It’s no secret that Bermuda is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. Not only does the mid-Atlantic archipelago boast the highest GDP per capita in the world—an astonishing $91,477 per person, about $4,000 more than oil-crazed Qatar in the Middle East—but it’s also home to some of world’s richest people, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former presidential candidate Ross Perot and on-again off-again Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Here’s one more for the mix: Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire who currently owns the world’s largest private vessel—a 560-foot $485 million super yacht that’s registered in Bermuda (see above; thanks for the pic GizMag). According to a recent Bloomberg report, the tycoon outfitted his ship with $326,000 worth of contemporary art, a relative drop in the bucket considering he shelled out a whopping $86.3 million for Francis Bacon’s Triptych in 2008. In addition to two helicopter pads, a disco hall and a submarine capable of submerging 50 meters, the ship boasts a German-built missile defense system and bulletproof glass in Abramovich’s master suite. Paranoid much? It’s one heckuva boat, although I still haven’t seen it on Bermuda’s shores. My guess is he’s laying low to avoid major embarrassment in the yachting community: CNN Money reported today that a Belgium-based design firm has plans to build an even bigger private vessel, a 656-foot super yacht that would reportedly cost up to $900 million with amenities such as a 100-foot swimming pool, two 98-foot day boats and a drive-in garage. Sorry Roman, I guess you’ll have to settle for number two.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).