There is no need to choose between a ski holiday and a superyacht escape this winter. The Caribbean may be a traditional yacht magnet when the rest of the world gets colder, but for those seeking adventure and pristine powder, a superyacht can also help you access some of the world’s most exciting ski destinations. Whether you are looking for the buzz of a world-class resort, the thrill of heli-skiing or the challenge of ski-touring, Ocean Independence picks its top five spots for superyachters looking to hit the slopes.
With majestic scenery, consistently great snowfall and enough terrain to keep you busy for several lifetimes, there is a reason why Whistler is synonymous with world-class skiing. Luckily, the waters around British Columbia are an astonishingly beautiful superyacht cruising ground; build an itinerary around its secret bays, First Nation culture and whale watching, before heading inland in search of the powder. From Vancouver’s Coal Harbour Marina – a superyacht safe haven located in the heart of the city – it is just one and half hour drive to Whistler. Linking two formidable mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – this is the largest ski area in North America. There are slopes to suit all skill levels, and extraordinary off-piste adventures in the backcountry. Plus, Whistler’s alpine village is vibrant and full of fun.
Yachties will know Montenegro for many things – its convenient location in the heart of the eastern Med, its stunning natural beauty, its world-class superyacht facilities – but the fact that it is a wonderful skiing destination is perhaps less common knowledge. Uncrowded and underrated, skiing here is a rare pleasure, and its dramatic peaks are ideal of freeriding adventures. Berth at superyacht marina Porto Montenegro during the ski season (January to the end of March) and head to Kolasin 1450, a small but perfectly formed resort where Porto Montenegro even has a chalet available for crew to use. This isn’t the largest or most challenging resort, but you are sure to fall under the spell of its unpretentious charm and awe-inspiring views.
For those seeking adventure and tranquility in equal measure, the USA’s northernmost state is a yachting destination beyond compare. From orca-spotting in Fredrick Sound to exploring the inlets and glaciers of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the drama and beauty of this untamed frontier knows no bounds. Skiers will find themselves spoiled for choice. For perfect pistes, head to Alyeska Resort, nestled in the Chugach Mountains, conveniently near Anchorage. But to really experience the best of Alaska’s wilderness, embark on a heli-skiing adventure, zipping across the white expanses to drop in on powder bowls, ancient forest run and heart-pounding descents.
Greenland’s far-flung wilderness is a backdrop for a truly energising experience. Flanked by towering peaks and glaciers, the small town of Kangaamiut is a mecca for heli-skiers from all over the world searching for pristine snowscapes and perfect powder. From March to May conditions are at their most favourable to make the most of the long, breathtaking glacial runs that take you right down to the glistening water’s edge. Surrounded by icebergs the size of skyscrapers, a limitless cerulean sky and water a dark, unfathomable blue, you will be the only ones carving out lines in the spotless snow. When not skiing, Greenland has plenty more to offer superyacht visitors; go snowmobiling, ice fishing or venture out on a traditional dog sled, watch for humpback and fin whales from your deck, meet smiling locals in the colourful villages or simply allow yourself to be enveloped by the blissful silence of the snowscape.
Age-old forests clinging to mountainsides, otherworldly fjords, wildlife in abundance; Norway is a spectacular yachting destination. It is also an exceptional ski destination. While the country boasts several world-famous ski resorts – Olympian Lillehammer, for example – there is no better way to fully immerse yourself in the mythical beauty of Norway’s landscapes than ski-touring. Head to the Lyngen Alps peninsula in north-eastern Norway in spring, where you can trace the waterways by yacht, weaving around islets before taking the tender ashore in search of the most pristine powder. The intrepid (and physically fit!) will be richly rewarded as they climb white rolling hills and towering fjords with their skis on their back. The only sounds will be the wind through the trees, the screech of soaring birds, the crunch of your boots in the snow and your own breath. Once at the top, take in the views before carving your way back down to your awaiting yacht with total abandon.
If you are interested in finding pistes-less-travelled by superacht, Ocean Independence’s experienced charter brokers can help you find the right yacht and craft the perfect custom itinerary incorporating expert local guides, equipment hire and helicopter charters where relevant to give you a ski holiday like no other.
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