Launched back in the year 2003, the Octopus yacht was built by famous shipyard Lurssen out of Germany. Lurssen has been behind numerous other superyachts such as Kismet and Dilbar and many more. The exterior design was handled by Espen Øino Naval Architects while the interior was handled by American designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett.

Who Owns the Octopus Yacht?

The Octopus yacht was owned by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. In addition to being a private pleasure yacht for Allen, the Octopus has served a variety of purposes over the years thanks to him loaning it out. It has served as an exploration vessel, been used for scientific research and has even seen use as a rescue vessel.

Allen died in 2018 and at that time the yacht underwent a refit at Blohm + Voss. In 2019 it was put on sale for a price of €295 million. The price was dropped by about 60 million and in 2021 it was picked up by an anonymous buyer. However, the anonymity didn’t last long and it was later revealed that Swedish billionaire Roger Samuelsson.

How Big is the Octopus Motor Yacht?

The Octopus more than qualifies as a superyacht coming in at an incredible 126.2 meters or 414 feet. While the largest yachts in the world are over 500 feet, the Octopus is clearly massive and could rightly be labeled a megayacht and one of the world’s largest yachts as well.

Aside from the incredible length of the vessel, it features a beam just shy of 69 feet across. The gross tonnage is 9,932.

How Much Did the Yacht Octopus Cost?

Paul Allen purchased the Octopus back in 2003. At that time the vessel cost him $200 million. Adjusted for inflation, that would work out to about $327 million by today, clearly making this one of the more expensive yachts in the world. That said, it still doesn’t meet the bar for one of the most expensive yachts ever by quite a bit.

Can You Charter the Octopus Yacht?

The Octopus is available for charter through the yacht firm Camper and Nicholsons but it’s definitely not available for most budgets. We’ve covered other yachts before that are owned by billionaires and are available for charter at some steep prices that often range around $1.2 million per week. The Octopus goes to the next level. 

You can charter the Octopus for about $2.2 million per week and that doesn’t include expenses. So you’ll be paying for things like food and fuel separately. Suffice it to say that this is not a charter for everyone but the option is there. 

Is the Octopus Yacht for Sale?

After its initial purchase in 2003 the Octopus was not available for sale until 2019 after owner Paul Allen passed away. There are currently some websites that claim the Octopus is for sale now and you can make an offer but the reliability of those sites is unknown and they do list the previous sale price from 2019 so they may not be current.

How Fast is the Octopus Yacht and What Engines Does it Use?

The Octopus has a cruising speed listed at 12.5 knots and a top speed listed at 19 knots. This is provided thanks to 8 MTU diesel engines that can generate a total of 19,200 hp. The yacht has an impressive range of up to 12,500 nautical miles at cruising speed thanks to her 1,034,000 liter fuel tanks 

What’s the Octopus Yacht Interior Like?

The Octopus covers eight decks and has room on board for a total of 26 guests and 63 crew. The guests can find accommodations in a full-beam master suite, two VIP suites, seven double rooms and three twins, one with an additional single bed.

The master suite is on a dedicated owner’s deck and features a king size bed, his and hers en suite bathrooms and a private observation deck that includes an al fresco dining area. There’s also a private bar and Jacuzzi There is also an owner exclusive private elevator for use. 

For years the details of the interior were a closely guarded secret while Paul Allen was still the owner. In fact, designer Espen Oeino said that this was the first yacht that ever required him to sign an NDA to keep its design secret. Since then he’s signed many more, but the Octopus was where it started. However, since Allen’s passing and the sale of the yacht, the transition to a vessel available for charter has allowed us to learn a lot more about the Octopus and its amenities and entertainment facilities.

Features and Amenities

The Octopus is an ice-class exploration yacht so it can go where many other luxury yachts cannot. It has two helipads as well as garages to house two helicopters. In addition, guests can find the following on board.

  • There’s a large swimming pool to the aft of the yacht on the main deck. It features numerous loungers and its own cocktail bar. There’s also a retractable glass floor that covers the pool when not in use.
  • A dance floor for parties
  • A movie theater
  • A well equipped gym for working out
  • A relaxation spa that includes a sauna
  • A large indoor/outdoor beach club area
  • A large deck Jacuzzi
  • A glass bottomed observation lounge
  • A well-stocked library for those evenings when you want to curl up with a good book


For those who want to have some more intense fun out on the water, the Octopus has a number of toys that can be used.

  • A tender garage with storage for up to seven tenders which includes:
    • 59’5” Delta Powerboats 54′ Tender
    • 30’8” Vikal Custom Limo Tender with a pair of 260 HP engines
  • An ROV
  • A 10-person submarine named Pagoo which we’ll talk more about shortly
  • A dive center with a hyperbaric chamber and scuba gear
  • A large swim platform
  • A diving platform
  • 4 separate 2 seat Yamaha FX140 Waverunners
  • 2 separate 2 Person Hobie Pursuit Kayaks
  • An Epic V5 Kayak
  • 3 Windsurfers for a range of skill levels
  • A stand up Yamaha jet ski
  • 3 surfboards
  • Kite surfers 
  • Water skis and a variety of towable toys 
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Fishing gear

Octopus Rescue Work

The Octopus also features a not entirely typical on board submarine and also a very rare ROV or remote operated vehicle which is essentially a remote control sub. These had been used a number of times on rescue operations when Paul Allen owned the vessel.

The sub and ROV were used to help find a pilot and two officers who vanished off the coast of Palau, and even aided the Royal Navy in finding the bell from the HMS Hood which sank off of Denmark in WWII.

The Octopus has also aided in scientific research, most notably when researchers were studying coelacanth, a species of prehistoric fish thought to have been extinct for millions of years. 

What is the Octopus Yacht Deck Plan?

You can see the full deck plans here. The Octopus was designed to feature some things you would never expect to find on a yacht. For instance, it had a fully equipped recording studio where the band U2 did some recording. The studio also hosted Usher, Mick Jagger and Joss Stone. However, the studio has since been replaced with a bar and lounge area.

In addition to the studio the yacht was designed with a storm cabin to help minimize the effects of bad weather and a full medical center in case of emergencies. Many of these features no longer exist since the retrofit after Paul Allen’s death.

One extremely unique feature is the central clock. Braided stainless-steel shrouds from a sailing vessel were strung on either side of the grand staircase from lower to upper deck. The designer enlisted the aid of a 102-year-old German clock making company to help bring the idea to life. It also uses digital audio software so that on a regular basis the strings can play snippets from literally any song to indicate the passage of time.

The Bottom Line

The Octopus yacht was once owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen until his death in 2018. Afterwards, some of the yacht was redesigned and it was sold for close to $300 million to Swedish billionaire Roger Samuelsson. 

The Octopus is a massive exploration yacht measuring 414 feet making it large but nowhere near as big as something like the massive Azzam. It has been used for scientific research and rescue missions in the past and is now available for charter though at a steep price.

While it has many of the expected amenities of luxury yachts it also features some more exotic fare like the minisub with room for 8 passengers and two crew, as well as a stunning array of toys and other features.