Damen Shipyards is determined to become the superyacht sector’s gold standard in explorer vessels through its Amels superyacht subsidiary which is marking its centennial in 2018.

“We are catering to a whole new generation of young owners,” says Amels marketing director Victor Caminada.

The niche expedition yacht market continues to attract clients who are keen to explore areas off the beaten track, he adds.

Damen introduced its SeaXplorer concept in Monaco in 2015 and has sold two of the yachts since then. Its SeaXplorers come in five versions – from 55m to 100m. They are polar-capable superyachts that carry provisions, equipment, extra crew, pilot and expedition guides for 30 to 40 days without a port call.

Uniquely in the industry, Damen is collaborating with EYOS Expeditions, an experienced provider of yachting trips to remote locales in extreme tropical and polar climates. “Experienced yachting clients approached us about adapting Damen’s professional vessels, so we knew from them there were no globally capable luxury explorer yachts out there,” says Amels managing director Rob Luijendijk.

Caminada says his yard is in “permanent collaboration” with them as the company develops new yachts. Damen’s industrial heft – 32 shipyards worldwide – has enabled Amels to become the world leader in yacht support vessels.

This summer, it will launch the 55.5m Power Play, its sixth delivery in the yacht support range. Like explorer vessels, yacht support craft are also designed to lure a new kind of owner with unconventional thinking about luxury yachting. The yachts are to appeal to young, more adventurous owners.

Damen’s explorer yachts comply with The International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code that came into force in 2017. It regulates design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue, and environmental protection for ships in polar waters. The code responds to a rise in shipping in polar waters that climate change is making ice-free.

Damen crafted the SeaXplorer after investing thousands of hours in R&D and ice tank testing.