In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and other countries slapped economic sanctions on Russia and the oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin. The sanctions, among other things, allow authorities to seize the assets of Russia’s richest people, including their superyachts. In the last few days France seized a yacht owned by a Russian oligarch, and Germany restricted another from leaving its anchorage.
But Russian oligarchs are not the only ones with superyachts. Billionaires from all over the world seem to compete with one another for the privilege of having the largest yacht on the oceans. Experts in yachts divide the largest ones into two categories. Ships in the larger category, the superyachts, are at least 70 feet long.
Several have price tags over $500 million. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the world’s richest person, is building a superyacht that will cost roughly that much.
The world’s largest yacht is called Azzam (“resolute” or “determined” in English). Launched in October 2013, it is slightly longer than 180 meters, or over 590 feet. The largest warships in the U.S. Navy, the Ford-class aircraft carriers, are almost 1,100 feet long. (It is still far smaller compared to warships. This is the world’s largest warship.)
According to Boat International, Azzam can accommodate 36 guests and nearly 80 crew members. It was built for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. Sheikh Khalifa is president of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi — the UAE’s capital. The UAE is in one of the most oil-rich regions of the world. Forbes claims his extended family is worth $150 billion.
Azzam’s dual water jet engines can power it to a maximum speed of an extremely fast 31 knots per hour. The ship weighs over 13,000 tons. It was built by German shipyard Lürssen, which builds both yachts and navy ships. It is one of the oldest such facilities in the world, founded in 1875.
With the number of billionaires in the world growing, the race to own the largest yacht is not over. It is safe to assume that Azzam will be overtaken in the next decade. (This is the city in every state with the most billionaires.)
To determine the largest yachts in the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on yacht length from the superyacht magazine Boat International. Yachts were ranked based on their total length, from the tip of the bow to the stern. Data on year built, country of origin, and gross tonnage also came from Boat International.
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