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Originally published May 9, 2014 at 9:38 PM | Page modified May 9, 2014 at 10:03 PM

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$160M superyacht sails into Lake Union

The 314-foot-long superyacht VAVA II has a helicopter pad, six decks and a swimming pool. It’s longer than some Washington State Ferries.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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It seems to me that spending 160 million for the yacht, as well as all the money he lays out for fuel, supplies, crew... MORE
" so-called "philanthropy" of this man is self serving" How so? But your's isn't right? "Obscene" Your class envy and... MORE
@ProudPerson Maybe you should start up your own pharmaceutical company and run it on a low profit margin. What are you... MORE

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A superyacht measuring 314 feet long and owned by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife, a former Miss U.K., docked in Lake Union Friday.

The VAVA II, reportedly in Seattle to refuel, is the 34th-largest yacht in the world, according to Boat International, a media group that serves the superyacht industry.

VAVA II, the largest privately owned yacht to be built in the United Kingdom, cost $160 million, features a helicopter landing pad, a swimming pool and six decks. It can accommodate 36 guests.

A Washington comparison: The yacht is longer than seven of the 23 Washington State Ferries.

Bertarelli, 48, is a Swiss/Italian pharmaceutical entrepreneur who inherited the biotech company Serono after his father’s death in 1998.

His net worth is $12.2 billion, according to Forbes. His wife, Kirsty Bertarelli, 42, was crowned Miss U.K. in 1988 and is one of Britain’s richest women, according to the Daily Mail.

VAVA II’s recent ports of call were Honolulu and Port Townsend, according to Marine Traffic, a website that tracks maritime vessels’ locations and travels.

The VAVA II went through the Ballard Locks Friday afternoon without any issues, a Locks official said, though onlookers said it did almost hit the side of the chamber a few times.

Though it dwarfs the sailboats and dinghies often seen on Lake Union, the VAVA II isn’t the largest yacht to dock in Seattle waters. That prize likely goes to The Serene, a $330 million yacht owned by Russian vodka distributor Yuri Scheffler, which was moored in Elliott Bay in August 2013. The Serene is about 124 feet longer than the VAVA II.

It’s unclear how long the VAVA II will be in Seattle.

The yacht has a fuel capacity of 115,043 gallons, which provides a maximum range of 5,000 nautical miles at 14 knots.

According to the Daily Mail, refueling costs the billionaires $400,000.

Pocket change, really.

Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or pcornwell@seattletimes.com



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