A super mega yacht with a very short name – A, which is the first letter in the names of its owners – is probably one of the most unusual and most expensive luxury yachts in the world. Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko spent over $400 million on the construction of the yacht. Andrey and his wife Aleksndra spend the whole summer on board their beautiful yacht in the Caribbean basin.
The super yacht was designed by outstanding French designer Philippe Stark. The mysterious boat, which looked like a Star Wars spaceship, was first spotted in Germany’s Kiel in 2008. Many believed that it was a new possession of either Roman Abramovich or Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
In 2009, when the 119-meter long yacht was launched, it turned out that the yacht belonged to Mr. Andrey Melnichenko. Forbes magazine evaluated his personal wealth in 2010 at $4.4 billion.
Melnichenko is married to Serbian top model Aleksandra Nikolic. The businessman reportedly spent $40 million on the wedding in 2005. The billionaire’s mansion, where the ceremony took place, was decorated as an ocean yacht. Rumor has it that Melnichenko invited singers Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston to perform at the wedding. They received $2 million each for performing only several songs.
The A became the first joint acquisition of the couple. Melnichenko’s huge 240-square-meter cabin is located in the upper part of the cockpit. The walls of the spiral stairs leading to the cabin are coated with silver plates. The king size bed sits on the rotating podium.
The window panes of the yacht are 44-millimeter thick and can withstand a grenade explosion. Each of six guest cabins comes complete with steel Jacuzzis and mirror walls. Stark, the designer, reportedly said that the design of the yacht was a mix of Manhattan loft and Las Vegas casinos. Stark also designed the uniform for 37 members of the crew. During the daytime, the crewmembers wear snow-white suits and then change them at night to black trousers and tight tees.
Two main lifeboats on board the yacht are actually two mini-yachts, 10 meters long each. Each of them cost over $1.5 million.
The shape of the 119-meter long yacht is typical for warships in the beginning of the 20th century. The A can develop the speed of 24 knots, or 45 km/h. In addition to two swimming pools, the A can boast of having a helipad, an amphibian vehicle and a garage for the owner’s car.
Many Russian wealthy businessmen prefer to spend time on board their yachts navigating in the Mediterranean Sea, not far from their villas in the south of France or in Italy.
All crystal items on board the yacht are made by Baccarat.
Andrey Melnichenko was born on March 8, 1972 in Golem, Belarus. He graduated from the Department of Physics of the Moscow State University. During his studies he worked as a currency profiteer. In 1991, he opened a currency exchange office in Moscow and then proceeded with opening several others. In 1993, he became a co-founder of MDM-Bank. In 1997, he became the only shareholder of the bank and became a member of the board of directors of Russia’s energy giant RAO UES of Russia.
Forbes listed Melnichenko as one of Europe’s youngest billionaires when his fortune was evaluated at $11 billion.