There’s something about billionaires and big boats. Whether they’re superyachts or megayachts, men with money love to splash out on these sizeable sea-going vessels. And that all began in 1954 — with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
Onassis, keen to keep his luxury lifestyle afloat when at sea, bought Canadian anti-submarine frigate HMCS Stormont after World War II. He spent millions turning it into an opulent super yacht, named it after his daughter — and the Christina O kicked off a trend. To this day, the world’s richest men remain locked in an arms race to build the biggest, fastest, most impressive superyacht of all. Here are 10 of our favourites…
Eclipse, owned by Roman Abramovich
Built by: Blohm+Voss of Hamburg, with interiors and exteriors designed by Terence Disdale. Launched in 2009, it cost $500 million (the equivalent of £623 million today).
Owned by: Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, the owner of private investment company Millhouse LLC and owner of Chelsea Football Club. His current net worth is $17.4 billion.
Key features: 162.5 metres in length / 9 decks / Top speed of 22 knots / Two swimming pools / Disco hall / Mini submarine / 2 helicopter pads / 24 guest cabins
Sailing Yacht A, owned by Andrey Melnichenko
Built by: Nobiskrug, a shipyard on the Eider River in Germany. The original idea came from Jacques Garcia, with interiors designed by Philippe Starck and a reported price tag of over $400 million.
Owned by: Russian billionaire industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, the main beneficiary of both the fertiliser producing EuroChem Group and the coal energy company SUEK. His current net worth is $18.7 billion.
Key features: 119 metres in length / 8 decks / Top speed of 21 knots / Freestanding carbon-fibre rotating masts / Underwater observation pod / 14 guests
Symphony, owned by Bernard Arnault
Built by: Feadship, the fabled shipyard headquartered in Haarlem in The Netherlands. With an exterior designed by Tim Heywood, it reportedly cost around $150 million to construct.
Owned by: French billionaire businessman and art collector Bernard Arnault. Chairman and chief executive of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, his current net worth is $145.8 billion.
Key features: 101.5 metres in length / 6 decks / Top speed of 22 knots / 6-metre glass-bottom swimming pool / Outdoor cinema / Sundeck Jacuzzi / 8 guest cabins
Faith, owned by Michael Latifi
Built by: Similarly to Symphony above, also Feadship. With exteriors designed by Beaulieu-based RWD, and interiors by Chahan Design, it cost a reported $200 million to construct in 2017.
Owned by: Until very recently, Canadian billionaire and part-owner of the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team, Lawrence Stroll. Recently sold to Michael Latifi, father of F1 star Nicholas, a fellow Canadian businessman with a net worth of just under $2 billion.
Key features: 97 metres in length / 9 guest cabins / Glass-bottom swimming pool — with bar / Bell 429 helicopter
Amevi, owned by Lakshmi Mittal
Built by: The Oceanco shipyard, also in The Netherlands. With exterior design by Nuvolari & Lenard and interior design by Alberto Pinto, it launched in 2007 (and cost around $125 million to construct).
Owned by: Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. He owns 20% of Queen Park Rangers, and has a net worth of $18 billion.
Key features: 80 metres in length / 6 decks / Top speed of 18.5 knots / On-deck Jacuzzi / Helipad / Swimming Pool / Tender Garage / 8 guest cabins
Odessa II, owned by Len Blavatnik
Built by: Nobiskrug, the same German shipyard that built Sailing Yacht A. Both interior and exterior were created by Focus Yacht Design, and the yacht was launched in 2013 with a cost of $80 million.
Owned by: British businessman Sir Leonard Blavatnik. Founder of Access Industries — a multinational industrial group with current holdings in Warner Music Group, Spotify and the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat — he is worth $39.9 billion.
Key features: 74 metres in length / 6 guest cabins / Top speed of 18 knots / Intimate beach club / Baby grand piano / Private master cabhin terrace / Outdoor cinema
Nautilus, owned by Thierry Stern
Built by: Italian shipyard Perini Navi in 2014. With interiors by Rémi Tessier and exterior design by Philippe Briand, Nautilus was estimated to cost around $90 million to construct.
Owned by: Patek Philippe CEO Thierry Stern. Alongside his Gulstream G650 private jet, Nautilus — named for the famous sports watch — is his most costly mode of transport. His current net worth is $3 billion.
Key features: 73 metres in length / 7 guest cabins / Top speed of 16.5 knots / Dedicated wellness deck / 3.5 metre resistance pool / Underfloor heating / Jet Skis
Silver Angel, owned by Richard Caring
Built by: Luxury Italian boatbuilder Benetti. Launched in 2009, the yacht’s interior has been designed by Argent Design and her exterior styling is by Stefano Natucci.
Owned by: Richard Caring, British businessman and multi-millionaire (his wealth peaked at £1.05 billion, so he still makes the cut). Chairman of Caprice Holdings, he owns The Ivy restaurants.
Key features: 64.5 metres in length / Cruising speed of 15 knots / 7 guest cabins / Lalique decor / 5 decks / Oval Jacuzzi pool / Sun deck bar / Aft deck dining table
Lady Beatrice, owned by Frederick Barclay
Built by: Feadship and Royal Van Lent in 1993. Exteriors were created by De Voogt Naval Architects, with interiors by Bannenberg Designs. She cost the equivalent of £63 million to build.
Owned by: Sir David Barclay and his late brother Sir Frederick. The ‘Barclay Brothers’ had joint business pursuits including The Spectator, The Telegraph and delivery company Yodel. Current net worth: £7 billion.
Key features: 60 metres in length / 18 knots maximum speed / Monaco home port / Named for the brothers’ mother, Beatrice Cecelia Taylor / 8 guest cabins
Space, owned by Laurence Graff
Built by: Space was the first in Feadship’s F45 Vantage series, styled by Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design and launched in 2007. She cost a reported $25 million to construct.
Owned by: Laurence Graff, English jeweller and billionaire businessman. As the founder of Graff Diamonds, he has a global business presence and a current net worth of $6.26 billion.
Key features: 45 metres in length / Top speed of 16 knots / Al fresco dining area / Sun deck Jacuzzi / Breakfast bar / Swimming platform / Steam room
Want more yachts? Here’s the handcradfted, homegrown history of Princess…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.