In pictures: all aboard iconic superyacht Christina O
Her storied history includes serving in WW2 and hosting Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly’s wedding reception
The superyacht Christina O did not start her life on the seas as a playground for the rich and famous. Constructed in 1943 by Montreal-based shipbuilder Canadian Vickers, the 99m Canadian frigate - originally called HMCS Stormont - was first used to serve in the Second World War and was present at the D-Day landings in Normandy in 1944.
Acquired in 1954 by Aristotle Onassis, it was the Greek billionaire shipping magnate that transformed the Stormont into one of the world’s most luxurious superyachts. Renamed after his daughter, Onassis spent $4m on the refurbishment of a ship that would become an elite and exclusive entertainment destination.
From John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Winston Churchill to Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, who Onassis later married, Christina O hosted some of the world’s most influential people during her glory years. The wedding reception of Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly was also held on board, while legendary Hollywood couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were regular guests.
Today the Christina O can be hired for corporate events and be chartered for private use. Charter prices start from €560,000 (£492,900) a week in low season to €630,000 (£554,700) a week in high season. See morleyyachts.com
‘Greatest yacht of them all’
After a number of refits, the ship has been meticulously restored. It can sleep up to 34 guests who can enjoy the same luxury experienced by the famous visitors of yesteryear. Designed to the highest standard, Onassis’s “unique taste is everywhere”, says Boat International magazine. Christina O is regarded by many as the “greatest yacht of them all”.
One of the highlights aboard the superyacht is the beautiful swimming pool. Designed with a tiled bull mosaic, the pool can turn into a dance floor at the flip of a switch.
Relaxation is the top activity on the Christina O. As well as the Jacuzzi deck (pictured) the ship also has an indoor air-conditioned gym and a spa which offers beauty treatments and massages.
The surroundings inside the yacht are as plush as the exteriors. The Callas Lounge (pictured) is named after the American-born Greek soprano Maria Callas. Regarded as one of the influential opera singers of the 20th century, it’s said that her “opera notes still play in the Callas Lounge”.
The legendary Ari’s Bar is christened in tribute to Aristotle Onassis himself as “this was one of his favourite places in which to enjoy a drink”, says Yacht Charter Fleet.
Ranked 56 in the Top 100 Largest Yachts in the World list, Christina O is the “epitome of elegance and luxury”, says Superyachts.com. “Its capacious deck can host up to 250 guests beneath extensive canopies, perfect for a special occasion or one-off corporate incentive.” Other amenities include the Galaxy Bar on the Compass deck and the large Jacuzzi on the Promenade deck.
The expansive and luxurious Onassis Suite is situated on the bridge deck and holds a spacious bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and a private en-suite lounge, says Superyachts.com.
Christina O’s elegant marble-railed spiral staircase covers three decks and at the bottom is the floor depicting Onassis’ Omega emblem.