I have been umming and ahhing about this.  Should I post an article on m/y Octopus or not?  Her beauty and splendour have captivated many since she arrived in Cape Town 20 days ago and plenty of people have already written about her. But I just couldn’t resist saying something too and adding some images of this exceptional vessel … because I think she’s the most beautiful motor yacht in the world.

m/y Octopus has been to Cape Town and Durban on many an occasion and is a head turner of note.  It’s also well known that she belongs to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who “dropped out” of Washington State University to pursue a career as a computer programmer and then persuaded his old school friend Bill Gates to “drop out” of Harvard University in order to found Microsoft.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Octopus was launched in 2003 having been built by Lurssen and at the time she was touted as the largest privately built and owned motor yacht in the world at 126.20 metres in length and just under 10000 tons. Flagged in the Cayman Islands, her original cost was over US$ 200,000,000.  She was refitted in 2008 and she has an impressive cargo of toys on board – submarines, helicopters, tenders etc, all of which, please note, are in the plural.

She spends much of her time being loaned out for a variety of rescue and research operations including to scientists to study the coelacanth. She has even discovered World War II wrecks at over 9000 ft deep.


It has been suggested that the running costs of Octopus for basic maintenance and operations run at around US$384,000 per week, but then there are 57 crew on board. Fully equipped with a pool, two helicopters, a movie theatre, basketball court – Paul Allen does after all own the Portland Trail Blazers – a recording studio, glass bottomed pool and accommodation for 26 guests with 41 suites, Octopus is impressive on every level and would certainly provide an extremely luxurious escape.

The tender is 19 metres long and, in order to fall in line with the Octopus theme, it is called “Man-of-War”.

Mick Jagger has used the recording studio on board with Super Heavy in 2011, next to the museum dedicated to Jimmy Hendrix memorabilia.

Each year at the Cannes Film Festival Paul Allen purportedly throws an extravagant party attended by actors, filmmakers, celebrities of all types and supermodels.  How very fitting, methinks.

m/y Octopus - Cape Town 9/18
m/y Octopus – Cape Town 9/18

“Octopus” was built for a good time and must be one of the best billionaire toys around.