There are an amazing number of beautiful yachts here in Antigua. Between English Harbor and Falmouth they are too numerous to count.
I’ve been taking photos of a number of particularly memorable ones and yet have struggled to find a way to put them all in a single post.
Today it became clear to me about which boat I wanted to write about when the iconic Christina O pulled into the harbor. You may remember hearing a lot about her years ago as she was once one of the very largest yachts in the world. She was certainly the most famous of all as the private yacht of Aristotle Onassis who entertained, heads of state and movie stars too numerous to mention. She still ranks up there in the list of the 100 largest yachts in the world at #65. The fact that she is now more than half way down the list speaks to the increasing size of yachts in the world.
She really is an amazing yacht and her design has stood the test of time, standing out in any harbor she visits. She has a long and storied history with many famous people gracing her decks.
I expect that her launch has tales to tell. While Onassis owned her she had an amazing guest list including this list that I pulled from her Wikipedia page.
Apart from Onassis’s mistress Maria Callas and his wife Jackie Kennedy Onassis, he entertained celebrities such as Umberto Agnelli, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, Richard Burton, Clementine Churchill, Diana Churchill, Winston Churchill, Jacqueline de Ribes, John F. Kennedy, Greta Garbo, Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, Grace Kelly, Anthony Montague Browne, Rudolf Nureyev, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, J. Paul Getty, Eva Perón, Françoise Sagan, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne.
In 1956 the wedding of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and Grace Kelly held its reception on Christina O
This video is packed with amazing photos of her years entertaining luminaries.
Now as a private yacht available for charter, she continues to have a remarkable number of luxury appointments worthy of note including some that aren’t particularly PC these days. I’ll let you be the judge…
Christina O has a master suite, eighteen passenger staterooms, and numerous indoor and outdoor living areas, all connected by a spiral staircase. Compared to a typical 21st-century superyacht, her staterooms are small and Christina O lacks the indoor boat storage that is now standard; however, the number of living areas is large, and the amount of outdoor deck space is generous. The aft main deck has an outdoor pool with a minotaur-themed mosaic floor that rises at the push of a button to become a dance floor. Bar appointments included whales’ teeth carved into pornographic scenes from Homer‘s Odyssey. The bar stools in Ari’s Bar retain the original upholstery crafted from soft, fine leather made from the foreskins of whales.
As is the case of many yachts that are available for charter, there are a number of promotional videos. This short piece follows a model who wanders languidly through the yacht, drawing attention to various aspects of Christina O’s appointments. It’s hard to imagine any yacht that is more remarkable than Christina O. Wonder if I can wrangle a tour? Not likely. However perhaps I can find some friends to split a charter. It’s only $800,000 a week plus expense, whatever that might total.
It’s hard to imagine a yacht that is more amazing than Christina O but there are actually a number of other classic yachts here right now including one that once was chartered by King Edward and his wife Wallis Simpson.
In more ways than one, royalty has definitely entered the harbor.
But I’ll just have to be happy with little Pandora swinging on her anchor. Besides, nobody had a better view of the sunrise this morning than we did. Or the rainbow yesterday, one of many in the last few showery days. And those puffy clouds that pass overhead all day long. I guess I’ll stick with Pandora for now royal or not.