Wellington Scoop

No travel sanctions for Russian billionaire’s superyacht in Wellington Harbour


On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour.

The yacht, which was designed by Philippe Starck and resembles a Stealth destroyer, is owned by a Russian fertiliser and chemical magnate who is worth an estimated $17billion.


The DomPost reports that the superyacht is owned by Andrey Melnichenko. the founder of a Russian bank. It quotes CentrePort’s marine services manager Captain Charles Smith as saying it arrived about 8am this morning. “Its Russian owners are in Queenstown at the moment and will be re-joining the vessel tomorrow.”

Twitter photo by Sean Gillespie

The vessel is said to be worth US$350 million and is the largest superyacht to have visited New Zealand – 119 metres long and 5959 gross tons. It was built in Hamburg in 2008.

A Wall Street Journal report says the yacht has 44 security cameras and a 2583-square-foot master suite wrapped in bomb-proof, 44-millimetre glass.

Travel sanctions against selected Russians