£100m super yacht Mogambo sails into Bristol Harbourside
THEY usually only grace the playgrounds of the super-rich, like St Tropez or Monaco.
But yesterday morning the superyacht Mogambo docked in Bristol's Floating Harbour, just yards from the Lloyds Amphitheatre.
As the sun sparkled from her gleaming steel railings, hordes of people stopped to gape at the spectacular sight. The ship, which is 73.5m (244ft) long, is on her maiden voyage after leaving the dock in Germany where she was built last week.
She will now remain in the Floating Harbour for up to a week, just a few hundred yards from Bristol's famous ships, the ss Great Britain and the Matthew.
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Bristol is the first port the Mogambo has docked in, and will be her last port of call before a four-day journey straight to the Mediterranean, where her captain Phil Walsh will deliver her to new owner, whose identity is being kept strictly confidential.
Whoever it is will need deep pockets – as such luxury yachts are normally the preserve of Russian oligarchs and oil-rich Arab sheikhs.
Last year the Mogambo was offered for sale at Harrods, where a slightly larger superyacht had a price tag of £100 million.
The Mogambo has five decks, four of them above the waterline. The top deck, or "sky lounge", has a hot tub, gym and a glass roof, and directly below that is the captain's bridge and an outside deck area. The third, main deck has a master suite, a private terrace and an entertainment area, with six cabins for the 12 guests on the fourth deck.
There is also a sauna, steam room, massage room and rain shower, which all open on to a swim platform. In the "tender garage" at the rear of the ship there is a 25ft inflatable boat and a 38ft motor yacht.
It was flying a Grand Cayman flag and is registered to George Town, the Caribbean tax haven's capital. Captain Walsh and his 18 crew came into Bristol on yesterday's morning tide, and were piloted up the River Avon from Barry by pilot Paul Dickens.
Captain Walsh, an Australian who has sailed superyachts for 28 years, said: "I didn't know much about Bristol before this, but there is a lot of maritime history here and if you get a chance to go to interesting ports, why not? Bristol has the facilities and the dock and a good all-weather port, and it is so close to the South Coast and London.
"We are here for a few days or maybe up to a week. What is nice is for the boat to be here in a port that doesn't see so many of these major yachts.
"Bristol is an interesting port and we are learning more about it as we are here."
As the crew hosed down the ship, onlookers gazed on in admiration and took photos.
Liz Fisher, from Brentry, joked: "It is amazing, just fantastic – but I would have it a different colour."
Liz Gamlin, a tour guide from Stoke Bishop, said: "It is beautiful, just stunning, and has lovely lines.
"You don't often see anything quite so grand here. I did wonder if the Bristol Ferry Boat Company had splashed out, but maybe this is one step too far."
If any Bristolians are feeling flush, unfortunately the Mogambo is not available for charter – yet.