Russian billionaire, Andrey Melnichenko, has christened his futuristic superyacht 'A' so nothing can precede it in the list of all-time great vessels. The extraordinary shape – the handiwork of Philippe Starck, the French interior designer whose work takes in everything from boutique hotels to kitchen appliances – has been likened to both a first world war battleship and a submarine.
This 390ft steel yacht will cut through Arctic ice and has doors at the rear that open upwards to release two 30ft speedboats. The Rolls-Royce steering system can guide it across the Atlantic in less than seven days. Melnichenko and his wife Aleksandra, the inspiration for the name A – can relax in a loft-style apartment that runs more than 80ft, the length of the top deck, and opens onto a balcony at the rear. Should he need to get to his Moscow office in a hurry, there is a helicopter pad on the foredeck.
Soon to come Roman Abramovich is due to launch a yacht at the end of this year at a cost of £240m. At 613ft long and weighing 13,000 tons, it will be the world’s largest superyacht. Not for nothing will it be called the Eclipse.
NOW THATS GOING TO BE A GOOD PLACE TO PARTY NEXT YEAR IN ST. BARTS! GO ROMAN!