Pelorus – Co-founder Geordie Mackay-Lewis

Pelorus is a next-generation travel company rewriting the rulebook of experiential adventure. Co-founder Geordie Mackay-Lewis talks tribes, tracking pumas, and why the sky really is the limit when it comes to your next escape.

As the sun rises you are collected by helicopter and whizzed to a remote lagoon for a private kayaking expedition, before a gourmet alfresco lunch on the ice. As you indulge, ice-climbing equipment is set up that leads you to a virgin glacial walk before the chopper returns to take you home. Just one example of a Pelorus adventure. The experiential travel company is on a mission to create extraordinary experiences for people seeking something different.

Founded by two ex-military professionals, Co-founder Geordie served as a captain in a British Army reconnaissance regiment, deploying twice to Afghanistan before running a series of businesses across Europe. Unlike most luxury other travel companies, Pelorus has flipped the standard model and puts experience over accommodation, while covering the most remote regions around the world. Additionally, its pricing structure is transparent so there are no hidden costs.

Geordie says: “In a time of pick-and-pay itineraries, Pelorus goes against the industry grain and puts the focus on the experience, designing individual holidays according to the client’s brief.”

Split into three divisions, Pelorus Private Adventures are bespoke and built from scratch from the ground up. The second sector covers yacht expeditions to far-flung corners of the world.

“We’re trying to get out of the Caribbean and into more interesting areas such as Alaska, Patagonia, and Madagascar,” says Geordie. “The way we have approached this is completely new to the market, helping captains and owners get to more difficult cruise areas. We’re creating the rulebook for some of these places where there’s zero infrastructure.”

Finally, there is the special projects division, covering initiatives that the luxury travel sector has yet to embrace. From standalone conservation projects to espionage experiences and expeditions. If you can dream it, Pelorus can make it happen.

“We’ve got an expedition across Greenland coming up, as well as a special access conservation project tagging hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos,” explains Geordie.

Pelorus escapes don’t come cheap so expect to part with around $20,000 for a trip. However, some adventures cost as much as $100,000. “On the whole, we need a bit of budget to work with in order to be creative but on the flipside three days tracking pumas is awesome and doesn’t cost the earth.”

One crucial Pelorus difference is that the team does not work with people from the travel sector. To pull off unique missions and experiences Geordie uses conservationists, scientists, photographers, and security experts – “not holiday people.”

This philosophy has seen Pelorus gain incredible insight and unparalleled access across the board: “On a recent helicopter expedition into the highlands of Papua New Guinea we used a top anthropologist to contact fairly untouched tribes, rather than revisiting the same ones as other travel companies. It was fascinating.”

It goes without saying that safety is paramount and both the founders’ sense of adventure and military background gives them a unique edge. “The people we work with love our creativity and how we push boundaries, but that we are responsible, sustainable, and safe at the same time,” explains Geordie. ‘We use a lot of military planning tools and risk assessments with meticulous attention to detail. No one else is doing this on this level.”

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