What do you do for the holidays when you’re a billionaire?
You spend it off shore celebrating on one of the world’s largest yachts, obviously.
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich’s yacht, Eclipse, is in St. Maarten surrounded by about 50 other superyachts, according to Bloomberg. The number of yachts parked off the island has now swelled to 52, from just 16 in November, as billionaires look to take up temporary residence for the holidays.
St. Maarten now leads all countries in month-to-month change of yachts and now sits at sixth on the yacht leaderboard. Antigua is seventh and St. Bart’s tied with Turkey for 10th.
Abramovich will be enjoying the holidays from his 533 foot yacht, which clocks in as the third largest in the world and the largest in the Caribbean. Steel billionaire Victor Rashnikov sports the second largest yacht in the area, Ocean Victory, which comes in at 459 feet. David Geffen’s Rising Sun comes in at third in the area, at 456 feet.
Meanwhile, a 282 foot yacht owned by a Pakistani billionaire, the Ecstasea, crashed on Sunday while docking at a marina on St. Maarten, taking with it an operator’s booth.
The 282 foot Superyacht ECSTASEA had a collision today with the Simpson Bay Bridge in St Maarten causing serious damage. This is the hazard of these huge yachts maneuvering for space during the holidays- https://t.co/Ok1JoEZiNC pic.twitter.com/nnEtKT1EfU
— Jim Dobson (@TheLuxeWorld) December 15, 2019
Orders for yachts measuring more than 100 meters are at a 10 year high.
But despite the order count, it could still hide a reason to be worried for the shipbuilding industry. Boat International said in its 2020 Global Order Book that the business “appears to be in a holding pattern, awaiting 2020 with a little anxiety.”
Boat International cited a slight dip in overall luxury vessels ordered and uncertainty around some major economies. Speculative production by shipyards fell 8% year over year, despite still accounting for 43% of total orders. While this may not matter to people like Abramovich – who spends $65 million a year on yacht maintenance – it could create a headache for owners in the 80 to 89 foot range, where projects on order have fallen 15%.