After having worked 10 years in the party-ship business, Jan felt he was ready for a new international step; he sold his party ships and bought his first “white yacht”, M/Y Jaguar. A 30 meter charter yacht accommodating 12 guests and 8 crew. Looking back at Jaguar, she was the first yacht that Jan redesigned into a renowned charter yacht. It was also the time that commercial yachting was at the door step of a break through. With his Jaguar, Jan was one of the first pioneers that brought commercial yachting to a higher level. Being aware of the many things the Mediterranean has to offer her visitors, Jan was one of the first to bring guests to new and undiscovered places.Contact Us
oon the Med became too small for Jan, being the visionary he is, as he knew there were so much more beautiful places in the world to explore. For that he needed a larger vessel able to sail anywhere in the world and with the ability to have more than 12 guests on board. Jaguar got sold and in 2002 Jan bought a retired 70 meter training vessel from the Dutch Naval University; the Prinses Margriet. The conversion took 3 years, making her into the beautiful yacht she is nowadays and renaming her Sherakhan. With this well-known vessel Jan designed the very first yacht able to luxuriously accommodate up to 26 passengers! Being a new concept in the yachting industry, Sherakhan has proven to be very successful, navigating the world without boundaries. In 2012, she sailed Antarctica and Patagonia. Although both trips were a great success, for Jan there was always a next step. Unfortunately, back then the yachting market for these destinations was not what it is nowadays. In the years after, Sherakhan started exploring exceptional destinations in warmer waters, such as the Caribbean, the Red Sea and the Sea of Cortez.
With Sherakhan sailing mostly “warmer waters”, Jan developed the idea of a luxurious, well-equipped expedition yacht, able to visit the cold and still undiscovered regions of the world like Antarctica, Greenland, the North-West Passage and Alaska, and of course also able to operate in warmer environments. To realise the goal of creating a combination of luxury, safety and adventure, Jan bought the former Russian ice breaker Giant in 2013 and took the lead in her conversion into the first ice breaking superyacht, ready for charter from 2015 onwards as Legend, the now famous 78 meter expedition yacht. Equipped with countless in- and outdoor features ensuring her guests the most comfortable stay onboard, such as a fully commercially certified helideck and a multi-person crewed submersible to name a few. While being impressed in Antarctica with the overwhelming beauty of nature, intruding colours of ice, serene silence and wild life; Jan’s vision was to indulge his guests in the same experience. Because of the preciousness of the nature in Antarctica, Jan put a lot of thought in building Legend to meet high environmental standards to make sure only footsteps will be left behind. Whilst being sold to a new owner in March 2019, Legend still means a lot to Jan, and Jan will without a doubt always be connected to this powerful beauty!
With these 2 very well-known yachts as an unformidable back-drop, Jan welcomed 2 newcomers to his fleet in early 2020; 37 meter Camper & Nicholsons built sailing yacht THANDEKA and 37 meter Palmer Johnson built motor yacht BAGHEERA. These yachts both boast typical Verkerk key-features such as high class cuisine, expert crew and the home-away-from-home-feeling but on a much smaller scale when compared to fleet-mate Sherakhan.
Through the years Jan got his captain and engineering licences, strengthening his already extraordinary detailed understanding of every aspect of yacht building and operation. Today, Jan owns a fleet of superyachts. Each one impeccably upgraded by himself. All available for charter all year-round.
2021 is set for S/Y Thandeka to start a trip around the world. By doing so, Jan’s dream will be another step closer to completion. She will start from Panama after departing from Bonaire, going to the Sea of Cortez, Hawaii, Fiji, Salomon’s islands, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Bering Sea, Kamchatka, Western coast of the USA, North-West Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen and will complete her journey in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, home-grounds for yachting visionary Jan Verkerk.