by E.Pedron with S.Rivella MONACO-MONTECARLO. Monaco is and remains one of the most important hotspots of the yacht scene. This proves every year the Monaco Yacht Show in September and the 2014 newly opened Monaco Yacht Club in Port Hercule. In front of the spectacular building designed by the star architect Sir Norman Foster on the street leading up to the Casino of Monte Carlo, larger and larger super, mega and gigayachts are found. 

The “Pacha III” looks almost “tiny” with its 36 meters, but the timeless beauty is still a place of honor in the harbor. After all, it belongs to the oldest sister of Prince Albert II, Princess Caroline. Although it is not one of the largest luxury yachts in the Principality of Monaco, it is often the center of interest. Dozens of paparazzi photos show Caroline of Hanover and her Casiraghi sprouts along with partners and friends on the legendary boat. Could she say, the 79-year-old “Pacha III” would have something to say. The yacht was bought just before the death of Caroline’s second husband, Stefano Casiraghi, son to a prominent Italian family, who died in an off-shore crash in October 1990 off the coast of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, near Monaco. Since then “Pacha III” has a special meaning for Princess Caroline and her family. In the year 2000 Stefano‘s mother, Fernanda Casiraghi-Biffi, was awarded the Foglio Italiano of Montecarlo – Foglio d’Oro Prize for her merits in charity events and as President of Engeco SAM, (now owned by Pizzarotti &C S.P.A.) a very important building company in the Principality. It is an habit to the Monaco family to have composed names yachts: Princes Rainier and Grace used to own “Stalca” St(ephanie)Al(bert) Ca(roline) a yacht, after naming Albercaro Alber (t) and Caro(line) their first yacht. Princess Stephanie named her yacht “Louine”, of course after her two first kids, Lou(is) and (Paul)ine. In the XIX and XX centuries, Prince Albert I, great-great-grandfather of Albert II, owned four, increasingly impressive research yachts: Hirondelle, Hirondelle I, Princess Alice and Princesse Alice I, named after his second beloved wife, the American-born Alice Heine, Duchess of Richelieu. Back to the Caroline and Stefano’s boat, previously she already had several names such as Briseis, Cardigrae, Priamar and Arlette II. The name “Pacha III” is made up of the initials of their three children Pierre, Andrea and Charlotte together. Pacha, means P(ierre) A(ndrea) Cha(rlotte). Also, it is a nice coincidence that the initial of Alexandra, the Caroline and Ernst August Hanover ‘s daughter, is the last letter of Pacha… Caroline had to add the “III” because there existed already a Pacha, Pacha I and a Pacha II. She was originally built in 1936 by the British shipyard Camper & Nicholson in Southampton. Her dark blue steel hull is slender 5.60 meters wide and has a draft of 2.50 meters. On board nine guests can be accommodated by seven crew members. The Grimaldi Clan uses the yacht regularly for trips in the Mediterranean. Now Caroline’s children are increasingly using the boat. So also recently newlewds Pierre Casiraghi and noblewoman Beatrice Borromeo.

Probably no other family of rulers of Europe can be seen under the media’s observation, like the Monegasque princes’ house. The millenarian history of the Grimaldis is at least as interesting as their current glamorous performances. Fast boats and beautiful women, international jet set, the Grimaldi Forum Congress Centre, the Prince’s committment to sustainability and once a year Formula 1 Grand Prix , the Rose and the Red Cross Gala, all this an much more is Monaco. But what would the dwarf state on the Côte d’Azur be without the Grimaldis? The princely family is probably the best PR machine for their country. Whether it’s the joy of the world or the catastrophe – (the Grimaldi Royal House, founded in 1297, is the oldest in Europe) the world is there live. The Grimaldis now land regularly on the covers of the boulevard and lifestyle media. The first attention is given to the first-born daughter Caroline (* 1957). The failure of their first and later annullated marriage to much older real estate agent Philippe Junot was also in the limelight as the accidental death of her second husband Stefano Casiraghi. Her last marriage to Ernst August Prinz of Hanover, to which she owes the title of Caroline Prinzessin from Hanover, always provides grateful material for the Yellow Press. Her younger sister, Stéphanie (* 1965), also contributed a lot to bringing the family back into the flash of lightning. Meanwhile the sisters have calmed down. Both engage in social projects; Caroline has three grandchildren, Stéphanie got three children from two marriages. HSH Albert II is now in the center of interest. No wonder he is a prince, he has a beautiful wife – and adorable twins.


Well, now I invite you to continue navigating the website and make a Graceful tour in the Galapagos with the Grace Yatch! Although M/Y Grace looks as young and chic today as the princess who honeymooned aboard her in the 1950s, she is nonetheless what the French call “une femme d’un certain age”: born in 1928, just before The Crash silenced the Roaring Twenties, she’s surrendered none of her youth’s glamour to the scars and wrinkles of a gallant life, including a stint chasing submarines during World War II. Combat aged on her, but benefactors like Aristotle Onassis, John Issa, and Prince Rainier ensured she was kept in the style to which she was accustomed. Now, as the M/Y Grace, she plies the waters of the Galapagos Islands, once again the elegant hostess to carefree, adventurous, perfect parties. M/Y Grace bore many names since Santiago Soulas, an Argentinean, commissioned her in Southampton. She weighed 298 tons, was 147 feet long, with a 23-foot beam and a draft of 12 feet. Soulas kept her four years before selling her to Zarch Couyoumbian, a Greek gentleman who named her Rion. In 1938, Sir George Tilley, chairman of the Prudential Insurance Co., acquired and enjoyed her until 1939, when the British conscripted her for the war effort. The Royal Navy – well-heeled in warships – needed smaller vessels for coastal patrols and snatched yachts from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean playgrounds. Rion found herself in a Tynemouth shipyard, stripped of her furnishings and paneling. She was strengthened to carry a 12-pound quick-firing gun on the forecastle, twin 40mm Oerlikons alongside the bridge and a rack on the stern holding eight 300 lb. depth charges. The corporate crew quarters were removed and hammock-hooks were welded to the deck. The forward suite became the operations and sonar room, another suite became the radio room, and the aft suite was an ammunition magazine. On October 21, 1939, she joined the Royal Navy with a crew of 20 under the command of Lt. T. Brydon, RNVR. She and 15 other vessels patrolled the entrances to the Solent and along the Isle of Wight: calm waters with the Germans focused on the skies.



On patrol off the Nab Tower, however, a Dornier 110 returning from a bombing raid stafed Rion. She took some damage to her superstructure but suffered no casualties. On May 26, 1940, during Operation Dynamo, Rion was dispatched to the beaches of Dunkirk to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force. She made three 39-mile runs from Dunkirk to Dover, each time delivering 300 soldiers. On her third run, a near-miss from a bomb off her starboard bow killed 14 soldiers and one sailor and left shrapnel holes in the hull. Repaired in Portsmouth, she resumed duty in the channels from Portsmouth to Southampton. Rion’s finest hour came on November 22, 1940 with a daring nighttime capture. She was patrolling south of the Isle of Wight with HMS Shemara and HMS Valera. At 2:44 a.m. radar contact was obtained 10 miles southwest. Lt. Brydon ordered pursuit and discovered a German E-boat floundering in the swells, and Rion and Shemara opened fire from astern of the boat. The Germans returned small-arms fire but surrendered when a shell from Rion hit her bridge. Rion escorted the E-Boat to the Portsmouth Harbour naval base. Rion had not finished yet: she discovered a submarine on the night of March 23, 1941, and made numerous depth charge runs, but the large oil slick seen at dawn was insufficient evidence to confirm that Rion had destroyed the U-boat. By June 3rd, Rion’s port engine had been crippled, and she was decommissioned for three months before returning to duty: stripped of armaments and refitted with three-tier bunks and a red cross painted on her sides and upper deck, she became an annex to the Royal Navy Hospital. Here she remained until the war’s end, when she was rechristened HMS Noir. On October 1945 she was decommissioned and 17 months later she arrived at her original builders—Southampton’s Camper & Nicholson—for restoration. On September 16, 1947 she was returned to Sir George Tilley. Upon Sir George’s death in 1951, Aristotle Onassis’ charter firm acquired HMS Noir and renamed her Arion. Two years later, the yacht became property of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco as a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis.

The royal couple honeymooned aboard the boat—which they christened Deo Juvante II—along the coasts of Corsica and Sardinia. They kept her until 1958, when a Monegasque businessman purchased her and renamed her Daska. Crest Shipping’s charter business brought her to the Bahamas in 1960. In 1965, she joined Cove Shipping in the Caribbean as Angela, headquartered in Montego Bay. She again became Daska in 1983. Then, she languished in Montego Bay until 1985, when John Issa, a Jamaican businessman and philanthropist, chairman of SuperClubs, discovered her at auction. Thoroughly refitted in Tampa, Florida, she cruised along the East Coast, bearing the name of one of John Issa’s daughters: Zein. M/Y Zein arrived in Negril for the opening of Grand Lido Negril in 1989 and remained there until 2006, tempting buyers from around the world, including Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who hoped to use her as a shadow boat for his mega-yacht. In 2007 Quasar Expeditions acquired the M/Y Zein and rechristened her the M/Y Grace: a name that would take her back into her history, to her most elegant times.


Over the course of the next 2 years the yacht was refitted to embark her new era as one of the most elegant and tasteful Galapagos Cruise yachts to sail the enchanted Galapagos Islands. The cabins are in the Sun Deck, the top-most deck of the yacht where one can find plenty of reclinable lounge chairs for sunbathing or for reading in the open air. The Albert Deck has 2 Master Suites and 2 Twin Suites with ocean-view windows. The captain’s bridge, the al-fresco lounge and al-fresco bar are also located on this deck. The Carolina Deck is fitted with 5 Premium Staterooms (double and twin) with ocean-view port-holes. The Monaco Deck is the main deck of the yacht with the interior dining room, the reception area and the main lounge. On the outside of this deck there are the al-fresco dining area, the stern resting area and the jacuzzi. And… A FABERGE IMPERIAL EGG EMBODIES A FABULOUS LUXURY YACHT FULL OF HISTORY: THE STANDART YACHT

MOSCOW. Last but not least, and exorting you to read the Fabergé Eggs history in the CULTURE & MONACO WEALTHS wish to report a curiosity about fabolous luxury yachts, with the description of the Fabergé Standart Yacht Leaf Egg. The “Standart 1909” is a transparent hollowed-out rock crystal egg, mounted horizontally, with a gold band with inlaid leaves of green enamel and small diamonds marking the separation point between upper and lower halves, which bears the inscription “Standart 1909”. The surprise is a golden replica of the Imperial Yacht, the Standart Yacht, made of gold and platinum, and coated in vitreous enamel. The model rests on a carved bed of crystal representing the ocean, but can be removed from the egg.

The c5,500 ton Standart was commissioned by Tsar Alexander III in Copenhagen. It was launched in 1895 and was 116 meters long, which made it the largest yacht in the world at that time. Outfitted with ornate fixtures, including mahogany paneling, crystal chandeliers, and other amenities (including a stable with a cow to provide the imperial children with fresh milk) it was a floating palace for the Russian Imperial Family for their vacations in the Baltic Sea. The Russian Imperial Family was vacationing on the Standart during the summer of 1914, when they received the news of the aassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, marking the start of World War I. After the Russian Revolution the ship was placed in drydock until 1936, when she was converted to a minelayer. During World War she played a significant role in the defence of Leningrad.

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