Exploring the World with Experiential Travel Agency Pelorus

From private adventures in remote locations to Antarctic yacht expeditions

Whether the destination is the Arctic Circle or Eritrea, the Amazon River or the Kamchatka Peninsula, London-based experiential travel agency Pelorus assembles spectacular adventures for their international roster of clients. They’ve divided their slate of services into three separate lines (private adventures, yacht expeditions and special projects), each of which is run by a team of specialists. This expertise does more than allow guests to manifest their wildest travel dreams; it includes helping older clients summit mountains and children of clients safely observe brown bears snatching salmon from rivers in the wild. Further, Pelorus supports conservation and environmental efforts through partnerships with Blue Marine Foundation,  World Land Trust, and more.

Co-founder and managing director Geordie Mackay-Lewis explains their private adventure division best. “We work back from the central experience our clients seek,” he says, “and we specialize in mountains, deserts, jungles and more. We don’t talk about countries. We talk about the experience. It’s the opposite of a traditional luxury travel model.” For example, if a client wants to hike across a desert and they have already pinpointed the perfect location. They pioneer new areas or figure out how to create something unique from more traditional destinations. “We can create anything, anywhere,” he adds.

As for the yacht expeditions, much of the Pelorus value comes down to exploration. “Right now, 80% of yacht activity takes place in 20% of the oceans,” Mackay-Lewis continues. “That’s a crazy statistic! Most of the coastline isn’t explored—and isn’t accessible by road or even plane or helicopter. There’s so much to explore, so much to do out there.” Their fleet is predominantly superyachts or expedition vessels that are sturdy enough to enter remote locations. They also have several mid-range vessels, too.

Their special service division provides the most intrigue. It’s imaginative, unencumbered and even incentivized. “For example,” he says, “if someone wanted to do some off-roading in Patagonia, we transform each and every day into a surprise. There’s a brown envelope delivered in the morning that provides a challenge. We build an incredible journey, but it’s so much more in depth.”

With that, experiences also involve conservation projects. Beyond their partnerships, Pelorus donates money to local projects, and puts in client money, too. Be that negotiating a deal with Ecuadorian government to bring marine biologists to hammerhead sharks off the coast or assisting in manta ray tagging off of northeast Indonesia, these initiatives allow clients to give back to the scientific community.

In addition to treks across Greenland and supercar rallies through Utah, Pelorus also has a sub-division where “we rely on some of our previous skills to create alternate realities,” Mackay-Lewis says, referencing his time as a Captain in a British Army reconnaissance regiment. “Similar to [the film] The Game, it involves travel and actors and production teams. We facilitate experiences that nobody has ever done—meticulous production in extraordinary circumstances.”

There’s one key difference between Pelorus and others in the travel-planning category. “By not relying only on a network in the travel sector—where there are so many people who are good at what they do, and their finger is on the pulse for sure—but by relying on our local relationships with scientists and people who are spending months in countries to observe and discover and photograph, our access is different,” Mackay-Lewis. This is reflected in their programming and capabilities.

Mackay-Lewis speaks of personal adventures to Socotra, an island off the coast of Yemen, and Svalbard. He touches upon his love of Lake Powell, Utah and all that’s possible there. He’s seen and, with the help of his team, planned so much. Next up for Pelorus is a new, limited-space Polar exploration on LEGEND. Be it a plunge in the ice-cold waters, a glacier hike or spending time on an extraordinary vessel learning about the dawn of time, it’s one worth signing up for.

Images courtesy of Pelorus