Serene, one of the largest superyachts in the world, has found safe harbor in Manhattan. The vessel is owned by Yuri Scheffler, the man behind vodka brand Stolichnaya. The yacht’s presence in the United States is speculated to be connected to the current unrest in Ukraine and Russia over the latter’s annexation of Crimea, and that the Russian oligarch may have decided to go to safer waters.
The truth is that the vodka magnate is in New York on business. Scheffler’s company SPI Group was started in Russia, but is now based in Luxembourg. Scheffler himself hasn’t been to the motherland in 12 years and is now a British citizen. He has also been battling the Russian government for years.
Scheffler has publicly expressed his discord with the Russian government, which had tried to seize his company and its assets. When he refused to give up the company in 2003, Scheffler was issued a warrant for his arrest. This goes to show that Scheffler certainly is no Putin crony.
In an email, Scheffler wrote that if Russia were a democratic country with a proper legal system, things would be different. However, given the circumstances in Russia where “there is only one law, and it’s called ‘Putin’,” he can only feel sorry for the Crimean people. “This is terrible when a country captures a neighbor’s territory.”
Serene was built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri Yachts and was designed by Espen Oeino. It was delivered to Scheffler in August 2011. The massive vessel measures 439.3 feet in length and has five levels. Onboard amenities include several pools and Jacuzzis, a playroom for children, an indoor climbing wall, and an underwater viewing room. There are cabins for 52 crew and 24 guests, and two helicopter landing platforms. It was designed and built according to the regulations of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, giving the yacht an edge in terms of overall safety.
So big you can land a helicopter on it
Serene Yacht In All Its Glory
Image via Wikimedia Commons