There will always be someone with bigger and better toys. The owner of Le Grand Bleu is one of those people.
If you’ve checked in to this blog from time to time while Deb and I have been off on our journey, you know we love our boat. We have not seen any of similar size that we would trade for, and we don’t think the two of us could comfortably handle anything bigger.
So, there is no boat envy involved here. Le Grand Blue is an amazing boat.
The 370 foot yacht was built for US telecommunications baron John McCaw and was subsequently sold to the Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. Abramovich passed Le Grand Bleu to his friend and business associate Eugene Shvidler in June 2006. (more on this later)
Le Grand Bleu’s interior configuration has been designed to comfortably accommodate up to 20 guests overnight in 10 cabins. She is also capable of carrying up to 35 crew onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience.
The yacht carries a veritable arsenal of tenders and water toys, both on her aft decks and in her extensive below-deck garage, where there is a large aquarium. Her watercraft include a 72 foot Dubois-designed sailing yacht, Bellatrix; a 65 foot Sunseeker motor yacht; two 33 foot, 60-knot Buzzi sports boats; and a landing craft to carry a 4×4 Land Rover used for excursions ashore.
We’ve now seen Le Grand Bleu in Tahiti, San Francisco, Antibes, Sardinia, and the Balearic Islands. We ran into her again a couple of weeks ago while visiting St. Martin with my brother.
She seems to be following us around the world simply to taunt us with the fact that they carry around on their deck a “for day sailing only” sailboat that looks very much like Morpheus. Very much like Morpheus that is other than the fact that it is 72 feet long.
Their daysailor is 22 feet longer than Morpheus!!
Imagine spending nine years living on a boat and seeing Le Grand Blue sail by with a larger version of your boat that they only use to “go for a quick afternoon sail”.
That gives one some perspective!!
So…how did Le Grand Bleu come to be owned by Eugene Shvidler?
On the same day that we saw Le Grand Bleu in St. Martin, we sailed over to St. Barths where we saw Roman Abramovich’s current yacht “Eclipse“. At 533 feet and $500+ million dollars, she is quite an upgrade from Le Grand Bleu. According to some measures, she is the second largest private yacht in the world.
Anyway, once he took delivery of Eclipse, Abramovich had very little use for Le Grand Bleu and the story is that he either gave her, or lost her in a bet, to Eugene Shvidler who at the time was the cfo of Abramovich’s company!!
If it was a gift, that came along with a multi million dollar a year maintenance bill, so I’m not sure how “generous” this really was.