In his book Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nicholls reveals remarkable details from psychologists and neuroscientists that being on or near the water is healing. In fact, it not only makes us happy and relaxed, but also helps manage things like anxiety, PTSD, and trauma. Monaco-based yacht-charter broker Maria Alekseenko has seen the positive results, too. She created Experiential Yachting, to design special charters as yachting therapy. Her focus is to help address health problems and ultimately improve her clients’ quality of life via the water and yachts.
Alekseenko arranged her first yachting therapy charter in 2016 in Norway, then organized a few more over the past three years throughout the Med. (Due to client confidentiality, the megayacht names cannot be disclosed.) “My programs can be run on any charter yacht,” she explains, adding that yacht owners are also interested in yachting therapy.
Alekseenko combines her 10-plus years of yachting-industry knowledge with her background in psychology, music, and art. Having someone close to her diagnosed with a rare neurological disease opened her eyes to the healing possibilities.
So, what are some of the possibilities? Consider someone who previously enjoyed diving or snorkeling but is now in a wheelchair. Alekseenko has in-water experiences at the ready that won’t tax the body, yet will still provide the sense of enjoyment underwater. Whatever the situation, she works directly with doctors or other specialists already assisting the person. This way, any medial approval needed is obtained, and she ensures the patient’s condition receives proper attention.
The yachting therapy programs, from three to seven days, are an added value for charter guests or owners. Therefore, Alekseenko can either book a charter yacht and design a program around your needs, or she can create the program to complement your existing trip. All guests and/or family members can participate, too. Regardless, she additionally speaks with the crew to ensure they understand special requests and special behavior.
Experiential Yachting experiential-yachting.com