Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, some Russians were able to amass vast fortunes putting them amongst the richest men in the world. According to Forbes, Russia currently has 77 billionaires despite the country's current economic crisis.

In the past two decades, these oligarchs have been instrumental to the development of the yachting industry, setting a new benchmark as to what could be considered to be a megayacht.



In 1990, the world of megayachts was mainly dominated by Middle Eastern Royal families and Greek magnates such as Stavros Niarchos (commissioned the Atlantis and Atlantis II). The 147m Prince Abdulaziz, owned by the Saudi Royal family, was at the time the largest superyacht in the world.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of the megayacht industry however started to change with a new influx of owners from Russia and the US tech scene. From 1992 to 2005, 20 superyachts over 80 meters in length were delivered,  surpassing the 19 megayachts delivered from 1865 to 1992.

These new megayachts famously included Paul Allen's Octopus, David Geffen's Rising Sun, Berezovsky's Radiant but also the yachts that came to be known in the field as Abramovich's Navy consisting of SussurroEcstaseaLe Grand BleuLunaPelorus and later Eclipse.



As the financial crisis hit the sector in 2008, the small and middle-size yachting market was severely hit but while many thought the megayacht industry would collapse, it continued its exponential growth. Between 2008 and 2016, a further 48 megayachts have been built, doubling the previous decades' amount of yachts over 80m delivered.

Not only were there suddenly more megayachts but their size also grew with the 162.5m Eclipse being delivered in 2010 for Mr. Abramovich. This growth in uncertain times was once again, in most part, brought by an expanding class of Russian oligarchs. 

Serene, first yacht built by Ficantieri was ordered by Yuri Sheffler before being sold in 2015 to a Middle Eastern buyer. M/Y A was famously commissioned by Andrei Melnichenko and delivered in 2008, same year as Lurssen delivered the first 110m Dilbar to Mr Usmanov.



As many began to think that this segment would finally collapse with a weak recovery followed by recession in Russia, demand did not go away. In 2014, 104m Quantum Blue was delivered to Sergey Galitskiy and 140m Ocean Victory to Viktor Rashnikov. 

In the summer of 2016, a new Dilbar, which is now speculated to be the largest yacht by gross tonnage, was delivered to Mr Usmanov. As for Abramovich's Navy, it has now been split up with Eugene Schvidler now owning Le Grand Bleu, Farkhad Akhmedov buying Luna whilst Pelorus and Ecstasea were both sold to Middle Eastern buyers.  

Whether this growth of the megayacht sector will continue is questionable due to renewed turmoil in Russia's economy. Melnichenko's newest 142m S/Y A project however does seem to be a good indicator that there may be one day a 200m yacht.

Here below are some of the most advanced and industry-leading yachts that were commissioned by Russian oligarchs over the past two decades.

162.5m Eclipse - Roman Abramovich


Photo by Julien Hubert

The 162.5m yacht was built by  by German shipyard Blohm & Voss in 2010 and held the title of  the world's largest private yacht until 2013, when the 180 metre Azzam stole the crown. Although not all the details of the megayacht are unveiled, it is known that her interiors feature designs by the renowned London-based team at Terence Disdale Design. It is speculated that Eclipse boasts a military-grade missile defense system, armor plating and bulletproof windows, while hosting three helipads, a private theater and a fitness center. 

156m Dilbar - Alisher Usmanov


Photo by @superyachts_gibraltar

World's largest yacht by a volume, the 156m Dilbar was delivered to Alisher Usmanov in May 2016.  Confidentiality is upheld to the highest degree at Lurssen, which celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2015, but it is understood that Dilbar's exterior design comes from Espen Oeino with interiors by Andrew Winch. It is also know the yacht has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. The Russian oligarch has another Lurssen superyacht, 110m Ona, that was previously named Dilbar as well.

140m Ocean Victory - Viktor Rashnikov



Delivered by Fincantieri in 2014, Ocean Victory is designed by Espen Oeino with interior spaces created by the late Alberto Pinto together with Sessa Romboli. Owned by Viktor Rashnikov, the vessel accommodates up to 36 guests. As with many other yachts of this size, she is packed with alluring features such as 6 pools spread out over her 7 decks, an internal floodable dock to house her 14m tender,two helipads and a vast spa area. 

119m A - Andrey Melnichenko



M/Y A, owned by Andrey Melnichenko is reportedly now for sale. A was built by Blohm+Voss in 2008. Designed by Philippe Starck, the vessel remains the most talked-about yacht on the seas. She is capable of accommodating 14 guests in 7 luxurious cabins, as well as a crew of 42. Mr Melnichenko's second yacht, the 142.8m S/Y A, is being built at the Nobiskrug shipyard in Germany. According to the Daily Mail, the new project will cost close to 450 million dollars.

99m Madame Gu - Andrei Skoch



According to Forbes Russia, the 99m superyacht belongs to Andrei Skoch. Madame Gu was built by Feadship in 2013 and delivered after four years of construction. Andrew Winch styled her exterior, whilst De Voogt was responsible for the naval architecture. With perfect proportions, it's hard to imagine that her tonnage exceeds 2,900 GRT. The interior, also designed by Andrew Winch, accommodates twelve guests in six cabins. The crew quarters are composed of 18 cabins for 36 members. This twin screw superyacht is powered by quadruple 3,600kW MTU engines providing a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 22 knots.

95.15m Palladium - Mikhail Prokhorov



With an original design by Michael Leach, Palladium, formerly Project Orca, is thought to be owned by Mikhail Prokhorov. Palladium is a 95.15m (312.17 ft) luxury motor yacht, built by Blohm + Voss in 2010. With a beam of 16.00m and a draft of 4.40m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. 

88.5m Nirvana - Vladimir Potanin



Built by Oceanco in 2012, Nirvana was the star of the Monaco Yacht Show the following year busting an aquarium aft and a set of revolutionary features. Owned by Vladimir Potanin, the yacht features a jungle-themed interior design. Nirvana also hosts two spa pools and extensive lounging accommodations. Designed by Sam Sorgiovanni, the yacht has a transpacific range and a maximum speed of 19.5 knots. Nirvana was previously listed for sale asking 199 million euros but was supposedly taken off the market without any sale occurring.

Latest News

New 27-meter Canados 888 Evo sold
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Espen Oeino and SilverYachts present eco-friendly 35m SpaceCat
Australian yacht builder SilverYachts has revealed a new line out of its aluminium superyachts portfolio at Singapore Yacht Show 2019. The 35.5-metre power catamaran SpaceCat was designed by long term SilverYachts collaborator Espen Øino.The vessel is conceived environmentally friendly thanks to her lightweight low-resistance aluminium hull. Within a 13.3-metre beam, the SpaceCat will feature spacious living areas, with 575-square-metre external space and 300 square metres of living areas inside.The yacht will offer accommodation to up to 12 guests within a master suite, two doubles and two twin cabins, one equipped with two Pullman beds. The crew of eight can be housed in a double captain’s cabin, two twins and one triple cabin.A swimming pool aft and vast deck storage space for tenders and toys are listed among the SpaceCat’s key exterior features. The yacht will be powered by four Volvo IPS 1050 engines to a top speed of 21 knots and cruising speed of 16 knots.Construction of the first SpaceCat unit is scheduled to begin in May 2019, at the yard’s new facility in the Guangdong Province, China. The latter has been operating since last summer and is set to be the main construction facility for the new series of vessels. According to SilverYachts, the new model is overseen as a production line, with two units built shortly and further extended to 10 vessels at the same time.Meanwhile, Espen Oeino, the creator of some of the world’s most iconic yachts, has been reported working on several projects at different stages of completion since the beginning of the year. Among others, the list comprises the world’s largest explorer superyacht REV, a 64-metre VSY superyacht Project 003 and 90-metre Oceanco DreAMBoat.
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65m Galactica Star on sealed bid sale after Nigerian corruption case
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63m Hakvoort explorer superyacht Scout delivered
Dutch builder Hakvoort has announced delivery of the 63.72-metre superyacht Scout, that departed from Amsterdam facility on April 16th. The vessel is trademarked with interiors and exteriors by H2 Yacht Design, representing the builder’s largest project so far seconded by 61-metre Just J's.Scout during her sea trials.Scout was launched at Hakvoort’s facilities in Monnickendam in December 2018 and then towed to Amsterdam for final completion. First known as Project Brio, the yacht started construction under a different ownership, changing owners early on and shifting the project to the steel and aluminium explorer that it is today. The owner’s brief called for a rugged explorer style yacht intended to look like a conversion from a commercial vessel,commented H2's Jonny Horsfield, who was responsible for the vessel’s naval architecture. We placed the tenders on the bow, leaving them exposed to add to the utilitarian aesthetic. There is a helideck and a forward observation lounge in addition to an expansive sun deck.Scout features four guest cabins each designed with a specific nautical theme on the main deck, in addition to the owner's deck. Furthermore, eleven staff cabins can be found on the lower deck. Exterior design details such as Scout’s high bow, exposed tenders in the bow with cut-down bulwarks and integrated forward-sloping windows embody the trawler-aesthetic of her design. Other Scout’s notable features include a helideck as well as an expansive sun deck complete with large Jacuzzi and unobstructed views fore and aft.Powered by twin CAT engines, Scout will cruise at 12.5 knots and reach a top speed of 14.8 knots. Her maximum range will be at 4,800 nautical miles once delivered, coupled with an ice-class hull.The yacht will now embark her maiden voyage to the USA. The delivery takes place in the time when explorer yachts are becoming a new trend of the yachting world, with the world’s largest 182.9 -metre explorer project REV under construction at the VARS shipyard.Photos via Hakvoort