The Nord yacht was known as Project OPUS when it was still being built. It is one of the largest yachts in the world and was launched back in 2021. Like many yachts in the last year this was the target of international investigations and sanctions. However, unlike some other vessels, Nord managed to elude authorities and return to Russian waters. As such it has not been seized and no sanctions have been imposed against its owner insofar as the yacht is concerned.

According to reports, the owner was aware that a potential seizure was imminent where the boat was docked in the Seychelles. To avoid sanctions, a staggering $465,000 worth of fuel was pumped into the vessel before it set sail to Vladivostok in Russia. The non-stop journey was undertaken at full speed and covered 6,701 nautical miles which is pretty amazing. In order to make this work, the yacht had to shut off its mandatory location responders to evade notice by authorities.

Since that time, it has ventured out again and has been seen in Hong Kong, South Korea, the Maldives and, in 2023, it returned to the Seychelles.

Nord is one of the most expensive yachts ever built and features a vast array of features and amenities designed to give passengers a full luxury experience at sea.

Who is the Nord Yacht Owner?

The Nord is owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov (sometimes spelled Alexey Mordashov). Mordashov is the chairman and largest shareholder of Russia’s biggest steel and mining company Severstal. Though there are a number of billionaires in Russia, Mordashov ranks first if his family wealth is included. His fortune is estimated to be around $30 billion. 

How Big is the Nord Yacht?

The Nord is an absolutely massive 466 feet in length, making it one of the largest yachts in the world. The beam of the vessel measures in at 64 feet while the displacement is 9,250 gross tons. It features a 17.7 foot draft and has the capacity to handle up to 36 guests at one time. 

How Fast is the Nord and What Engines Does it Use?

Sources actually don’t agree on the internal working of the Nord. Lurssen, the yacht builder, does list the vessel’s speed at 18 knots which is actually in contrast to what other sources say which come in both higher and lower though they don’t specify cruising or maximum speed.

On the low end, cruising speed is listed at 15 knots. On the high end, maximum speed is listed at 20 knots. But, with Lurssen saying 18 knots, you have to take their word that it’s one or the other making either the 15 or the 20 incorrect.

Also interesting is that there is some disagreement as to whether the yacht has 2 or 4 MTU engines. It is generally agreed, however, that the Nord is working with 4,963hp MTU (20V 4000 M73L) diesel engines.

How Much Did the Nord Yacht Cost?

When the yacht was registered in the Cayman Islands the value was listed at $300 million. However, it’s also believed that this number is a bit of an undervaluation and the actual value of the yacht is somewhere around $500 million. If that higher number is true then the Nord ranks among the top ten most expensive yachts in the whole world.

It’s been estimated that annual running costs to handle all the fuel and crew salaries as well as upkeep and general costs are between $40 million and $50 million. Despite the high costs, the vessel is not a part of any yacht charter fleet and can’t be rented out if you’re in the market for a week on a luxury yacht.

Design and Features of the Yacht Nord

Superyacht Nord was designed by German yacht makers Lurssen back in 2021. The exterior and interior design of the yacht were handled by Italian design studio Nuvolari & Lenard. Like most yachts of its size it has a steel hull, teak decks and an aluminum superstructure. 

It’s been said that the yacht was designed for exploration and long-range cruising. One of the designers said it’s a warship wearing a tuxedo, if that helps give you an idea of what the boat is like. 

The bow is flattered at the front and features a massive nameplate which actually lights up at night. Some Russian billionaires are a bit sheepish about publicity and being seen but Nord wants to be seen and makes sure everyone notices it. Even the choice of paint, avoiding the typical white and going with champagne and deep blue accents plus blue lights, draws attention to every aspect of the yacht. 

Amenities and Features

The motor yacht Nord has a prominent helipad located at the bow of the vessel and a very large pool located aft above the beach club. There’s also a second helipad and even a helicopter hangar on board. The hangar closes over the second helipad which is located on the top deck and is built into the main mast of the vessel.

A total of 36 guests can be accommodated in 20 cabins while there is also room for a crew of 50 on board.  There are two elevators to help navigate the vessel’s six decks as well as some of the standard amenities you’d expect guests to be able to enjoy on a luxury yacht. These include:

  • A fully equipped gym
  • A spa room
  • A sauna
  • A cinema
  • A beauty salon
  • A tender garage which houses several tenders as well as a variety of toys and water vehicles
  • A BBQ
  • A large beach club
  • Massive dining hall and bar area

No pictures of the interior of the yacht have been made public so, as bold as the exterior looks, the interior details are still mostly under wraps.

The Bottom Line

Nord is owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov. The estimated cost of the vessel is a steep $500 million. The yacht is one of the largest in the world at 466 feet in length. It can reach speeds of 18 knots and has space for as many as 36 guests with a crew of 50.

Like many Russian-owned yachts, the Nord was almost seized in 2020 as a result of sanctions against Russian oligarchs as a result of the war in Ukraine. However, the vessel was able to elude authorities and was last seen in the Seychelles