The Worlds Biggest Yacht

Russian billionaire finally reveals the world's biggest yacht.

[ClickPress, Wed Apr 28 2010] Roman Abramovich, 44, Russian billionaire, boasts owning not only the world's largest aeroplane, the Bandit, a Boeing 767-33A/ER, but he now also owns the world's largest yacht: a 557-foot mega-boat called the Eclipse. Abramovich runs three other large yachts, Pelorus (377 ft), Sussurro (282 ft) and Ecstasea (161 ft).

Estimated cost of building the Eclipse has varied from $400 million to $1.2 billion. The luxury liner has more than a few high-tech amenities, with a missile defense system, bullet-proof glass, a submarine and an anti-paparazzi laser shield. The goal was to make the Eclipse pirate-proof.

The laser shield is created by infrared lasers, known as charge-coupled devices, which sense the electronic light sensors in nearby cameras. When the system locks on, it fires a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image.

If security guards spot a photographer loitering they can also manually activate the beams.

The luxury yacht also has two helipads, a military-grade missile-detection system, a luxury spa, swimming pool and a miniature submarine. It has bullet-proof windows and also sports armour-plating around Abramovich's master suite. The mini sub doubles as an escape pod. Abramovich, with his own 40 personnel army, is one of the highest protected businessmen in the world.

According to industry specialists, the Eclipse has been purpose built to overshadow the world's current largest private yacht, a 525-footer owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Pelorus, costs 73,000 pounds just to fill up the fuel tanks. With its cabins for 22 guests and 40 staff it is used for entertaining.

Abramovich uses Ecstasea, his Chinese-themed boat, for cruising and the shorter Sussuro for loaning to friends, or short trips.

He started off selling plastic ducks from a Moscow apartment, before he made his fortune in oil and commodities such as nickel and aluminum, as well as other investments, including pig farms. He is the owner of Chelsea Football Club. According to Forbes, he is the 50th wealthiest man in the world.

He admits to having paid billions of dollars for political favours and protection fees, in order to get hold of a large share of Russia’s aluminium and oil assets. He was apprehended for stealing government property in 1992. The charges were dropped after the oil production factory was paid back. There were also allegations of loan fraud. In the global financial crisis Abramovich lost 13 billion pounds.

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