Oh, to be the love of a super-rich man! No matter the sky falling on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s empire, his financial ordeals, and the ongoing and seemingly unending difficulties, the sanctioned oligarch is ensuring his prized possessions, megayacht Eclipse and Solaris, are still well looked after. These mammoth floating resorts offer world-class comfort, unparalleled luxuries, and equally intimidating and large bills. That hasn’t deterred the former Chelsea FC owner from maintaining his ships moored safely in Turkish waters. Not just Eclipse, the Russian tycoon has had four yachts moored in Turkey for the last few months. Abramovich’s biggest ship, the 533-foot-long Eclipse, reportedly ran up a fuel bill of $1.66 million in the port town of Marmaris. Its tanks took 22 hours to fill, as per NY Times.
The most visible Russian oligarch seen in Turkey has his second-most talked about megayacht Solaris moored in the Yalıkavak Marina in Bodrum, a trendy resort town in the south of the country. The 460-footer flaunts secret pirate-proof passageways, a radar-based anti-missile system, bulletproof windows, and armored cabins. Taking care of such an asset doesn’t come cheap and requires an army. A crew of 20 is looking after the upkeep of $600 million Solaris.
An anonymous port worker told The Times that the crew came daily to supply the yacht with electricity, water, and provisions and remove the waste onboard. Not only that, a catering company delivers a truckload of food weekly to Solaris, “Twenty cases of asparagus — what would you do with so much asparagus?” they said.
Ever since sanctions were placed on the former Chelsea F.C owner, his yachts have been avoiding sailing into EU territory. The vessel was docked in a Spanish shipyard for repairs until March 8. After that, Solaris headed to Montenegro and finally Turkey, where it has remained ever since.
Why Turkey is a hotspot for sanctioned billionaire’s megayachts –
Turkey’s southern coast is choc-a-block with the world’s most iconic superyachts. According to a New York Times analysis, at least 32 yachts tied to oligarchs and sanctioned billionaires have sheltered in the country’s waters in recent months. It would be like witnessing the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show for a non-specialist, only in Turkey! While Turkish banks have adhered to the directives of the United States, Turkish marinas continue to service sanctioned Russians and their superyachts.
Port Azure, the first of its kind “mega-yacht-only marina” in Turkey, was opened last year by STFA, one of Turkey’s most prominent conglomerates. The destination has played host and home to no less than eight yachts linked to Russian oligarchs, like the world’s biggest yacht, The Flying Fox, the Lana by Imperial, the Galactica Super Nova, related to Vagit Alekperov. Unsuitable for swimming, these Turkish havens are ideal for yacht owners, away from prying eyes and surrounded by unmatched scenery.