Gene Machine, a Limited Editions Amels 180, cruised 9,000 nautical miles over two-and-a-half months this summer, beginning in France and ending in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago. The 180-footer traveled to 10 countries with big-city stops in London, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Bergen.
Amels says Gene Machine‘s “owner and his family spend 5 to 6 months on board every year; he’s passionate about yachting and always keen to go beyond the basic Mediterranean itinerary.” For this particular cruise, though, her owner wanted something special, which resulted in the yacht’s venture into the Arctic, reaching as far north as 81°44’.
Such an itinerary offered some challenging moments. “When we couldn’t find a way around pack ice and had to push through, the noise from ice sliding down the hull wasn’t pleasant,” the yacht’s owner said. “But we felt comfortable knowing that Gene Machine‘s steel-hulled construction could handle it.” Besides that occasional pack ice, guests aboard Gene Machine had some unbelievable experiences, from swimming in minus 2-degree water at the Monaco Glacier to paddling kayaks among icebergs to hiking the Mittag-Lefflerbreen glacier in Austfjorden. Some wildlife highlights included polar bears and blue whales, the latter of which the guests fed.
Gene Machine‘s owner praised her crew for keeping up impressive service in this extreme environment. “We were moving every night in order to cover extraordinary distances, and arranging daily activities in places without much infrastructure,” he says. “Delivering 7-star service in the arctic isn’t easy, especially with long days in an extreme environment; the crew were wonderful in meeting these challenges.”
The yacht’s performance was impressive too. “Navigating in the arctic is a challenge,” her owner says. “At one point, it took us seven hours to cover two miles, zig-zagging through meter-thick ice. But we didn’t have a single mechanical failure the entire trip. Nothing. She’s really a superbly built vessel.” Gene Machine completed the journey without a scratch, he adds. And all in all, her owner says this cruise made for the best summer of his life.
After her summer voyage, the yacht headed back to Amels Shipyard in Vlissingen, The Netherlands for its 5-year special survey, standard services and owner-requested modifications. With this voyager, who knows what bluewater feats she’ll achieve next.
The Limited Editions Amels 180 model is a Tim Heywood exterior design with outdoor access through a fold-out balcony off the owner’s suite and two balconies off the main-deck salon. Additionally, the model has a 1,668-square-foot sun deck. At 180 feet length overall and with a 31-foot beam, the yacht displaces approximately 740 tons. She has a 15.5-knot top-end and a 4,500-nautical-mile range at 13 knots, plus she accommodates 12 guests and 13 crew. Other Amels 180s on the water include Deniki, April, Spirit, La Familia and Kamalaya, the last of whom also took an Arctic cruise in 2016 and Gene Machine‘s Captain Fraser Gow took some pointers from that cruise when developing his yacht’s itinerary.
Gene Machine‘s journey is well-documented on Instagram; check out some of her inspiring posts here. For more, visit her page.