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Chartering Octopus

Following a fam trip in Panama, Charter Broker Lisa Christensen offers exclusive insight into the Octopus experience.

In July, Moravia Yachting’s Lisa Christensen was invited on board the 126.2-metre Octopus for a five-day familiarisation trip in Panama. Octopus is well known to have been previously privately owned by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and used for prolific research and scientific expeditions, so this trip represented an exclusive opportunity to experience this legendary explorer yacht for the first time since she was made available on the charter market, and ahead of her navigation to Antarctica this winter.

Octopus is an iconic yacht with so much history; there is an instant feeling of stepping on board a very special boat,” reflects Lisa. Built with an ice class 1A hull and the capabilities to be self-sufficient for about a month, Octopus can go anywhere and has all the amenities to facilitate exploration and adventure, including an observation lounge, library, cinema room, spa, gym, dive centre, medical suite and enormous selection of water toys and exploration equipment.

Octopus’s largest tender is a 54ft Delta motor yacht, housed in an internal marina behind the swim platform. This was put to good use during the fam trip, enabling the group to discover the natural habitat of Coiba island. “We cruised up the river into the heart of the mangroves with a local guide who told us about the interesting wildlife we encountered,” says Lisa. “We also went whale and dolphin watching, as well as scuba diving and snorkelling – Octopus has a fully-equipped dive centre on board and three instructors amongst the crew, so we felt very safe.” 

“We also went whale and dolphin watching, as well as scuba diving and snorkelling – Octopus has a fully-equipped dive centre on board and three instructors amongst the crew, so we felt very safe.” 

But it’s the service that its 45-strong crew delivers that really makes the Octopus experience stand out for Lisa. As she explains; “One would expect exceptional service for US $2,200,000 per week, but the crew really were outstanding and it was evident how much they enjoyed their work and they were proud to be aboard Octopus. Captain Jannek Olsson has been on board for 14 years and many of the crew are also longstanding, which is a fantastic sign.”

As an example of the Octopus crew’s attention to detail, one evening they organised a magical beach dinner for the guests on a remote island. Without electricity, the crew set up a kitchen area for the chefs to serve fresh paella against a tropical backdrop illuminated by tiki torches and candles.

The fam trip certainly showcased how Octopus enables guests to experience any destination to its fullest. The fact that the yacht will be available for charter in Antarctica this winter, therefore, is an exciting prospect. Guests can expect to get up close and personal with penguin colonies, seals and whales and immerse themselves in the raw nature and otherworldly landscapes of the remotest region on earth.

With accommodation for 12 guests across 13 suites, there is also room to bring guides, researchers or other supernumeraries on board to make the charter that bit more personal. Her extensive range of tenders and water toys, submersible and helipad, will allow guests the ultimate form of adventure and discovery.

For clients wanting to book a charter in Antarctica, it is important to plan far in advance due to the necessity for cruising permits to be obtained and a third-party expedition company. Another reason for urgency is that Octopus’s time in the region is also getting booked up, with limited availability remaining in January and February 2023. Octopus will also be available to charter in the Mediterranean next summer.

The trip was documented by video, which can be viewed here: