The Beautiful Big Blue
At 113 metres in length, Le Grand Bleu is one of the biggest privately owned yachts on earth. Constructed by Kusch Yachts at the German shipyard Bremer Vulkan, located in Bremen, the superyacht was launched in the year 2000. The sleek and sophisticated design was done by Italian master designer and architect Stefano Pastrovich, who is known for some of the top interior and exterior designs in the yachting world.
Not just a pretty face
Le Grand Bleu is not only beautiful, it is also a powerful seafaring vessel. Two 4,570 bhp Deutz engines power the yacht to achieve a comfortable cruising speed of 15 knots and a maximum speed of 20 knots. The ship carries two extra boats on-board for entertainment and safety purposes – a 22 meter sailboat and a 21 meter powerboat. She offers luxurious accommodation for up to 20 visitors and provides space for as many as 25 crew members – making every visitor’s stay as comfortable as possible.
The evolution of Le Grand Bleu
In just over a decade in which it has existed, Le Grand Bleu has had three lucky owners. The first was John McCaw Jr., an American entrepreneur who made his riches in the cellular industry. After only two years with Le Grand Bleu, McCaw sold the yacht to Russian businessman, billionaire and yacht enthusiast Roman Abramovich, who had her refitted to suit his own tastes by HDW, a yacht in Germany, using Terence Disdale as his designer.
She keeps getting better
Besides changing the look and feel of the inside of Le Grand Bleu, Abramovich also added a 5 meter swim platform for the enjoyment of guests. After spending all that money and only using the yacht for around four years, the Russian oligarch gave Le Grand Bleu away as a gift to his friend and business associate Eugene Shivdler in 2006. Shivdler continued improvements and the yacht once again had a facelift in 2008 when she had a mini refit in Florida, US. Improvements this time around included adding a ‘green’ wastewater treatment system which allows the yacht to reuse wastewater by means of a treatment process, instead of dumping the wastewater overboard into the ocean. During work that was completed at the ship’s 10 year survey, a new beach club was installed on the port side of the yacht – another welcome addition to the ship’s many other great features.
Le Grand Bleu’s owner – Eugene Shivdler
Russian-born oligarch and billionaire Eugene Shivdler worked and lived in the United States and became an American citizen before returning to Russian where he started Runicom S.A., an oil trading business with Roman Abramovich. The two Russians then gained control of Sibneft, a giant oil concern which became the fastest growing, and most profitable oil company in Russia. They made a substantial fortune when Russian industry was privatised during the 90s.
Besides owning Le Grand Bleu, Shivdler also owns luxury homes worth millions of dollars in Aspen and London, and a vineyard in France. He is married to Zara Shivdler and the couple have five children.