Created on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 02:40
Written by Jaime Elliott
Among the visiting yachts to St. John last week were the Silver Shalis, above, and the impressive 314-foot Vava II, below.
Billionaires and beauty queens were among the many visitors to St. John recently.
Amid the high-season activity last week, the 314-foot luxury motor yacht Vava II, the largest privately owned yacht ever built in the United Kingdom, was spotted at anchor off Frank Bay.
The vessel was commissioned by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, a Swiss/Italian pharmaceutical tycoon, for his wife, the former Miss United Kingdom Kirsty Bertarelli, nee Roper, according to the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail newspaper website.
Vava II was reportedly built in secret in Plymouth, UK, at Devonport Yachts under the code name Project 55, according to the report on www.dailymail.co.uk.
The vessel took 200 crewmen two years to complete and set Bertarelli back about $160 million, according to the website www.charterworld.com.
While the vessel will be available for private charter for “tens of thousands of pounds a week” according to www.dailymail.com, Vava II set off on its maiden voyage from Plymouth Sound, UK, on March 2 en route to the Caribbean. So it’s likely that Bertarelli, the owner of ex-America’s Cup team Alinghi, and his beauty queen wife were enjoying the opulence of Vava II themselves in St. John waters last week.
At 314-feet, the vessel is the 33rd largest yacht in the world and one of the most technologically advanced with a bevy of special features including a helicopter landing pad, a depth-changing swimming pool and large tenders, according to www.charterworld.com.
Vava II, capable of carrying up to 36 guests, reportedly replaced Bertarelli’s old 154-foot Feadship motor yacht Vava, which was launched in 1996.
Bertarelli’s Vava II was probably the only boat in local waters last week which dwarfed the 174-foot luxury yacht Silver Shalis. The distinct eggshell blue hull of the Seattle-area built motor yacht was spotted at anchor off of Frank Bay last week as well.
Silver Shalis is an aluminum semi-displacement vessel built by Delta Marine and launched in 2010, according to www.charterworld.com.
Powered by twin MTU 16V 4000 diesels, the vessel is capable of reaching a top speed of 20 knots with a cruising speed of 15 knots, according to the website.