Within the opulent estates of the rich and famous, where every amenity is standard, there’s a world of grandeur that extends far beyond the grand walls of their mega-mansions.
Pools, opulent fixtures, extravagant finishes, private gyms, lavish salons, grand ballrooms, private theaters, and spacious accommodations for both guests and staff are just the beginning. Yet, for those seeking the pinnacle of luxury, they take their extravagance to the sea, in the form of lavish yachts that become floating mansions, rivaling even their on-land counterparts.
The most extravagant of these seafaring estates come with price tags in the hundreds of millions of dollars, boasting the ability to sail the globe and dock at some of the world’s most exclusive playgrounds for the super-rich — think the French Riviera, the Greek Islands, the Florida Keys, or Dubai.
One such magnificent vessel is a 100-foot yacht commissioned by an unidentified Malaysian businessman, designed by Stuart Hughes of Liverpool, England. The yacht, a three-year labor of extravagance, boasts an astounding 100,000 kilograms (110 tons) of solid gold and platinum.
From the deck to the dining area, rails to the anchor, precious metals adorn nearly every facet. Even the yacht’s base is enveloped in gold, adding to its unmatched opulence. The sleeping quarters, fit for royalty, feature a feature wall constructed with meteoric stone, housing a sliver of Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur bone, a testament to its unparalleled extravagance.
Reportedly owned by Robert Kuok, Forbes’ richest man in Malaysia, the yacht’s value is estimated at a staggering $4.8 billion, cementing its status as a maritime masterpiece. Kuok, a 98-year-old tycoon, is known for founding the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts chain in 1971, and his business ventures span the realms of real estate and commodities, with a net worth estimated at $10.6 billion.
Eclipse, a monumental 533-foot superyacht, is the second-longest of its kind globally, boasting nine decks, 18 guest suites, a pristine pool, and the obligatory helipad. What sets it apart is its remarkable built-in missile-defense system and bulletproof windows. Delivered to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in 2010, the yacht, valued at $700 million to build, is one of the most secure vessels on the water. However, due to Abramovich’s sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Eclipse has had to steer clear of waters within the regions of the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, and Australia.
Azzam, christened in 2013, commands attention with its staggering size. It holds the title of the world’s biggest yacht, measuring a formidable 591 feet. Crafted at the German shipyard Lürssen, its construction involved 4,000 individuals and 6 million man hours over four years. The grand interior, adorned with opulent mother of pearl, boasts sleeping accommodations for 36 guests and ample room for 80 crew members. Inside, you’ll discover a sprawling pool, a fully equipped gym, and even a “golf training room.” In addition to its lavish amenities, Azzam is built for speed, reaching a maximum velocity of 33 knots. Previously owned by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates, it’s now under new ownership, with an estimated value ranging between $600 billion and $650 billion.
Solaris, another jewel in Abramovich’s maritime collection, required a whopping $600 million to bring to life. Its voyages led it from Spain to Montenegro, and finally to Turkey and the Aegean Sea, as it nimbly navigated around nations with sanctions. This magnificent yacht, like its peers, sets the standard for luxury on the high seas.
These magnificent vessels are more than yachts; they’re seaborne palaces, offering the super-rich a lifestyle of unparalleled extravagance on the open waters.