The World’s Largest Yachts

THE PAST: J. P. Morgan built the CORSAIR at the height of the Great Depression.  She was a classic yacht and reflected a style of life now totally something of cruising the past.

THE FUTURE: 2010 – The largest yacht in the world.

Cruising the past and future: The World’s Largest Yachts in 2010

The world’s super yachts are some of the biggest and most expensive toys of the super rich, floating palaces with unique features that can carry price tags into the hundreds of millions.

Super yachts are privately owned vessels that are professionally crewed and are found in the greatest abundance in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and the Middle East.

Cruising The Past presents its annual list of the largest yachts currently on the water, giving owners the bragging rights of having one of the world’s largest boats, and at times, competing with each other.

Although some of these yachts have not yet had their first voyage, the vessels not yet on the water are expected to be delivered before the end of 2010.

So, which super yachts rank as the largest in 2010?

Number 10 – Al Mirqab

At approximately 437 feet, the Al Miqab, is the 10th largest yacht in the world. Owned by Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, it was launched in 2008 and is estimated to value between $250 and $300 million. The vessel is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, awarded “Motor Yacht of The Year” and “Best Interior Design” at the World Super yacht Awards in 2009.

The Al Mirqab can accommodate up to 60 guests and 60 crew members and features a helicopter landing pad, a Jacuzzi on deck, a movie theater and an on-board elevator. With gross tonnage of 5511 tons, the hull is made of steel with an aluminum superstructure and is nearly 64 feet at its widest point. She sails under the flag of the Cayman Islands.

Number 9 – Serene

Built by Fincantieri Yachts and designed by Monaco’s Espen Oeino designers, the Serene is set to launch in 2010 and is currently being outfitted, according to When completed, it will be the largest yacht ever to be built in Italy.

The yacht began construction in 2007 and is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced super yachts currently being built. It features seven decks, two helicopter landing platforms, storage for a large submarine and a large internal seawater pool.

Number 8 – Savarona

Once the world’s largest yacht, the Savarona was built in 1931 and had a length that was certainly ahead of its time. Originally intended for Presidential use, the vessel is owned by Turkey but had been leased to a number of clients in recent years. However on September 30th 2010, the vessel was reverted back to the Turkish state after being involved in a prostitution scandal involving a Kazakh businessman.

The first yacht to be built by German-based Blohm and Voss, it cost $4 million to construct ($57 million in 2010 dollars) it is known for its 282 foot gold-trimmed grand staircase, as well as its library, swimming pool and Turkish bath.

Number 7 – Rising Sun

Owned jointly by Oracle founder Larry Ellison and media mogul David Geffen, the Rising Sun is rumored to have been commissioned by Ellison to eclipse Paul Allen’s Octopus in size. Built in 2004 and refitted in 2007, the vessel has accommodation for up to 16 guests and 45 crew members.

It is estimated that the yacht costs $13 million annually to maintain and cost in excess of $200 million to build. The Rising Sun has also become so popular that it has spawned its own fan site,, which features videos and postings related to the ship.

Number 6 – Al Salamah

The sixth largest yacht in the world is the Al Salamah, owned by Saudi Arabia’s defense minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. Built in Germany by HDW and Lurseen Yachts, much of the ship is kept secret, but it is believed to have over 80 rooms, a helipad and an indoor swimming pool with a glass roof.

During its construction it was code named “Mipos,” standing for “Mission Impossible” because it was built after only 2 years and cost in excess of $200 million. She can accommodate up to 40 guests and 96 crew-members and was last refitted in 2009, a decade after her first launch.

Number 5 – El Horriya

The fifth largest yacht in the world is also one of the oldest super yachts still in operation. El Horriya was originally built in London in 1865 for the King of Egypt and the length was extended in 1872 and in 1905 and last refitted in 1987.

The yacht is berthed out of Alexandria and is listed as a training ship by the Egyptian Navy, but it still has the capacity for carrying up to 160 crew-members.

Number 4 – Prince Abdulaziz

Owned by the Saudi Royal Family, the Prince Abdulaziz was the largest yacht built in the 20th century, first setting sail in 1984. The vessel is used by the Saudi Royal Family for both official business and personal voyages.

At its widest point, the Prince Abdulaziz measures 60 feet and has a superstructure and hull composed of steel. She can accommodate up to 64 guests and 65 crew-members, carrying a gross tonnage of 5092 tons.

Number 3 – Al Said

Another royal super yacht makes the list, owned by the Sultan of Oman. The vessel features 6 decks and a concert room capable of accommodating a 50 piece orchestra. At its widest point, the ship measures nearly 79 feet across.

The Al Said was completed in 2008 and was designed by Espen Oeino International, which is the same company that designed Paul Allen’s Octopus. The yacht can accommodate as many as 70 guests and up to 154 professional crew-members.

Number 2 – Dubai

Although currently owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, the yacht was originally commissioned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei. The construction was originally delayed until 2001 when Sheik Mohammed bought out the project for a rumored $300 million.

The vessel includes luxurious interior designs, including fine fabrics and handmade mosaics, a dramatic spiral staircase with color-changing glass steps, numerous VIP and guest suites and 7 decks. She also has a mosaic swimming pool, several Jacuzzis and the helicopter pad can service a helicopter in excess of 10 tons. The Dubai has room for 115 people including crew and guest staff and boasts a range of 8,500 miles.

Sheik Mohammed has also been reportedly considering an extension to the Dubai, adding up to 8 feet in order to reclaim the title of world’s largest. For now, however, it remains at the number 2 spot.

Number 1 – Eclipse

With a reported price tag of nearly $1.2 billion, the Eclipse is not only the largest yacht, but also the most expensive. The Eclipse is due to be delivered later this year to Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich, who is known worldwide for big spending on everything from super yachts to England’s Chelsea Football Club.

The Eclipse has two helicopter pads, 11 guest cabins, 2 swimming pools, exterior fireplace and a dance hall. The vessel is also equipped with intruder detection systems and a German-built missile defense system, while bullet-proof glass and armor plating in the master suite and bridge. Abramovich also made news in 2009 when he had an “anti-paparazzi” shield installed, which reportedly uses lasers to detect a camera and ruin any photographs taken by it with a flash of light.

The Eclipse also features a three-person submarine and can accommodate up to 30 guests and 75 crewmembers. Although much of the details of the ship have yet to be confirmed, estimates place the ship between 533 and 557 feet long. It was delivered for testing in September 2010 and is expected to be delivered to Abramovich before the end of the year.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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