In a setback to the United States, Russian oligarch’s $455 million megayacht is sailing toward Turkey after the authorities failed to seize it – So luxurious is the 446-feet ‘Flying Fox’ that Beyonce and Jay-Z skipped the Met Gala just to spend a week relaxing on it.

Via - Imperial Yachts

Suddenly, the name Flying Fox seems befitting for Russian billionaire Dmitry Kamenshchik’s 446-foot vessel. Like a sly fox, it has escaped the claws of the U.S. authorities in the Dominican Republic and flown (read: sailed) out of their reach. It is believed the magnificent ship that was docked in Port Don Diego on March 21st is now headed for Turkish waters. The United States government had requested that the government of the Dominican Republic capture the vessel. The potential seizure of Flying Fox created a lot of buzz as, for the first time, the U.S. had extended its reach beyond its territorial waters to capture the asset of a sanctioned Russian billionaire. They even engaged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to carry out a probe of the luxury boat. They left, instructing the Dominican government not to allow the yacht to leave.

Via –

As per Business Insider, Luis Abinader, president of the Dominican Republic, said if there were no findings from the investigation of the Flying Fox, the authorities would release the yacht. The Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to Dominican Today that the Flying Fox had left the port in April; however, no one knows where to. Kamenshchik’s megayacht was cruising east off the coast of Algeria. According to ship-tracking data by Marine Traffic, the destination port was “not recognized.” But, with its nose pointed toward Turkey and the well-recognized pattern of Russian oligarchs depending on Turkey for the refuge, it is credible the ship may be headed to Turkey.

Via Instagram / @alejandronunezfrometa

When docked, the Flying Fox was a sight to behold, and it had turned the San Souci Port in Santo Domingo into a tourist sensation. According to L.A. News, dozens of people, including foreign tourists, began circulating the vicinity to take photos. It is overwhelming for most to witness the sight of a ship so colossal, considered the most luxurious pleasure yacht in the world. Flying Fox truly deserves the moniker Disneyland for adults.

The Flying Fox at the Dominican Republic. Via Instagram / @picsbyluicho16

The U.S. strived hard to seize Flying Fox:
This giant ship had been on the radar of the United States government for a while. They held it in the Dominican Republic over allegations of money laundering and arms trafficking for more than a month. It was not just its grandeur, popularity, and value that had the government striving hard but also the fact that this was the first time the U.S. had extended its hold beyond jurisdiction to seize a valuable asset of a sanctioned oligarch. Had they succeeded, it would have posed a severe threat to sanctioned owners who were fervently transferring their large megayachts to various locations to avoid capture. Another setback faced by the United States was the failure to capture the $300 million megayacht Amadea belonging to sanctioned tycoon Suleiman Kerimov.

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The exterior decks. Via –

The seizure of the $90 million Tango superyacht belonging to Victor Vekselberg was a victory achieved in a joint operation carried out by the FBI at the request of U.S. authorities and Homeland Security Investigations, and Spain’s Civil Guard. They were initially rapturous, having won the battle against Kerimov as the Suva High Court Justice Deepthi Amaratunga approved an order to seize the superyacht. However, the judge had given the defense counsel time to prepare for their hearing and suspended the execution of the U.S. warrant.

Via – Instagram / Beyonce

What makes the Flying Fox so cool that even Beyonce and Jay Z chartered it :
The Flying Fox enjoys an unfailing reputation for being the world’s largest yacht available for charter. It has hosted music royalty Jay-Z and Beyonce for an astronomical cost of $4 million a week. This is when Beyoncé and Jay-Z skipped not one but two significant red carpet events, the Met Gala and the MTV VMAs, just to spend a whole week on board this vessel. Kamenshchik’s all-white sailing masterpiece was built in Germany. It stretches 450ft and towers 104 feet above the waterline.

The owner suite lounge has one of five fireplaces. Via – Imperial Yachts

The infallible team of Espen Øino worked on the exteriors, while Øino, Mark Berryman, and the owner worked on the splendid areas inside, combined with the perfect and precise execution by Lürssen resulting in this stunning superyacht. It is one of the few luxury megayachts built around the core of watersports and wellness.

The dining table overlooks a colorful aquarium – Via – Imperial Yachts.

Let’s begin with the basics before we advance to the breathtaking. The Flying Fox can be chartered for a lively group of 25 friends to enjoy the lavish and seemingly endless amenities. The ship effortlessly sleeps guests in 11 elegant cabins.

The observation lounge. Via –

A crew of 54 ensures the smooth sailing of this mammoth, including bar staff, gym instructors, and waiters, among others. Guests can make the most of their time on Flying Fox, which offers six decks of features and entertainment.

Via Instagram / @superyachtfan

The large sundeck turns into a dance floor by night. With foot-tapping live music, private dining, and fireworks, the Flying Fox is an ideal venue for the ultimate shindig in the middle of nowhere. Next comes the exciting dive center, with a three-person decompression chamber and the option to dive depths of up to 328 feet.

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The onboard tender garage. Via – Imperial Yachts

One will find several flyboards, hoverboards, seabobs, and windsurfs among tenders and toys. For those who prefer a less athletic outing, the extensive English and Russian movie library is the place to be. One might witness excellent cinematic work unfold in the theatre with D-box seats.

Greenery adds a touch of nature to the interiors. Via – Imperial Yachts

For those not in the pink of health, the Flying Fox boasts a fully-staffed medical center to take care of visitors. From a lush indoor garden for leisurely walks, several intimate lounging areas, and stately cabins with private terraces, there is nothing you will pine for on the Flying Fox.

The Flying Fox is more like a floating wellness center. Via – Imperial Yachts.

Wellness amenities aboard the Flying Fox:
The ship flaunts a massive 1300-foot two-story spa with best-in-class facials, rainshower messages, and body sculpting sessions. A retractable wall divides the expansive 400 sq-meter spa pool into hot and cold zones. The wellness center also houses the first cryosauna ever installed on a yacht.

The owner’s suite has a 520 sqft bathroom.

As shared by Boat International, it comprises an antechamber at -60 ̊C, followed by the main chamber at -110 ̊C, where you stay for three minutes. This therapy is getting increasingly popular with professional athletes to aid muscle regeneration and pain relief. With the number of toys, tenders, and activities on board, it makes sense to include a Cryosauna.

Dmitry Kamenshchik.

Who owns the Flying Fox:
Dmitry Kamenshchik is a Russian businessman, chairman of Moscow Domodedovo Airport, the sole shareholder in Moscow Domodedovo Airport, and owner of DME Ltd., the Airport holding company. Interestingly, Kamenshchik got control of Domodedovo airport when he was only 30. He enjoys a net worth of $2.1 billion and is an accomplished black belt in Burmese martial art. This self-made man enjoys piloting jets, diving, alpine skiing, and practicing the Shangi martial art form other than being a billionaire. He used his skill when two thugs stormed Kamenshchik’s office and put a gun to his employee’s child’s head. The hyper-focused bachelor sprung on them like a pro and succeeded in disarming them. Kamenshchik also served in the armed forces of the Soviet Army.

Via – Marinetracking

Update – At 6.10 AM GMT on the 17th of May 2022 the Flying Fox safely entered the Turkish waters and is currently docked 3kms South East of Gocek.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.