Christina O is one of the most legendary charter yachts to date.
For several decades, she served one of the richest people on earth - the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Then she became a charter yacht. She has been for many years, once back in 1943, she looked like an ordinary barge. But the billionaire turned it into a luxurious residence. Now if you have $60 million to spare, Christina O could be yours.
The yacht is truly stellar, at one time it was an elite secular salon, which was visited by the greatest people of that era - on board this yacht, the young daughter of Onassis introduced John F. Kennedy to the elderly Winston Churchill.
Evita Peron, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra, as well as the love of Onassis's life, prima donna Maria Callas, have been here.
To date, Christina O is considered not only one of the most expensive, but also one of the most ancient megayachts. See this military frigate? This is Christina O in a past life, then she had a different appearance, different sizes, a different owner, a different name - HMCS Stormont. She served as an escort during the Battle of the Atlantic, and after the war she became one of the many unnecessary ships. Aristotle Onassis bought her for a ridiculous price of $34,000 and made her one of the most expensive yachts of her time. The billionaire invested about $4 million in the purchase (for more than 70 years, the yacht has grown in price by 15 times!) And completely redesigned the ship.
Aristotle Onassis is the richest Greek magnate, a man who literally went down in history. And along with him, the magnificent Christina O. went down in history. Aristotle Onassis built his empire himself. The son of a wealthy banker, he started his own business without the help of his father. That's how he got his first start-up capital. Aristotle asked his father to send some samples of tobacco and, when he received them, he began to bypass the tobacco factories of his native Buenos Aires. Having received a dozen refusals, Onassis chose the manager of one of the factories and every day silently stood at the door of his office with a reproachful look. He could not stand the prolonged attack and after a couple of days asked the secretary what this boy needed, and was relieved to learn that the youngster just wanted to sell him first-class tobacco. So Aristotle received the first order for 10,000 dollars, his commissions were only 500 dollars, but they served as the foundation of his fortune. The second order was already for $50,000. Onassis was successful in everything. He was one of those people for whom profit is above all. He made a huge fortune by speculating in the transportation of oil during the war. Thanks to his prudence, Onassis signed a huge contract for the sea transportation of oil, when he did not yet have a single barge, and then, using this contract, he knocked out a fleet for himself. This scam brought in millions, while he did not invest a dime in it.
1954 was one of the most successful years for the future billionaire. This year, Onassis bought himself a battered frigate to make his dream yacht out of it. He named the ship in honor of his only daughter and transformed it into a chic establishment worthy of a millionaire (then Onassis was still a millionaire and invested four of his millions in the repair and redevelopment of the yacht). Christina O became for Onassis a haven, a refuge, a real home. Despite the fact that the millionaire had residences in different parts of the world, only here he felt calm and took care of his yacht like the apple of his eye.
Aristotle Onassis collected on his yacht all the achievements of technology and luxury that could be imagined in 1954. There was an outlandish air conditioner, electrified galleys and huge generators (a whole staff of engineers worked to make them silent), a thermostat that kept the water temperature in the pool two degrees lower than the air temperature, a network of forty telephones entangled the yacht, and a fireplace in the living room was finished with priceless lapis lazuli. The doors to the main deck are made of expensive antique Japanese wood, the doors of the master suite are of tinted glass. On board was always ready to fly a hydroplane and four boats. Onassis collected treasures on his yacht, a collection of edged weapons and a desk of the French king. He spent half a million dollars every year to maintain his house on the water.
After the death of Onassis, his only daughter became the owner of the yacht. Christina did not dare to manage the yacht on which her almost joyless childhood passed, and presented the ship to the Greek government as a presidential yacht. The Greeks renamed the yacht "Argo", but they could not appreciate it, and it quickly fell into disrepair. In the 1990s, the Greek government tried to sell the yacht, raising the price to $16 million, but no buyer was found. Nobody wanted to take a ship for such a price, because to put it in order, it would take twice as much. For several years the yacht vegetated in the port, until its negligent owners decided to drop the price. Just $2.2 million is a ridiculous price for a yacht. And a buyer was almost found for her - Alexander Blastos, but he was convicted of fraud with telegraph lines, his accounts were frozen, and the yacht remained under the Greek flag. This floating treasure languished in obscurity until John Paul Papanicolaou took over the yacht. Only the efforts of this friend of the Onassis family helped restore the yacht to its former glory. He bought and restored the yacht Christina O.
Papanicolaou assembled a group of talented architects led by Kostas Karabelas. The first problem that the restorers faced was the thoroughly rusted hull and outdated equipment. Then it was necessary to refinish the yacht. Long months of restoration work cost Papanicolaou $50 million. Two new diesel engines were installed on the yacht, which developed a speed of 20 knots. John returned the yacht to its former name, made a major overhaul, equipped the yacht with the latest technology, and in April 2001 the world saw the old Christina O in a new guise.
Today's 99-meter yacht is almost nothing like the beauty that the Greek billionaire once sailed on. Each of her luxurious luxury cabins is ready to receive the most demanding guests. The ship can comfortably accommodate 40 people, but if you wish, you can have a party for 250 people! The renovated yacht has a gym, a massage room and even a beauty salon. The music room contains notes and the best recordings of the songs of Maria Kallas, the famous Greek singer, with whom Onassis had an affair.
The yacht is knocked out of modern standards. This is a huge ship, but there is no accompanying boat on it. The salons and apartments of the yacht are small, as was the custom in the 60s, and the decks of the yacht are connected by a spiral staircase. But the main deck of the yacht is spacious and open. There is an outdoor pool at the stern, but with just one push of a button, it is covered with a mosaic floor, just right for a party and dance.
Today Christina O is the most popular charter yacht. There is a bar and dining area, an outdoor jacuzzi and pool, a dance floor for party lovers and an extensive library for those who prefer privacy. The yacht Christina O has almost everything, but to hire her even for two weeks, you need to shell out about a million dollars.