Roman Abramovich's Solaris is spotted for first time at sea

Roman Abramovich's Solaris is spotted for first time at sea

Roman Abramovich’s £430million Solaris – the world’s most expensive custom-made superyacht – is spotted for the first time at sea off of billionaire’s playground Antibes

  • Roman Abramovich’s new £430m superyacht was spotted for first time at sea off Antibes on French Riviera
  • 460ft vessel Solaris is the most costly custom-made superyacht ever built, with 48 cabins across eight decks
  • Series of exclusive photographs and videos shows the full majestic grandeur of the boat for the first time
  • Abramovich is believed to be on his other £500m yacht Eclipse off Croatia at the moment 
  • Solaris, built in Bremerhaven, Germany, is arguably the most technologically advanced private boat afloat

A brand new £430m superyacht belonging to Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been spotted for the first time at sea, off the billionaire’s playground of Antibes on the French Riviera.

The 460ft vessel, Solaris, is the most costly custom-made superyacht ever built, with 48 cabins across eight decks, a crew of 60 and space for 36 guests.

This exclusive series of photographs and videos shows for the first time the full majestic grandeur of the boat as it awaits its secretive oligarch owner and his friends.

A brand new £430m superyacht belonging to Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been spotted for the first time at sea, off the billionaire’s playground of Antibes on the French Riviera

The 460ft vessel, Solaris, is the most costly custom-made superyacht ever built, with 48 cabins across eight decks, a crew of 60 and space for 36 guests

This exclusive series of photographs and videos shows for the first time the full majestic grandeur of the boat as it awaits its secretive oligarch owner and his friends

Built in Bremerhaven, Germany, Solaris recently completed sea trials and was briefly berthed in Barcelona before moving across to Cape D’Ail near Monaco, and then Antibes.

Yachting photographer Julien Hubert, who captured these images on a drone, said it was one of the biggest yachts he’d ever seen.

‘It is definitely among the 15 biggest yachts in the world,’ he said, ‘and it was creating a lot of interest in the yachting community around the port.’

Abramovich, 54, himself is believed to be on his other, slightly longer, £500m yacht Eclipse, off Croatia at the moment, but it’s thought likely he’ll want to try out his new toy before long, as it is arguably, the most technologically advanced private boat afloat.

All his guests will be accommodated in luxurious state rooms and travel between the boat’s eight decks by lift.

As well as a gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and at least one swimming pool come as standard on boats such as these and, if it’s anything like the 530ft Eclipse, it will also have a beauty salon, complete with beautician and hairdresser.

Eclipse has a night club with dance floor but Solaris instead has an outdoor ‘beach club’ at the aft section of the upper deck.

Solaris has a flotilla of 20 high-speed jet-skis and at least one helicopter to ferry guests from ship to shore. And it’s expected that Abramovich will also invest in a personal submarine.

Superyacht submersibles are housed in a bay in the main hull accessed from the passenger accommodation by a system of secret, pirate-proof passageways.

As well as a gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and at least one swimming pool come as standard on boats such as these and, if it’s anything like the 530ft Eclipse, it will also have a beauty salon, complete with beautician and hairdresser

Solaris has a flotilla of 20 high-speed jet-skis and at least one helicopter to ferry guests from ship to shore. And it’s expected that Abramovich will also invest in a personal submarine

An entry-level model will set you back around $2 million and a top-end sub with all the optional extras could cost as much as $6 million.

It is believed Solaris may be one of the new ‘Explorer’ class of superyachts that — as their name implies — are built for much more intrepid cruising than merely bobbing around the French Riviera.

Such vessels are built to cross oceans, showing off their yachts to their friends in the summer or travelling to the Caribbean in winter.

As a luxury mariner of many years’ standing, Abramovich may venture much further afield, perhaps even as far as the Arctic Circle, with the aid of ice-breaking capability concealed in the bow.

An entry-level model will set you back around $2 million and a top-end sub with all the optional extras could cost as much as $6 million

Stewart Campbell Editor-in-Chief of Boat International told the Mail that many oligarchs like Abramovich are investing in superyachts which can also be used for scientific research. ‘Now, presumably with Solaris, the owner is thinking, ‘Right, I want to be able to rub up against ice in Antarctic and see the Kamchatka Peninsula [in eastern Russia], or Patagonia’. All that kind of stuff that Eclipse just isn’t the right boat for. It could do it, but Solaris is obviously tailormade for that kind of expedition.’

The boats are not the only things that are changing in this market, the owners are getting younger too, says Jim Dixon of superyacht design company Winch.

‘We’ve designed yachts with speaker systems situated on the sundeck, which pump out enough volume in such a way that the owner could ride round on their jet ski and still listen to the music,’ he says. 

The Solaris will be Abramovich’s second superyacht and not as large as the Eclipse, a 533ft vessel. He has previously owned at least four other colossal yachts, the 162ft Sussurro the most recent to change hands in around 2017.

‘We also have designed helipads which can be converted into an outdoor cinema through hidden speakers and screens.

‘When you’ve got a ship full of demanding plutocrats, you need an A team when it comes to the crew. All will be hand-picked for experience and discretion. A level of discretion that will be reinforced by strict ‘gagging’ agreements forbidding them from gossiping about what goes on aboard on pain of ruinous legal consequences.

Solaris will also be protected by high-tech security apparatus. On Eclipse he installed a special shield system which had the capacity to target the photosensitive elements on digital cameras, and disable them with a laser.

Pirates, kidnappers or special forces of hostile states are classed as real dangers for the super-rich and a ring of security measures are in place. Solaris is believed to be fitted with a radar-controlled missile detection system, bulletproof windows and armoured protection around the wheelhouse and main cabin.

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