First Impression: Calliope
Date toured: May 2011
“We had a world cruise in mind when this boat was built,” Insull told me. “She was always meant to be big enough, strong enough, and with enough range to go around the world.”
Which is exactly what Calliope has begun to do. Summer 2011 was spent in the Mediterranean, followed by winter 2011-12 in the Caribbean. From there, Calliope is expected to go through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos Islands, explore the Pacific Isles, and base in Tahiti for summer 2012 charters. During winter 2012-2013, she is expected to be available in New Zealand and Australia, followed by charter opportunities in the Indian Ocean before she eventually returns to the Mediterranean.
Calliope looked absolutely brand-new during her showing in spring 2011, with an interior that at once feels classic and modern thanks to limed oak woodwork, lots of natural light, and contemporary furniture placed in traditional interior guest spaces by U.K.-based design house Rhoades Young. I especially liked the veritable "wall of opening glass doors" between the sky lounge and open-air dining on the bridge deck. Calliope offers many additional features that are likely to appeal to charter clients, too, including a main-deck master with a private library, a lazarette that has been outfitted as a gymnasium, and Naiad zero-speed stabilizers for comfort underway.
The belowdecks cabins are well thought out for charter, too, with a geometrically shaped foyer that prevents any cabin doors from aligning directly across from others (and the noise that might come from other guests). Also a plus are the unseen crew passageways and tunnels that allow stewardesses to clean rooms and engineers to access machinery without having to use a single guest staircase or remove any floor hatches in the guest areas.
At the same time, Calliope remains true to the owners’ cruising lifestyle, which is big on conversation with friends and family, top-notch service from crew, and low-tech fun with everything from snorkeling gear to playing cards. Unlike many other charter yachts, Calliope has been outfitted without Jet Skis or cutting-edge entertainment systems. There are instead water skis, a sundeck hot tub, fishing gear, and satellite TV, things that the owners feel are more in keeping with a traditional cruising experience. There’s also plush carpeting handmade of Nepalese silk—which is not friendly to spills, and which is one reason why children younger than 10 are not generally welcome for charter.
“The owners set up the boat as they want it, and they hope everyone enjoys it,” Insull says. “They don’t watch a lot of TV. They aren’t interested in attracting a party crowd. When I get on this boat, I think it’s saying, ‘Come on in. Relax.’”
Calliope takes 10 guests with nine crew at a lowest weekly base rate of $160,000. Camper and Nicholsons International is the management company, and any reputable charter broker can help you book a week onboard.--Kim Kavin