A few days back we learned that sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $600 million superyacht Solaris was forced to leave the port of Bodrum in Turkey. After finding temporary refuge at the Turkish port town, the uber-luxury vessel is again on the run to escape sanctions. Going by the publicly available tracking data, the 140-meter explorer yacht is currently aimlessly cruising in the middle of the Aegean sea, while Abramovich’s other megayacht, the Eclipse, continues to be safely docked and enjoying the Turkish hospitality for the past 16 days.
You might be confused by the contrasting current circumstances for the two superyachts despite arriving in the same country for refuge. Well, it has to do with the operators of the two Turkish ports where Abramovich’s vessels worth a staggering $1.3 billion docked.
According to a news report by the New York Post, Solaris had to depart from the Bodrum Cruise Port in Turkey after its operator Global Ports Holding came under severe pressure to deny service to the sanctioned oligarch-owned yacht. While the port is in Turkey which has refused to join the United Kingdom and European Union to levy sanctions on Russia and its oligarchs, Global Ports Holding is listed on the London Stock Exchange, making it legally responsible to comply with the sanctions announced by the UK.
Although the company made attempts to shield itself from the legal implications of the situation, it clearly didn’t work and Solaris was asked to leave. However, the Eclipse docked in Marmaris – a different port in Turkey.
The Eclipse docked on 22nd March at Marmaris, an Eastern Mediterranean port and resort town in Turkey’s Mugla Province. The hidden paradise has been a favorite destination for yacht owners, especially the Russian oligarchs. Although we can’t individually verify the company that operates the mid-sized port in the Turkish resort town, it clearly is safe from the destructive sanctions that were put into place shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.
It is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the Marmaris port has been a safe haven for the Eclipse for the last 16 days and we won’t be surprised if it continues to be docked there for a very long time. But you might ask why doesn’t Solaris join the Eclipse at Marmaris and stay put. Well, there could be two reasons for that: firstly, Marmaris is a small port to accommodate two massive superyachts like Eclipse and Solaris; secondly, it won’t be a good idea to park both vessels trying to escape sanctions at the same location.
Before Eclipse made it to safety in Turkey, the luxury superyacht that is normally anchored year-round in the Caribbean had set sail east towards the Mediterranean on 21 February. The vessel had to carefully chart its journey in order to skirt the jurisdictions of European Union countries to avoid being seized by the authorities.
Believed to be worth $700 million, the Eclipse is one the biggest privately owned superyachts measuring 162.5 meters in length. It took four and a half years for the Eclipse to go from the design stage to be ultimately launched at Blohm+Voss’s Hamburg yard in 2009. After completing its sea trials, the massive luxury vessel was delivered to Abramovich on 9 December 2010.
Designed by Terence Disdale, Eclipse is like a floating 5-star hotel equipped with all the top-shelf amenities money can buy. It can accommodate 36 guests along with a crew of 66. The vessel has nine decks in total and the owner’s deck alone measures 56 meters in length. One of its highlights is a 16-meter swimming pool with a base that can be raised to transform the area into a dance floor. It is also equipped with three launch boats and a mini-submarine that is capable of submerging to 50 meters.
It has two helipads along with a state-of-the-art self-defense system that consists of a missile detection system and missile launchers. Eclipse is powered by a diesel-electric, dual propulsion system with four MTU 20V 1163 TB93 marine diesel engines, giving it a maximum speed of 25 knots and a cruise speed of 22 knots. Eclipse can travel up to 6,000 nautical miles at 21 knots before refueling.