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Has it been your dream to explore Antarctica via an itinerary you help arrange? This is now possible this coming season onboard the new M/Y Enigma XK Expedition Yacht. Its five VIP cabins can accommodate twelve guests in grand style. Shown is the most luxurious, but the others are spacious and set up as doubles or two singles. They are extremely large and elegant and the public areas stylish, comfortable and welcoming. In all instances, guests are able to view magnificent surroundings.

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A private jet whisks guests to Antarctica, which avoids the rough and bumpy Drake Passage, while maximizing time in Antarctica. Guests will explore the waters with expert guides and a personalized itinerary, which is chosen daily by the guests. This takes advantage of weather conditions for the day. This private yacht also boasts a heli-pad.

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From jumping into Zodiacs to play with whales; hiking and kayaking through ice cliffs and glaciers; fishing tours; camping out a night on sea ice (not my idea of fun); swimming where water is slightly heated by volcanic rocks; exploring Iceberg Alley, where tabular icebergs float around the north-eastern point of the Antarctic Peninsula; discover Adelié, Gentoo and chinstrap penguin colonies, as well as spotting seals, humpback whales and seabirds; choices are up to the guests.

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The yacht can also head to stations where local scientists are invited onboard to share a gourmet dinner and conversation.

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In considering this type of luxury expedition, you would expect dining and drinks to be gourmet – and they are.

But I’m sure you want to discover more about the crew that would be ensuring this to be a trip of a lifetime.

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Guests sail with twenty-one well-trained crewmembers. It is organized by EYOS Expeditions in partnership with Jacada Travel. In addition to an on-board EYOS Expedition Leader, there is a shore-based team on-hand providing 24/7 support.

I like yachts, but for something like this, I wanted a lot of facts, especially about the expedition leader: “On board, Matt Drennan is one of the EYOS expedition leaders, who has safely guided over 10,000 people into the magical realm of ice, penguins, and wildly unpredictable conditions. His passion is attempting to understand and explain the intricate ecological connections existing in the Polar Regions, and to bring guests the most exciting experience that is safely possible. His Arctic/Antarctic experience is not limited to acting as Expedition Leader or guide – he has also worked as a field researcher and scientist.”

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Cost and time seem to be the next questions that come to my mind, because if I am going that far, I want to see and discover as much as possible.

The cost to charter the yacht is $454,000. As to time, there are many variables. There are two options to get to the Antarctic Peninsula. One is flying from South America direct and the other is to sail from South America and cross the Drake Passage.

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The minimum for a fly-in itinerary is seven days, but the recommended amount of time is ten to fourteen days. For those who want to sail in, the minimum time is ten days, with the ideal time being fourteen to sixteen days to provide opportunity to explore remote areas and reach points further south.

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For those extremely adventurous guests, they may want to choose a 20 night sailing journey. It sails to “South Georgia – one of the most remote locations in the world, where vast colonies of the colorful king penguin, not seen on the Antarctica continent itself, crowd the beach. Thousands of enormous elephant seals jostle and fight, and majestic albatross soar above. Explore former whaling communities, and learn about the epic tale of human endurance when visiting the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton.”

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When is the best time during the season to visit? There really is not a good answer for that question. The season for visiting is from late November to late February. However, each part of the season offers different highlights.

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I’m imaging this journey along with our readers. To repeat, this new service is offered by EYOS Expeditions in partnership with Jacada Travel’s expert travel designers. We wanted to make the experience available to you, before it launched, so you would have the opportunity to take advantage of it. I personally like the idea of being on a private yacht that can get in and out of places and alter itineraries with ease. If any of you take advantage of this wonderful expedition, please let us know and share your experience.

For more information on the M/Y Enigma XK Expedition Yacht, call +1 (866) 862.3964. You can see more photos and contact information for reservations here: http://www.jacadatravel.com/experiences/private-yacht-charter-antarctica/11383

Photography is courtesy of EYOS Expeditions.

To read the Luxe Beat Magazine version of this article click on the title Charter Luxury Private Yacht to Explore Antarctica