But perhaps the biggest behind-the-scenes surprise aboard Arcadia is the crew quarters. Occupying the forward section of the hull, the three cabins for the engineer, chef, and deckhand are all en suite—and the engineer’s double is bigger than most captain’s cabins. The captain and chief stewardess are a couple, and their accommodation is a marvelous double suite on the bridge deck just behind the wheelhouse. The crew galley is almost as large as the main galley, and their dinette is easily big enough to seat all five of them comfortably. The owner even chose the pictures on the bulkheads. “He’s really thought about it,” says Johnson. And there is another small dinette for the crew to use up in the main galley. It just doesn’t get better than this for yacht crews. There are guests on some yachts who don’t do this well.
“It was the owner who specified the quality of the crew accommodation,” Castro confirms. “The crew are the number-one priority for an owner who travels as much as he does.” Even allowing for the fact that good yacht crews are always on their best behavior in front of the press, this group seemed unusually content. With the prospect of the high Arctic as a first extended cruise and a three-year circumnavigation in the offing, they’re certainly not going to get home that often.
But then Arcadia is an unusually comfortable home away from home. I was too late to sign on myself, but down in that silent guest accommodation, insulated from the boisterous Ijsselmeer, I seriously considered stowing away.
Royal Huisman Shipyard
This article originally appeared in the November 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.