Galaxy Class vessels are equipped with an auxiliary spacecraft normally used for diplomatic missions called the captain’s yacht. Much larger then a shuttlecraft, the captain’s yacht is mounted on the underside of the ship’s saucer section where it remains docked during normal flight operations. Access to the yacht is provided through dorsal entry hatch affixed to a docking collar on the upper half of the craft. It is essentially divided into two decks, with the bottom deck housing a toroidal driver coil-based impulse propulsion system, two landing legs for planetary landings, a series of aerodyne flight motors for atmospheric flight as well as fuel and maintenance access to various subsystems.
Manned by a normal flight crew of two and one service representative to assist diplomatic guests, the upper deck houses a flight deck, two modest staterooms, flight crew bunks, and a galley. While not equipped with any means of warp propulsion, the yacht is specially designed so that it can be launched from its parent ship at speeds as high as warp 7, where it then coasts down to normal impulse speeds. A deflector system and onboard sensor pallets make the craft suitable for short-range travel. Normally used to transport dignitaries to and from a planet’s surface when normal transporter functions are not possible, the yacht is capable of atmospheric flight and planetary landing. Entry/egress platforms on both ends of the craft allow the crew to easily enter and exit the craft.
Some modern versions of the captain’s yacht are being equipped with two-person short-range transporter systems, while prototype testing of warp-capable yachts still fails basic objective requirements due to the amount of internal reworking caused by the additional hardware, as well as sacrifices in terms of craft internal space and mass. Experimentation continues with membrane-based warp coils, as well as deployable warp nacelles, similar to the Sovereign Class captain’s yacht.
Note: While primarily the yacht type utilized on the Galaxy Class, this vessel can be found elsewhere. Unlike the Galaxy Class, however, other ship classes will not list this craft in their auxiliary craft complements.