Paul Allen Jams With Usher On Yacht, The People takes an exclusive look at Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s 413ft-long superyacht which is in London for the Olympics
With two helipads, a swimming pool, nightclub, a basketball court, a cinema and two submarines, it could win a gold medal for extravagance.
The People has taken an exclusive look at Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the 413ft-long superyacht which has just sailed in to London for the Olympics.
He’s among the dozens of billionaires bringing their giant boats to the Thames…transforming the East End of London into a scene from the glitzy French Riviera.
The 12th largest yacht in the world, Octopus is also renowned for its star-studded parties and is set to be the scene for some of London’s glitziest showbiz bashes over the coming days as A-List Hollywood stars come to Britain for the Games.
It boasts enough gadgets to keep a Bond villain in business and due to Allen’s love of rock music, comes with its own recording studio.
The reclusive billionaire, 59 – whose boat arrived at Canary Wharf’s West India Quay on Friday – is a keen guitarist and keyboard player and employs his own band so when he wants to jam he’s got people to play with.
He famously bought the guitar Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock for $750,000.
Artists including the RnB superstar Usher, the Eurythmics Dave Stewart, U2 and Johnny Cash, have all played on board.
The crew spent all night preparing the boat for Allen’s arrival – with AC/DC blasting out from the on-board sound system.
Hundreds of people watched its arrival, with Olympic flag flying high, as it negotiated its way past the Dome this week.
Weighing 9,000 tonnes, the ship is the world’s largest expedition yacht – and Allen recently returned from taking her to the Antarctic.
It is also a regular at the French Rivera, Venice and the Caribbean. It has 41 suites and 60 full-time crew.
It has a 10-man submarine capable of two-week-long trips under the sea, as well as a smaller remote control-operated sub.
To launch the larger submarine the boats entire end opens up to allow the sub to leave.
The aft of the ship also contains hatches that can open to reveal a fully serviced spa, a bar area and access down to the sea to swim or to play with some of the yacht’s jetskis.
Allen snapped it up for $200 million in 2003 and it costs $20 million a year to run.
Octopus joins Ilona, another super yacht docked in West India Quay – just a couple of miles from the Olympic park – owned by the Australian Westfield shopping centre mogul Frank Lowy, staying in London for the Games.
Also arriving soon will be Allen’s business partner, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 56, in his superyacht Gogypus.
Another set to arrive over the next few days is The Maltese Falcon, owned by Greek millionairess Elena Ambrosiadou, 42.
In all, 20 of the world’s biggest yachts are expected to be moored up by the time the Olympics kicks off on Friday – and are set to host a string of opulant parties for the wealthy and famous.
The 57-suite “party boat” MS Caledonian Sky is expected to host a bash the night before the opening ceremony with the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Mark Ronson attending.
A series of hosts, including actors and film directors are said to have booked out the top deck at a cost of £75,000 to throw their own parties.
Meanwhile Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be among other stars including Sir Christopher Lee, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones and Lewis Hamilton, at a charity party at the Victoria and Alvbert Museum on Wednesday night.