BY APB Staff on 5 Aug 2021

The 126-metre megayacht was originally built for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2003 and was listed last year for US$320m

OctopusThe 126-metre explorer megayacht Octopus has been sold, and is set to join the Camper and Nicholsons charter fleet.

In a media release, Camper and Nicholsons say her new owner is “committed to maintaining the expedition spirit she became renowned for”. After an upcoming yard period, the yacht will be available for charter for the first time, and will embark on a two-year round-the-world tour from January 2022.

Originally built by Lürssen for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, with exterior design by Espen Øino, Octopus is often referred to as the world’s pinnacle explorer yacht. When launched in 2003, she was the world’s largest yacht, and has been lent out for many scientific research projects and rescue missions over the years. While no longer ranked in even the top 10 globally for size, she retains her crown as the largest explorer yacht in the world.

Following Allen’s death in 2018, Octopus underwent an eight-month refit at Blohm+Voss, and was listed for sale last September for US$320m by central sales agents Fraser and Burgess, with a video offering a rare glimpse inside this exclusive vessel:

C&N adds: “We look forward to working with her new owner and representatives to deliver an industry-leading charter programme as well as providing solid ground support on all day-to-day operational activities.”

The toys on Octopus alone are worthy of a Hollywood action film: two six-seater helicopters, four jet skis, two RHIBs, two submersibles and seven tenders, including the 19-metre Man of War. The hull includes an integrated dock, which floods when opened, allowing the tender and submersible to float out. There’s also a dive centre along with a hyperbaric chamber, plus a beach club, diving deck and bar on the starboard side.


Octopus can accommodate 26 guests in 13 staterooms. The extensive amenities include a large cinema and a recording studio with a specially designed floor to damp out noise and vibration. There is also a private observation lounge, basketball court, heated freshwater pool, gym, and spa with hammam and sauna.

She also employs a permanent staff of 63, and is rumoured to include former Navy Seals as crewmembers. Built to ice-class 1A with a range of 12,500nm, Octopus can reach a max speed of 19 knots, and is equipped to explore some of the world’s most extreme locations.

Octopus has explored the coast of Antarctica and traversed the Northwest Passage. She recovered the ship’s bell from the wreck of the HMS Hood at a depth of 2.8km for the Royal Navy. In March 2015, an Allen-led team helped to discover the wreck of the Japanese WWII battleship Musashi off the coast of the Philippines. She has cruised destinations around the world, from Hong Kong to London and Cannes, where Allen would throw lavish, star-studded parties aboard during the Cannes International Film Festival.

Paul Allen was ranked as the 44th-wealthiest person in the world when he died, leaving behind an estate worth an estimated US$20.3 billion. As well as a business magnate and investor, he was a researcher and philanthropist. He founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Artificial Intelligence and Cell Science, and gave some US$2 billion to social and environmental initiatives in his lifetime. He also launched the experimental air-launched, rocket-powered aircraft SpaceShipOne, which completed the world’s first crewed private space flight in 2004.