World’s largest yacht an off grid paradise for billionaires

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Artists impression

A £213 million off-grid superyacht may not be quite the aesthetic that most off-gridders sign up to – but an influence-peddling organisation based in the UK is offering a few carefully selected billionaires the chance to spend the bulk of their lives touring the globe like Bond villains, completely disconnected from the system – in what is being called the “world’s largest floating private members’ club.”

Wealthy members of Quintessentially, the British concierge firm which will operate the seaborne private club, are lining up to relax in off-grid hotel suites while heading towards paradise destinations such as the Bahamas, Ibiza and Miami. The yacht will also dock at world events including the Monaco Grand Prix and the Rio carnival.

The idea of living off the grid in this way is so popular that five billionaire friends have paid €10 million (£8.5m) each towards the cost of building the yacht, in return for permanent suites on the vessel. Most of the €250m bill will be borne by Quintessentially, which has secured debt financing from Norway and Italy, where the superyacht will be built and fitted out.

The 220-meter-long yacht, to be called Quintessentially One, will be 40m longer than the world’s biggest private vessel Azzam, owned by United Arab Emirates ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and is due to make its maiden voyage in 2019-2020.

At 220m long, Quintessentially One will be so big it won’t fit into Monaco’s harbor, or many others on its global itinerary, and will have to weigh anchor out at sea, with guests ferried to land in launches.

Quintessentially’s co-founder and chairman, Aaron Simpson, said the yacht would host parties – with stars such as Elton John in attendance – and operate as a hotel, with a restaurant run by the Mayfair institution The Wolseley.

“It will travel the globe to where the wealthy want to go,” Aaron said. “We know the events where there is huge demand and not enough supply. It will be the world’s largest floating private membership club. Where the traditional cruise model is to go somewhere, dock and get off; we will dock and people will want to get on.”

The five anonymous billionaires will each own a suite, including some which span three floors. Some suites will cover 100 square meters. Other Quintessentially members can stay in on-board hotel rooms starting at £2,000 a night, which Aaron conceded was “a lot” but said price was relative.

“Try finding a room for that [during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend],” he said.

Elite membership costs £15,000 per year.

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