Superyachts are meant to be fun, lavish, and lovely displays of wealth, sailing to the remotest, most picturesque locales around the globe. Unfortunately, several superyachts are doing the opposite, hiding in dark waters, moored for months at ports, some even abandoned by the owners who once exulted on their decks. Consider the glorious vessels like the $120 million Alfa Nero (abandoned since February 2022) or the $580 million vessel, Sailing Yacht A (stuck in the northern Italian port of Trieste since March 2022). The stunning $217 million superyacht Royal Romance would have suffered a similar fate, only it didn’t.
The luxury vessel that the FBI raided was to be auctioned to benefit the suffering people of Ukraine. In November 2023, the Ukraine government greenlighted the sale of Russian businessman Viktor Medvedchuk’s seized $217 million superyacht.
Royal Romance, which is managed by Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA), was docked in Croatia. The district court in the Croatian city of Split decided to transfer the Royal Romance yacht to Ukraine.
Olena Duma, head of ARMA, announced that the agency also received consent to re-inspect the yacht. “After carrying out an assessment of the seized asset, ARMA plans to sell it. The sale of this lot will be the first example of the sale of seized assets located abroad,” Duma added, per Babel.
A statement revealed that ‘Medvedchuk’s seized yacht, Royal Romance, has left its permanent location to temporarily set sail on January 25, 2024, to confirm her technical capability, buoyancy, and engine operation.
These activities were carried out by the decision of the District Court of Split (Croatia). To ensure the legality of the technical inspection, the Harbor Master, with the participation of Croatian police officers, monitored the vessels.’
Per Vesselfinder, the current position of the Royal Romance Yacht is in the Adriatic Sea, en route to the port of Trogir, Croatia. This is a tremendous feat, as despite being seized, no superyacht has moved towards closure or sale to benefit war-ravaged Ukraine. The Royal Romance is opening new gates by becoming the first seized vessel being sent to Ukraine.
Royal Romance, a Ship Made with Love:
She is 303 feet of sheer awesomeness. The 2015 Feadship beauty, boasting interiors by Seymour Diamond, was a fully custom build closely overseen by oligarch Medvedchuk. The luxury vessel accommodates 14 guests in 7 luxurious cabins serviced by a professional crew of 21. The affluent tycoon certainly made the most of her ample scale by incorporating the vessel with 50 multipurpose rooms across its six floors and four decks, a 40-feet swimming pool located on the main aft deck (that can be emptied in less than three minutes), and an excellent wellness area, including a gym, salon, and spa.
For the sake of entertainment, Royal Romance was outfitted with a movie theater. The six-story ship with two elevators has a top speed of 15.0 knots and a cruising speed of 12.0 knots, and her power comes from two MTU diesel engines.
Victor Medvedchuk, the “Dark Prince” of Ukrainian Politics:
69-year-old Victor, a lawyer and wealthy businessman, went on to serve in political positions in Ukraine in the 1990s. The owner of the Royal Romance yacht boasts a net worth of $1 billion per Superyachtfan, owing to his investments in energy, resources, and media. He also owned three Ukrainian television stations. In addition to the seized superyacht, Medvedchuk’s Bell 427 helicopter and a Gulfstream G650 business jet were seized and handed over to the Ukrainian Army. Interestingly, the business magnate also owns a replica of a Pullman dining car, which is almost certainly one of his unseized possessions.