
Trina Howes is a Director of CharterWorld America. CharterWorld is a luxury private yacht charter company that creates outstanding vacations with excellent yachts at amazing prices – worldwide.