A nice shiney new boat to play with.
Oligarch Buys £200 Million Super-Yacht,
Then Sails Off to Collect Monet Paintings
Built by German Company That Constructed
Battleship Bismarck, the Pride of Nazi Fleet
LUCY COCKCROFT / The Telegraph (UK) 16jul2008
A £200 million super-yacht has set sail on its maiden voyage to Norway, where its Russian billionaire owner stopped off to collect three Claude Monet paintings.
The futuristic vessel, which has enough room to sleep 56, is even bigger and more expensive than the pride of Roman Abramovich's fleet, Pelorus, which cost only £100 million.
It was built for a fellow Russian oligarch, Andrey Melnichenko, 37, who is worth £4.6 billion and was ranked 172 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people.
The yacht, named "A" after his catwalk model wife Aleksandra Nikolic, docked in the Norwegian port of Kristiansand, where three paintings by the French Impressionist artist Monet were loaded on board, amid an impressive security operation.
The trip came just weeks after one of Monet's famous Water Lilies paintings 'Le bassin aux nympheas' sold at Christies auction house in London for £41 million, a record price for the artist at auction.
It was bought by an unnamed buyer and its whereabouts today are unknown, raising speculation Mr Melnichenko may have been the buyer.
Mr Melnichenko is understood to have travelled to the Scandinavian country on board his 400ft super yacht because it is outside the EU and exempt from import tax laws.
He took the trip on board his 400ft super yacht, which features a swimming pool, a large master suite, six luxury cabins for up to 14 guests and enough room for 42 crew members.
Other details of the interior have been kept strictly secret by its German builders Blohm and Voss, who constructed the battleship Bismarck, the pride of the Nazi fleet in World War Two.
But it is rumoured to have helicopter hanger and two 30ft long speed boats which are kept in hatches on both sides of the hull.
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich owns four super-yachts, the most impressive of which is the 377ft Pelorus, 23ft smaller than "A".
However, he has ordered a fifth boat, to be named Eclipse, from the same company as Mr Melnichenko. It is believed to be 482ft - the world's third largest yacht.
Mr Melnichenko was a founder of worldwide MDM Bank and went on to become its president from 1997 to 2001.
He also invested in a number of Russian industrial businesses, including Siberian coal company SUEK and mineral company Eurochem.