The Russian tycoon who owns Heesen, one of the biggest superyacht builders in the world, has been sanctioned by the UK. The oil rig worker turned billionaire owns a luxury yacht so big it has gotten stuck in European rivers multiple times.


After learning that superyachts have been seized in recent months; this time one of Oss’s biggest superyacht builders has come under the crosshairs. Vagit Alekperov, owner of Heesen Yachts and chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, has been added to Britain’s list of sanctioned businessmen. Alekperov’s $108 million superyacht Galactica is also at risk of seizure, although it is still being finished in Harlingen, the Netherlands. Heesen’s 262ft all-aluminum flagship, the Galactica, was previously dubbed Project Cosmos by the Dutch shipyard; and is Heesen’s most extensive build to date and the largest all-aluminum yacht ever built. Another megayacht that was nearly caught was Aquamarine, built by Heesen.


Owned by Roman Abramovich, ownership of the 165-foot-long vessel passed to his close friend precisely on the day Russia invaded Ukraine. Among the yacht builders who have been in the spotlight due to the seizure of their yachts is Lurssen. The German yacht builder is undoubtedly one of the largest luxury yacht builders in the world and sends questionnaires to its clients to find out ownership details. They built four superyachts which the authorities detained. Heesen’s 262-foot all-aluminum flagship, the Galactica, is safe for now; Let’s dig into the details below:

Image – Hessian Yachts. Via Instagram / @heesenyachts

Heesen sailboats:
Based in Oss, Heesen Yachts is owned by oil and gas tycoon Vagit Alekperov, the fourth richest person in Russia with an estimated net worth of $20.7 billion. Heesen is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of luxury vessels over 130 feet. Dutch News shared a statement from the company after it made news for building yachts for sanctioned Russian oligarchs. “We are run by a professional Management Board, with an independent Supervisory Board that appoints the members of the Management Board.

Via Instagram / @heesenyachts

Heesen reports directly only to its sole shareholder, Morcell Ltd,” the company said in a statement. “Heesen management and employees are saddened by the current situation in Ukraine, and our hearts go out to its citizens and all those affected. We condemn violence in all its forms and hope for a speedy end to the war.

About the large megayacht Galactica:
The first thing the eye notices is Galactica’s exterior, which resembles the fierce open jaws of a killer shark. The sleek motor yacht is the epitome of speed and unerring precision. With an interior volume of 1,700 GT, the Galactica has six cabins and is Heesen’s most complete build for Vagit Alekperov. Galactica is powered by traditional diesel propulsion – four engines, two gearboxes, variable pitch propellers and state-of-the-art Promas rudders, giving her a top speed of 30 knots.

The ship includes a beauty salon, swimming pool, beach club and room for 12 people. A massive helipad that converts into an outdoor cinema is among its fancy features. Galactica is registered in the Cayman Islands and is worth $108 million, according to VesselsValue.

Daily Beast reported that the Galactica Super Nova has been sailing for the past few weeks from Barcelona to Tivat, Montenegro, arriving on March 1. But just a day later, the boat departed and disappeared, according to data from vessel tracking company MarineTraffic.

Who is Vagit Alekperov:
This former Caspian oil rig worker first tasted success as a deputy minister overseeing the oil industry in the Soviet Union. Later, he took over three major oilfields controlled by the ministry and created Lukoil, now Russia’s largest independent oil company. Climbing the ladder of success, he also founded the Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts which has launched over 170 yachts since its inception. His hobby of numismatics (studying or collecting coins) earned him one of the three largest private collections in Russia, with over 700 coins.


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