Billionaire Owner of $325M Amadea Spent Over $500K on Fuel Trying to Flee Sanctions

Keeping a tab on the fate of some of the world’s most expensive and gorgeous mega- and superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs has become a somewhat entertaining enterprise for regular, non-billionaires yacht-watchers. Amadea, the $325 million megayacht currently held in Fiji, tells perhaps the most griping story.
Amadea is a 348-f00t (106-meter) Lurssen megayacht estimated at $325 million 9 photos
Photo: Lurssen
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If Amadea’s recent troubles were televised content, they would be a soap opera or, better yet, one of those Housewives-type of reality shows. It has everything from shameless opulence, a controversial origin story (aka ownership), plot twists, surprise appearances, and cliffhangers. No drinks are thrown into the faces of mortal enemies (*that we know of), but it comes close enough.

To cap it off, Amadea comes with a ridiculous price tag on its highly-mediated fleeing attempt: over $500,000 for just that one trip, according to a new Forbes report.

Amadea is a gorgeous build, controversial ownership aside. It was delivered by Lurssen in 2017, so it’s a very new ship, featuring incredible design and performance, and the kind of opulence onboard you’d expect when you think “Russian oligarch.” It includes gilded furniture and real gold touches, helipad and mosaic-tiled pool, gym and spa, fabulous lounges and winter garden, and a lobster tank, because what kind of a rich-person are you if your vessel doesn’t have one?

Amadea Superyacht
Photo: Lurssen
With an interior volume of 4,402 GT, five decks and 348 feet (106 meters) in total length, Amadea is the 63rd ship of its kind in the world, by size. Its estimated cost is of $325 million, though some reports put it as high as $400 million. It can accommodate up to 16 guests and 36 crew, and its twin MTU engines take it to a top speed of 20 knots (23 mph / 37 kph), and cruising at 13 knots (15 mph / 28 kph). It used those engines to the max to make the sanctions-fleeing expensive attempt mentioned above.

The Amadea saga began with the start of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, 2022. Its owner is Russian gold king Suleiman Kerimov, a good friend of President Vladimir Putin who was actually with him as the tanks rolled into the neighboring country. Amadea docked off the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten in December 2021, and sailed off when Kerimov’s name was included on new sanctions list in the EU, UK and the U.S.

In March, it undertook an 18-day crossing of the Pacific at cruising speed, starting from Mexico and heading presumably to the Russian port of Vladivostok, with one fueling stop. It never got to its final destination, because the captain asked for permission to dock in Fiji, where local authorities acted on behalf of the U.S. and seized it. FBI agents boarded the megayacht last week, after ownership was confirmed: Amadea belonged to Kerimov, despite Kerimov’s most admirable attempt to pass it off as belonging to another Russian oligarch (non-sanctioned, this time), Eduard Khudainatov.

According to an analysis by Spire Global Inc. and Bloomberg News, cited by the media outlet, Kerimov wasn’t just desperate in his attempt to keep his $325 million toy from being seized. He was also a big-spender, because he had no other choice. Amadea now holds the dubious record of the longest and most expensive journey undertaken this year with the goal of fleeing sanctions: 8,358 nautical miles (9,620 miles / 15,479 km) and a total of $530,000 spent on fuel. Ironically, the mileage for this last trip is half the amount of miles Amadea traveled all through 2021.

Amadea Superyacht
Photo: Lurssen
Other world-famous and now-controversial superyachts have pulled similar stunts, including Roman Abramovich’s two record-breaking ships Eclipse and Solaris, Alexei Mordashov’s Nord, and Dmitry Pumpyansky’s Axioma. But Amadea holds the title crown, for the time being: a most beautiful and expensive superyacht that its owner was determined not to let fall into strange hands. He spent a fortune to ensure it didn’t happen, but karma still came for him. Karma, and the feds.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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