The race among the world’s billionaires to outdo their peers means massive prices are becoming relatively commonplace in the world of superyachts–and the cost of the vessel itself is just the start. Throne rooms? Check. Original oil paintings? Check. Integrated weapons systems and arsenals of toys for air, sea and subsurface fun? Check, check, and BOOM! The potential for building the next most expensive superyacht in the world has never been greater than it is today. So here then, in ascending vulgarity (oops—I mean price), are 10 of the most outrageous superyachts the world has ever seen.
(1) Octopus ($200 million)
We’ll start with quite a modest superyacht owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. At 414 feet in length and $200 million, M/Y Octopus comes with a pair of helicopters, a ten-man submarine, a remotely operated sub for seabed exploration, a recording studio, a glass-bottomed swimming pool, a cinema, and seven tenders.
Built in 2003 by famous German superyacht specialist Lurssen, it has been loaned out on several occasions for survey and search and rescue operations.
(2) Al Mirqab ($245 million)
M/Y Al Mirqab, owned by the former Prime Minister of Qatar, is powered by a diesel-electric plant that uses five 2,800 kW generators, a pair of electric motors, and conventional shaft drives.
Though a top speed of 20 knots and accommodation for 36 guests and 45 crew is fairly standard, her Andrew Winch interior design is uncommonly dramatic. It revolves around a central staircase that intersects four floors, with lots of crystal detailing and suspended glasswork. In fact, such is the spectacle that this superyacht won not just ‘Motor Yacht of the Year’ in 2009, but also ‘Best Interior Design’.
(3) Dilbar ($250 million)
Designed by Tom Heywood and Alberto Pinto and owned by Russian steel magnate Alisher Usmanov, Dilbar is described by Lürssen as an exponent of the ‘green engine concept’.
The aim is to reduce emissions with an efficient propulsion system based around four generating sets supplying power both for the domestic load and for the four thrusters. It also has a diesel propulsion system hooked up to exhausts which (as on the gensets) are fitted with ultra-green particle filters. Exact specifications are limited but it's thought that this 361-foot steel and aluminium yacht can hit a top end of 21 knots.
(4) Al Said ($295 million)
Again the work of Lürssen Yachts, this six-deck, 16,000-tonne, 509-foot superyacht is owned by the Sultan of Oman. Launched in 2008 and now berthed in Muscat, Oman, Al Saïd has a top speed of around 25 knots and is reported to have a crew of 150 and space for 65 guests.
Internally, she uses large, classically panelled entertaining spaces, including a concert hall big enough to house a 50-piece orchestra.
(5) Superyacht A ($317 million)
Designed by Philippe Starck with naval architecture from Francis Design and build from Blohm + Voss, Superyacht A is the property of Russian billionaire, Andrei Melnichenko.
Accommodation for 14 guests and 42 crew is rather limited considering the boat's price and size, and those narrow, raked lines also mean fairly minimal deck space. As to how attractive it does or does not look, we leave it to you to decide.
(6) Dubai ($350 million)
If Barack Obama owned a $350 million megayacht we might have reason to request greater transparency over the national budget deficit. But in the UAE, the Prime Minister's ownership of a sparkly 531-footer doesn't eyebrows one bit.
With design from Andrew Winch, M/Y Dubai can accommodate 24 guests in 12 suites, all of which come with private balconies and panoramic sea views. In addition to the usual features (a swimming pool, cinema, helipad, gym, disco, barbecue deck, and submarine are among them), there's also a vast central atrium more than 70' wide.
(7) Eclipse ($461 million)
At 534 feet, this superyacht was designed by Abramovich to ‘eclipse’ SY Dubai by a matter of inches – and on its release from the Blohm & Voss yard in 2010, it duly became the biggest superyacht in the world.
In addition to a 180-foot owner’s deck, three helicopters and berths for up to 92 crew, it also boasts an anti-missile defence system and a 50-foot swimming pool, the base of which can be raised to create a dance floor.
(8) Azzam ($599 million)
At more than 590 feet in length, M/Y Azzam is currently the largest superyacht in the world. Owned by the President of the United Arab Emirates, not much is known about Azzam other than the fact that she was built by Lurssen at a cost of around $599 million.
Her exterior styling comes from Nauta Yacht Design, her French-style interior is from Christophe Leoni and her propulsion uses two fixed and two directional water jets for a top end approaching 32 knots.
(9) Topaz ($615 million)
It might only be 483 feet in length (50 feet shorter than Abramovich’s Eclipse) but with its steel hull, aluminium superstructure and 70-foot beam, this Lurssen-built monster is one of the most expensive craft ever built.
Launched in 2012, this 12,000-tonne vessel was designed by Rutland-based British designer, Tim Heywood. Details have remained scarce since its launch but it is now thought to be owned by the Saudi Royal Family.
(10) Triple Deuce ($983 million)
At 728 feet in length, Triple Deuce is set to become the biggest and most expensive private yacht in history. With triple gas turbine engines generating more than 100,000 HP, she is expected to carry 36 guests and 100 crew at speeds in excess of 30 knots.
The vast owner’s suite will comprise 3,000 square feet over two decks, with private access both up to the helipad and down to the drive-in dock. For now, the identity of that owner is unknown. But if the intention is to blow the rest of the billionaire fraternity out of the water, Triple Deuce might be the perfect solution.