Island Escape yacht

Island Escape yacht current position

Island Escape yacht current location is at West Australia (coordinates -32.05991 S / 115.74284 E) cruising en route to Fremantle. The AIS position was reported 3 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Island Escape yacht

Year of build2021  /  Age: 3
Flag state Marshall Islands
BuilderVARD Vietnam Shipyard (Vung Tau, Vietnam)
Length (LOA)54 m / 177 ft
Beam (width)11 m / 36 ft
Gross Tonnage995 gt
Decks with cabins2
OwnerSeasons Shipping Co Ltd
OperatorIsland Escape Cruises Ltd (New Zealand)

Island Escape yacht Review

Review of Island Escape yacht

The 2021-built cruise yacht Island Escape is a 30-passenger ship owned by Seasons Shipping Co Ltd ((Jongno-gu/Seoul, South Korea-based, 2020-founded company registered in Hong Kong China) and operated under demise/bareboat charter by the New Zealand-based company and travel brand Island Escape Cruises Ltd. Bareboat charter is an arrangement for hiring the ship without the crew or provisions included in the deal.

The luxury boat was constructed by VARD Vietnam (at Vung Tau Shipyard) and is also available for private charters. In 2022, the Island Escape yacht charter cost NZD 325000 (~USD 204K / ~GBP 169K).

IMPORTANT: On November 30, 2022, the superyacht was seized at Port Broome. In 2023, the boat was sold in an auction on January 13th and handed over to the new shipowner on February 22nd. The sale price announced was AUD 5,5M (USD 3,69M / EUR 3,43M).

The ship was sold to pay back the debtors (financiers and unpaid customers) of Island Escape Cruises NZ who owed them millions of dollars. According to shipping experts, the ultra-luxury vessel was sold for ~AUD 34,5M (USD 23,1M / EUR 21,5M) less than its estimated value.

Most of the money was owed to customers who prepaid in 2022 for several 12-day Kimberly voyages (scheduled for 2023) which were eventually canceled. On the date of the liquidation, Island Escape Cruises Ltd owed ~AUD 20,3M (USD 11,17M / EUR 10,38M) to its creditors, including ~AU$11,85M to Eksfin (Export Finance Norway) and ~AU$8,5M to BNZ (Bank of New Zealand). As of May 31, 2023, the company's accounts held ~AU$ 4,677M from pre-booked cruises.

Note: In August 2022, Island Escape Cruises Ltd (owned by Erik Helseth) went into a court-appointed receivership and shortly after started investigations into its finances, conducted by Chapman Atkins Ltd (liquidator). The yacht's sale was ordered by Hon Michael James Feutrill (Federal Court Judge).

Island Escape yacht (Island Escape Cruises NZ)

The vessel (IMO number 9903994) is currently France-flagged (MMSI 538009093) and registered in Majuro/Marshall Islands.

Note: Between 2002-2015, "MS Island Escape" was named the 1982-built cruise liner Scandinavia (IMO 8002597), Alang India-scrapped in 2018 as "MS Ocean Gala".

History - construction and ownership

The shipowner Island Escape Cruises NZ (2006-founded by Peter Bissett) previously owned and operated the 2007-built catamaran Island Passage (IMO 8745216, 24-passenger boat) which was sold in 2018 to Maple Leaf Adventures (Canada) and renamed Cascadia.

The new superyacht Island Escape (VARD Vung Tau yard/hull number 915) was designed by Vard Design (Vard Marine Inc's naval architecture and marine engineering division) and originally planned for delivery in April (postponed for October) 2021. Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the construction process was hampered (lockdowns, restrictions, supply chain disruptions) and the yacht's delivery was delayed ~7 months.

The vessel was ordered to Vard Vung Tau Ltd in December 2019 (when the shipbuilding contract was signed) and its construction officially started in June 2020, with the keel-laying ceremony.

In November 2020, Island Escape Cruises opened bookings and announced details of the new ship, including an aft helipad (helicopter landing platform), 2x tender boats (used as lifeboats and for disembarkation in ports without docking facilities), 2x Zodiacs (motorized RIBs/rigid inflatable boats used for close-to-shore and inland cruising). Watersports equipment (water toys/kayaks and paddle boards), snorkeling and fishing gear are also provided complimentary.

Island Escape yacht (Island Escape Cruises NZ)

As to marine technologies, the vessel is SOLAS-certified and fitted with the latest-model stabilizers, dynamic positioning system (allows the ship to be stationary without dropping the anchors thus preventing the seabed from damage), fuel-efficient diesel engines, diesel-electric propulsion system, modern HRV/waste-heat recovery system (using the engines' heat for heating the water used in cabin showers and in the galley/kitchen), catalytic converters (reducing NOx emissions to ~90%).

Decks and cabins

Island Escape's staterooms (17 total) are all outside and in suite categories (5 total) accommodating maximum 32 passengers. Cabin types include Owners Suite (1), Horizon Suites (6), Solo Suites (2), Ocean Suites (5) and Ocean Twin Suites (3).

Ocean and Solo cabins are on Lower Deck (Ocean Deck/deck 2), while the Owner's and Horizon cabins are on Upper Deck (Horizon Deck/deck 3). Ocean Suites are with either one King-size double bed, two single beds/twins or one single bed.

All passenger staterooms (designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden) are stylishly decorated, with premium bedding sets (Egyptian cotton linens, 6 pillows), bedside cabinets, wall-mounted reading lamps, writing desk (direct-dial phone, magnifying mirror, power outlets, USB charger), two armchairs, coffee table, wall-mounted HDTV, modern entertainment systems, large wardrobes, spacious bathrooms (WC-toilet, shower, single-sink vanity), individually/thermostat-controlled air conditioning.

All Horizon Deck cabins are with floor-ceiling glass doors opening to private step-out balconies.

The boat has 4 decks, of which 3 are passenger-accessible and 2 with cabins.

Shipboard facilities and amenities

The certified Helideck (deck 4's/topdeck's aft-positioned helipad) is used for landings of helicopters serving the company's heli-transfers between the yacht and homeport. The luxurious boat also features an outdoor spa pool/Jacuzzi. Midship on deck 4 is the Wheelhouse/Navigation Bridge.

At the stern (aft on deck 3) there is an Outdoor Lounge (alfresco dining area with two large tables plus couch seating) which is roof-protected by the Helideck above. An outdoor observation deck (forward on deck 3/at the bow) is furnished with bench seats and small coffee tables. Midship on deck 3 are positioned both tenders (starboard and portside) each feated with a davit crane.

On Main Deck/Ocean Deck are the Salon (starboard Lounge fitted with large sofas) and the Dining Room/Restaurant (portside), both with floor-ceiling windows, comfortable seating and served by the Bar (central-located in-between).

Aft on Marina Deck (deck 1) is the Marina platform used for launching the two Zodiacs (stored forward on decks 2-3) and the water toys (kayaks and paddle boards). Marina Deck is accessed from Ocean Deck (deck 2).

The onboard meals are prepared by professional chefs using the freshest ingredients, including local seafood and the guests' daily catch.

Island Escape Cruises deals are inclusive of all the onboard food and beverages (spirits, wines, beers and champagne by the glass, soda, bottled water, brand teas/coffees), unlimited Wi-Fi, all daily activities (entertainment, boat tours, etc), helicopter transfers (shore-ship-shore).


Island Escape's inaugural itineraries (planned for season 2021-2022) included Fiordland National Park, Bay of Islands, as well as helicopter golf cruises (leaving roundtrip from Auckland).

In October 2021, Island Escape Cruises Ltd's owner (Peter Bissett) announced that the company will officially start operations in New Zealand in November 2022. For 2023 were scheduled voyages along Western Australia's Kimberley Coast (leaving roundtrip from homeport Broome) in the period May-September (2023) as well as itineraries visiting South Pacific Islands and Tahiti.

Ultimate Fiordland itinerary

In June 2022, Island Escape Cruises extended the 10-night "Ultimate Fiordland" itinerary program (December-March 2023).

The voyage features an overnight in Queenstown, bus transfer to Fiordland NP's Milford Sound (Te Anau Lake, for a 20-minute helicopter tour and joining the yacht in Doubtful Sound), stopping in Pickersgill Harbour (Dusky Bay), cruising Dusky Sound and Breaksea Sound (Disappointment Cove, Sunday Cove, Third Cove), cruising Moana Uta (Wet Jacket Arm's marine reserve, up to Herrick Creek), overnight anchorage off Oke Island, navigating Vancouver Arm (bay) and Broughton Arm (Southland, Murihiku), then continuing north to the Fiordland sounds Nancy and Charles (Day 8), Caswell and George (Day 9), Bligh and Milford (Day 10). On Day 11, from Milford Sound is complimentary provided a helicopter transfer to Queenstown. Island Escape's Fiordland experience also features daily Zodiac tours led by an experienced local tour guide.

Fares for the Ultimate Fiordland cruise started from NZD 13950 (~USD 8750 / GBP 7240) per person with double occupancy (2022 currency exchange rates), and are inclusive of overnight hotel and breakfast (in Queenstown), 9-night cruising (on the yacht Island Escape), as well as 2x helicopter transfers.

Note: Island Escape Cruises Ltd has a 20-year permit (through 2042) from the NZ's government to operate in the entire Fiordland (Te Wahipounamu) - listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

Wild Kimberley Coast itinerary

In April 2022 was announced Island Escape ship's Kimberley Australian deployment (July-September 2022) with the new 12-night "Wild Kimberley Coast" itinerary out of Broome. Prices ranged from NZD 14950 pp (Ocean Suite based on twin share) up to NZD 20950 (Owners Suite).

The roundtrip from Broome WA visits the Buccaneer Archipelago's Horizontal Waterfalls (Day 2), Doubtful Bay and Sale River cruising towards Red Cone Creek (Day 3), Careening Bay (Day 4), Naturaliste Island's Mitchell Falls (Day 5), Jar Island's Vansittart Bay (Day 6), King George Falls and encourage in Faraway Bay (Day 7), cruising along Sand and Cassini Islands and anchoring in Swift Bay (Day 8), wildlife watching in Swift Bay (Day 9), cruising through Prince Regent National Park and King Cascade/terraced waterfall (Day 10), Montgomery Reef (Day 11), Hidden Island's Silica Beach and anchorage at Mission Bay/tour of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm (Day 12), arrival/debarkation in Broome (Day 13).

Tropical North Queensland itinerary

The 10-night "Tropical North Queensland" voyage (priced from NZD 11950 pp) was scheduled for October 2022.

The itinerary leaves roundtrip from Cairns QLD and visits the Great Barrier Reef's Escape Reef and Ribbon Reef (Day 2), Lizard Island/Dyiigurra (Day 3), Stanley Island and Cape Melville's Bathurst Bay (Day 4), Forbes Island/Wuthara (Day 5), Thursday Island/Waiben (Day 6), Restoration Island/Maalpiku (Day 7), Davie Cay and Howick Island (Day 8), anchoring at Ribbon Reef 9's lagoon (Day 9), Cooktown/Gangaar and Undine Cay (Day 10), arrival/debarkation in Cairns (Day 11).

For season 2023, Island Escape Cruises introduced three new itineraries - "Experience the South Pacific" (Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji), "Experience Papua New Guinea" (Sepik River, Milne Bay, Trobriand Islands, Rabaul), "Experience Tahiti" (April-June/7-night voyage visiting the Leeward Islands in French Polynesia/fly-cruise from Papeete Tahiti to Bora Bora, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine).

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