Lurssen’s legendary Octopus is now the largest superyacht available to charter in Antarctica.


As far as iconic yachts go, Lurssen’s 126-metre Octopus takes some beating.

Built for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen back in 2003, the Espen Øino designed expedition yacht has travelled the oceans, taking part in a number of operations from being loaned to scientists to study the ‘living fossil’ Coelacanth, to being employed by the Royal Navy to help retrieve the ship’s bell from HMS Hood. Although dedicated to ocean exploration, Octopus also features an onboard cinema, pool, several bars, a spa, library, gym, basketball court and even a recording studio – Mick Jagger recorded part of his SuperHeavy album off the coasts of Greece and Turkey.

Employed by the Royal Navy to help retrieve the ship’s bell from HMS Hood.


After Allen passed away on October the 15th, 2018, Octopus underwent a refit at Blohm+Voss’ Hamburg facility, before being put up for sale at completion in September 2019. The original asking price of €295 million was eventually reduced to €235 million and the yacht was sold in 2021. Now with her new Owner, the world’s 23rd longest superyacht is finally available for charter with Cookson Adventures offering an opportunity to explore the Antarctic this winter.


Having organised some of the most ambitious yacht expeditions to Antarctica of modern times, Cookson Adventures (founded in 2009 by record-breaking polar explorer Henry Cookson) can now offer the largest superyacht available to charter in Antarctica.

As the location and time suggest, this won’t be your traditional holiday charter. Octopus is built for extreme exploration, and guests will be encouraged to get involved with activities that are guaranteed to make memories for life.

Explore in luxury: Octopus is one of the largest and most spectacular examples of a full-fledged yachting and exploration vessel.


The adventure will begin with a flight from Chile, to King George Island, the largest of the Southern Ocean’s South Shetland Islands. Here, guests will be welcomed on board Octopus, before heading south to one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. Access to Octopus’ seven tenders (from a floodable garage), along with the option of a submersible and two helicopters offers unparalleled exploration possibilities. Expect to visit raucous penguin colonies, spend a night camping on ice in a bespoke camp and sea kayak or SUP between pristine icebergs.

In fact, it’s unlikely Octopus’ colossal deck spaces and her Jonathan Quinn Barnett-designed interiors will get much of a look in when there’s ice climbing, scuba diving, ski touring and polar plunging to be done. For the more relaxing days, Octopus’ guests can visit abandoned whaling stations, shipwrecks or scientific outposts, where they can help to gathering data about different wildlife species. It really is a trip of a lifetime.

Henry Cookson, Founder of Cookson Adventures commented: ‘Octopus is an infamous superyacht, capable of exploring Antarctica’s furthest reaches, without compromising on comfort and elegance. We can open up a different world to guests, which is normally only afforded to the world’s leading documentary makers and scientific researchers. We were the first private travel company to launch a submersible in Antarctica’s waters in 2012 and are looking forward to continuing that pioneering legacy by working with Octopus’ captain and crew to create innovative new adventures and conservation focused experiences for our intrepid clients this winter’

The charter includes expedition planning, hosting, and expert guiding as well as an itinerary of tailored experiences, designed by the Cookson Adventures team. Price is by application, but as far as charters go, heading south to Antarctica for the 2022/23 winter season is pretty much priceless.