Cruising the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean was just a warm-up for Vertigo’s upcoming charter season in the chilly waters of one of the planet’s most extreme locations: Antarctica. At 220 feet, Y.Co’s Vertigo—designed by Philippe Briand and constructed by New Zealand’s Alloy Yachts—is the largest sailing yacht built in the Southern Hemisphere. It can accommodate up to 12 guests and 11 crewmembers as it explores the icy continent from January 8 through February 28, 2016.
Opportunities for intimate interaction with the hostile environment include wildlife viewing trips, kayaking, ice snorkeling, and polar diving. The journey begins from either the Falkland Islands or Ushuaia, Argentina, and depending on the departure point, stops can include South Georgia’s Grytviken (a former seal and whaling station where the famed explorer Ernest Shackleton is buried), the surreal blanched landscapes of the South Orkney Islands, and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Once the continent has been reached, seven ports of call await, including Deception Island, where guests will have the chance to soak in natural hot springs. Landfall (or icefall, as the case may be) is made via the yacht’s 26-foot limo boat or one of its three other tenders. Onboard amenities include an open-air cinema, a hot tub, and a gym, as well as five Christian Liaigre–designed loft-style guest cabins for when it is time to come in from the cold.