Christina O

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Hacker tender and Christina O.jpg
Christina O and her tender
Career
Name: 1998–Present Christina O
1978–1998 Argo
1954–1978 Christina
1943–1954 HMCS Stormont (K327)
Owner: John Paul Papanicolaou
Builder: Canadian Vickers Ltd., Montreal
Laid down: 23 December 1942
Launched: 14 July 1943
General characteristics
Displacement: 2250 tonnes
Length: 325 ft (99.06 m)
Beam: 36 ft (10.97 m)
Draft: 14 ft (4.27 m)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Capacity: 34
Crew: 39

Christina O is a private motor yacht. At 99.06 metres long she is number 29th among the Top 100 largest yachts in the world.[1] She was originally a Canadian anti-submarine River-class frigate called HMCS Stormont and was launched in 1943. She served as a convoy escort during the Battle of the Atlantic and was present at the D-Day landings.[2] After the end of the Second World War she was one of many surplus naval vessels; Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis purchased her for its scrap value,[3] US$34,000, and then spent US$4 million to convert her into a luxurious superyacht renamed Christina, after his daughter. Upon Onassis' death, Christina donated the yacht to the Greek government; the vessel is now owned by John Paul Nicolaou, an Onassis family friend also in the shipping business, who in 1998 secured the then-decaying yacht in a government-sponsored auction spent $50 million to retrofit her. He lets the yacht for elite charters and cruises.[4]

Yacht Conversion[edit]

HMCS Stormont was purchased from the Canadian government for $34,000 in 1947. She was converted to a yacht in Germany. The conversion made full use of the navy ship's large hull and powerful naval engineering systems to create large ornate interiors and elaborate luxuries like a mosaic swimming pool which drained and rose to deck level to create a dance floor. Christina O set a new standard for lavish personal yachts, especially as she was rebuilt amidst the austerity of post-war Europe.[5]

The yacht was designed by Cäsar Pinnau, and the children's room was designed and painted by the illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans.[citation needed] Jacqueline Onassis selected the pastel color scheme and decor in all of the cabins.[6]

The team Papanicolaou hired to refit the yacht after he purchased it in 1988 included Naval architect Costas Carabelas, who spearheaded the project, interior architect Apostolos Molindris, and Decon who handled construction. The refit work was executed by the Croatian shipyard, Viktor Lenac.[7]

Notable passengers[edit]

Apart from Onassis' mistress Maria Callas and his wife Jackie Onassis, celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Rudolph Nureyev, Greta Garbo, Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy have sailed on her.[8][9]

Christina O in her previous life as HMCS Stormont

Ownership[edit]

When Aristotle Onassis died in 1975, he left the yacht to his daughter, who gave her to the Greek government for use as a presidential yacht in 1978. She was rechristened the Argo but was allowed to decay. She was put up for sale at US$16 million in the early 1990s, although there were no buyers. In 1996, a sale to an American (Alexander Blastos, whose deposit check bounced[10]) fell through; he was later convicted of wire fraud in relation to his attempt to purchase the yacht. Finally in 1998, she was purchased by Greek shipowner John Paul Papanicolaou, an Onassis family friend[11] who had sailed on her as a child. He changed her name to Christina O, in tribute to Aristotle Onassis, and undertook a major refurbishment between January 1999 and April 2001 that cost over $50 million.[12] In 2005, she became available to charter via Camper & Nicholsons International, the oldest yacht brokerage company in the world. She is currently available for Charter from 455,000 Euro per week.[13]

Amenities[edit]

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; on the other hand, the number of living areas is large, and the amount of outdoor deck space is very generous. The aft main deck has an outdoor pool with a minotaur-themed mosaic floor that rises at the push of a button to form a dance floor, and there is a helicopter platform on the promenade deck. In Ari's Bar, the barstools retain the original upholstery crafted from a very soft, fine leather made from the foreskin of a Minke Whale.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 100 Largest Yachts Superyachts.com 2013
  2. ^ "Canadian Participation on D-Day and In The Battle of Normandy". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 7 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Roger Lean-Vercoe & Peter Boulton. "Iconic yachts: Christina O". Boat International.  Article and pictures of Christina O's exterior and interior.
  4. ^ John Lassiter (August 2002). "Megayachts: The Rebirth of Christina O (The legend of the famed Onassis yacht lives on, after perhaps the most expensive refit in history)". Power&Motoryacht. p. 1. 
  5. ^ Dan Conlin, "Christina O: From Snowy Nova Scotia to the Sunny Mediterranean, How a Canadian Frigate Became the World's Most Famous Super Yacht", The Marine Curator: Artifacts, Images and History from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic July 5, 2013
  6. ^ Roger Lean-Vercoe & Peter Boulton. "Iconic yachts: Christina O". Boat International.  Article and pictures of Christina O's exterior and interior.
  7. ^ John Lassiter (August 2002). "Megayachts: The Rebirth of Christina O (The legend of the famed Onassis yacht lives on, after perhaps the most expensive refit in history)". Power&Motoryacht. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Roger Lean-Vercoe & Peter Boulton. "Iconic yachts: Christina O". Boat International.  Article and pictures of Christina O's Exterior & Interior
  9. ^ "Christina O", the mega luxury pleasure yacht of Aristotle Onassis Embelezzia Luxury & Style - 2013
  10. ^ John Lassiter (August 2002). "Megayachts: The Rebirth of Christina O (The legend of the famed Onassis yacht lives on, after perhaps the most expensive refit in history)". Power&Motoryacht. p. 1. 
  11. ^ John Lassiter (August 2002). "Megayachts: The Rebirth of Christina O (The legend of the famed Onassis yacht lives on, after perhaps the most expensive refit in history)". Power&Motoryacht. p. 1. 
  12. ^ John Lassiter (August 2002). "Megayachts: The Rebirth of Christina O (The legend of the famed Onassis yacht lives on, after perhaps the most expensive refit in history)". Power&Motoryacht. p. 1. 
  13. ^ "Luxury Yacht Charter Christina O". camperandnicholsons.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Mega Yacht of the Millennium- Cristina O’ Greatest Boat Flooring". World Surface. 18 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "In Sails". Esquire Magazine. 1 January 2003. 

External links[edit]