The good news first: You too can book some of the yachts presented for your next holiday. The bad news: That can cost 300,000 euros or significantly more per week. For normal people, the purchase or the short-term use of a mega yacht is simply priceless. But those who have made it to something really appreciate the flexibility, the enormous luxury and the privacy of their own ship.
Otherwise, it’s hard to explain how much money billionaires in the tech industry throw around when it comes to building (or renting) a yacht. In these spheres, ships like Google founder Larry Page’s Senses, priced at an estimated $45 million, are downright bargains. The same applies in this world: faster, higher, longer and above all – more expensive.
Jeff Bezos beats them all
The current leader is probably Mail.ru founder Yuri Milner, who paid around 250 million US dollars for his Andromeda. The late Microsoft founder Paul Allen’s Octopus yacht also entered this space at €235 million, as did Dreamworks founder David Geffen, who paid $200 million for his Rising Sun.
But that’s all old school – in keeping with the times. At the latest when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos pushes his sailing yacht Y721 through the bridge in the port of Rotterdam (read here why he should pack umbrellas), he is at the forefront with an estimated purchase price of 500 million dollars (half a billion!). If he doesn’t already do that, he also supposedly owns the Flying Fox, a $400 million yacht whose ownership is unclear. Shell companies in the British Virgin Islands make it possible.
However, the Flying Fox is one of the ships that can be rented. The price? A mere three million euros – a week.
An icebreaker in the Caribbean
Incidentally, the flagships of the tech giants also have real special features: The Legend of former Google boss Eric Schmidt, for example, was once a Russian icebreaker. Now you could charter the ship for a cruise through Caribbean waters and not have to worry if disruptive environmental activists set out on a ramming course.
If you like a special design, you should take a look at the Venus yacht of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs. Or may it be something more warlike? Then the Skat by Microsoft developer Charles Simonyi would be the first choice. Unfortunately she was only recently sold and the new owner is unknown.
Something more classic is the sailors of Netscape founder Jim Clark and Interactive Corp. boss Barry Diller. Diller’s group includes the dating app Tinder. But don’t be fooled: Just because wind power saves a little fuel, these yachts still cost between $100 and $200 million.
How to track the ships
The best way to get away is probably to look at the ships from the outside. Worthwhile ports for this are, for example, Palm Beach, Barcelona or – very classic – the port of Saint-Barthélemy at the turn of the year. Where the yachts are currently located can be found out at any time using the so-called IMO numbers of the International Maritime Organization.