One of the world’s most futuristic superyachts, owned by Starbucks coffee billionaire Howard Schulz, turned heads on a visit to Tor Bay over the weekend.
Dwarfed by the bay’s resident cruise ships, Pi is 77 metres long and was built in The Netherlands in 2019.
Named Motor Yacht of the Year at the World Superyacht Awards in 2020, she anchored in the company of the ever-changing backdrop of stranded cruise ships in the bay, which has been nicknamed “the Torbay car park” during the Covid pandemic.
The yacht has luxury accommodation for 12 guests and 18 crew, along with a ‘touch and go’ helicopter pad, glass-bottomed swimming pool and special rough sea stabilisers.
Pi has now departed, crossed the English Channel and is heading south off Lisbon in Portugal.
Schultz started working at Starbucks in 1982 and bought the company in the late 80s. In 2020 Schultz was named the 209th-richest person in the U.S. by Forbes with a net worth of $4.3 billion.
According to Marine Traffic, there are currently eight superyacht ships off South Devon: Oosterdam, Volendam, Eurodam,Arcadia, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2. The latter lost her anchor during bad weather in Torbay on January 19.
The public has become fascinated by the sight of the grand ships awaiting the end of the pandemic, especially at night when they are lit up like enormous floating Christmas decorations.
The major cruise lines don’t yet know when they will be able to sail again. They do not expect it will be before the second quarter of 2021.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) banned cruises between March and the end of October last year, with the industry voluntarily suspending operations shortly before that. The CDC has now lifted the ban – replacing it with a “phased” return to passenger operation.
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