Cruising New Caledonia With Masteka 2

Are you seeking something other than the same old charter destinations? You have an attractive opportunity to do so with Masteka 2. She’s venturing to little-traveled New Caledonia in the South Pacific from mid-August through October.

The 121-footer (37-meter) is the first foreign-flagged megayacht permitted to charter in New Caledonia, according to her central agents at Ocean Alliance. Given her longtime popularity in Australian waters, she, along with her 34-foot Boston Whaler, should convert a few charter guests to explore off the beaten path.

New Caledonia is a French territory made up of dozens of islands and renowned for its natural beauty. In fact, it has one of the world’s largest lagoons, measuring 9,226 square miles (24,000 square kilometers). UNESCO named the lagoon a world heritage site, too. A massive coral reef in the lagoon as well: 932 miles long (1,500 kilometers long). Plenty of other reefs dot the islands, attracting divers from around the world. Shoppers and foodies from around the world love the capital of New Caledonia, Nouméa, due to its French fashions and French-influenced pastry shops, specialty food purveyors, and more.

Nouméa also happens to be where you’ll fly into to board Masteka 2. It’s a two-hour flight from Brisbane, Australia. Masteka 2’s captain, Matthew Stafford, shares a few suggestions on what to do on a charter, too. For example, when you arrive in Nouméa, you can take a helicopter tour to sample the scenery, especially of the lagoon. If you prefer boarding the right straight away, Stafford and the crew will take you to the “5 islands.” They’re tiny islands within the lagoon, where you can see, among other things, loggerhead turtles. The turtles might even swim alongside you and let you feed them.

If you’re into diving, New Caledonia’s Gadji Bay is a must-stop for your week aboard. Masteka 2 organizes rendezvous diving with local operators and can therefore arrange for a dedicated dive master to come onboard. This way, you can explore the bay’s abundant drop-offs and grottos. There are 15 dive sites in all here. Only experienced divers should explore the Grotte de la Troisieme, accessible via a narrow underwater corridor. If you don’t dive, it’s no problem. The crew of Masteka 2 will arrange a visit to a vanilla plantation, and/or invite you to put the yacht’s watertoys to good use. She carries kayaks and paddleboards, among other toys.

More fantastic dive sites await in Phare Amedee, toward the southern end of New Caledonia. En route, you might spot humpback whales. They migrate past New Caledonia from Antarctica for breeding and giving birth. Once at Phare Amedee, a few shipwrecks await exploration. Keep an eye out for manta rays and various sharks, too. On land, you can climb to the top of the famous lighthouse. It’s a good workout: 247 steps. This makes it one of the tallest in the world, interesting enough. The crew might even get permission for you to watch the sunset from the top.

To check Masteka 2’s availability, contact Ocean Alliance. Her weekly base rate is $100,000.

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