Seattle may have landed the Kraken, but someone else is taking over the Octopus.
The 414-foot superyacht that once belonged to Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder and billionaire, has been sold to an unnamed buyer for an undisclosed price, according to a report this week in Superyacht Times. Octopus was listed in 2019 for $325 million almost a year after Allen died at age 65. The price dropped at some point to $278 million, Bloomberg reported.
Bloomberg reported that Burgess, a broker that marketed the vessel along with Fraser Yachts, confirmed the sale. The new owner intends to make Octopus available for hire starting next year through yacht firm Camper & Nicholsons, according to the SuperYacht Times.
We’re pretty sure Jeff Bezos isn’t the buyer, as he’s reportedly building his own 417-foot-long, triple-masted craft.
Allen took delivery of the German-built Octopus in 2003 and over the years was known to use it for everything from A-list parties to marine research expeditions.
He once said of his fleet of yachts: “They’re too big, and there are too many of them.” But in his 2011 memoir “Idea Man,” as pointed out by Bloomberg, Allen was certainly wowed the first time he stepped on the bridge.
“I felt as though I was on a spaceship,” he wrote, adding that with features including a pool, basketball court, movie theater, a recording studio with ocean views, “all my passions come together in one movable feast.”
Superyacht Times called Octopus a “true ocean explorer” with a 12,500 nautical miles range, and said to this day it is considered the world’s largest explorer superyacht.
Among Octopus’s selling points:
- Eight decks including a dedicated owner’s deck with private elevator.
- Full deck for entertainment — including cinema, gym, spa, observation lounge and basketball court on the deck below.
- Glass-bottomed underwater observation lounge.
- Bridge deck pool and pizza oven.
- Storage for seven tenders, two helicopters, two submersibles and a large SUV.
- Two helipads.
- Dive center and hyperbaric chamber.
Allen’s research team used Octopus in 2015 to help recover the bell from the British battleship HMS Hood in the North Atlantic. The team also found the wreckage of Musashi, one of the world’s largest battleships, off the coast of the Philippines in 2015. Allen was also onboard Octopus back in 2012 when film director James Cameron made his successful dive to the bottom of the 7-mile-deep Mariana Trench.
The onboard submarine Pagoo accommodates eight guests and two crew and can dive for up to eight hours. It took Allen’s love of ocean exploration to new depths, according to Robert Kraft, director of Subsea Operations at Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
“It turns out if you go 1,000 feet down in the ocean, it’s really dark, and the animals are really strange,” Allen said in 2011. “But if you put on some Pink Floyd, it’s fantastic.”
The Octopus was also known as a primo party boat that made regular stops at the Cannes Film Festival in France. In 2016, Allen’s bash had a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme, and the guests reportedly included Mick Jagger, Chloe Sevigny and Mischa Barton. Allen himself got out his guitar to play a Led Zeppelin tune for the guests.