Travelling the world as a crew member

Callum Casson braves a polar plunge in Greenland

Travelling the world as a crew member

Callum Casson braves a polar plunge in Greenland

Kinship

Travelling the world as a crew member

Callum Casson reflects on three exceptional years at sea on board superyacht Archimedes.

By Dominique Afacan | 19 June 2018

On his favourite superyachting trip to date, Callum Casson spotted 92 polar bears, narwhals, multiple pods of beluga whales and everything in between. The boat he was on, Archimedes, was doing the Northwest Passage, braving the icy waters around Greenland and Canada. “We saw pretty much everything we could have wished for up there,” says Casson. On board, a dream team of experts from EYOS Expeditions and National Geographic added unrivalled insight to every encounter.

Travelling the world as a crew member

Archimedes and an iceberg. Photo: Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures

Travelling the world as a crew member

Archimedes and an iceberg. Photo: Flip Nicklin/Minden Pictures

For a guy in his mid-twenties, Casson has racked up an impressive travel diary. It’s the same for many superyacht crew, who enjoy some of the most envy-inducing perks of any job. “The best thing about what I do is meeting new people, having friends all over the world and being well-travelled,” says Casson, who has been on board Archimedes for three years, and currently works as a bosun. His favourite destinations to date span the globe – jumping from Cuba to Tahiti, and Norway to Cocos Island, a national park off the coast of Costa Rica. Diving in French Polynesia with his fellow crewmates was another highlight, but it’s that Northwest Passage voyage that clearly made a lasting impression.

“I think that trip stands out for most of us on board,” he says. The crew were there for two months, enabling them to tick off their Arctic bucket list at a leisurely pace. One of the highlights, according to Casson, was taking a polar plunge in the bitter waters of Greenland. “We parked up at the Eqi Glacier and watched it calve ice for an entire day,” he says. “Just as it was getting dark we did the plunge with a view of the glacier. It took a while for the brain to realise what had happened but once you’re in, it’s fine. Most of the crew got involved; in fact, we did it twice!”

Travelling the world as a crew member

Iceberg fishing in the Arctic. Photo: Matthew Coleman

Travelling the world as a crew member

Iceberg fishing in the Arctic. Photo: Matthew Coleman

For the 17 crew members on board, it’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences like this that bring them together – and the low turnover speaks volumes about the quality of life on board. “Everyone here has spent a long time on the boat,” says Casson, “and some people have been on here since the launch, which is ten years ago now.”  He credits the captain and the interior manager with having good instincts when it comes to the hiring process, but also points to the special ambience on board, with the crew encouraged to join activities with owners and their guests – whether they are hiking in Polynesia or snorkeling in the Bahamas.

“A lot of the owners’ guests are return visitors, so everyone gets to know everyone,” says Casson. “It’s a family atmosphere on here. Even the owners call us their boat family, so that ambience is set from the top. The owners are very friendly and they will always take time to speak to you and ask if you’re still enjoying yourself.” At the end of every trip, it has become a tradition for family, friends and crew to go out for a big group dinner together. “It all adds to the bonding experience,” explains Casson.

Travelling the world as a crew member

A crew dinner on a beach in New England

Travelling the world as a crew member

A crew dinner on a beach in New England

Right now, the boat is in the mid-Atlantic en route to Scotland ahead of a voyage around the British Isles. Casson hasn’t been to Scotland before – and certainly never expected to arrive by superyacht – but is looking forward to having another destination under his belt. “The captain works it pretty well  – so that if we’re going somewhere new, we’ll get there in plenty of time so that we can go out and do a bit of exploring for ourselves before the owner arrives,” he says.

When that day comes, the crew tend to have their fingers crossed for a special guest; the owner’s dog, a King Charles Spaniel, who they all adore. Casson also has his fingers crossed for another polar adventure. “Antarctica is next on my bucket list,” he says. “That’s definitely my number one.”

Get a taste of the superyachting good life at the Monaco Yacht Show from 26 to 29 September or the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from 31 October to 4 November.