In 2003, Lurssen delivered Octopus, with an exterior by Espen Oeino and interiors by Jonathan Quinn Barnett, and a reported cost of $226 million. With its ice-class hull, hybrid propulsion by means of twin ABB Industry AG E-Motors, and the ability to carry an incredibly large assortment of toys and exploring gear, the 414 foot (126 meter) Octopus set the tone – and the bar – for many of the superyacht explorers of today.
Octopus sold in 2021 after two years on the market and, in early 2022, it was announced that it would be offered for charter for the first time that year. The plan was to have it round off the year with a trip to Antarctica, with highlights like the Gerlache Strait, Port Lockroy, the Lemaire Channel, and Deception Island. It did just that, and carried two of the biggest names in sports while doing so.
As superyacht vlogger eSysman says in the first part of the video below, it takes some Internet sleuthing to come to the conclusion that Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton and Olympic-gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White were on the Octopus. Neither said so explicitly on their social media, but they did leave enough breadcrumbs for fans and superyacht-watchers looking to piece together the puzzle: separate shots against icy backgrounds or penguin-watching on an island, a quick look at Octopus anchored in the distance, and a video of White swimming in the frozen waters, after jumping off a deck that looks just like one of the folding side terraces on this particular superyacht.
One week of charter for the Octopus is $2.2 million, which doesn’t include expenses like fuel and supplies. That’s obviously a lot of money whichever way you look at it, but it’s pennies to guys like Hamilton and White, who have amassed impressive fortunes in their respective careers, especially through advertising. That is, assuming they paid for the charter themselves.
Octopus has a 12-guest capacity across 13 luxurious suites, and carries a crew of 50. It is packed with luxury amenities, including a jacuzzi on said fold-out terrace (shown in the IG embed below), a pool that converts into a dancefloor, two helicopters in dedicated garages, a custom Pagoo submarine, seven tenders, an ROV (autonomous robotic boat), and several jetskis.
Not a bad way to start the year, indeed.