The economic recession hasn’t stood in the way of Russian businessman, Roman Abramovich, who is currently finishing his new mega yacht Eclipse. Measuring in at an estimated 557 feet, Abramovich will soon earn the title “owner of the world’s largest yacht”. Currently the title belongs to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and his yacht Dubai. The ocean-going yacht Eclipse is currently in the finishing phase, and is reported to cost the Russian nearly one billion US dollars after you add up all the bells and whistles. No, that’s not a typo, that’s $1 billion… BILLION!
The mega yacht Eclipse was built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and being the largest yacht in the world isn’t the only unique characteristic of this private ship. The Eclipse features armor plating, bullet-proof windows, two helicopter pads, three launches, and even a system for stopping the paparazzi. The “paparazzi shield” is able to scan for electronic light sensors used in digital cameras, and if it detects a camera nearby, it automatically shoots a high power laser that renders the camera unable to take a picture.
In addition to two swimming pools and several hot tubs, rumors are that this enormous mega yacht also has a submarine that can dive to a depth of 160 feet. For accommodations, it’s said that Roman Abramovich will enjoy a 5,000 sq. foot master bedroom on Eclipse, while guests will stay in any of 11 guest cabins, each having six-foot movie screens. The yacht will also be filled with expensive art, which this owner of the Chelsea football club has been buying to fill the walls of his new toy. This should please his girlfriend Daria Zhukova, the editor of British fashion magazine “Pop”, who owns an art gallery herself. At night, the twosome and their guests can enjoy dancing in the “disco hall” on the Eclipse, but they won’t be alone. Approximately 70 full-time crew members are needed to operate the mega yacht .
The Eclipse is currently undergoing finishing in Denmark before being delivered to Roman Abramovich, which is expected to occur before July of 2010. This is months behind schedule, and over four years after Eclipse was originally commissioned. It has been reported that this is testing the Russian billionaire’s patience, and he has allegedly threatened to withhold the final payment of the mega yacht until he’s fully satisfied with its completion.
Abramovich, who is worth over 8.5 billion US dollars according to Forbes magazine, isn’t going boatless in the meantime. He already owns a couple other mega yachts, including the 377 foot Pelorus, and the tiny little 160 foot yacht Sussurro. His mega yacht fleet is estimated to cost him around $25 million a year just to maintain, but apparently this is no problem for the 51st richest person in the world, who says he plans to keep them all. You know how it is: Sometimes you want to take out the big boat, and sometimes you just want to putt around on the 160-footer.