With its stealth-like shape and ‘upside down’ hull, it’s the kind of vessel any Bond villain would be proud of.Certainly, this superyacht causes waves of interest wherever she goes.The £225million ship, built for Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, is currently turning heads in London after Tower Bridge was raised so it could cruise up the Thames and moor alongside the museum ship HMS Belfast.
But the extraordinary opulence which lies behind the 390ft long, 5,959 ton motor boat’s 1.7in thick bomb-proof windows is even more jaw-dropping than its eye-catching exterior.it boasts around 24,000sq ft of living space in total – more than 20 times that of an average semi-detached house in Britain – and its vast main deck is said to be in the style of a ‘sumptuous artist’s loft’ which offers the ‘ultimate entertaining space’ with a back-lit Baccarat crystal dining table.
The walls are covered in stingray and silver leaf, floor to ceiling mirrors fill the guest suites and there are exotic horned chairs in crocodile skin, complete with the tails trailing on to the floor.The 2,500 sq ft all-white master suite, which requires a fingerprint scan for access, has curved panoramic windows and a king-size bed which rotates with the press of a silver button.
Another white-padded suite that features a circular bed and a flatscreen television which retracts from the ceiling has reportedly been nicknamed the ‘the nookie room’ by employees of Mr Melnichenko, 44.
It is not known if he and his wife Aleksandra, 39, a Serbian former model, have used it. Of course, there is a swimming pool too – three of them to choose from, in fact, one of which has a glass floor.
There is also a ‘wellness room’ for massages and beauty treatments, a helipad, and an open air party deck.
The yacht has seven cabins in all, can accommodate up to 14 guests and has a crew of 42.
For all its lavish features, however, the vessel, which has a top speed of 23 knots and a 200,000-gallon diesel tank which costs around £375,000 to fill up, has the most pedestrian of names – Motor Yacht A.
This is thought to be derived from the first name initials of Mr Melnichenko, who made his fortune from coal and fertilisers, and his wife. Mrs Melnichenko said she was ‘included in every step of the interior design’, adding: ‘My personal style is minimalist or totally over the top. I hate anything in the middle.’
For all its charms, the yacht was advertised for sale earlier this year. Yesterday it was still being advertised on a ship broker’s website.
Mr Melnichenko has already got himself an even grander yacht – called Sailing Yacht A – which is 468ft long, reportedly cost £313million and is the world’s 9th longest.
His spokesman was unavailable for comment yesterday. Ships requiring a bridge lift at Tower Bridge must book at least 24 hours in advance but it is free, a Tower Bridge spokesman said.
Mooring a boat of a similar tonnage to A in this area of London could cost at least £2,000 a day. In addition to two massive yachts, Mr Melnichenko owners a customised Boeing 737 private jet, a villa in the French Riviera, a penthouse in New York and a sprawling estate near Ascot, England.
Speaking when the yacht was rumoured to be up for sale, Dimitri Semenikhin, founder of Yacht Harbour, said: ‘Motor Yacht A is a unique boat in terms of its design and there is quite literally nothing like it on the market.
‘If they were to find a buyer who would fall in love with the design, the price could go as far up as $300million (£225million). It will, however, be a tough sell at such a price as the design is very polarising.’
He told MailOnline at the time: ‘I’ve seen Motor Yacht A quite a few times in Monaco. It’s extremely noticeable anywhere it goes, you can always find people snapping shots of it or pointing to it from the shore.
‘When you pass close to it, you do realise how huge and tall it is. The first open deck is also very high which makes it feel very secure.’
With the behemoth Sailing Yacht A, the oligarch decided it was time to upgrade to a new, custom-built vessel that offers more space and the latest in luxury and technology. It is said to have cost as much as £337million to build.
The eight-deck vessel has masts that are nearly 330ft tall, eclipsing the height of London’s Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Great Bell known as Big Ben, plus an underwater lounge with thick glass.
It also boasts a digital control system that has a touch sensitive sheet of black glass, allowing the crew to raise and lower the sails and anchor with the swipe of their fingers.
Sailing Yacht A’s keel incorporates one of the largest single pieces of curved glass ever made at 193 square feet, creating an underwater lounge on the bottom deck, and it is powered by a hybrid diesel-electric system at a top speed of 21 knots (24 mph).