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Charter yacht of the week: Legend by name, legend by nature

20 June 2024 • Written by Georgia Boscawen

Each week, we place a spotlight on one of the world’s finest yachts for charter. This week BOAT steps aboard 77.4-metre Legend in Antarctica, the soviet tug that was given a new lease of life as an almighty adventurer.

The wrath of the Antarctic weather does little against the sloping blue hull of Legend. She sits stable as a rock among the swells off the coast of King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.

Credit: Christopher Scholey

It’s hardly surprising, having started life as an icebreaking tug in 1974 with Class 1 icebreaking credentials and unyielding structure. Legend was built by Dutch yard IHC Verschure, a name you may not recognise in superyacht circles but an important builder in the interwar period, for which Legend played a part for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Drawn to her strength, the owner revived the 77.4-metre to an explorer yacht and she was redelivered in 2016 after a 12-month refit at Icon Yachts. Since then, this hardy superyacht has claimed the title as one of the most travelled charter yachts on the planet, demonstrating not just her capabilities, but her ability as a refined charter yacht.


Stepping on board in Antarctica, it’s clear why one would want Legend to safely navigate the ice as the lumpy seas barely register and her list of amenities is massive.

Key Features

LOA: 77.4m
Year: 1974
Builder: IHC Verschure
Guests: 22
Crew: 28
Cruising: Northern Europe, Svalbard, Greenland

Stepping up to the aft deck from the swim platform, the sheer scale of her amenities is apparent thanks to her vast 16-person jacuzzi before the large exterior dining table for the full complement of guests.


Through the double doors into the main saloon, you’re met immediately with another dining table and a blue-panelled bar to starboard. The design is an intricate mix of classic style with contemporary elements, with polished parquet flooring mixed with mirrors with backlit murals. It’s a deliberate note to her past, but this is very much a futuristic vessel that has all the amenities one would expect from a modern superyacht.

The slope of the hull can be felt further forward, especially in the 11 cabins, which feel more like those of a stately home rather than a yacht in Antarctica. There are eight double cabins, one twin and two convertible cabins on board, which are flexible according to the charter group. Each is named after a selection of the world’s cities and has been individually designed with rich marquetry and soft fabric, some of which are upholstered to the walls.

Moving up from the main deck aft lies a second saloon, more accustomed for daily expedition briefings or pre-dinner cocktails beside the white grand piano. From here, a huge Big Green Egg can be seen through the double exterior doors, which is used for barbecues on deck while sitting up at the bar.

While there is plenty of lounge space on board to relax after a full day of exploration, Legend has one of the most impressive spas on the charter market too to really wind down. Located on the lower deck, the dimly lit Swedish spa has decorative wood carvings, an eight-person Jacuzzi, treatment rooms and a beauty salon. A dedicated therapist is on hand for the duration of the charter for a variety of soothing treatments, shellac manicures, pedicures and facials. A cinema room and main deck gym are also on board.

Legendary expedition credentials

“And here’s where the fun really starts,” says Captain Taigh MacManus while stepping into the submarine hangar located forward on the main deck, enveloped in the yacht’s huge hull. Here lies Legend’s U Boat Works C Explorer, which can carry five guests up to 200 metres below sea level. Neatly packed alongside the submarine are endless shelves of equipment and toys for exploring away from the yacht.


Legend’s profile is largely defined by her vast commercial helideck aft, which is capable of supporting a range of heli-operations, from airborne arrivals and departures to heli-skiing and remote exploration. The heli-deck is suitable for a six-person Eurocopter EC135 and has state-of-the-art fire extinguishing systems on board. A heli-pilot is also accommodated in addition to the crew, should guests want to elevate their charter to the skies.

As one of the world’s most travelled charter yachts, there isn’t much by way of expedition that Legend can’t facilitate from spotting polar bears in Svalbard to penguins in Antarctica.

Legend’s toybox, to name a few:

  • Kayaks
  • Inflatables
  • Snorkelling 
  • Seabobs
  • Fishing gear

Where will Legend be cruising?

Legend is available to charter with Y.CO for a weekly rate from €625,000. This year, Legend is available in Northern Europe, after a highly successful start to the season in Svalbard she is relocating to Bergen, Norway, and she has several dates remaining for summer this season. Next year after her Antarctic season she will relocate in the spring, to Greenland where she will facilitate heli-skiing charters.

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