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Originally published Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM

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How the really rich people cruise

The world's richest people don't bother with even the most luxurious of cruise ships. Instead they set sail on their lavish private yachts.

The world's richest people don't bother with even the most luxurious of cruise ships. Instead they set sail on their lavish private yachts.

The most extravagant and biggest of them all is the Eclipse, a 557-foot yacht (shown above) owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. It cost an estimated $1.2 billion and is laden with luxury and security for Abramovich, who made his fortune in Russian oil and commodities.

The Eclipse was built under great secrecy (it was launched in 2009) and many details have been widely reported but not confirmed.

It has guest cabins (most reports say 11 or 24), two swimming pools, several hot tubs, a cinema, library, three dining rooms, a gym with sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, small medical clinic and a disco hall. There is a 6-foot cinema screen in each guest room.

The ship has two helicopter landing pads (and a hangar for two helicopters) and has security features including a German missile-defense system; underwater motion-and-heat sensors; bulletproof glass; and a 12-seat anti-piracy submarine that can be launched through a hatch in the ship's hull.

To run the nine-deck ship, which has a cruising speed of 22 knots, requires a crew of 70.

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