Billionaires Flock to The Caribbean With 52 Super-Yachts to Celebrate Christmas

Published December 23rd, 2019 - 11:43 GMT
Roman Abramovich's Eclipse yacht lies moored in Barcelona (Shutterstock)
Roman Abramovich's Eclipse yacht lies moored in Barcelona (Shutterstock)
The incredible vessel also contains two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dedicated disco hall, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence system. 

Superyachts including Roman Abramovich's 533 ft vessel and music mogul David Geffen's Rising Sun have descended upon the Caribbean ready for Christmas.

The Chelsea Football Club owner's vessel, called Eclipse, is currently in St Maarten along with at least 50 other superyachts.

Billionaires the world over have clearly decided the luxury islands are the place to be to see in Christmas and the New Year, as the amount of vessels has swollen from 16 in November to 52 in December.

At the time of writing, Abramovich's superyacht is currently the biggest in the area, as reported by Bloomberg Quint.

The Eclipse super yacht was built by German company Blohm&Voss and designed by Terence Disdale. It was originally built at Hamburg's Blohm Voss shipbuilders in 2010 and 2011.

Eclipse was formerly the world's largest private yacht at 62.5 metres (533 ft 2 in) long, until it was surpassed by the 590ft Azzam in April 2013.  

She has four diesel engines and a maximum speed of 22 knots, although this speed is well surpassed by some of the newer superyacht builds. 

It can accommodate 36 guests in comfort, and boasts a cinema, conference facilities, children's playroom, beauty salon, dance floor, swimming pool and sauna.

The incredible vessel also contains two swimming pools, two helicopter pads, a dedicated disco hall, around 30 cabins, a mini-submarine, and even a missile defence system. 

It has armour-plating around Mr Abramovich's master suite, bullet-proof windows and a laser system designed to dazzle long-lens photographers.

When it was ordered, the initial cost was estimated at around $500million, but by the time Mr Abramovich took delivery in 2012 it was spiralling towards the $1.5billion mark because of the extra luxury fittings and security measures.

Russian billionaire Victor Rashnikov's Ocean Victory is the second largest in the area, coming in at 459 ft. She was launched in 2014 and can accommodate up to 36 guests. Its interior was designed by the late Alberto Pinto.

It was build in Muggiano, Italy and launched in 2014, coming in at number nine in the Top 10 largest yachts in the world.

It features a helideck with lifting platform and internal helicopter hangar, an underwater observation room, six pools and a 300 square metre spa area.

Closely followed by music mogul David Geffen's Rising Sun at 456 ft, which is currently moored in St Barts. Rising Sun was built in 2004 by Lurrsen and last refitted in 2007. Up to 16 guests can comfortably cruise on the yacht at a time. 

It has been owned by David Geffen since 2010, after being built for Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation. It is the 12th largest yacht in the world at a length of almost 453 ft (138 metres). It reportedly cost over £153 million (US$200 million) to build.

Russian oil tycoon Evgeny Shvidler, with his 371 ft superyacht Le Grand Bleu, is also thought to be in St Barts.

The boat, which is the length of a football field at 371 ft (113 metres), offers a 65-person crew, a helicopter, an aquarium, and a speedboat. The superyacht can hold 20 guests, as well as two smaller boats.

She was built at the Bremer Vulkan yard in Bremen, Germany and launched in 2000. She was designed by Stefano Pastrovich and constructed by Kusch Yachts.

Shvidler received it as a gift from his friend Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch and friend of President Vladimir Putin reportedly as a thank you, recognizing his hard work at the investment company they run together. 

The boat also boasts two additional yachts on individual cranes that she carries on the topside of the aft of the boat. 

Fashion mogul Bernard Arnault, who owns Louis Vuitton, is thought to be on route to St Maarten in his vessel Symphony. The superyacht is 333 ft (101 metres) in length and boasts eight cabins that can accommodate up to 20 guests. 

Symphony was designed by Tim Heywood Design and launched in 2015 with a maximum speed of 21 knots. It boasts luxury features including a 6 metre glass-bottom swimming pool on main deck, an outdoor cinema on bridge deck, and a jacuzzi on the sundeck. 

And Ace, the 285 ft vessel owned by Walmart heiress Ann Walton is thought to be in Antigua, as reported by Forbes. She was delivered to her owner in July 2012. The yacht accommodates 10 guests and 28 crew members. Her exterior and interior were both created by Andrew Winch designs.

Ace's interior features a spa, including a hammam, massage room, plunge pool and a Jacuzzi. Other features are a beach club, gym, movie theater, toys & tenders and helicopter landing capabilities. 

It comes just a week after the yacht formerly owned by Abramovich, the 282ft Esctasea, crashed while docking at a Marina, at St Maarten.

Entering the bay last Sunday at 3pm, it is believed a combination of adverse wind and current conditions caused the superyacht to veer right and hit the control booth.

The impact forced almost all of the booth to come away and fall into the water below, seconds after the bridge operator manages to jump out of his seat inside it.

No one was harmed during the incident, and the bridge was fully functional, as the control gears were not damaged during the incident.

The Ecstasea was commissioned by Abramovich in 2004, who built his fortune during the opening up of the Soviet Union to private business in the early 1990s.

It was constructed by First Export Association of Dutch Shipbuilders, a collaboration between two Dutch shipyards known for building the custom superyachts. At the time, it was the largest vessel the group had built.  

In 2009, Abramovich sold the vessel to Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, for £95 million (US$120 million). 

Sheikh Mohammed then sold it to shipping magnate Alshair Fiyaz in 2014 for £58 million (US$75 million).

The country of Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and forms part of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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