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$500 Million Custom Superyacht Nord Is on the Move Again After Escaping Sanctions

These days, superyacht-watching is proving a far more entertaining pastime than it was ever before, and mostly because of the maneuvers and guessing games played by Russian oligarchs trying to keep their floating palaces out of reach. Speaking of playing games, Nord, one of the handful megayachts to avoid seizure, is back at it.
Nord is a fully-custom $500 million megayacht delivered by Lurssen to the owner in 2021 9 photos
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Nord is a spectacular build by Lurssen, delivered in 2021. Measuring 464 feet (141.5 meters) in total length and with six decks, it’s described as a tuxedo-wearing warship, like the naval version of James Bond: equal parts charming and elegant, and deadly. With its military-inspired, aggressive silhouette, its impressive range of luxury features, and the reported $500 million price tag, Nord is understandably famous worldwide.

Its ownership is another reason Nord is a well-known name: it’s one of the yachts owned by steel billionaire Alexei Mordashov, Russia’s second richest man and, as of the early March, one of the oligarchs on international sanctions lists. Last month, Nord made its way from Seychelles to the Russian port of Vladivostok, effectively avoiding sanctions. The 6,700 nautical-mile journey (7,710 miles / 12,408 km) supposedly cost Mordashov nearly $500,000 in fuel only, but knowing that his $500 million toy was safe from seizure must have been worth it.

After days of keeping its AIS (automatic identification systems) offline, Nord began broadcasting its location again earlier this month. As it turns out, it’s been moving about quite a lot, which is surprising considering that the British crew that sailed it to Russia went back home to the UK once they reached the dock. Nord is going in and out of the Sea of Japan, spending entire days out before returning to Vladivostok. At one point, its destination was set for Busan in South Korea, but it never went all the way there.

For a ship of this size to successfully avoid seizure and, once haven was reached, show signs of moving again is strange. But it doesn’t look like Nord has plans to stray too far from Russian waters, at least not for the time being. As vlogger eSysman SuperYachts states (at the 10.26-minute mark in the video below), it’s likely that Nord has a new, Russian-only crew onboard and they’re taking the ship out for sea trials, to get accustomed to it. Whether Nord will sail further once sea trials are over remains to be seen.

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