Step Back In Time With These Historical Classic Yachts - Royal Yacht International

Step Back In Time With These Historical Classic Yachts

In the heat of the Summer we revisit classic images of some of the golden years’ usual suspects and their personal preferences when playing and relaxing at sea.


Humphrey Bogart 

A genuine sportsman with an unbridled passion for the sea, Humphrey Bogart was an avid sailor aboard his 55 foot sailing boat Santana. Once described by Bogie himself as the love of his life, Santana, named after the Santa Ana Winds of California was designed and launched in 1935, Bogart and parter Lauren Bacall owned and enjoyed the fast schooner from 1945 until 1957.


Aristotle ‘Ari’ Onassis

The greek shipping magnate hardly needs introducing, his vast reputation as a bon vivant is legendary and his famous yacht Christina O is still very much on duty catering to its visitors in the same way she did after Onassis originally purchased her after WWII at scrap value before giving her a costly refit transforming her into the floating palace she then became. A never ending source of entertainment, visitors aboard Onassis pride and joy included most of Hollywood’s elite of the era such as Cary Grant as well as other notable characters Winston Churchill, Jaqueline Kennedy and HSH Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. You may have heard the legend that Onassis had bar stools in the salon upholstered in whale foreskin, this little fact is in fact true, something Onassis would remind his female guests with glee when they found themselves seated on the one the seats. 

M/Y Christina O is available for Charter contact us here –


Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor

Two more of Hollywoods’ royalty that need no introduction, Richard Burton purchased the 165 foot Edwardian motor yacht for his queen Elizabeth Taylor in 1967 naming her M/Y Kalizma after his daughters. A rather unique piece of history the yacht was launched in 1906 and was used in both word wars by the British Navy and has had many a refit in her lengthy career. Burton and Taylor enjoyed many happy moments aboard M/Y Kalizma as they summered in the mediterranean alongside many of their co-stars of the era.

M/Y Kalizma has been lovingly restored by its current owner and still sails proudly as a very fine example of a classic motor yacht. Currently based in the Seychelles and available for charter contact us here –


John F Kennedy

This star spangled hero’s fascination with sailing is widely documented and the legend goes that signing the deeds of the recently acquired Sail yacht Manitou was one of the first things the newly elected President did sitting in the Oval office. JFK’s gorgeous 62ft yacht was a performance cruiser in both light and heavy conditions and JFK sailed her extensively often solely with his wife Jackie or close family members but also in the presence of Hollywood royalty with his rat pack pals and even a certain Marilyn Monroe. 


Brigitte Bardot 

The veritable embodiment of 1960s glamour Brigitte Bardot needs no introduction. Shooting to fame with her famous film And God Created Woman, Bardot fell in love with the sleepy village of St Tropez whilst shooting and ultimately never left. The blonde beauty was instrumental in transforming the little fishing village into a haven for the glamorous who started to summer there and Bardot would famously walk around the town bare foot with her pals, that is when she wasn’t at sea on her personal Riva Nounours. The Riva Super Florida was gifted to Bardot by her husband for her to keep at her St Tropez property La Madrague and she used it frequently in the subsequent years.


Sophia Loren

Another Hollywood heavyweight who loved the sea, in 1976 Miss Loren commissioned a custom yacht from Pisa Shipyards christening her Pegasus. With 100m2 of living area, the spacious motor yacht was used frequently for cruising the mediterranean whilst enjoying the privacy and freedom of being on the water.


Gianni ‘l’avvocato’ Agnelli

What is there to say about Gianni Agnelli that hasn’t already been said? The unofficial King of Italy and Rake of the Riviera as he was known had such an intense love affair with the sea for his entire life and it was his favourite haven when away from board rooms around the world. L’avvocato had a fleet of yachts throughout his life both sail and motor yachts and would famously call his helicopter pilot with little warning requesting him to ready the chopper to head towards the mediterranean, landing on the back of his 32.5m motor yacht F100 or even make him hover above the water and simply jump out of the chopper into the sea. His fleet included sleek lined sailing yachts which remained his main passion but had smaller motor yachts to speed around in as well as larger Motor yachts, he was so invested in this interest that he often implemented his own ideas when commissioning a yacht and was the first to install electric auxiliary engines on F100 allowing him peaceful nights sleep while aboard. The legends never end when one mentions the name Gianni Agnelli and even now its usual to hear talk of his exploits as recounted by one person fondly “one always knew when Gianni was arriving in St Tropez, we would see the rusty-bordeaux coloured sails of his sailing yacht Agnetta coming round the cap and everyone would know Gianni had arrived”.


HSH Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco 

In 1951 Aristotle Onassis acquired a certain HMS Noir after the passing of its former owner, the vessel a classic motor yacht was refitted and gifted to their Serene Highnesses as a wedding gift in 1953. Christened Deo Juvante II the newly married royal couple honeymooned aboard the yacht along the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia and played host to various social events, it is said that being aboard the Deo Juvante II was one of the Princesses favourite places to be. 

Years later the yacht changed hands and after being refit and renamed M/Y Grace in honour of her previous owner. Now based in the Galapagos Islands and available for Charter contact us here –


Alain Delon

The French actor who shot to fame after the 1960’s film ‘Plein Soleil or Purple Noon” was often seen around the village of St Tropez in the company of stars such as Brigitte Bardot and Romy Schneider and would enjoy sailing the mediterranean waters of his native France. 


To charter a yacht this Summer contact us here –

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