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.