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Sailing in Millions of Dollars

Luxury yachts of the rich and famous are a treat to the eye. See for yourself!

In terms of sheer scale, there are few luxury goods that can compare to the extravagant superyachts roaming the ocean today.

While large private yachts have long been desirable to those with the resources to own them, the last two decades have seen an explosion in their popularity, not to mention a marked increase in the luxuriousness and scale of their construction.

In the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Russia’s fast-growing economy minted a new class of extremely wealthy billionaires, many of whom quickly developed a taste for incredible ocean-going vessels.

One of the most notable in recent years is “A”, a 394-foot superyacht designed by Philippe Starck for Andrey Melnichenko, a Russian entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of around $10.8 billion.

Since the completion of its construction in 2008, “A” made waves around the world for its daring, low-slung design, as well as it’s astounding array of luxury appointments and technological innovations.

It boasts an opulent 2,583-square-foot master suite, as well as six additional cabins designed to house up to 14 guests and enough room on-board for 42 crew members.

Although Mr. Starck has been quoted as saying he feels many superyachts tend to be tasteless in their design, he says that “A” has “elegance and intelligence, it is not trying to show the money.”

Also worthy of mention is the amount of personal attention paid to the vessel’s design by Starck himself. Besides the overall design, Stark personally designed many of the furnishings, creating a truly astounding work of art with an interior as tasteful as the exterior is striking.

With an overall cost over $300 million, “A” is proof that you really do get what you pay for.

Photo Credit: [http://www.superyachttimes.com/images/4/76/pic1.jpg]
Of course, Russian billionaires aren’t the only ones in the market for extravagant superyachts. American businessman and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made headlines in 2003 when he built what was then the largest private yacht on earth, the 413-foot “Octopus.”

Built at a cost of around $200M, Octopus boasts two helicopters, a submarine, a remote-controlled vehicle that crawls the ocean floor and a crew of 60 to keep it all running smoothly.

Photo Credit: [http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Octopus-yacht.jpg]
Although many superyacht owners have lately been downsizing their fleets due to their incredible operating expenditures (the Octopus reportedly costs $384,000 per week to maintain and operate), Paul Allen has not only held onto his yacht, he recently loaned it to the British navy to be used in a mission to recover items from the HMS Hood, a battle cruiser sunk during WWII.

The mission, which will be funded completely by Allen, seeks to recover the ship’s bell for preservation and document the other remains in hopes of understanding the events that led up to the ship’s sinking.

Featured Image Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4268&picture=yacht-on-sea”>Yacht On Sea</a> by Petr Kratochvil

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