Tennis fans will want to head south early next year as legends John and Patrick McEnroe will be the first professionals to ever do battle on the seventh continent. Billed as The Antarctica Open, the once-in-a-lifetime event was initially scheduled for earlier this year but was postponed due to Covid. It is part of an 11-day luxury adventure cruise and is scheduled for February 17 through 28, 2023.
John McEnroe said, “I’m excited to travel to Antarctica and play my brother, Patrick, in the first-ever professional tennis match on the seventh continent and to help raise awareness of the challenges facing one of the most remote and amazing places on the planet. This will be an epic adventure and a one-of-a-kind expedition.”
“I am thrilled to continue our sibling rivalry with my brother, John, playing an exhibition tennis match in Antarctica this coming February. 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? I can only promise one thing, a McEnroe will win,” noted Patrick.
The unique trip is from Legends Abroad, which is planning more once-in-a-lifetime journeys.
“Building out the itinerary for a bucket list experience that includes two weeks with the McEnroe’s exploring Antarctica was no easy task. Tennis-themed programming, securing the luxury ship, charter air and so much more. This tour is sure to be a hit with affluent tennis aficionados,” travel industry veteran and Legends Abroad Partner Paul Cohen tells Forbes.com.
For the Antarctica journey, guests travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they will fly on a private charter to Ushuaia. From there, they will board World Navigator. The hybrid, electric-hydro propulsion vessel features an environmentally friendly anchorless positioning system. Robb Report describes it as a “superyacht-like experience.” Luxury Travel Advisor lauds its SeaSpa by L’Occitane. There is 24-hour room service, and all cabins feature private balconies.
The itinerary includes crossing the famed Drake Passage and visiting the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica Peninsula, where guests will see blue glaciers and snowy icebergs. Experts and expedition leaders will present workshops about marine wildlife, glaciology, ecology, climate change, astronomy, photography and the region’s history. There will be a full slate of tennis-themed programming, including a screening Showtime documentary McEnroe.
All-inclusive pricing ranges from $19,990 to $69,990 per person, the top-level providing suite accommodations and the opportunity to play tennis and dine with the McEnroes.
The trip is hosted in association with Octagon, a leading sports and entertainment agency. The trip will support non-profits from America, Chile, and other countries that are leading the way in conserving this special ecosystem. Naturally, the tour will provide a carbon offset contribution for both the airplane and ship.
Unique VIP trips are hot. Disney sold out its first-ever round-the-world private jet tour tour within days.
Cohen says several more trips are in development and will be announced shortly. Currently, on its website, there is an American Whiskey Tour with former NFL pro-Eric Wood, a Louisville, Kentucky native. Another tennis event features the Bryan Brothers squaring off in the Gobi Desert.