Russian billionaire buys world’s first private icebreaker

Russian billionaire buys world’s first private icebreaker

One of the top 50 richest Russians, banker Oleg Tinkov, wants to present what he calls a first private icebreaker to the public next year, before the €100 million vessel sets sail to the Antarctic among other destinations.

Founder and owner of Tinkoff Bank, worth $2.2 billion, is going to show off the SeaExplorer 77, the newest addition to his pet-project, La Dacha, at the major global yacht show in Monaco as early as 2020.

After the presentation, the superyacht will head to the gems of the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles and Madagascar, Russia’s scenic Kamchatka peninsula and Alaska, before challenging its reinforced icebreaker hull in Antarctica in late 2021 and the beginning of 2022.

“It is yachting, but a completely different one,” Tinkov explained. “It’s about exploring, but not about drinking martini and showing off in Saint-Tropez.”

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The ‘icebreaker’ cost the billionaire more than €100 million (US$112 million). The banker wants to enjoy it himself for around 20 weeks per year and plans to lease it for the rest for €690,000 per week.

The entrepreneur says he was the first to order such a vessel. In fact, it is an expedition yacht, which can break ice up to 40 centimeters thick and maintain autonomy at sea for up to 40 days. The 77-meter vessel, offering luxury accommodation for up to 12 guests in addition to the crew, also features two helicopter hangars, a dive center and decompression chamber, and carries a submersible, two snow scooters and waverunners.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has already showed interest in the luxury sea adventure, and wants to have a three-week long charter, while a Russian businessmen from the Forbes list, whose name Tinkov did not reveal, wants to rent the boat for six months.

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