Traveling to far-flung destinations is the name of the game for professional athletes, and tennis Hall-of-Famer John McEnroe is no exception. But this winter, the legendary player—as well as his brother, Davis Cup champion and ESPN commentator Patrick McEnroe—are taking tennis to where it’s never gone before.
From February 20 to March 4, 2023, the McEnroe brothers will host the exclusive Antarctica Open voyage aboard the luxurious Atlas World Navigator. The 140 guests aboard the special charter cruise will be invited to watch the first professional tennis match ever played in the continent’s history.
“I’m excited to travel to Antarctica and play my brother Patrick in the first-ever professional tennis match on the seventh continent,” John McEnroe said in a statement about the cruise. “This will be an epic adventure and a one-of-a-kind expedition.”
Guests booking this experience will travel via private jet from Orlando, Florida, to Ushuaia, Argentina, for the 12-day, 11-night sailing aboard one of the newer and more environmentally friendly expedition ships to sail in the polar regions. Using the latest technology, the ship will expertly navigate the Drake Passage and allow for easy access to landings in the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctica Peninsula.
Along the way, expedition leaders and experts in such topics as climate change, ecology, wildlife and photography will host engaging talks and workshops, while daily excursions will range from hikes to a glacial volcano and soaks in the steaming hot springs of a black sand beach to kayaking through cobalt colored waters alongside Gentoo penguins, hourglass dolphins and leopard seals. Back on board, unwind and après sea in the ship’s Dome observation lounge or Sea Spa by L’Occitane.
What truly sets the cruise apart, though, is that thanks to the intimate size of the ship, guests will have the chance to mingle with the McEnroes and hear their stories. Those who opt for the higher-level cabins and packages (starting with the Superstar Suite, at $54,9900 per person, up to the Player’s Suite, at $84,990 per person) will also enjoy VIP access to the pros during private lunches, dinners, zodiac rides or cocktail parties, while guests of the top three suites will even get the chance to face the brothers on the court during a five-minute doubles rally.
The sailing, which coincides with the height of whale watching season in the Southern Ocean, will culminate on St. George Island, where the McEnroes will square off on a regulation sized Sports Court that’s being constructed exclusively for this once in a lifetime “Antarctica Open” event. (Due to regulations on how many travelers can land in Antarctica at a time, spectators will be separated into two rotating groups.)
“I have always wanted to explore the amazing landscapes of Antarctica and how could I miss out on playing the first ever pro tennis match there against my own brother?” Patrick McEnroe said in a statement. “I can only promise one thing: A McEnroe will win.”
The 12 day, 11-night voyage aboard the Atlas World Navigator starts at $14,990 per passenger (based on double occupancy) and includes private charter from Orlando to Ushuaia. All meals, drinks, Wi-Fi, zodiac landings and excursions are also included, as is attendance to the tennis match.