The most expensive yachts in the world are veritable palaces on the water.
Gilded rooms welcome the occupants to utmost comfort where every aspect of a luxurious life is taken care of. They have multiple swimming pools, dance floors, cinema halls, bars and lounges besides an array of amenities fit for the billionaires who own these masterpieces. Not just that, boarding them is also a matter of style; owners do so in helicopters that land on the deck of the boat.
Each yacht is a sleek, stunningly beautiful vessel powered by some of the world’s best engines. They slice through the seas at high speeds with no occupant feeling the lightest of discomfort. The materials used to build the yachts are of the finest quality to ensure that the shine and durability are worth the hefty price tags.
The biggest yachts in the world are famously dubbed superyachts because of their size and luxury factor.
The most expensive private yachts money can buy
History Supreme – USD 4.8 Billion
History Supreme is the world’s most expensive yacht. It was designed by Stuart Hughes for an anonymous Malaysian businessman. Reports speculate that the businessman is Robert Kuok, the founder of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts chain with an estimated net worth of USD 12 billion as per Forbes.
The 30-metre yacht took three years to complete and around 100,000 kg of solid gold and platinum was used in the construction of this extravagant boat. One of the prominent areas where gold was used is the boat’s base, which is wrapped in a thin sheet of the yellow metal. The other areas adorned with a dash of gold include the deck, railings, dining area and even the anchor.
A real dinosaur bone from a T-Rex mounted on a wall made of meteoric stone is one of the luxurious furnishings in the yacht’s main sleeping quarter.
Eclipse — USD 1.5 billion
Measuring 162.5 metres, Eclipse is a superyacht. Owned by former Chelsea boss and billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, it is also one of the world’s most expensive private yachts.
Eclipse has a missile detection system and bulletproof windows to protect the occupant in its master suite. Abramovich’s yacht, which he bought in 2010, has a maximum speed of 21 knots and a maximum range of 6,000 nautical miles on a full tank. Designed by Terry Disdale, the vessel was constructed by German shipbuilder Blohm+Voss.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK imposed sanctions on Abramovich, following which his yacht was reportedly spotted in Turkey where it can be safe from seizure.
It was the world’s biggest yacht until the President of UAE and Emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, bought the superyacht Azzam in 2013.
Azzam — USD 650 million
The 179-metre-long vessel is the world’s largest private yacht — a record it has held since 2013.
Built by German shipbuilder Lürssen Yachts, the boat is a fine masterpiece merging luxury with technology. Like Eclipse, Azzam has its own missile defence system and bulletproof master suite. It is so finely balanced that the chandelier inside the boat doesn’t rattle even at top speed. Additionally, it is one of the fastest yachts on earth, touching 30 knots extracted from the combined 35,048 kW power of four engines.
The interiors of Azzam are done by French interior decorator Christophe Leoni and the exteriors are crafted by Nauta Yacht.
A+ – USD 527 Million
Formerly named Topaz, A+ is another one of the extravagant yachts built at Lürssen. Like Azzam, A+ is also owned by a powerful name from the UAE — Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Launched in 2012, while the boat’s exterior was designed by Tim Heywood, Terence Disdale’s namesake firm, Terence Disdale Design, worked on the spectacular interior of the vessel.
Measuring 147 metres, the 7,990hp engine takes it to a maximum speed of around 23 knots. Two diesel generators provide power to the stabilisers for all onboard systems.
Motor Yacht A — USD 440 million
One of the mega yachts of the world, Motor Yacht A is reportedly owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.
A unique thing about the yacht is its exterior design — it resembles a stealth warship, more particularly the Zumwalt-class destroyer of the US Navy. Launched in 2008, it was built by Blohm+Voss and designed by Martin Francis and Philippe Stark.
Motor Yacht A is 122 metres long. Its master bedroom measures 232 square metres. Considered one of the largest luxury yachts, the vessel has a glass-bottom swimming pool above a disco, besides two swimming pools. A helicopter hangar and a speedboat measuring around nine metres are also part of the yacht. Additionally, the walls separating six guest suites can be moved to create four spacious staterooms.
Dubai — USD 400 million
Most of the expensive yacht owners are residents of the UAE, and Dubai, named after one of the biggest cities in the Gulf country, is no exception.
Dubai is reportedly owned by the Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The yacht was constructed by Blohm+Voss in 2006 and was originally commissioned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei.
Measuring 161.8 metres, its interiors were done by Platinum Yachts and the exterior was designed by Andrew Winch. It is one of the most extravagant yachts in the world, equipped with a mosaic swimming pool, several sunbathing areas and jacuzzis, a split-level owner’s deck, a helipad, and a circular glass staircase, which changes colour when lit from above.
Serene — USD 330 million
Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is one of the world’s most powerful men. Equipped with powerful engines, his yacht, Serene, perfectly compliments its royal owner’s global status.
Serene is fitted with eight diesel-electric MTU 2,828hp engines, which give the vessel a maximum speed of 25 knots. It can travel 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots on a full 800,000-litre tank.
The 133.9-metre-long superyacht was made by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for Russian Vodka tycoon Yuri Shefler in 2011. Its external design is the work of Espen Oeino, while the interior has been done by Reymond Langton Design. Although it is not clear when the Saudi royal bought it from Shefler, the amount he reportedly paid was Euro 500 million (USD 330 million).
As for comfort, the vessel is famously dubbed the ‘Floating Palace’. This is because it has every amenity found in other expensive yachts in the world and much more. It has a snow room, a steam room, an outdoor cinema, a pool with seawater, a Hammam beauty centre, a piano room, an observation room, a beach club and a dance floor, among the many luxurious facilities. There is also an underwater viewing room inside the boat to see marine life.
One of the most famous personalities to have rented the vessel before the Saudi Crown Prince acquired it was billionaire Bill Gates, who took it on a lease of USD 5 million per week.
Radiant — USD 320 million
Radiant is owned by Emirati businessman Abdulla Al Futtaim. Built by Lürssen in 2009, its exterior reflects the style of Tim Heywood and the interiors of Glen Pushelburg.
While the decks are made of teak wood, its exterior is made of aluminium. The Radiant measures 110 metres and can attain a maximum speed of 21 knots powered by its twin 8,715hp twin diesel MTU engines. Like other superyachts of its type, Radiant takes care of the comfort of its occupants, with amenities such as a beach club, massage room and swimming pools.
One of its unique features is a water cannon, which the vessel can use against pirates — a major threat in the waters just off the coast of Somalia.
Al Said — USD 300 million
At 15,850 tonnes, Al Said is the world’s highest displacement superyacht. Measuring 154 metres, the vessel was built by Lürssen in 2008. While Espen Oeino did the exteriors of the vessel, the interior was designed by RWD.
Named after the late Sultan of Oman, Qaboos Bin Said Al Said, the yacht is believed to be currently owned by an unnamed Omani royal. Details of its luxurious comforts are not known, but one of its most famous features is a concert hall that can house a 50-piece orchestra.
The Al Said is fitted with twin diesel 11,149hp MTU engines, which give a maximum cruise speed of 25 knots.
Pelorus — USD 300 million
Pelorus is a class apart. One of the biggest yachts in the world, it was built by Lürssen in 2003. Its current owner, billionaire and Hong Kong property tycoon Samuel Tak Lee, bought the vessel from an unnamed member of the UAE royal family.
Named after the Greek word pelorious, which means ‘vast’, the vessel is 115 metres long. Its interior was designed by Terence Disdale and its exterior by Tim Heywood.
The boat’s two Wärtsilä engines can take it to a top speed of 20 knots. One of its most remarkable features is a private deck attached to the master bedroom, which cannot be seen from any part of the vessel.
Pelorus has a history of frequent changes to its ownership. It was previously owned by American film mogul David Geffen; before that, Roman Abramovich bought it from a Saudi Arabian businessman.
John Terry and Frank Lampard, two Chelsea FC legends, were among the famous names who holidayed on the Pelorus when it was in possession of Abramovich.
(Main and Featured images: Lürssen Yachts)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: History Supreme, the most expensive yacht in the world, is owned by a Malaysian businessman who is believed to be Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ founder Robert Kuok.
Answer: A yacht’s cost is determined mostly by the materials that have gone into its making. For example, the History Supreme comes with gold and platinum structural fittings. No other vessel uses the two metals so extensively as the History Supreme. Technology and luxurious amenities also determine the cost of a boat. For instance, both Eclipse and Azzam are fitted with missile defence systems. Additionally, the latter is also one of the fastest yachts in the world. On the other hand, Serene provides facilities to its occupants that cannot be matched by most of the extravagant yachts.
Answer: As stated earlier, the owner of the most expensive yacht is believed to be Malaysian businessman Robert Kuok. But most of the owners of mega yachts come from Gulf countries, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Answer: Oleg Burlakov, a billionaire Russian businessman who died in 2021, was the owner of the sailing yacht Black Pearl. On the other hand, Katara, which is a superyacht, is believed to be owned by an unnamed royal from Qatar.