Eco-Warrior Leo DiCaprio Is Back for Another Vacation on the $150M Superyacht Vava II

Leonardo DiCaprio is back vacationing on Vava II, back in the crossfire for eco-hypocrisy 7 photos
Photo: BoatInternational/Leonardo DiCaprio Instagram (Composite)
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Who doesn't love a good tradition? Whether that's gathering around the Christmas tree with the family, going on vacation to a new destination each summer, or never attending an important meeting without your lucky tie, we're all creatures of habit. Leonardo DiCaprio is no exception.
The difference between our traditions and DiCaprio's is that his tend to be more expensive, more exclusive, and more damaging to our planet. It's on that last consideration that he's being dragged online once more, with people from all over the world calling him an eco-hypocrite.

In the glitzy world of showbiz, DiCaprio is somewhat of an endangered species. He's often described as one of the last true movie stars, especially in the context of how information is being overshared on social media, which leads to overexposure and which, in cinema, translates to a more difficult suspension of disbelief before stepping into the cinematic world. Put differently, celebrities are becoming characters themselves, and audiences are starting to have issues believing the onscreen characters they play in front of the cameras.

Leo DiCaprio is not like that. With the sole exception of his rare but predictable outings on promo trails and of the not-so-rare but equally-predictable occasions he rolls out a new under-25 girlfriend, the man is an enigma. At least, he is one compared to other celebrities. When you know what X actress had for lunch on a particular day because she posted about it on Instagram, or the daily routine of Y actor even when he's not on set, DiCaprio's personal life remains a mystery.

Vava II
Photo: Superyacht Times
But this much we do know: his vacations are as predictable as his girlfriend age preference. For the past several years, DiCaprio has taken regular, extended cruises onboard one of the most luxurious and secretive superyachts in operation, the $150 million Vava II. It's mid-June now, so superyacht season kicked off a couple of weeks ago, but now that DiCaprio is back on Vava II means summer has officially started.

This also means it’s open game to criticism for his huge carbon footprint, which clashes bitterly with his environmentalist work. In his Twitter bio, DiCaprio describes himself simply as "actor and environmentalist," and these are also the only two things he ever talks to the media about. He is deeply and financially involved in a series of campaigns with various organizations, fighting against anything from the planned deforestation of the Amazon rainforest to the pollution of our oceans and the greater evil of climate change.

DiCaprio, one of Hollywood's most respected and acclaimed actors, is lending his voice and his platform – and occasionally many of his own millions, too – to much greater causes. It feels strange, then, to see him involved in activities that go directly against these very causes.

Vava II
Photo: Superyacht Times
The superyacht and cruise segments are among the industries with the largest carbon footprint, but they're more savagely attacked by critics than, say, the auto industry, because they're not necessary to daily life. Much like private jets, you can live your life without chartering a luxury superyacht or heading on a cruise and still be able to enjoy yourself and make the most of your money.

It's precisely this that DiCaprio's fans and critics can't reconcile: his activism and his choices. Every year, DiCaprio takes at least two vacations at sea and oftentimes spends the entire summer onboard a superyacht.

Right now, for instance, he's been on Vava II for at least three weeks, cruising between Cannes, Italy, and, as of this week, Spain. Vava II is always his choice for a boat, too.

Delivered to Swiss pharma billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli in 2012, it's a fully custom vessel designed for entertaining large parties. With a total length of 97 meters (318 feet), it features a giant pool, a helipad with hangar for an Airbus H145 (the HB-ZVA registered aircraft that DiCaprio himself flew on at least twice this week), several tenders (including the Lac Leman whose name Vava II occasionally uses on AIS), and gorgeous interiors by Remi Tessier.

Vava II
Photo: Superyacht Times
Vava II is exactly the kind of superyacht we'd all be idling the summer away if we could afford it. But it's not what you'd expect from an environmentalist like DiCaprio, even when you take into account the fact that celebrities are not role models – or, better said, that they're role models only when it suits them. Spending an entire summer port-hopping on a superyacht is fun and very fancy, but it's also highly wasteful and polluting.

Vava II emits 238 kg (525 lbs) of carbon dioxide per mile (1.6 km) traveled. That's roughly the carbon footprint of a passenger car in two months, for comparison – a car you're probably using because you need to in order to go about your daily chores, to get to work, or visit elderly parents. That would be the same car that eco-warriors, though not DiCaprio specifically, will have you ditch because climate change is getting worse.

To be sure, Vava II is a beautiful and very elegant boat, and DiCaprio is well entitled to spend his money whichever way he sees fit without us having to form an opinion about it. Life is not black and white but also different shades of gray. Where DiCaprio's yacht-hopping and environmentalism are concerned, it doesn't seem like regular Joes and Janes are willing to let the two mix. It's "either" "or," with no middle ground possible.

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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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