A BIT OF HISTORY - Royal Yacht International
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A bit of History

1. One Piece of Yachting History


Christina O is a private motor yacht that once belonged to billionaire Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis. At 99.06 meters long she is ranked 31st among the Top 100 largest yachts in the world as of 2013. She was originally a Canadian anti-submarine River-class frigate called HMCS Stormont and was launched in 1943. She served as a convoy escort during the Battle of the Atlantic and was present at the Normandy landings.

After the end of the Second World War she was one of many surplus naval vessels. Onassis purchased her at scrap value of US$34,000, he then spent US$4 million to convert her into a luxurious superyacht named after his daughter Christina.

Upon Onassis’ death, she donated the yacht to the Greek government as a presidential yacht, renamed Argo.

Allowed to decay, the vessel was purchased in 1998 by fellow Greek shipping magnate John Paul Papanicolaou, an Onassis family friend who secured it in a government-sponsored auction. He spent $50 million to retrofit her, restoring her previous name in honor of his then departed friend, Christina Since Papanicolaou’s death in 2010, Christina O can be rented for private charters and cruises.


2- Trump Princess


Donald Trump has just stunned the world by becoming President-Elect of the United States. The American billionaire’s impact on the yachting industry however traces back to the late 1980s with him commissioning the world’s largest yacht and buying a shipyard. The 86-meter Nabila was delivered in 1980 by Benetti to Saudi businessman and arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi as the 8th largest yacht in
the world. In 1983, the megayacht appeared in the James Bond movie, “Never Say Never Again”. When Khashoggi, however, ran into financial problem, the Sultan of Brunei took possession of the boat
to cover one of Khashoggi’s loans. The Sultan quickly flipped it to Donald Trump for a reported $29 million in 1987. In 1988, Trump said he got a $1 million discount for renaming the boat and not calling it Nabila, the name of Khashoggi’s daughter.

After acquiring the Nabila, Trump renamed the yacht to Trump Princess and had it refitted by Holland- based, Amels, for near $10 million according to the LA Times. The H on the helipad was also replaced by a T to stand for Trump. In June 1989, Donald Trump announced that he would build a larger yacht, “something in excess of 400 feet long, closer to 500 feet” as he told Newsday and that he was accepting bids from yacht builders for this project. Amels, then owned by a group of 4 British investors, secured the deal to develop the 128-meter Trump Princess II according to NRC.

In May 1990, it was announced that Trump bought Amels all together. At a press conference in Makkum in 1990, Jeff Walker, VP of Trump’s investment empire, denied that the shipyard was sold due to the previous owner’s financial difficulties, which some have said, resulted from Trump canceling the construction of the Trump Princess


In September 1990, two months after the acquisition, Trump sold Amels to American businessman, Peter Kutell according to Deseret News due to financial problems.

At the same time the Trump Princess was put up for sale and all work on the Trump Princess II stopped. In 1991, Trump Princess was sold to Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal for $19 million who renamed the yacht to Kingdom 5KR. The superstructure for Trump Princess II allegedly remained at the Amels Makkum facility until summer 2001 when it was eventually removed.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the superstructure is still parked at the Makkum facility, now owned by Feadship De Vries.


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