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Is this the world’s most sustainable adventure sailing yacht?

The future of sustainable adventure sailing is now a reality with the launch of Expedition Zero at Boot Düsseldorf last Saturday.

Unveiled at the world’s premier yacht and watersports event, Expedition Zero is redefining the sailing industry by developing and leasing commercial adventure yachts with the lowest environmental impact.

The startup is spearheaded by former Unilever global board member Andrew Cowen and professional sailor Jim Dobie. It has been developed in partnership with Innovation Yachts, world leader in environmental yacht design and construction and winner of the prestigious ‘Ocean Tribute’ award at Boot Düsseldorf in 2023.

Despite its sustainable image, commercial sailing faces significant environmental challenges. A 10-day sailing adventure can consume up to 200 litres of diesel and produce more than one ton of carbon emissions – the equivalent of a small car’s footprint for a year.

The industry also has limited end of life solutions for yachts, with an estimated 24,000 abandoned yachts in Europe alone.

Expedition Zero is pioneering change by upcycling abandoned yachts and creating a new class of expedition vessels using innovative, low-impact, fully recyclable materials for hulls and interiors, replacing synthetic fibres like fibreglass.

The yachts will feature the latest technology in electric propulsion and be powered entirely by the sun, sea and wind. Zero fossil fuel use will give unlimited range coupled with minimal environmental footprint. Expedition Zero aims to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent compared to existing adventure sailing yachts.

Expedition Zero CEO Andrew Cowen said: “More and more people want to explore and experience the open ocean which is leading to an exciting growth in adventure tourism. However, as an industry we have a profound duty to preserve this fragile wilderness. Our ambition at Expedition Zero is to create and lease the world’s most sustainable expedition yachts, leaving as small an impact as possible as they traverse pristine parts of the world.

“By leasing these state-of-the-art yachts on flexible terms, we reduce the costs and burden of yacht ownership and maintenance – allowing commercial operators to focus on what they do best, which is taking increasingly environmentally conscious clients on adventures using modern yachts that are purposefully designed for expedition sailing.”

The first in this innovative fleet, a 72-foot expedition yacht, is scheduled to be commissioned later this year, marking the beginning of Expedition Zero’s ambitious plans to build an entire fleet of vessels over the coming five years.

Embarking on an inaugural voyage through the Northwest Passage

Expedition Zero has already secured its first launch customer, joining forces with acclaimed adventure sailing company Wavysail, recent winner of the ‘Best UK Adventure Sailing Business’ award in 2023. WavySail will pilot the first Expedition Zero yacht on a thrilling journey through the Northwest Passage.

The fabled route, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, offers a rare glimpse into a world of shifting ice floes and unspoiled wildlife. It’s a journey less than 100 sailing vessels have successfully completed since 1906, making this one of the last great exploration trips on the planet.

Wavysail Co-Founder David Immelman, an experienced skipper with more than 500,000 miles of ocean sailing experience, said:

“We’re thrilled to be Expedition Zero’s launch partner, reflecting our shared commitment to purpose driven adventure sailing. This voyage through the Northwest Passage represents the pinnacle of low-impact, high-adventure sailing.”

Limited spots are available for this inaugural expedition, with opportunities to join preparation expeditions to Norway, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland in 2024 and 2025.

To register your interest or secure a spot for the Northwest Passage, visit

For inquiries about chartering Expedition Zero yachts, or partnership and investment opportunities, visit

By James Rigby – Expedition Zero