A 201-foot luxury charter yacht sits in stark contrast to the gang of homeless boats near the LMU Lions outpost in the main channel.

Designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the yacht is just in from Alaska, stopping by the Marina to visit Los Angeles before heading down to San Diego, then farther down the coast of Mexico and beyond.

The Absinthe is on the highest level of lavish boating.

It carries a maximum of 12 guests with an 18-person crew catering to the occupants’ needs and only the entire yacht can be chartered. There is no compartment renting.

The yacht costs $36,000 per day, which allows access to a helicopter, a 40-foot sport fisher, wave runners, kayaks, mountain bikes, a 17-foot inflatable with a 115-horsepower outboard, a limousine, ground transportation, and a host of other amenities.

The staterooms include flat-screen TVs, complete bathrooms and entertainment centers.

There is a full-time masseuse on board and, of course, a Jacuzzi.

The boat spends two-thirds of its time up in the Pacific Northwest, cruising northern Canada and Alaska and one-third of the year in Mexico and Central America.

It’s safe to say that visiting the arctic destinations aboard the Absinthe certainly won’t be a recreation of any Ernest Shackleton-type expedition, but the luxury yacht does do quite a bit of exploring.

The allure of this kind of travel is that the boat is big enough to provide extravagant first class treatment, but small enough to access remote areas.

Absinthe explores many different exotic locations that large cruise ships couldn’t dream of entering.

Also, when a client is spending that much cash and leasing the entire yacht, to a certain degree he or she can modify or customize the experience to personal desire.

According to Orca Sailing and Yacht Charters, which lists the Absinthe among its fleet, the boat burns 65 gallons of fuel per hour at a cruising speed of 14 knots driven by two 1,125-horsepower Caterpillar diesels.

She is made of steel and has a cruising range of 5,700 nautical miles (6,600 statute).

Directly across the main channel from the Absinthe, sitting at the fuel dock, more yachting opulence was present for passersby to witness.

While millionaires charter Absinthe and travel to far-off regions, billionaires have their crews standing by in yachts like the Attessa III.

Owned by copper mogul Dennis Washington, this 225-foot boat is one of the largest privately-owned yachts in the country and is amongst the top 100 in the world.

It is the physical embodiment of extravagance and enormous personal wealth, sporting an on-board helicopter, a movie theater, a gym and state-of-the-art yacht design.

While the Attessa and the Absinthe sit and wait for the designated time to depart to the next port, local boaters can take a long look at these plush gargantuan boats and wonder.

While they are overly conspicuous statements of exorbitant wealth and decadence, they are also, at their core, vessels that travel all of the oceans.

Behind the glitter, these extraordinary boats have the strength and stalwartness to go everywhere and anywhere.

While they are designed for pampering, they are also resilient tanks built to battle through war zones of inclement weather.

It’s these coexisting contrasts and the rarity of seeing boats of this size that must make people line up and stare when they run across one.

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