While nearly any traveler can book a ski vacation and spend a few days enjoying the slopes, far fewer have the opportunity to ski the backcountry in Arctic Norway, or on the most southerly slopes of Antarctica carving fresh lines in untouched powder.
The logistics alone of such a remote trip, including rounding up world-class ski guides and expert helicopter pilots, make it nearly impossible.
Enter PELORUS, a new experiential travel company focused on offering jaw-dropping private adventures and yacht expeditions to the most awe-inspiring places on Earth.
A company started by two ex-British Army officers, Geordie Mackay-Lewis and Jimmy Carroll, PELORUS’ remote, high-adrenaline, high-adventure offerings make total sense when you consider the background of its founders.
Mackay-Lewis and Carroll used to lead reconnaissance units on long-range desert patrols. The knowledge the duo forged during their years with the British military is now being channeled to create journeys to places many other travel companies would not dare venture.
PELORUS specializes in particular, in building experiences for travelers from scratch and doing so using Mackay-Lewis’ and Carroll’s vast, global network of contacts including local experts, and an impressive roster of scientists, archaeologists, marine biologists, and conservationists.
“We have a network of contacts that includes conservation groups, production companies, government agencies, the BBC, explorers and adventurers,” said Mackay-Lewis, who during his time as a captain with the British Army deployed twice to Afghanistan. “Working with people like that enables us to create experiences that are very different. All of these experts often understand these parts of the world better than anyone.”
The company, which previously launched in Europe, is now making its official foray into the American market and during an interview with TravelPulse explained that PELORUS will stop at nothing to help travelers have unforgettable experiences.
“We want to make sure that what we offer is very different than anything else in the world,” said Mackay-Lewis. “Everything we do is from scratch and bespoke. If you can find what we’re offering somewhere else, then we are not doing our job.”
Rather than putting the emphasis on a specific destination, PELORUS focuses on creating experiences for its clients. This effort begins with a research phase during which PELORUS seeks to learn as much as possible about the traveler.
“We challenge our clients and get under their skin to understand who they are and what makes them tick,” explained Carroll. “And then we look at the world and find a destination and if there isn’t a good combination we will build a mobile, five-star luxury camp.”
In addition to luxury and adventure, PELORUS itineraries also boast painstaking attention to safety and security, which is once again no coincidence given the founders’ military training.
In fact, Carroll describes the PELORUS offices as something closer to a CENTCOM command center than a travel company.
“In everything we do, no matter where we go in the world, we apply precision to the planning,” explained Carroll. “No item or detail is left unturned, we even conduct risk assessments for each of our trips.”
While PELORUS trips are all bespoke, sample possibilities include off-roading in Namibia, or perhaps joining a conservation effort in Kenya. In fact, conservation is at the heart of much of PELORUS’ work, as both Mackay-Lewis and Carroll recognize the immense importance of preserving and protecting the environments that they bring people to visit.
Travelers themselves are seeking such opportunities with increasing frequency.
“Conservation projects are the most popular at the moment whether it’s a stand-alone or seven days working on a project, we’re seeing a big increase in that,” said Mackay-Lewis. “It all leads back to the fact that things that are disappearing and to the society we live in today, everyone is aware of the fact that things are disappearing.”
All of the expertise, attention to detail and vast network of contacts that PELORUS offers, however, doesn’t come cheap.
Even with the duo’s focus on making their trips accessible to more than just the ultra-high-net-worth travel set, a PELORUS journey is primarily aimed at the most well-heeled of travelers.
Prices for some experiences start around $20,000 and the more remote and challenging the journey, the higher the final cost.
Yet for travelers seeking to visit the ends of the Earth and do so in style and safety, PELORUS may just be the company to beat.
And the good news is, there are still plenty of remote places left to be visited, at least according to PELORUS.
“One-fifth of the world’s landmass still unexplored, which is great,” said Mackay-Lewis. “There is so much more out there. About 80 percent of yacht activity happens in just 20 percent of the ocean.”