autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
Sanctioned Lukoil Boss Outsmarts Authorities, His Second Superyacht Headed Back Home
Vagit Alekperov was one of the most well-known names added to the UK sanctions list. Not only is he the president of the Russian oil giant Lukoil, but he also happened to be one of the owners of Heesen Yachts, one of the most prestigious luxury yacht builders in the world.

Sanctioned Lukoil Boss Outsmarts Authorities, His Second Superyacht Headed Back Home

Space (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) SuperyachtSpace (Galactica Plus) Superyacht
When you’re one of the world’s richest people and owner of an acclaimed luxury yacht brand, one superyacht couldn’t possibly be enough. Alekperov’s latest toy is gearing up to become the fastest aluminum yacht in its size category, a 265-footer (80 meters) beast, flaunting one of the largest helipads ever seen on a superyacht, that converts into an open-air cinema.

The $108 million toy made headlines at the beginning of the year when it nearly got stuck several times during its first time at sea, passing under the famous local bridges in the Netherlands (the same ones that sparked the massive controversy around Jeff Bezos’ alleged demand to dismantle a historic bridge so his superyacht could fit).

But while Galactica is still undergoing finishing work in the Netherlands, Alekeperov’s other superyacht, Space (previously named Galactica Plus), was theoretically in danger of being seized. That’s because last month, Hessen officially confirmed that its owner was sanctioned by the UK but that it would carry on its activity since it’s a Dutch-registered company, and Alekperov was not sanctioned by the EU as well. Instead, Alekperov resigned from his position at Lukoil.

Meanwhile, the luxurious Space superyacht, which is still an impressive work of art despite being a decade old, was slowly making its way to safety to avoid potentially being seized. And what place could be safer for it than its home? The latest maritime tracking data confirm that Space is headed towards the Black Sea, more specifically Sochi, Russia.

The 114-footer (34.8 meters) is much smaller than the Galactica, but this gives it the advantage of being a speedy beast. Built to hit 27 knots (31 mph/50 kph) and boasting a range of 1,400 nautical miles (1,600 miles/2,600 km), this luxury yacht got to put its capabilities to the test proving that it can make it to the Black Sea in time.

Oversized sofas and a home cinema set concealed in the headboard are some of the highlights of its main salon, while multiple dining options include an al-fresco area on the aft terrace. According to Heesen, it was built to provide a generous entertainment space. And the result was a sleek and dynamic yacht that is still tall enough for a water slide and boasts enough storage space for top-notch water toys.

The beautiful interior designed by Omega Architects is a demonstration of elegance, showcasing Australian walnut woodwork and mother-of-pearl accents throughout, with an “immaculate finish.” The former Galactica Plus can sleep up to eight guests and has stayed mostly secretive, away from the spotlight, throughout the years.

By the time Space makes it back home to Russia, the Heesen and (former) Lukoil boss could consider himself a winner in this unprecedented hunt for oligarchs’ luxury assets. While other magnificent superyachts have already been seized and risk being sold for a bargain because their maintenance is costing authorities a fortune, this billionaire who owns two superyachts got to keep them both.

The mammoth Galactica is staying put at the Heesen shipyard in the Netherlands, probably as long as it takes before sanctions are lifted, while the speedy Space is almost back in Russia, far from UK authorities. The only other Russian-linked superyacht that is known to have also made it back home in time before getting seized is the stunning Nord.

In this catch-me-if-you-can game between the sanctioned oligarchs and international authorities, Alekperov seems to be winning, at least when it comes to his luxury toys. While other oligarchs are already dealing with some serious losses, both of his superyachts might emerge triumphant when the time is right.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories