Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Even billionaires have to queue up sometimes!

Published on November 16, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

MARINALIVE! was eager to know why the 557 foot mega-yacht Eclipse, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the 50th richest person on the planet with a fortune of over £8billion, was sitting at anchor off Antibes near Nice at the end of August. Abramovich has one of his many worldwide residences in the town and his superyacht can be usually seen moored up in its usual position within the harbour when he is visiting. So why not this time?

It’s sort of comforting, when you have just spent 40 minutes securing a car parking space, to learn that even a Russian billionaire sometimes has trouble finding one for his yacht, but that is exactly what seems to have happened. The port authority received a request from the ‘Eclipse’ to moor in the harbour in the one area, of the 2,000 berth harbour, large enough to accommodate her.

The Antibes port authority informed the Russian billionaire that unfortunately the berth was unavailable as it was currently occupied by the yacht of the Saudi prince who owns the Savoy hotel in London and thought to be worth in excess of £12bn. While the yacht owned by Saudi Prince Al- Waleed bin Talal Alsaud, Kingdom KR5 at 265ft long is less than half the size of ‘Eclipse’ the Prince’s personal fortune puts him above the Russian in the financial pecking order.

Whether this was a significant fact or simply that he arrived first is unknown. However, it was he that took the coveted mooring in ‘Millionaire’s Quay’ on the French Riviera. This left the, probably slightly-miffed, owner of Chelsea FC the only option of anchoring offshore and using a tender to make land.

The Russian is obviously keen on boats as ‘Eclipse’ is the fifth yacht in his personal armada, but this vessel is not your everyday island hopper, this is the largest private yacht ever built and includes, two 16 metre pools, two helipads, a three-man submarine, a missile-detection system, bullet-proof windows, and an anti-paparazzi electronic laser shield.

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