Vintage photos show what it was like to party alongside celebs, royals, and politicians on Jackie and Aristotle Onassis' iconic yacht in its glamorous heyday

Valef YachtsAristotle and Jackie Onassis entertaining guests aboard the Christina.
  • Aristotle and Jackie Onassis owned a superyacht named the Christina and frequently entertained an impressive list of guests aboard the ship.
  • The infamous couple’s social circle included Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as well as political and royal dignitaries.
  • The luxury yacht can now be rented for $US100,000 per day and is outfitted to host extravagant parties.

Jackie O’s yacht parties were always invite-only.

Already a national name as former First Lady of the United States – and a legendary fashion icon – Jacqueline Kennedy gained media attention when she started dating wealthy shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. She began frequenting his superyacht with her children in the 1960s.

Aristotle Onassis purchased the vessel – originally a convoy escort called the Stormont – at scrap value, turning it into his floating mansion, which he called the Christina. For almost two decades, the yacht served as a meeting place, a reception hall, and the “world’s most exclusive bar.”

Read more: Take a look at the glitzy yacht once owned by Jackie O that’s been the scene of huge celebrity parties, has 17 cabins, and can now be rented for $US100,000 a day

Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy Onassis regularly entertained an elite social group aboard their legendary superyacht following their wedding in 1968. The reception – like so many other events – was held aboard the Christina.

Notable guests over the years included a long list of Hollywood stars, from Elizabeth Taylor to Marilyn Monroe. Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, and Richard Burton also visited, alongside royalty such as the Prince and Princess of Monaco.

Today, the luxury yacht can be rented for $US100,000 per day. With 17 cabins, the ship remains one of the few yachts able to accomodate 34 overnight guests. Additionally, the Christina O is capable of carrying up to 157 guests while cruising and up to 250 guests while docked.

Keep reading for a look at some of the exclusive gatherings the couple hosted aboard the Christina, from a lunch with Winston Churchill to Jackie O’s own wedding.


After purchasing a convoy escort in 1954, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis spent over $US4 million transforming the vessel into a luxury yacht he called the Christina.

Bettmann / Getty ImagesThe Christina in 1968.


Source

: Valef Yachts


Once renovations were complete, Onassis used the ship as an office, residence, and private entertainment venue.

FPG/Getty ImagesAristotle in the mid-1950s, following the boat’s renovations.


Source

: Valef Yachts


Named after his only daughter, Aristotle and Jackie Onassis spent much of their leisure time aboard the Christina …

STAFF/AFP/Getty ImagesAristotle and Jackie Onassis en route to the Caribbean Islands in 1969.


Source

: Getty, Robb Report


… often using the ship to vacation with their children.

Bettmann / Getty ImagesJackie Kennedy Onassis walking with her two children, Caroline and John F. Kennedy, Jr. in Greece.


Source

: Getty


Alongside the notable Onassis and Kennedy families, the Christina hosted many well-known guests that were a part of the couple’s elite social circle.

Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy Onassis entertaining guests aboard their superyacht, then called ‘Christina.’Aristotle (standing center) and Jackie (seated center) hosting a lunchtime gathering aboard the Christina.


Source

: Valef Yachts


Among those guests are many with easily recognisable names, as indicated by a vintage passenger list.

Valef YachtsSir Winston and Lady Clementine Churchill on a list of passengers, including the Onassis family.


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: Valef Yachts


Celebrities frequented intimate gatherings …

Valef YachtsAristotle Onassis (middle left) with guests such as Elizabeth Taylor (far left) and Richard Burton (far right).


Source

: Valef Yachts


… including Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton …

Valef YachtsRichard Burton, taking a phone call, and Elizabeth Taylor (right).


Source

: Business Insider, Valef Yachts


… and actor John Wayne.

Valef YachtsJohn Wayne ordering a drink at the iconic Ari’s Bar — named after its owner — aboard the Christina.


Source

: Business Insider, Valef Yachts,

CNN


The ship also doubled as the banquet hall for Aristotle and Jackie Onassis’ wedding reception.

Express Newspapers/Getty ImagesThe couple married on October 21, 1968.


Source

: Getty, TIME


Following an intimate ceremony on his private island Skorpios, the newlyweds boarded the ship with their family and friends.

Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty ImagesAristotle Onassis (center), Jackie Kennedy Onassis (center right), and her daughter Caroline Kennedy (far right).


Source

: TIME


Her reception was just one of the countless high-calibre parties Jackie hosted …

Bill Ray/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images


Source

: Getty, CNN


… and it included guests such as her socialite sister Princess Lee Radziwill and brother-in-law, Lithuanian Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł.

Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesCaroline Kennedy (lower left) with her royal aunt, uncle, and cousin Anna Christina.


Source

: The Guardian


Other notable dignitaries over the years included Princess Grace of Monaco …

Bettmann / Getty ImagesActor Grace Kelly — who married Prince Rainier III of Monaco — boards the Christina for a 10-day Mediterranean cruise.


Source

: Getty


… alongside President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSir Winston Churchill (left) and President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia (right) aboard the Christina in Croatia, 1960.


Source

: Getty


Churchill frequented the boat on numerous occasions …

Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesChurchill chatting with opera singer Maria Callas.


Source

: Valef Yachts


… alongside famous opera singer Maria Callas and her then-husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini. Today, one of the ship’s restored lounges bears her name.

adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty ImagesMaria Callas (seated right) with her husband (standing right) aboard the Christina with Winston Churchill, Onassis’ first wife Athina, and other guests. Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas’ affair ended their first marriages.


Source

: Getty, New York Times

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