Fancy cars, expensive watches, sprawling estates and designer clothing. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when one imagines the lifestyles of the rich and famous. But at a certain stratospheric point, champagne wishes and caviar dreams are merely child’s play and there’s only thing that truly separates the wealthy from the uber wealthy: the Super-Yacht.
Custom designed from bow to stern, these floating palaces are as unique as the power personalities that pay for them, thus making each vessel an exquisite extension of the very empire that built it. Not surprisingly, privacy is of the utmost importance for the high profile guests that spend time onboard but despite high-tech security systems and contractually tightlipped crew, often times you can figure out whose boat is whose in the sea and be seen crowd just by looking at the design. In fact, not only do these billionaire’s boats host a bevy of famous faces from port to port, but some of the most famous yachts seem to be inspired by celebrities themselves.
Commissioned by Steve Jobs, sleek and stunning VENUS stays true to the Apple CEO’s celebration of simplicity with it’s minimalist aesthetic. The collaboration between Jobs and renowned designer Philipe Starck resulted in a modern, radically designed boat that literally looks like it was made in an Apple factory. It should come as no surprise that instead of the usual nautical navigational tools in the captain’s bridge, there are instead seven 27 inch Mac computers used to operate all systems onboard. And while the boat was named after the Roman Goddess of Love, which is a beautiful and ethereal idea, I can’t help but point out a few other names that would have possibly been more fitting considering the company this vessel so clearly represents. (“I-Yacht” or “Mac-Daddy” for example?) Regardless of the name, Stark proudly described the finished product as ‘the elegance of intelligence’ so clearly, if this boat were a celebrity it would be Cate Blanchett: modern, strong and otherworldly in its perfection.
MAIN is the impressive boat belonging to fashion powerhouse Giorgio Armani. In a sea of primarily white boats with shiny stainless steel curves, Main’s sharp lines and dark green hull is a one of a kind vision on the design horizon, although ironically, Armani’s goal was to have his boat blend in as much as possible. Being a person who places a high value on privacy and steers away from anything that attracts too much attention, Armani spent 30 months and over $60 million making sure his pleasure cruiser maintained ‘a military like sense of discipline’. After seeing the end result, I can only say ‘Mission Accomplished Private Armani’. With its angular lines and trim physique, Motoryacht MAIN’s celeb match is most definitely Angelina Jolie. Sexy yet Tough. A lean, mean traveling machine with a defiantly dark exterior.
While this yacht may not be as big as the rest of the ones on the list, what it lacks in length it makes up for in style. BIG TIME. Basically the exact opposite of Armani’s restraint and desire to blend in, fellow Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has made his yacht impossible to ignore. If you’ve ever seen an episode of ‘Pimp My Ride’ on MTV then it will be easy to picture the outrageous iridescent color changing paint that Motoryacht RC is unmistakably covered in. The exact shade is hard to describe as it ranges from a deep emerald green to rich purple with moments of navy blue and sparkling gold, all depending on the angle of the sun. Even Cavalli himself has been quoted to say he’s not sure what color his boat is…but what he does know is that he likes it. So much so that he painted his helicopter to match! The custom color coating costs a whopping $500 a quart, which may sound expensive but perhaps not so much when you consider the fact that you are getting an entire rainbow of colors at once. The interior of the boat is just as flamboyant with a collection of leopard print pillows, mink rugs and snakeskin upholstery. The entire colorful boat is the perfect wild backdrop for all of Cavalli’s star studded parties in the South of France. (although probably not any PETA events). Sexy, glamorous, carefree and provocative if the RC were a celebrity it would be Rihanna.
Holding down the number one spot as the world’s largest and most expensive yacht until being surpassed only recently, Roman Abramovich’s ECLIPSE is the standard of excellence for all yacht owners. This boat has every amenity under the sun including a system that can detect and destroy paparazzi cameras by firing laser beams directly into the unsuspecting lenses. (I think it’s safe to assume there aren’t a whole lot of selfies being taken on Motoryacht ECLIPSE) In addition to the light saber like photo blockers, there are also German built defense missiles strategically installed around the boat, panes of bullet proof glass completely surrounding the master suite and underwater submarine entrances to ensure complete and utter security. All of these safety measures must make the Russian Oligarch feel pretty comfortable and able to cut loose which explains the swimming pool that transforms into a dance floor. I bet you can really dance like nobody’s watching when you have Russian vodka and destructive lasers on your side. ECLIPSE has recently been overshadowed by a boat only 57 feet longer thus losing its title as the world’s largest private yacht, but that doesn’t change the fact that for a long time, it was the biggest and brightest star in the yachting universe. And even though it’s no longer #1 in the world, ECLIPSE and its lasers will still be able to block any shade thrown its way as it sails off into the sunset, always knowing that it was once the best of the best. So clearly, this boat is the Oprah of the ocean.
Motoryacht SEVEN SEAS
When you’re the biggest name in the movie industry, simply one movie theatre on your yacht just isn’t going to cut it. That’s probably why Steven Spielberg had his boat SEVEN SEAS designed so that the 15 foot panel of privacy glass that extends vertically from his infinity pool can also be turned into a film projection screen in addition to his cinema room. Makes sense….sometimes you just need to watch a movie while you swim. I get it. Spielberg’s blockbuster of a boat has a tasteful blue hull and easy, graceful lines which much like his films, makes for pleasant viewing from all perspectives. SEVEN SEAS is a truly magnificent boat with strong character and therefore deserves top billing in any list of Super-Yachts. Unlike many of the yachts similar to its size that end up looking like mini cruise ships or cargo freighters, SEVEN SEAS is larger than life but still somehow avoids being overbearing. If this yacht were a celebrity it would have to be Julia Roberts – Beautiful and captivating, but not trying too hard. Expensive but worth it. The ultimate dreamboat for every movie director from sea to shining sea.
Sail yacht MALTESE FALCON
A groundbreaking feat of engineering and forward thinking design, the MALTESE FALCON is not only the largest private sailboat in the world but also one of the most famous boats ever built. Three 190 foot carbon fiber masts offer the framework for 25,791 feet of sails, which luckily for the crew, are electronically raised and unfurled in a mere six minutes with just the touch of a button. Originally commissioned by Tom Perkins for a price he won’t disclose, the yacht has been since sold to Elena Ambrosiadou who appreciates the mix of tradition and technology despite some people’s opinions that the two should not be merged. Ambrosiadou doesn’t let critics of the MALTESE FALCON take the wind from her sails however, saying “Whenever you push past the current envelope of people’s experience, they sense that risk of unknown.” While it is a breathtakingly beautiful sight to behold what the FALCON’S proud owner loves most about her boat is that it is a record breaking example of how an open mind and technology can make even the most impossible sounding ideas a reality.
If this forward thinking hybrid yacht were a celebrity it would without a doubt be Caitlyn Jenner; and elegant and sophisticated combination of both traditional and modern capabilities. Courageous and progressive, its one of the few yachts to be turned over from a man to a woman (owner).