Seattle may have landed the octopus, but someone else is taking over the octopus.
The 414-foot superyacht, once owned by Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder and billionaire, was sold to an unknown buyer for an unknown price, according to a report this week in the Superyacht Times. Octopus was listed for $ 325 million in 2019, almost a year after Allen died at the age of 65. The price fell to $ 278 million at some point, Bloomberg reported.
Bloomberg reported that Burgess, a broker who co-marketed the ship with Fraser Yachts, confirmed the sale. According to SuperYacht Times, the new owner intends to make Octopus available for rent through the yacht company Camper & Nicholsons starting next year.
We’re pretty sure Jeff Bezos isn’t the buyer as he’s reportedly building his own 417 foot three-masted ship.
Allen took over the Germany-built Octopus in 2003 and has been known over the years for using it for everything from A-list parties to marine exploration expeditions.
He once said of his yacht fleet, “They are too big and there are too many.” But in his 2011 memoir “Idea Man”, as Bloomberg pointed out, Allen was certainly delighted when he first stepped on the bridge.
“I felt like I was on a spaceship,” he wrote, adding that with features like a pool, basketball court, movie theater, and ocean-view recording studio, “all of my passions are united in one moving festival.”
A view of a helipad on Octopus. (Burgess photo)
The Superyacht Times described Octopus as a “true ocean explorer” with a range of 12,500 nautical miles and is still considered the largest explorer superyacht in the world to this day.
Among the Octopus selling points:
- Eight decks, including an owner’s deck with a private elevator.
- Full deck for entertainment – including a movie theater, gym, spa, viewing lounge, and basketball court on the deck below.
- Underwater observation lounge with a glass floor.
- Bridge deck pool and pizza oven.
- Storage space for seven tenders, two helicopters, two diving boats and a large SUV.
- Two helipads.
- Diving center and hyperbaric chamber.
Allen’s research team used Octopus in 2015 to recover the bell of the British battleship HMS Hood in the North Atlantic. The team also found the wreck of Musashi, one of the largest battleships in the world, off the coast of the Philippines in 2015. Allen was also aboard the Octopus in 2012 when film director James Cameron made his successful dive to the bottom of the 7-mile-deep Mariana Trench.
The on-board submarine Pagoo offers space for eight guests and two crew members and can dive for up to eight hours. Allen’s love of marine research, according to Robert Kraft, Director of Subsea Operations at Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
“It turns out that when you go 300 meters in the ocean it’s very dark, and the animals are really weird,” Allen said in 2011. “But when you put on Pink Floyd, it’s fantastic.”
The Octopus was also known as the Primo party boat, which made regular stops at the Cannes Film Festival in France. In 2016, Allen’s Bash had a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme, and guests reportedly included Mick Jagger, Chloe Sevigny, and Mischa Barton. Allen himself took out his guitar to play a Led Zeppelin piece for the guests.