EYOS CEO Ben Lyons is back from 5 days as a guest aboard Octopus. While EYOS has worked with Octopus many times before, this was his first time as a guest on board. Since it’s the yacht we, the office-bound EYOS daydreamers love best, we peppered Ben with questions and came away with a rewardingly personal ‘insider’ perspective to share.

Where did you go?

“We boarded Octopus off Panama City, cruising Panama’s lush tropical coast on a ‘mini expedition’ to Coiba, formerly a penal colony, now a pristine island nature reserve. It’s filled with scarlet macaws and rare flora and fauna. We took the ship’s 59-foot Delta tender to cruise around the island, and used Zodiacs to explore deep into the mangroves.

Octopus, an iconic yacht, is a destination in itself, but it was built for a purpose—it’s an unparalleled platform for discovering and exploring the remote wild places of the world. You feel that sense of purpose as keenly as you feel the style and consummate craftsmanship of the interiors. There’s basically nowhere Octopus can’t go—boldly, confidently—to immerse guests in extraordinary places and provide remarkable experiences. Octopus almost dares guests to dream big – to think of some mission that has not been done before. Because with Octopus, almost any mission is possible!”

What was your first impression?

“Stepping aboard Octopus, you feel the gravitas. It’s grand, powerful, expansive. For 18 years it was privately held, mixing superyacht and science. It was one of the most talked about, and secretive, yachts afloat, with many accomplishments and discoveries as an expeditions ship. You can’t help but be impressed by the scale, the sheer size. It houses a 59-foot tender, Zodiacs, a lavish array of toys; has two helipads; and the Heli hanger is giant – big enough to house and shelter the helicopter in any weather.

Of course, one of Octopus’ most distinguishing features is its expansive internal marina for tender and submersible storage. There is nothing even remotely like it in yachting, and part of the yacht’s transom literally submerges five meters to launch the tender. It feels more like Star Wars than superyacht.”

What was your favorite?

“Given my background as a Captain and Ice pilot, my favorite parts of the ship were naturally, the bow and the Bridge. Octopus’ bow, which contains the forward Heli pad, is huge but beautiful, invitingly so. It’s where you want to be when crushing through the ice in Antarctica or the Northwest Passage. And the Bridge, with its wide, enclosed wings, conveys some of the force and personality of the ship. It is a striking, powerful profile, especially with the sculpted funnel reminiscent of the classic ocean liner SS France rising above. It was very special for me, and I suspect it would be for anyone who loves ocean travel or is experiencing it for the first time. Just walking around Octopus, you get a sense of what is so special: the original visionary owner loved the ocean and seagoing. You can see that in many key details – the promenades that lead to the bow are perfect places to experience being at sea, arriving at places via the ocean. And the Owner’s suite has a private, forward facing Observation Lounge at the very top of the ship. It is one of the most elegant, yet cozy and welcoming nooks I’ve seen. It’s a perfect space for any ocean lover.”

Did anything surprise you?

“I expected to feel Octopus’ iconic power, to be impressed by its size and its elegant interior design, but I found it offers relaxing intimacy, too. The yacht’s lounges are comfortably sized; they don’t overwhelm you despite Octopus’ size. The history is tangible onboard. The Studio used to be an actual recording studio, where Bono and Mick Jagger recorded. Now it’s a very cool bar and lounge, but the name remains. And the Mushashi bar is filled with photographs of the famed wreck that Octopus discovered. Octopus retains its illustrious heritage but without any museum-like stuffiness – it’s relevant and appealing to any contemporary charterers. There is simply no other yacht with that unparalleled combination of provenance and ground-breaking possibility.”

What’s the quality of life aboard like?

“Superb. There are simply not enough words to convey the quality of the Octopus crew. They could not have been more welcoming, gracious, or attentive. Being on the receiving end of what they do so well, next level hospitality and service, it’s clear what keeps Octopus in the top tier of luxury expedition yachts. This was a ‘10’ experience on every measure, and a privilege to have been invited aboard.”

Interested in creating an experience with Octopus? Reach out at [email protected]