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The Octopus Experience
25th August 2022
Fam Trip July 2022

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OCTOPUS Luxury Motor Yacht for Charter | C&N
126.20m | Lurssen | 2003 (2021)
13 Cabins | 12 Guests | 45 Crew

From: US$ 2,200,000 p/w


The Octopus Experience

In July of this year, a group of 10 charter brokers joined 126.2m Octopus for a five-day fam-trip that would change their perception of expedition yachts and the superyacht charter experience forever.


The group embarked in Panama.

“It was the full VIP treatment from the moment we stepped aboard,” says Barbara Dawson, Senior Charter Broker at Camper & Nicholsons. “Initially, the boat’s size was overwhelming - you can’t appreciate how enormous Octopus is until you set foot on the aft deck.  And 20 plus of the 45-strong crew were there to greet us.” 


Octopus can accommodate 12 guests across 13 suites, with multiple accommodation possibilities for families, groups of friends, or researchers. Along with the master stateroom, there are two VIP apartments, seven double suites and three twins.

The group was split into two for an initial tour of this formidable Lurssen-built explorer vessel, and the brokers were shown Octopus’ observation lounge, library, cinema room, spa, gym, dive centre, and enormous selection of water toys and exploration equipment.


“That evening’s meal was a Lebanese feast,” describes Marta Iglesias, Charter Broker at Camper & Nicholsons. “There are two chefs for the guests and two to cater for the crew.  Each night, our meals adopted an international theme - we had North African, Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian, American - and all with an amazing display.  It gave the chefs a chance to showcase everything they can do.”


“Sometimes we chose from a buffet or ate ‘family style’,” adds Barbara, “but we also had a full silver service dinner.  It was first class and the food was excellent.”

The yacht made passage overnight to Coiba island and by lunchtime on day two, guests found themselves in a beautiful anchorage. 


Shoreside excursions are a big part of any expedition charter, and the group benefited from the local knowledge of their guide, Richard Cahill.


“Captain Jannek Olsson ran us through the itinerary, and then Richard gave a presentation on the history of Coiba and detailed some of the day trips we were going to make,” says Marta.  “He had some great stories to share with us and his insight and expertise was appreciated by everyone.  More and more so, particularly on a charter of this kind, clients want to be informed and to learn about the culture and environment they’re cruising in.”

The group also had a scuba diving expedition leader to advise them on the underwater conditions and marine life - an essential crew member for a charter group who want to see beneath the waves and in regions with such impressive sea life.


The island of Coiba itself was once a penal colony, and one excursion took the group to see the abandoned jail house, before moving onto another part of the island where there were monkeys and jungle life.

Presentations were also given by EYOS, who had been engaged to support the organisation of this expedition. “One of the videos was shown on a huge inflatable screen that was erected on the aft helipad. This was about Antarctica and the cruising experience to be had there, which was really interesting for the group to learn more about as Octopus will be heading to the region for the winter of 2022/23,” comments Jacqui Lockhart, European Head of Charter Marketing at Camper & Nicholsons.


Expedition itineraries can be arranged entirely though the yacht but for something as adventurous as an Antarctic trip or any remote charter, Camper & Nicholsons recommend the expertise of a third-party specialist. These companies can obtain the necessary cruising permits, assist with pre and post travel requirements, and be an enormous help in ensuring that the expedition side of things runs smoothly from start to finish.


For many of the charter group, the mangrove river trip was a highlight.  “I loved this!  And it was great to see Octopus’ many tenders in action - from the 54ft Delta down to the Zodiacs” says Marta. “The quickly changing tide, the scenery, the wildlife - it was organised to perfection.”


When not watching whales from the aft deck, chasing dolphins by tender, dining in the al fresco shade of the forward sun terrace or relaxing by Octopus’ glass-bottomed pool, the group took to the water toys - snorkelling, scuba diving, exploring the bays by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, and trying out the e-foil. Taking water toys to the next level, Octopus will also be equipped with a submarine from early 2023.

Whilst everyone in the charter group knew of Octopus and how unique she is, none were prepared for quite how different she is from other boats of this size and purpose. “The yacht is almost 20 years old!  How she has been maintained and styled, and following the refit at Blohm + Voss, is remarkable,” describes Jacqui. “With a yacht of this size, guest areas and social spaces quickly become vast and can feel a little empty if you’re only a small group. Aboard Octopus, the feeling is much more intimate. The traditional saloon and dining room configuration simply doesn’t exist aboard the boat,” recalls Jacqui. “Most of the time, we congregated on the pool deck, either at the large exterior dining table or in the studio, which used to be a recording studio and where there are a few guitars on the walls to remind you of previous guests!”


Another difference between Octopus and newer boats of this size, is the beach club arrangement. It’s an amenity favoured and often given great attention on new builds, but aboard Octopus this area has a distinct purpose - to facilitate scuba diving, watersports, and easy embarkation to the tenders. “The platforms port and starboard are like little marina landings,” describes Jacqui. Octopus has her own marina home to seven tenders, that allows her largest tender, a 54ft Delta motoryacht, to be launched and gives access to the submarine dock. The swim platform lowers allowing the tender bay to flood, so the tender can then reverse out of the yacht. “It’s like something from a BOND movie!”


All of the guests remarked on Octopus’ excellent condition and capabilities when it comes to a charter of this nature, “Octopus can be self-sufficient for about a month. She has an ice class 1A hull and with helipads to expedite arrival and departure, she’s perfect for adventures to the further corners of the planet,” advises Jacqui.  “A lot of yachts carry the expedition label but few can truly stand-up to the test.”


Octopus is powered by two-hybrid ABB Industry AG E-Motors that limit her environmental footprint wherever she roams. She can reach a top speed of 19 knots and has a globe-trotting range of 12,500 nautical miles when cruising at 12 knots.


“Being aboard Octopus is about the experiences she facilitates, more so than the yacht’s luxurious superyacht aspects,” comments Jacqui. “I agree,” adds Barbara, “but the onboard attention to detail and attentiveness of the crew is really incredible - you didn’t want for anything.  Every minute process, which was probably a much bigger task in the scheme of things, was so carefully planned and thought-through. And I have to mention the onboard masseuse - wow!”

The beach dinner that the group enjoyed on a sandy island one night is a perfect example of this.  An isolated outcrop was turned into a private beach club, complete with a huge dining table setup in the sand and a freshly prepared paella was served. “There were lounge sofas and ambient solar lighting, it became quite magical,” adds Marta.


On day four, when the group returned from a day exploring Panama City, they found a 1920’s theme party awaiting them. “Suits and dresses were laid out in our cabins - in the right sizes - complete with all the accessories,” says Jacqui.  “It was just amazing, it was so well executed.  The entire observation lounge and dining room had been transformed. There was even a casino with the crew acting as croupiers!  It was hilarious, and great fun.”


On the last day, the group visited the old town of Panama City with the guide and stopped to eat in a restaurant that featured vintage cars alongside its lunch tables. This was followed by a trip to the Panama Canal Museum, which overlooks the famous passage, and the group saw a Japanese naval ship make its way through the locks.


For Jacqui, a personal highlight was a chance to engage more openly with the crew. “I often ate in the crew mess! The crew are so fundamental to a trip like this, and to hear their stories of past adventures and the things they’d seen was really inspiring. The bridge was always open to us if we wanted to join the crew there.  It’s a very well run boat and a close team.  They were so dedicated to their jobs, and so proud to be aboard Octopus - it was evident in everything they said and did. They were a true pleasure to be around.”


And Marta reinforces that sentiment, “The crew took such delight in seeing their efforts make the group happy - they were enjoying themselves because we were enjoying ourselves. The pride in their faces was something special.”

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