Explorer Yacht Buying Guide 2023

Bering B145 2024 145' BERING YACHTS Motor Yacht

Explorer yachts are a type of luxury motor yacht. These vessels are built to travel vast distances and are equipped to be very self-sufficient. In recent years, these types of boats have grown in popularity as many yacht owners wish to travel to off the beaten track destinations. Read our guide to explorer yachts below.

Banner image source: Bering B145 2024 145′ BERING YACHTS Motor Yacht

Buy a Explorer Yacht FAQ

What is an explorer yacht?

As the name would suggest, an explorer yacht is a vessel that is built to travel to remote destinations or areas with more difficult sailing conditions.

Explorer Bow Sprit 2024 177' 9" VITTORIA YACHTS Motor Yacht
Explorer Bow Sprit 2024 177′ 9″ VITTORIA YACHTS Motor Yacht

Explorer yachts offer an exceptional amount of autonomy – they can travel for many days without needing to stop for fuel or supplies – and many have thick steel hulls that are incredibly robust.

VICTORIOUS 2021 278' 11" AK YACHT Motor Yacht
VICTORIOUS 2021 278′ 11″ AK YACHT Motor Yacht

In the past, it was common for explorer yachts to be ex-commercial or military vessels that were rebuilt or converted into more luxurious vessels. This is because the commercial vessels were built to withstand harsh conditions, travel long-distance, and be capable of sailing in even the roughest of seas.

YERSIN 2015 251' 4" PIRIOU Motor Yacht
YERSIN 2015 251′ 4″ PIRIOU Motor Yacht

However, in recent years, there has been a rise in motor yachts with explorer capabilities. Often these are built with steel or aluminum hulls but also have the luxurious modern amenities typically associated with a motor yacht.

TRIBU 2007 165' 9" MONDO MARINE Motor Yacht
TRIBU 2007 165′ 9″ MONDO MARINE Motor Yacht

Many yacht builders are now expanding their range of vessels to include explorer yachts, with long-range cruising, more rugged exterior designs and amenities such as helipads.

IDA PFEIFFER 2025 229' 8" DÖRRIES Motor Yacht
IDA PFEIFFER 2025 229′ 8″ DÖRRIES Motor Yacht

What is the difference between an explorer yacht and a yacht?  

Traditional motor yachts tend to be built with fiberglass and do not have the range or capabilities of an explorer vessel. Motor yachts are normally built to be used in a different way than explorer vessels – cruising in well-traveled areas, close to the shore and any amenities that the guests or crew would need.

CUPANI 2006 209' ROYAL DENSHIP Motor Yacht
CUPANI 2006 209′ ROYAL DENSHIP Motor Yacht

Motor yachts are not usually built to withstand extremes in temperature or sea conditions. For example, it would be rare to find a motor yacht that is built to Ice Class, which would enable it to travel in very cold, icy waters.

Ragnar 2020 223' 10" ICON YACHTS Motor Yacht
Ragnar 2020 223′ 10″ ICON YACHTS Motor Yacht

What is the difference between an expedition and an explorer yacht?  

There is no difference between an expedition and an explorer yacht. Many people use these two terms interchangeably.

ADA 60 Z FOR SALE 2023 196' ADA YACHT WORKS Motor Yacht
ADA 60 Z FOR SALE 2023 196′ ADA YACHT WORKS Motor Yacht

What are the best Explorer Yacht builders? 

In the industry, there are several high-profile builders of explorer yachts.  

Bering Yachts  

Since 2007, Bering Yachts have been producing explorer yachts. Built in Turkey, the shipyard builds semi-custom steel-hulled expedition yachts and trawler yachts.

Bering B125 2024 124' 9" BERING YACHTS Motor Yacht
Bering B125 2024 124′ 9″ BERING YACHTS Motor Yacht

Arksen Yachts

Arksen Yachts builds explorer yachts designed to adventure all over the world. Arksen vessels focus on efficiency and sustainability and hope to inspire the next generation of scientists with its vessels.

Arksen 85 - Syndicate Explorer Vessel 2022 89' 7" ARKSEN Motor Yacht
Arksen 85 – Syndicate Explorer Vessel 2022 89′ 7″ ARKSEN Motor Yacht

Cantiere Delle Marche Yachts

Builder of both semi-custom and custom explorer yachts, Cantiere Delle Marche is an award-winning Italian shipyard. 

Damen Yachts

Damen Yachts is one of the most respected names in the yachting world when it comes to explorer vessels. The shipyard is renowned for its SeaXplorer expedition yachts and Yacht Support vessels.

SeaXplorer 60 2024 196' 11" DAMEN YACHTING Motor Yacht
SeaXplorer 60 2024 196′ 11″ DAMEN YACHTING Motor Yacht

Feadship Yachts

Feadship is a well-known shipyard for its luxury yachts and has delivered several explorer yachts in recent years, including the 55m explorer yacht Shinkai.  

What are the best small Explorer Yachts?  

Smaller explorer yachts (sometimes referred to as ‘Pocket Explorer Yachts) are an attractive proposition for owners as they are fuel efficient and almost no anchorages are out of reach.

AMARELLLA F 2002 83' INACE Motor Yacht
AMARELLLA F 2002 83′ INACE Motor Yacht

What is the best size for an Explorer Yacht?  

If you are looking to buy an explorer yacht, the size of the vessel will depend on how you expect to use it. If you wish to travel to very remote anchorages that may have shallow water or tight turns, a smaller vessel under 50m (164ft) would be an excellent choice.

The size of your yacht also influences what equipment and amenities you can have on board. For example, if you want to have a lot of equipment or a helicopter on board, you will need to design a yacht that can accommodate this.

CAPE HAWK 690 2025 157' 6" TOR Motor Yacht
CAPE HAWK 690 2025 157′ 6″ TOR Motor Yacht

Explorer yachts for sale available at YATCO are excellent vessels for the more adventurous boat owners. Built to withstand difficult conditions and to travel to remote locations, explorer (also known as expedition) yachts are pedigree vessels for cruising the world.


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