Luxury Yacht with a rustic wood burning fireplace...
By Philip Loughran
A basketball court, a wine cellar and a jacuzzi. 82 rooms, eight staterooms and a rustic wood burning fireplace...
Sounds like a fantastic hotel, doesn't it? But it's not. These are just some of the features of the Rising Sun - a yacht originally purchased by the CEO of Oracle. The technology and techniques available to ship builders today is nothing short of remarkable and modern yachts are taking ship building to new extremes. Such advances have brought about some of the most lavish and decadent boats that the world is ever likely to see.
But then, floating luxury is hardly a modern idea. We all remember Titanic - ill-fated though she was, Titanic was also an extreme example of craftsmanship, luxury and pleasure. Not so recent, private super-yachts include Savarona, built in 1931 for the granddaughter of John Roebling (the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge). The onboard hospital and 17 staterooms aren't what set this sea monster apart. It's 'killer feature' has to be the traditional Turkish bath, made out of 260 tons of marble.
Some of her features are simply unbelievable, uncompromising. But the crown goes to the undisputed king of luxury, the mega-yacht of mega-yachts: Eclipse. This has to be the most extravagant, outrageous privately held yacht in the world. Do an internet search, you'll think you're looking at a cruise ship! Owned by and built for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, at a cost of $785 million (of which a pre-agreed sum of $485 million was paid). Underwater access via a mini submarine; a 5,000 square foot master suite with a private garden; these are some of the reasons for it being the most expensive yacht ever built.
It's hard to imagine the extreme luxury of such a vessel and even harder to contemplate it's cost. Boats for charter, at super-yacht level, can reach $500,000 per week. Yes, you read that correctly. And to own a sailing yacht fit for a tycoon? Well, boats of this nature aren't exactly your average used boat. Somewhere in the region of fifty million US dollars seems to be an asking price worthy of a sailing yacht from a respected builder and fitter. That's a lot of money. The kind of money that most people won't come across in their lifetime. And that doesn't even come close to a mega-yacht price tag.
But why despair? There's a great deal more to sailing, to yachting and to being at sea than living in pure luxury. You can enjoy some truly amazing experiences on water and you don't have to be a Russian billionaire, a sultan or a software tycoon to do so. A chartered yacht can be obtained for all sorts of events, holidays or getaways. Experienced sailors or those who know basic seamanship can take a bareboat charter. Those who can't sail - or just don't want to - can take a boat with a crew, enjoy the open seas and relax all the way.