Source: Business Insider
A luxury superyacht owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich that has been sailing without a destination for more than a week has updated its status for the first time since leaving port, ship-tracking data shows, suggesting that the vessel has no immediate intention of docking.
Abramovich's other superyacht, Eclipse, which is worth $700 million, according to SuperYacht Fan, was on Monday located just off the coast of Crete,
Solaris, a 140-feet vessel worth $600 million, is currently located off the southwest coast of Turkey and is heading west, according to tracking website Marine Traffic. On Monday, the vessel's status changed from "awaiting orders" to "scenic cruising" – the status it had shown since leaving Tivat, Montenegro on March 13 –Marine Traffic's website showed.
Georgios Hatzimanolis, a spokesperson for Marine Traffic, told Insider that although yachts and ships can change their status whenever they want, "most likely in this instance [Solaris is] using the status to confuse people from where its final destination is."
"Lots of speculation on if it will be Turkey, Israel or even possibly the UAE," Hatzimanolis said.
The locations of luxury assets owned by Russian oligarchs are being closely monitored since sanctions were levied against many of the country's elite in response to Moscow ordering troops into Ukraine. European countries, including Italy and France, have already seized yachts, private jets and other assets from a number of sanctioned oligarchs.
Abramovich, who has a net worth of $13.6 billion per Bloomberg, was sanctioned by the UK and EU, meaning his assets were frozen and he's barred from doing business there.
Solaris had been docked in the Barcelona shipyard of Spanish yacht-maintenance firm MB92 since late 2021, but left on March 8, shortly before Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club, was hit by UK and EU sanctions.
In the run-up to the announcement of sanctions, some of Russia's wealthiest people sought to move their expensive boats and private jets to jurisdictions where they might be able to protect their assets from seizure.
Abramovich's other superyacht, Eclipse, which is worth $700 million, according to SuperYacht Fan, was on Monday located just off the coast of Crete, a Greek island in the Mediterranean Sea, according to Marine Traffic. The yacht has been sailing since it left St. Martin in the Caribbean on February 21, the ship-tracking data shows.