A New Four Seasons Floating Resort Is Launching in Palau

Starting in October, the luxury “Four Seasons Explorer” catamaran will sail the pristine blue waters of this Micronesian nation.

Aerial view of small green islands of Palau

The Four Seasons Explorer will be able to reach dive sites larger ships can’t.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Reservations are now open, and interested parties can book online or email reservations.pme@fourseasons.com. Rates start at $3,300 per cabin per night.

Palau, a micronation made up of more than 300 limestone and volcanic islands in the western Pacific Ocean, is known for being a paradise for diving and snorkeling. Its 193,000-square-mile seascape is filled with shipwrecks and a riot of unique marine life, including more than 1,400 species of fish and 500 species of coral.

And soon, it will serve as the home base for the new Four Seasons Explorer, an 11-room, 22-guest luxury catamaran.

Starting in October, travelers can book individual rooms or charter the entire Explorer to sail along the archipelago. There is no set itinerary—the experience is meant to be flexible. Days could be spent at Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (a UNESCO World Heritage site with a complex reef system and at least 13 shark species), in Clam City (a diving site with clams weighing more than 250 pounds), or Peleliu Wall (where there are sunken U.S. and Japanese ships from World War II). Land-based activities range from visiting Palau’s oldest bai (a traditional meeting house) and hiking to see waterfalls and the cave paintings of Ulong Island to visiting the Belau National Museum (known for its Micronesian artwork and historical photography) and learning Palauan fishing techniques from a local fisherman.

Underwater view of a diver among a school of small fish.

Palau is known for the diversity of its aquatic life—ranging from harlequin sweetlips to bluestripe snapper.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Guests book a package that includes up to three dives per day (including equipment), snorkeling excursions and fish talks with the onboard marine biologist, access to water sports equipment (like windsurfing boards and kayaks), guided cultural activities on land, an onboard videographer, reef-safe sunscreen, and all meals, which are served either in the dining room or as a beach barbecue. Alcoholic drinks are available at an additional charge.

Onboard amenities include indoor and outdoor dining areas, two bars, a library, and a sundeck with a private outdoor massage area. And those who aren’t already dive certified can get a PADI Open Water certification from the onboard PADI 5-Star Dive Center.

Interior of the Explorer Suite, at the front of the boat with panoramic windows

The Explorer Suite is at the front of the boat and features panoramic windows.

Courtesy of Four Seasons

There are two cabin types across the 11 rooms, including 10 215-square-foot staterooms (which feature a king-size bed and full bathroom) and one 484-square-foot Explorer Suite (with panoramic windows, a walk-in wardrobe, a seating area, and a private sundeck).

Note that while this vessel is owned by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, it’s not part of the forthcoming Four Season Yachts, a new cruise division that is slated to hit the high seas in late 2025. This ship had previously been operating as a high-end liveaboard, offering guests three-, four-, and seven-night itineraries focused on diving in the Maldives. While there aren’t any other Micronesia-based Four Seasons to pair this experience with, there are outposts in the nearby country of Indonesia (Bali and Jakarta).

Reservations are now open, and interested parties can book online or email reservations.pme@fourseasons.com. Rates start at $3,300 per cabin per night.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More from AFAR