When we wrote about all the delays, snafus and spiraling costs surrounding Roman Abramovich's gigayacht Eclipse, many people had a good chuckle over the hundreds of millions of dollars in overages the oligarch incurred in his quest for the world's largest yacht. Now it turns out he's having the last laugh, because the yacht's German builders Blohm + Voss got stuck with the bill. That's because six years ago they rather foolishly signed an ironclad contract to complete the project for €340 million (about $485 million) according to a new report, whereas the actual cost turned out to be closer to €570 million, or about $785 million – meaning B+V took a bath to the tune of $300 million, enough for a whole other megayacht. Now Blohm + Voss' competitors at Lürssen are indulging in a good dose of schadenfreude over the incident while building an even bigger yacht for an Arab sheik.
Having had their fill of St. Barth's and the supermodels and celebs who converged on its posh purlieus for New Year's, Russian billionaires Roman Abramovich and Andrei Melnichenko have now decamped with their megayachts to Anguilla. Abramovich, who stopped off in Barbados en route, dominates the seascape in the Eclipse (above), his $500 million, 550-ft. behemoth built by Blohm + Voss, while Melnichenko makes do with his measly $300 million Philippe Starck-designed destroyer 'A'. Abramovich also brought the Luna along for the ride to Anguilla, the 377 ft. explorer yacht he purchased last year as a sort of support yacht for the Eclipse and lent to Madonna last summer. All three of the enormous vessels were anchored off Meads Bay, allowing their owners easy access to Anguilla's posh resorts including the Viceroy, Frangipani Beach Resort, Carimar Beach Club and Malliouhana Hotel and Spa.
Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen no longer owns one of the world's 10 largest yachts thanks to the just-launched Serene (above) from Fincantieri. At just under 440 ft. Serene is the largest yacht ever built in Italy, and enters the list of the world's largest yachts at No. 9, according to Camper & Nicholsons – just behind the floating brothel Savarona. That knocks Allen's famed 414-ft. Octopus out of the top 10 altogether (No. 1 of course is still, by a mere 18 inches, Roman Abramovich's Eclipse). The billionaire buyer of Serene is unknown. Designed by Espen Oeino, the Serene, which took four years to complete, has seven decks, a tender hangar and two helipads. The high-tech megayacht features a large seawater swimming pool and a submarine with a diving depth of up to 100 metres. The 4,500 square meter interior boasts super-luxe accommodations and entertaining spaces designed by Pascale Reymond of London's Reymond Langton Design.
Filed under: Yachts & Sailing
Roman Abramovich's gigantic high-tech gigayacht Eclipse has been a major headache for German shipyard Blohm + Voss, with the Russian billionaire complaining about everything from the mirrors to the engine vibrations. While the project still stumbles along, as we reported earlier this month it won't even be the world's largest privately owned yacht by the time it's finally finished. Perhaps that's why Blohm + Voss' next big project eschews the ultra-modern in favor of something more appealing than appalling: a 1930s-style superyacht that borrows heavily from the famed firm's 130-year-old archives. At 364 feet, the B+V 111 MY/ Vintage (above) actually qualifies for megayacht status.
In addition to a helipad the exterior spaces offer a swimming pool with glazed side panels and a large beach club aft. The entire 5th deck is devoted to the owner's suite which includes a large bedroom, his and hers bathrooms and dressing areas, a private dining room, gym and lounge. In addition up to 12 guests can be accommodated in four luxury and two VIP guests cabins. An indoor dining area with a lounge connects to an aft deck for al fresco dining and cocktailing. With a crew of 25 seeing to the yacht's diesel-mechanical propulsion system, she's set for a cruising speed of 14.5 knots.
Just as we predicted in our latest story (dated Aug. 23) on Roman Abramovich's gigayacht Eclipse (above), it won't be the world's largest privately owned yacht for very much longer. Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum is reportedly having his own floating palace, the Dubai, refitted to literally eclipse the Eclipse. As we noted in our previous story, at 531.5 ft. the Dubai is already only 18 inches shorter than the actual length of the Eclipse, which yachting experts Camper & Nicholsons finally pegged at 533 ft. Now the London Sunday Times reports that Sheikh Mohammed is planning to have the Dubai extended by at least two feet, and possibly as much as eight feet, easily beating the Eclipse to recapture the World's Largest title. The UAE's Platinum Yachts, which built the Dubai, is considering updates that could include a black box radar to be mounted jutting forward from under the prow. [continued]
Has Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich been exaggerating the size of his gigayacht Eclipse (above), billed as the world's largest and most expensive privately owned yacht? Judging by Camper & Nicholsons' newly-released Super Yachting Index that would seem to be the case. C&N, the leading international yacht broker established in 1782, lists the world's largest yachts among other data in its much-anticipated report. According to their rigorously fact-checked figures, Abramovich's behemoth built by Blohm + Voss is still the world's largest yacht – but only by a hair. C&N states that it measures only 533 ft., a whopping 24 ft. shorter than the figure in general circulation. That means Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum's Dubai at 531.5 ft., which held the World's Largest title until the Eclipse was constructed, is only 18 inches shorter. And since the Dubai ruler basically owns his own shipyard now – the U.A.E.'s Platinum Yachts, where the Dubai was finished – it wouldn't take much for him to have it refitted with an extra few feet of metal to put Abramovich firmly in his place. We expect he'll see to it straight away – meanwhile, Abramovich should consider changing his yacht's name to something a little more humble, like Obstruction.
Aging pop chameleon Madonna has borrowed Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's brand new superyacht while filming W.E., the new Duke of WIndsor movie she's directing in the South of France. No, not the gargantuan Eclipse – we're talking about the 377-ft. Luna (above), the world's largest expedition yacht which Abramovich just took delivery of in April. The luxurious yacht provides convenient accommodation for Madonna as she films the movie's beach scenes, London's Daily Mail reports. Each day she returns via tender to the luxe yacht which features two helipads, a swimming pool, games room and sunbathing areas, along with a beach club leading down to a swim platform. Abramovich, who generously lent Madonna the ship, apparently bought the yacht to tide him over while the Eclipse is being completed; afterward it will act as a support vessel for the megayacht.
Filed under: Events
A-listers such as Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Jude Law, Madonna, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Naomi Watts, bring smaller, specialized projects to the Cinema Society. Likewise, films that draw excess attention, such as "The Twilight Saga," may use the privacy of a smaller Cinema Society gathering to screen a film with a select group in a setting that doesn't require Biblical-scale crowd control.
The entire cast, including Robert Pattinson, attended the Cinema Society launch of "New Moon." But, as only two cast members were attending "Eclipse," Summit Entertainment was only required to line one block with stanchions to hold back onlookers.
Piaget sponsored "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" on Monday, June 28, with the thought of connecting to an affluent youth audience. "Please keep details of the evening completely confidential beforehand," mentioned the Luxist invite. The secret location: The boutique Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, which boasts a well-appointed but discreet screening room at basement level.
"Piaget was founded in 1874 in a small village in Switzerland's Jura Mountains," Larry Boland, Piaget North America President, told Luxist. "There, the name Piaget is like Smith here," he quipped.
Florida's Atlantic Yachts is collaborating with Rolls-Royce's Marine division to design and engineer a new line of superyachts dubbed the NVC 85 Y. The 279-ft. ships will be built by Germany's Nobiskrug GmbH while Atlantic's founder Paul Madden, formerly of Blohm + Voss (builders of Roman Abramovich's gigayacht Eclipse) will oversee the project. Available in different trims, the yachts will be equipped with completely bespoke interiors with plenty of Rolls-Royce branding. Featuring a steel superstructure and hydrodynamically efficient hull the NVC 85 Ys will be capable of a maximum speed of about 20 knots and a cruising speed of 17 knots with a range of 8,000 nautical miles at cruising speed, with the aim of minimizing fuel consumption and environmental impact. Accommodation for 12 passengers in six double cabins and 22 crew members will be the base configuration, while a helipad on the foredeck assures they will arrive in style. While no price has yet been named, Killian Yacht & Ship Brokers will handle sales beginning with the first completed hull in 2012.
Gallery: Rolls-Royce NVC 85 Y Superyacht
Roman Abramovich's new 557-ft. Eclipse (above), the world's largest and most expensive privately owned yacht, is awash in a sea of snafus leaving the oligarch steaming mad, the London Daily Mail reports. Abramovich has yet to take delivery of the jaw-dropping ship, which is said to have cost up to $1 billion and features a military-grade missile defense system, armor plating, bullet-proof windows, three helipads, two swimming pools and a wellness center. He is reportedly feuding with the boatyard, Germany's Blohm + Voss, over allegedly defective finishes and fittings.
The paper reports that the problems are said to include a giant mirror on one of the nine decks being smashed during tests in the North Sea; vibrations from the electro-diesel engines rattling the billionaire's bespoke crystal glassware; a dispute over demands by Abramovich that exotic animal and reptile skins used on chairs and to line the walls of a massage room be ethically sourced; an argument over who should pay for shifting the location of one of the helipads; difficulties with the French-made navigation system; and flaking paint on some of the decks. Neither Blohm + Voss nor Abramovich would comment for the Daily Mail's story.
German newspaper Bild has scored an exclusive sneak peak inside Roman Abramovich's new 557-ft. Eclipse (above), the world's largest and most expensive privately owned yacht which was recently completed by Hamburg shipyard Blohm + Voss at a cost estimated to be near $1 billion. The gigayacht boasts every luxury finish imaginable in its nearly 20,000-sq-.ft. interior, including a master suite upholstered in shagreen (stingray skin) on the topmost sixth deck with a retractable moon roof. On Deck 4 there are two VIP suites and eight guest cabins, while accommodations for the 80 crew members needed to man the massive vessel are located in the bow. The décor however is fairly understated with earth tones predominating, we note. One of the three helicopter landing pads disappears under the deck with the push of a button, and the yacht also features the world's largest onboard swimming pool which converts into a dancefloor, in addition to a wellness center including a fitness studio, hairdresser, massage parlor, sauna, steambath and whirlpool. Bild notes the Eclipse will cost about $100,000 per day, or $36.5 million per year, to operate. Check out some exclusive interior images here.
In addition to the military-grade missile defense system, armor plating and bullet-proof windows featured on Roman Abramovich's new 557-ft. Eclipse (above), the world's largest and most expensive privately owned yacht, the Russian oligarch has installed a high-tech anti-photo shield designed to keep the paparazzi at bay. The system relies on lasers to block any digital camera lenses nearby, the London Times reports. Infrared lasers will detect the cameras' electronic light sensors, known as charge-coupled devices (CCDs), and then fire a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image. The Times, which also claims the total cost of the Eclipse has now ballooned over the $1 billion mark, reports the yacht set off on a sea trial last week with 150 engineers and maritime experts aboard who will put it through its paces over 10 days. Abramovich, who just paid $89 million for a villa in St. Bart's, is due to take delivery of the yacht on December 22.
Regular Luxist readers have followed the saga of the Eclipse, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's newly launched megayacht which at 557 ft. is the largest private yacht in the world. Now anyone with $500 million to spend can top his triumph by nearly 100 ft. with the 656 ft. Everest designed by Donald Starkey. Rumors about the Everest have been kicking around for a while but it seems the ship, which ushers in a new class of "gigayachts", is actually under construction in Fort Lauderdale and is slated for completion next year, meaning Abramovich has only a few months left to enjoy his naval supremacy. The Everest will be longer than two football fields and have five decks serviced by two elevators, a helipad, a submarine and accommodations for 36 passengers in 17 apartments, including an owner's private penthouse suite on the top deck.
Back in April we reported that despite the economic crisis Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich planned to complete work on the 557-ft. Eclipse, the world's largest and most expensive privately owned yacht. Now the ocean-going behemoth has been launched on its maiden voyage to test operational systems before the finishing touches are applied, at a reported final cost of close to $500 million according to the London Daily Mail. As the all-white megayacht glided out of the Blohm & Voss shipyard (above) in Hamburg, Germany the other day, it dwarfed a navy destroyer it passed along the way.
The Eclipse, which features a military-grade missile defense system, armor plating and bullet-proof windows, will literally eclipse the recently-debuted $350 million, 531-ft. Dubai owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai. The ship also has a submarine that can be launched underwater and dive to a depth of 160 ft. that doubles as an escape pod, as well as two helicopter pads. Abramovich already owns several other superyachts, including the 377-ft. Pelorus, the 282 ft. Ecstasea and the 160 ft. Sussurro, which cost him $25 million a year to maintain, and apparently plans to keep them all.
Gallery: Abramovich's Megayachts
Filed under: Yachts & Sailing
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's new $355 million, 555-ft. Eclipse, designed to be the world's biggest, will have a military-grade missile defense system to keep the oligarch safe. My colleague Deidre Woollard first reported on initial plans for the Eclipse back in January. Now further details are emerging about the megayacht (rendering above), which when completed next summer will be 25 ft. longer than Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's 530-ft. Platinum, currently ranked as the biggest yacht in the world. Secrecy surrounds the Eclipse, but sources tell the London Times that an antiballistic missile defense system is being installed by AST, a company with close ties to both the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, where the yacht is being built, and the German defense ministry.
The Eclipse is also being equipped with armor plating surrounding the bridge and Abramovich's master suite, as well as bullet-proof windows. There's also a submarine that can be launched underwater and dive to a depth of 160 ft. that doubles as an escape pod, as well as two helicopter pads. Civilian ships are not allowed to carry weapons and so have to limit themselves to defense systems, but Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz gets around this by having his 482-ft. yacht registered as a Royal Saudi Navy vessel, said to be equipped with French-made Exocet missiles. Pirate attacks on luxury craft are on the rise of late. Abramovich owns three other megayachts already: the 377 ft. Pelorus, the 282 ft. Ecstasea and the 160 ft. Sussurro.
Gallery: Abramovich's Megayachts