If you are a tennis fan, particularly a John McEnroe fan, there is a unique opportunity to combine a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica while seeing John battle his brother Patrick in the continent’s first ever exhibition match between two professionals.
The trip which runs from Feb. 17 through Feb. 28, 2023, uses Atlas Ocean Voyages brand-new World Traveller as a base sailing roundtrip from Ushuaia, Argentina. The ship, a sister to its World Navigator, debuts this November.
Each day will feature expert talks by our expedition guides, gourmet meals, and special exclusive programming. Days in Antarctica generally have two off-ship excursions each day, along with optional activities such as sea kayaking and paddleboarding if available.
The trip begins and ends in Buenos Aires with a private charter flight to meet the ship.
During the voyage, guests will get to network with the McEnroes. And then, of course, you will be witness to their historical match.
The journey is being organized by Legends Abroad, a partnership between International Experiences and Insider Expeditions. Future tennis plans include an exhibition in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert with the Bryan Brothers. There is also a Greek Food Festival.
For what’s being billed as the Antarctica Open, the itinerary covers meals, wines and spirits, excursions, and even gratuities. Below is a day-by-day breakdown.
February 17 – Arrive Buenos Aires
Fly from your city of origin to Buenos Aires, Argentina to meet up with this global group of tennis aficionados. Kick off the expedition by watching a warm-up tennis match between the McEnroe brothers in the late afternoon in the Argentine capital before attending an elegant welcome dinner in the evening. Overnight in a 5-star hotel in the city.
February 18 – Charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina
While the waterway is famous for its challenging navigation, you may still get another side of the Drake Lake, as on some occasions, the channel is calm and flat. As you emerge from the Drake Passage, the mammoth, icy peaks of the South Shetland Islands loom ahead, greeting you on your victorious landing which is likely to happen before sunset. During the crossing, enjoy tennis themed programming and camaraderie with fellow tennis fans and professionals along with lectures on marine biology, glaciology, astronomy and more from seasoned guides on the ship.
February 21 – South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are silent and serene as sunrise before breakfast at Wimbledon. Natural wonders like the black and white effect of Deception Island and the peaks of massive glaciers sitting atop the water’s surface inspire awe and admiration – even from the most veteran explorers and U.S. Open Champions. The stillness of the Shetland Islands evokes a sense of wilderness left to be discovered.
Along the rugged cliffs of Brown Bluff, the exposed portion of a glacial volcano, you can hike to a backdrop of expanses of ice and ocean like climbing to the rafters in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano, creates a black-and-white photo effect with black sands mixed with white snow at Neptune’s Bellows. A dip in the steaming hot springs of a black sand beach feels like an unreal experience amid the snow-capped mountains in the background.
February 22-24 – Antarctic Continent
Enjoy two more days of exploration on the Seventh Continent with your tennis family, with an estimated two landings per day, guided by weather conditions. From the remarkable blue coloring of glaciers to leopard seals napping on ice floes, the Antarctic Peninsula contains a multitude of wonders to behold. Cormorants soaring high above and orcas breaching the waters below surround you with a magnificent array of wildlife that calls to your inner explorer.
Visit the permanent ice cap at Cuverville which houses Port Lockroy, a flagship historic site for the main base building of Bransfield House. It’s also home to the famed Penguin Post Office, the southernmost post office in the world where you can make an unforgettable memory among the Gentoo penguins. At Neko Harbor, watch for humpback whales as their flukes come above the water and splash back down. Paradise Bay offers a glimpse into scientific research at Argentina’s Almirante Brown Antarctic Base or Chile’s González Videla Antarctic Base. Cruise in zodiacs along icebergs with your expedition guides, and enjoy daily optional activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, and of course, a polar plunge.
Captain’s Choice ports of call add to the sense of adventure and an element of surprise. Your ship’s master will navigate the changing weather conditions as needed to take you to the best areas for wildlife viewing. Captain’s Choice ports include Deception Island, Paulet Island, Brown Bluff, Neko Harbor, Paradise Bay, Cuverville Island and Goudier Island.
February 24 – First-Ever Tennis Exhibition on Antarctica
Enjoy two more days of exploration on the Seventh Continent with your tennis family, with an estimated two landings per day. From the remarkable blue coloring of glaciers to leopard seals napping on ice floes, the Antarctic Peninsula contains a multitude of wonders to behold.
February 25 – Drake Passage Navigation
Witness history being made when you attend the first-ever tennis exhibition played on the Seventh Continent. Experience the thrill of a match in one of the most remote places on the planet when two tennis legends go head-to-head for a true champion showcase. Afterwards celebrate amongst your fellow tennis fans.
February 26 – Navigating Cape Horn, Chile
Re-cross the Drake Passage on the journey back to South America. We will enjoy ongoing tennis themed programming and another series of lectures and presentations on all the wildlife we have seen throughout the journey, as well as discuss the conservation on this remarkable part of the planet.
February 27 – Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive back at port in the morning and explore this town and its wild natural surroundings. In the evening, enjoy a farewell Argentinean feast before boarding your chartered plane back to Buenos Aires. From here, transfer on to your city of origin or choose to spend some additional time in the city.
The Ship – World Traveller
Atlas Voyages’ World Traveller is new, launching in November. It is a sister to World Navigator, which launched last year. Cruise Critic writes of its sister., “Passengers will find a generous amount of open deck space onboard World Navigator, including a specialized bow viewing area on Deck 5 that provides heated seating for comfortable scenic viewing in cooler climates.”
All cabins have ocean views and most have private balconies with several suite upgrade options available
Meals and 24-hour room service are included. International cuisine reflects a healthy lifestyle and includes a Portuguese accent, reflecting the line’s heritage.
Onboard there will be unlimited premium pours at multiple bars and lounges with a full selection of all-inclusive liquors and wines, as well as classic and creative cocktails.
There is a SeaSpa by L’Occitane, a fitness center, sauna, and jogging track. There is WiFi, and tips and gratuities are included. The entire journey’s carbon emissions are being offset.
In terms of joining the journey, there are eight options that vary from $19,990 to $89,990 per person.
The pricing varies based on cabin size and then personalized interaction with the McEnroes.
Entry level suites are 270-square feet with varying sizes of balconies.
Suites, starting at 300-square feet, including a separate bedroom and living area, are price from $59,990 per person.
Suite guests get upgraded seating on the charter flight from Buenos Aires to meet the cruise ship.
At the top of the line is a 465-square feet suite and it is priced at $89,990 per person. It includes a private zodiac tour with the McEnroes in Antarctica.
Other suite levels include a private lunch with the tennis icons and even a chance to play tennis with the brothers.