Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's superyacht Eclipse cost £300m, has missile-defence system, submarine and needs £40m a year upkeep
ROMAN Abramovich has not set foot in Britain since the government failed to renew his visa in May 2018.
So the Chelsea owner is forced to do business in the most amazing setting imaginable – on his £380m superyacht Eclipse.
Abramovich’s seven properties in the UK remain unoccupied, including two houses in Lowndes Square, Belgravia, together worth more than £150 million.
So if he wants to interview Frank Lampard for the Chelsea manager's job, he must do it on his beloved Eclipse, which is currently anchored off St Tropez in the South of France.
It cost just shy of £300million when he picked up the keys in 2010 – and at the time it was the biggest private yacht in the world.
Although you design every part of it and you see it being built, nothing prepares you for the feeling you get when you actually see it in the flesh.
It is probably the most extravagant boy’s toy ever imagined, with upgrades and maintenance taking the cost to somewhere close to £400million.
Built by renowned German shipbuilder Blohm & Voss in the Hamburg shipyards that built the Bismarck, Eclipse was launched after five years of design, development and testing.
For starters it is 533ft long – more than twice the size of the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
The fuel tanks are said to be able to hold a million litres, meaning it can travel 6,000 miles before it needs topping up.
Eclipse boasts nine decks, the top one containing two helipads and a garage.
The forward helideck opens out to allow for a Eurocopter EC155 to be stored in a hangar underneath.
The eighth deck features a swimming pool and a sundeck, with a pull-out barbecue and pizza oven and a built-in wood burning fire pit.
The main saloon boasts a fireplace and a massive driftwood sculpture from Bali in Indonesia.
There is another pool on the seventh deck with an adjustable depth feature that can sees the floor rise and fall, so that it can be converted into a dance floor.
There is also a huge gym and spa area with a beauty salon, sauna and massage room.
The lower decks contains the suites and cabins that can house 32 guests and 100 crew.
Each cabin in the yacht reportedly comes with a private 6ft home cinema screen, a Jacuzzi, spa and specialised security systems.
Designer Terry Disdale remembers the day his amazing creation was launched.
“Although you design every part of it and you see it being built, nothing prepares you for the feeling you get when you actually see it in the flesh,” he told Boat International.
“The tug pulled it out and there was the thickness of a mattress between the wing stations and the shed walls.
“Literally they tied mattresses to the stations. When it appeared I was gobsmacked.”
The walls are covered in black wood, with silver rubbed into the open grain.
Abramovich’s baby comes with a host of security gadgets that would make a James Bond villain green with envy.
The glass is armour-plated to repel bullets and vessel is protected by an anti-ballistic missile defence system installed by German experts AST.
And should that not be enough, Eclipse is also equipped with a three person submarine that can descend to a depth of 160ft, should the oligarch need to make a hasty get-away.
The superyacht, which is currently docked in Hamburg, is however very expensive to maintain.
Running costs are estimated to be around £40million a year.
But he is still spoilt for choice for somewhere to call home.
He has owns three houses in France, including a £30million chateau; four residences in Russia; three in the USA including two in Aspen, Colorado; a hotel in an exclusive area of Tel Aviv; and luxurious retreat on the Caribbean island of St Barts worth £56million.
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