Explorer yacht charter: the best places in the world to take a helicopter tour

Published 01 mars 2024

Some of the world’s most exciting cruising grounds are home to an abundance of spectacular scenery and epic sights, many of which are best viewed from the decks of a superyacht, and some which are better explored from above. 

Get ready to soar above some of the worlds most beautiful coastlines of the Buccaneer Archipelago in the Kimberly region of Australia

Taking a helicopter for a bird’s eye view allows yacht charter guests the chance to witness the more remote areas of a cruising region from a postcard perfect perspective, while at the same time offering an entertaining and thrilling experience.  From the stunning crater of Sicily’s Mount Etna to the beautiful coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Burgess rounds up the world’s most spectacular helicopter tours to incorporate into your next luxury yacht charter.  


Amalfi Coast

Famed for its vertiginous landscapes, the picturesque shoreline of the Amalfi Coast has plenty to offer the waterborne, but inland the ancient ruins of Pompeii and the innumerable Renaissance palaces, baroque masterpieces and Roman remains in the towns of Ravello, Sorrento and Amalfi, are best viewed either by foot, or from the air. Added to this, the rugged cliffs and sandy coves that provide a stunning backdrop to any Amalfi superyacht charter offer an equally stunning aerial view.  

See the Amalfi Coast from a whole new perspective 

Where else should I travel on a private yacht charter in Italy? 

Lying off the 'toe' of Italy’s boot, the Aeolian Island archipelago was created by volcanoes, two of which are still active. Combined in a cruising itinerary with the larger island of Sicily, the islands offer a more peaceful antidote to Sicily’s bustling piazzas, buzzing towns and elegant resorts. 

Although the islands still have the air of a place where time has stood still, a few also attract the Italian jet set, including the most fashionable of the Aeolian islands, Panarea. Neighbouring Stromboli, meanwhile, provides many bays for watersports, but as the island has been in a state of near-continuous eruption for thousands of years, these are generally best observed from the decks of your yacht, or else viewed from the air. The latter allows passengers a bird’s eye view over its dramatically exploding cone.  

Visit the paradise isle of Isola Bella and admire the beautiful landscape and beach

Lying across the Messina Straits, Taormina is one of Italy’s most famous hilltop towns. Often referred to as the Monte Carlo of Sicily, it is highly exclusive with ancient, cobbled streets lined with upscale boutiques and gourmet restaurants. However, it is Sicily’s Greek and Roman archaeological remains that are the main attraction here. 

Visit the Valley of Temples, Taormina’s amphitheatre, and the Temple of Athena – the latter is one of the world’s best-preserved Doric temples.  And finally, while enjoying a superyacht charter around the island, why not take a helicopter ride over the spectacular summit of the active volcano Mount Etna – she last erupted as recently as 2022 and still smoulders with menace.  


The Great Barrier Reef

One of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef in the world. Consisting of 880-plus islands and thousands of individual reefs, a superyacht charter here allows you to get up close to the diverse marine life, but to witness the sheer magnitude of the area you really need to an aerial view of the reef. Experience breathtaking vistas over the coral reef formations, including the world-renowned Heart Island; take in the stunning cobalt blue waters and perhaps even spot the ocean’s largest fish, the whale shark, all visible during a Great Barrier Reef helicopter tour.  

The Great Barrier Reef is known for being one of the best destinations for a helicopter tour 

What else can I do on an explorer yacht charter to Australia?  

While on an adventure yacht charter along Australia’s east coast, take some time out to witness what must be one of the most iconic city skylines with a helicopter ride over Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, taking in Darling Harbour and the Sydney Opera House, as well as the surrounding beaches, including Bondi and the Northern Beaches.  

Arrive in style by ending your helicopter tour on one of Whitsunday Islands' sandy beaches 

Alternatively, head to the Whitsunday Islands for an Antipodean adventure. From shallow coral gardens for snorkelers to deep scuba diving sites, this stunning archipelago delivers off-the-beaten track cruising. Those who step ashore can also choose to hike through the dense rainforest vegetation and really experience the islands’ true nature.  


Ha Long Bay

Stunning Ha Long Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1990s and rightfully so. Flanked by majestic, limestone cliffs and rocky outcrops that rise out of the emerald hued waters, the 1,600-plus islands here provide stunning cruising grounds for an adventurous yacht charter. Head up in the air with a Ha Long Bay helicopter tour and view the infamous limestone drop-offs – take in the lush jungle scenes, picturesque beaches, and Vietnam’s famous longboats as you glide over the Gulf and the bays and islets.  

Vietnam is equally as breathtaking from land, sea or air

What else should I visit on a South East Asia yacht charter?

Just across the Gulf of Thailand from Vietnam, Thailand’s culturally and scenically diverse cruising grounds, home to a wealth of attractions, including an amazing underwater world just waiting to be discovered during a South East Asia superyacht charter. 

Fly over or visit the Langkawi sky bridge in the heart of Malaysia's rainforest 

Buddhist temples litter the landscape here, while scenic white-sand beaches are made for relaxation. Alternatively, deeper in the heart of South East Asia, Malaysia and her islands of Langkawi and Pangkor Laut entice the adventure-seeking charterer to experience a fusion of native cultures. 

french polynesia

Bora Bora

Rising out of a lagoon surrounded by reef and clusters of tiny islands, it is easy to see why Bora Bora has been named the 'Pearl of the Pacific'. The densely vegetated mountainous island is as close to the tropical idyll as it gets. First circumnavigate the shoreline by yacht, taking in the emerald waters of the lagoon and white-sand beaches, including Matira Beach – said to be the finest in all French Polynesia.

Discover the delights of Bora Bora onboard an explorer yacht charter 

Then discover the island from a different perspective with a Bora Bora helicopter tour. You will get a front-row seat to inaccessible scenic areas including the lush landscape of Mount Otemanu, while at the same time enjoying a bird’s eye view of the cartoon-like desert islands that surround the island.  

Where else can I explore on a private yacht charter in French Polynesia? 

The vast and scattered islands of French Polynesia were created by volcanic activity over the past millennia, and as such their landscapes are varied and the surrounding waters offer unparalleled cruising. The Society Islands are at the cultural heart of the archipelago, with Tahiti and the atolls of Bora Bora, Raiatea, Taha’a and Huahine best discovered by yacht. 

Enter the state of relaxation as you gentle float under the warm sun

The islands invite you to make the most of the clear water, with snorkelling, diving, swimming and kayaking all vying for your active time. For those looking to witness the islands’ interiors there are natural wonders to entice you ashore, including the formidable Mount Tapioi on Raiatea. 

Further afield, the Tuamotu Atolls are French Polynesia’s central archipelago of 70 low-lying islands and atolls. Here you can fly over the world’s second largest atoll, Rangiroa, and the UNESCO-classified biosphere reserve in the Toau Atoll. The waters are also so clear that you can easily spot stingrays and manta rays from the air, and even hammerhead sharks or silver tip sharks if you are lucky.  

Explore under the surface and swim with reef sharks and other marine life 

Juneau Icefield

The glassy rivers and snow-capped peaks of the Juneau Icefield are among the visual highlights of an adventurous Alaskan yacht charter, and the landscape is even more spectacular when seen from altitude. Adrenaline levels will spike as you take in the full panoramic majesty of the crevasses, icefalls, and streams that lie within the surrounding mountains, perhaps before touching down on the Herbert Glacier for a glacial walkabout.  

A helicopter tour across Alaska is definitely a bucket-list charter item 

What else should I do on an Alaska yacht charter? 

Experience the Alaskan wilderness in its full glory with an explorer yacht charter deep into the heart of the wilderness of the Inside Passage. From Juneau, cruise through the 'Iceberg Graveyard', better known as Holkham Bay, to the majestic fjords of Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. The latter is home to the twin Dawes Glaciers – equally spectacular from the decks of your yacht as they are from the air. 

Alaskan wolves are known to live in packs of six or seven inclusive of parents and pups

The Brothers, Prince of Wales Island, Baranof Island and Admiralty Island are just a few of the islands that dot the Inside Passage and provide an adventure playground for the waterborne. Head ashore to encounter local wildlife, including river otters, deer, and even an occasional wolf, while on board be prepared to spot sea lions, orcas and porpoise, and, if lucky, perhaps also an occasional sighting of a magnificent humpback whale.

Find your perfect yacht charter experience with Burgess today. Enquire now.

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.

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