“The icebergs are like works of art”: Exploring Antarctica onboard Octopus

In a new generation of superyacht cruising, Antarctica is emerging as a trending charter destination. Once the calling of only the most intrepid of explorers, Antarctica today is seeing a rise in visitors keen to discover the region’s otherworldly wonders.

On the surface, Antarctica is seemingly sparse of life, with no government, no permanent human habitation, and a virtually uninhabitable climate. The driest, coldest and windiest of the world’s continents, some may question the appeal of such a journey. However, Antarctica is a place that holds its cards close to its chest, unveiling its beauty only to those who dare to find it.

Out of the comfort zones of many, Antarctica is the least explored region in the world. Jacqui Lockhart is one of the few who have been lucky enough to pay a visit to the continent. “When ashore, you feel like an explorer,” she recounts. “It is the sheer size, remoteness, and beauty that may surprise first-time visitors.”

For a crusade in such an extreme climate, it is imperative that essential processes are undertaken to ensure both safety and comfort. Regarded as the first ‘true’ explorer yacht for many, the 126.2-metre Lürssen explorer yacht Octopus is the unrivalled yacht for an Antarctic expedition. Able to cruise over 12,000 nautical miles at a time, Octopus can perform in even the most remote of destinations.

Jacqui Lockhart highlights the compatibility between the superyacht and the extreme setting. “Octopus is the ultimate yacht for exploring Antarctica. Having completed successful trips there previously, she has all of the facilities required for visiting this area of the world in complete safety and comfort.”

Octopus is constructed to the Polar Code, built in accordance with the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, environmental protection and search and rescue requirements relevant to vessels operating in the waters surrounding the two poles. As well as her thoroughly trained crew, expedition services are enlisted to guarantee luxury travel both onboard and onshore remains safe, as well as ensuring the ultimate experience.

Thinking back to her late-90s build phase, the genesis of Octopus’ suitability for Antarctica lies in her original design brief, which took inspiration from the 116-metre Finnish multipurpose icebreaker Fennica. Octopus’ top-tier designers — her builder Lürssen Yachts penning the naval architecture and Espin Øino designing her exterior — were instructed to replicate Fennica in terms of both capability and appearance. The product: an adept explorer, stylistically consistent with leading exploration vessels with a vast, functional aft deck, Ice Class 1A steel hull and competitive industrial capabilities, destined for legendary status for her far-flung ventures….