Camper & Nicholsons built 18-passenger, 291-ton Grace in 1928 in Southampton, and the ship had an illustrious past before Quasar bought and refitted it for the Galapagos in 2007.
The motor yacht and expedition vessel has sailed under many names and many owners -- even drafted by the British into the war effort in 1939. The yacht was decommissioned in 1945, then returned in 1947 to Sir George Tilley, chairman of Prudential Insurance Company. Aristotle Onassis acquired the yacht in 1951 upon Tilley's death. Two years later Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly (newly Princess Grace of Monaco) sailed the yacht on their honeymoon after receiving it as a wedding gift from Aristotle. Sold to a wealthy businessman in 1958 with stints in the Caribbean throughout the 60's and 70's, the yacht was seized by the Jamaican government in 1983 for its owner's evasion of taxes. Bought and refitted by a new owner, John Issa, chairman of SuperClubs, the yacht was brought from Montego Bay to Tampa in 1985, then arrived in Negril for the opening of Grand Lido Negril in 1989 and remained there until 2006. The yacht had many suitors, including Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, before it was sold to Quasar in '07.
Nine crew members, two naturalist guides, one cruise director and up to 18 guests comprise the yacht's passengers.
The yacht -- named Grace after the princess -- offers two Master Suites, two Twin Suites and five Premium Staterooms of up 200 square feet with private facilities. Public areas include a main salon equipped with a bar. Passengers can eat inside in the interior dining room or outside in the al-fresco dining area. Afterward, you can relax in the front of the boat where the Jacuzzi and sun chairs are located. The sundeck has a bar with open-air seating.
Grace's four decks include the Sun Deck, Albert Deck, Monaco Deck -- or main deck -- and Carolina Deck.
The line guarantees one naturalist guide for every nine guests on a full yacht.
For family cruises, Grace's Kids Club organizes activities such as star-gazing and movie nights, and child-oriented guides provide tailored learning activities and keep kids' expedition journals. A wide range of board games and movies for children are available in the library. Children's menus are provided during family cruises.