“My goal is to effect change through incredible experiences,” says Sean Galleymore, the CEO of Meridian Adventure Sail. He was first drawn to the waters for the adventure they promised him, and the chances they offered to see the world through a completely different perspective. Travel was appealing – but not in the standard, urban way. Sean was always far more interested in the unspoilt pockets of ocean tucked away across the planet. But as he explored these untouched paradises, he realised that they offered the potential to inspire massive change – both for the environment and humanity at large.
After all, despite the horrifying statistics about the soiled state of the ocean, there are corners of it completely untouched by civilisation and are, therefore, absolutely astounding in their beauty. “I think what I really want is for these places that are pristine, to start affecting the world outwards,” Sean explains. Meridian Adventure offers exclusive private excursions to these types of places; in 2019 the destination of choice is the Raja Ampat archipelago in Indonesia, a magical nirvana on the Indian Ocean aptly nicknamed “The Four Kings” for their magnificence. And the goal is not merely to demonstrate the beauty of nature – it’s to make a difference.
Meridian Adventure is funded by Meridian Capital, an investment company headquartered in the busy megalopolis Hong Kong. Seemingly a world away, on the idyllic shores of Raja Ampat, the adventure arm aspires to become the most exclusive adventure travel group in the world. It was born when the founding families decided they wanted to share their eco-focused ethos with the rest of the world. Meridian Adventure’s explicit goal is to move luxury travel beyond trendy destinations and expensive brands and to cultivate rich, meaningful memories for their premium clients.
To go on a trip with Meridian Adventure Sail is not merely to travel. These trips allow one to join a carefully selected nucleus of like-minded people. In fact, this ethos of concordant compatibility is so central to the company, they do not refer to their clients using that exact word – rather, they speak of “members” of their Private Explorers Club. All of the members – despite their uniqueness – share a single passion: an unquenchable thirst for the very best life has to offer. The Private Explorers Club members are some of the most influential leaders, changemakers, innovators and captains of industry in the world. By demonstrating to these key people the staggering beauty our planet has to offer, Meridian Adventure hopes to make it a better place.
Meridian Adventure Sail wants to inspire and change the way people consume and, in order to do this, they need to inspire those who make sizeable investments to make them more wisely. Making change starts from the top, and Meridian recognises this. It’s not just empty words; a shift towards habitual and sustainable change really happens within all of the people who are spoilt with an adventure travel experience aboard a Meridian sailing yacht. “Recently, the principal of Meridian Capital told me that the places we took people and the things we showed them did inspire change. It inspired them to look into more detail about what they’re investing in and how it can be done better,” Sean says. This is not just about a holiday – it’s about inspiring a more sustainable way of life.
There is a massive move around the world for major corporates to reassess how they formulate their decisions towards the environment. It can often be challenging to actually make changes, though, especially for those whose industry experience never focused on living in an eco-friendly manner. Most industry leaders were educated in business, not in ecology or science. Besides, reading popular science articles can be disheartening, especially for those who like numbers. There seems little anybody can do to halt the wild beast of manmade climate change and wave upon wave of environmental destruction. Sean feels this is ridiculous: “There’s absolutely hope for our oceans. Never before has there been as much possibility to correct things than now.” All it takes is effort and investment.
The key, he feels is letting those in positions of authority and power to really experience the majesty of the ocean, so that they are able to change the ways they operate in the world. “We don’t need to take up as much space as we do. We don’t need to dominate our planet as we do,” he says. Unfortunately, that only becomes clear when one has experienced for oneself how small and insignificant man is in the grand scheme of nature; how massive the oceans are, how many creatures reside in their depths. “What we have lost is our instinct to nature. Why people are out of touch with nature, why people are out of touch with the oceans, is because they’re not engaged with nature, they’re not engaged with oceans. One experience with us will change the way you see everything,” promises Sean.
Sustainability is central to everything done on board and the hard-working staff tries not only to minimise the damage tourism usually causes but actually make the ocean a cleaner and better place through their voyages. The single biggest driving force for the organisation is operating in an environmentally conscious manner. Meridian Adventure Sail truly believes that humans can go to astounding places, enjoy incredible experiences there, leave nothing of themselves behind, and take only unbelievable memories away with them when they go back home.
Recognising the importance of getting corporate players to premium destinations like Raja Ampat in order to change the way they view their roles in environmental activism, Meridian Adventure Sail has positioned itself as the ideal setting for incomparably unique luxury corporate retreats. Aboard their yachts, private members find themselves becoming eco-tourists with a much more nuanced understanding of the various decisions one must make in order to truly make a positive change in the environment. They get to experience living in a sustainable manner – with no plastic, no unnecessary waste, and little to no carbon footprint.
Despite the laser-like foci on sustainability, eco-friendliness and making a positive difference, any retreat with Meridian Adventure is guaranteed to be a luxurious experience. There is no expense spared and everything from the impeccable service and delicious food and drinks to the high-speed satellite WiFi connection belies the value Meridian Adventure sees in its beloved members. The sailing yachts come equipped with adventure equipment and expert guides, and land excursions are planned to allow for immersion in local cultural life. Best of all? There are no hidden costs – everything is paid for upfront and members can focus entirely on the experiences at hand, instead of worrying about figures.
What makes the journey truly exceptional, however, is not its adherence to only the utmost luxury hospitality standards or the convenience of the packages. Working with over 20 years of experience in the superyacht industry, Meridian Adventure crafted an offering entirely distinct from all other luxury adventure packages. “Every single voyage that I’ve ever done is unique in its own right,” says Sean – and he is committed to truly ensuring that every trip his cherished guests take aboard Meridian yachts is truly and completely unrepeatable.
Each voyage is therefore charted entirely based on the tides and environmental conditions that are most likely to offer utterly sublime adventure. The interests of the group are also accounted for – no two members are the same, and so no two journeys should ever be identical either.
The fluidity of the itineraries means that there is never a set itinerary provided beforehand, but rather a series of suggestions that are adapted to depending on what happens in the ever-unpredictable ocean. After all, even the experts involved in charting each unique course cannot predict the point at which migrating whales will be passing by, or when a sea crocodile rears its massive head from its watery home. At Meridian Adventure, the conscious choice was made to follow the adventure, wherever it may take them, and not get caught up in the specifics of plans.
The work of charting and re-charting the yacht’s course is carried out by the skilled crews onboard (as, for that matter, is every other aspect of the holiday). No guest ever has to consider how to spend their day or worry about the details. This is truly an experience intended to transform, and so every single moment is considered by the team and every detail is taken care of. Even photography and videography is handled in-house, with a team of well-equipped professionals taking shareable photographs for the bespoke clientele. This means that aboard a Meridian Adventure yacht, guests can truly immerse themselves in the experience and land onshore at the end of their journey wholly transformed.
There’s no denying the premium price paid for an exclusive Meridian Adventure Sail experience. But if what you’re looking for is genuinely to change the ways you invest and do business and transform your lifestyle into a more environmentally sustainable one, then such a voyage of discovery is imperative.
As Sean says: “We’ve created this vehicle that is a luxury platform for experiences and its purposed towards and is open to everyone that has the ability to change the way we consume. If they all get together and they make the decisions, if they see it the way we see it, they will change the world.”