Heli-skiing, heli-hiking, heli-sightseeing—heck, heli-anything is possible during a charter aboard Absinthe. Unlike some other vessels, she includes the use of the helicopter for what her brochures tout as a "double mobility" concept, making typically inaccessible areas inland within reach in a matter of minutes. Imagine the possibilities, then imagine reliving the experience if you took along your video camera by replaying the footage on the TV in the media room. (And if you wiped out during a ski trip, not to worry: Massage service is available, too.)
Y: 1973/2005; B: Astilleros y Talleres Celaya, Spain; N: Sparkman & Stephens; H: steel; E: 2/1,125-hp Caterpillars
The three months of Absinthe's charter season comprise three to four charters. Each charter carries a maximum of 12 people.
—At the beginning of the charter season, executive chef Steve Ridley stocks the yacht with enough meat to last the three months. His menus focus on local and organic produce and meats such as caribou and buffalo and chicken. Seasonal produce is bought en route.
—Meat is budgeted based on an average serving size for each guest on each charter plus a little extra.
—Fully stocking Absinthe at the start of charter season costs $15,000 to $25,000. This includes high-end desserts and chocolates but not perishable produce, so the cost of those items varies according to how difficult the items are to obtain in the location the yacht happens to be in.
—Before every charter, guests fill out a menu preference sheet on which the menus will be based. Each menu includes three meals, snacks, and canaps and is altered on a daily basis for them.
—A fishing skiff that catches fresh salmon and halibut accompanies Absinthe, checks her crab and prawn traps, and gathers fresh oysters.
—A steward is available 24 hours a day to accommodate any late-night cravings. Ridley and a sous chef alternate on-call shifts.—Alyssa Haak
This article originally appeared in the August 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.