Photo: Wikimedia Commons
There is arguably no greater symbol of wealth than an enormous, gleaming, luxurious yacht.Yachts are the ultimate toys for those who have out-earned the modes of common recreation. They offer privacy, extravagance, and comfort tailored to the exact specifications of the owner.
In the last decade, the uber-rich have entered into a worldwide arms race to build the largest, sleekest, fastest, most over-the-top floating toys a person could imagine.
The latest entrant, the gold-plated History Supreme, cost an eye-popping $4.8 billion.
The result is a veritable armada of money-soaked super yachts docked in ports across the world.
Owner: Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft
Length: 416 ft
Coolest Feature: You can buy it! Tatoosh was put up for sale in 2010 but has yet to be sold. So if you have a couple million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, contact Fraser Yachts.
Owner: Elena Ambrosiadou, co-founder of the London-based hedge fund IKOS Asset Management
Length: 289 ft
Coolest Feature: This is the largest sailing yacht in the world, making it wholly different from the other motor yachts on this list. It lacks the square footage of some of its counterparts, but it still houses five state rooms, a saloon, and a submarine.
Owner: Roman Abramovich, , Russian billionaire owner of the investment company Millhouse LLC and Chelsea Football Club.
Length: 375 ft
Coolest Feature: The body guards. rumour is that a number of the yacht's 40 crew members are former British special forces fighters. In addition, Abramovich has let Chelsea soccer stars use the yacht for their honeymoons.
Owner: Barry Dillon and Diane von Furstenberg, American media mogul and fashion designer, respectively.
Length: 271 ft
Coolest Feature: A Diane von Furstenberg figurehead. The prowl of Eos reportedly features a sculpture of von Furstenberg done by Anh Duong. So if you are ever on the high seas and you see an enormous DVF coming toward you, you're looking at the Eos.
Source: Harper's Bazaar
Owner: Paul Allen
Length: 413 feet
Coolest Feature: While most super yachts are content to house one submarine and one helicopter, the Octopus accommodates two of each. In addition to its 10-man submarine, the yacht has a remote-controlled sub designed to explore the ocean floor.
Owner: Unknown buyer, formerly Roman Abramovich
Length: 282 feet
Coolest Feature: This is the largest yacht ever built by Feadship -- a Dutch cooperative between two shipyards and one maritime engineering company. To no surprise, it was commissioned by Abramovich in 2004.
Owner: Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabian defence Minister
Length: 457 feet
Coolest Feature: An indoor pool with a glass roof. The Al Salamah has all the contemporary yacht luxuries, but putting an indoor pool on a boat ups the ante for future yacht-builders looking to go further and further over the top.
Owner: David Geffen, American media mogul, formerly owned by Oracle's Larry Ellison.
Length: 453 feet
Coolest Feature: You could point to the wine cellar, the 82 rooms, the basketball court, or the movie theatre. But the coolest part of this yacht is the story of its construction: the ship was part of an ongoing rivalry between Ellison and Paul Allen, whose own yacht, the Octopus, was launched while Rising Sun was still under construction. By the time Rising Sun hit the water, it was a few meters longer than originally planned, overtaking the Octopus by a 40 feet.
Owner: Nasser al-Rashid, Saudi businessman and advisor to the Saudi royal family.
Length: 344 feet
Coolest Feature: An on-board beach. The Lady Moura has a hydraulic platform covered in sand that can be lowered to just above the waterline, where guests can suntan, swim, and be generally amazed that they're sitting on an on-board beach.
Owner: Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar.
Length: 437 ft
Coolest Feature: Its lavish interior. It features a staircase with hand-cut crystal panels, and suspended artwork by renowned American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.
Owner: Sultan Qoobas bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman
Length: 508 feet
Coolest Feature: Perhaps the most private yacht in the world, the ship was codenamed Project Sunflower during its construction in 2007. It's can accommodate a crew of 150 and reportedly houses a concert hall that can host a 50-piece orchestra. But without so much as a single internal photograph of the yacht, further details are unknown.
Owner: Shiek Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE
Length: 525 ft
Coolest Feature: Take your pick: a landing pad for a Blackhawk helicopter, a garage for the a submarine, and a glass spiral staircase connecting the VIP suites all helped establish the Dubai the gold standard of super yachts when it was completed in 2006.
Owner: Roman Abramovich
Length: 533 ft
Coolest Feature: You mean besides the anti-missile defence system? How about an anti-paparazzi laser shield that can scan for nearby cameras, and then fire a beam of light at the photographer's lens to destroy the photos. It may not be legal, but it's still pretty cool. The yacht reportedly cost $800 million to build and Abramovich paid $485 million, a relative steal.
Source: Huffington Post
Owner: an anonymous Malaysian businessman, possibly Robert Kuok
Coolest feature: It's hard to believe, but the History Supreme, a vessel built with more than 100,000 kg of precious metals including gold and platinum, cost nearly 10 times what Roman Abramovich paid for the Eclipse. The yacht has decorations made of t-rex bones and meteoric stone.
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