Photo Credit Ari Helminen | Flickr
It's the time of year when celebrities, tycoons and other A-listers traditionally flock to the posh island of St. Barts in the French West Indies, and this season is no exception. The likes of Simon Cowell, Kate Moss, P. Diddy, Denzel Washington, Naomi Watts, Ellen DeGeneres, Channing Tatum and Ryan Seacrest have all been spotted frolicking on the idyllic isle’s white sand beaches in the past few weeks. For the really rich visitors, however, the big scene is on the sea, where moguls compete with each other over the size of their luxury yachts. Some 30 yachts were reportedly moored in St. Barts as of New Year’s, of which 17 fell into the superyacht category at 200 feet or more.
Among the ocean-going high rollers are Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones aboard the $300 million, 290-ft. Nirvana; Microsoft mogul Paul Allen's $160 million, 271-ft. Tatoosh; Elena Ambrosiadou’s 289-ft., $120 million Maltese Falcon; the $100 million, 313-ft. Limitless owned by The Limited founder Leslie Wexler; and business magnate Ron Perelman's 261-ft. C2. None of them can compete with the undisputed king of St. Bart’s however – Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The billionaire businessman has remained on the island since throwing a star-studded, multimillion-dollar New Year’s bash where the Kings of Leon played at his $89 million, 70 acre beachfront estate that once belonged to David Rockefeller.
Abramovich has been spending as much time offshore aboard his 557-ft. Eclipse, the world’s largest yacht. In the past few days the tycoon and his pregnant girlfriend Dasha Zhukova have been spotted ferrying back and forth between the yacht and his estate via helicopter. This will be the couple’s second child, though Abramovich already has two sons and three daughters with his ex-wife Irina Vyacjeslavna Malandin. The Eclipse, which cost $800 million, features armor plating, a missile defense system, private submarine, anti-paparazzi photo shield, discotheque, a private cinema, two swimming pools and two helipads. It carries a crew of 80 and can accommodate 62 guests. Abramovich owns two other superyachts as well.