While millions of people are unemployed around the world due to the new type of corona virus pandemic, global elites have spent more than £ 1 billion (about 12 billion lira) on superyachts since the beginning of this year to avoid Covid-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions. The international aid organization Oxfam stated that it is “inappropriate” not to spend such a fortune on vaccines, and that money spent on super yachts can fully vaccinate Nepal’s population. Oxfam said, “This is a sign of a world where priorities are very wrong. Poor countries cannot get the vaccines they need to protect their people, because few people have so much wealth.
According to the luxury lifestyle magazine Boat International, the ultra-rich spent more than £ 1 billion (about 11 billion 950 million lira) on super yachts in 2021 to avoid travel restrictions announced due to the new type of corona virus pandemic. It was also stated in the report that second hand yacht prices are expected to peak this year.
The terms “superyacht” or “mega yacht” are used to describe large and luxurious recreational ships that are longer than 24 meters. Such yachts also require a crew of crew to perform certain tasks.
Stewart Campbell, chief editor of Boat Internatiol, said that the superyachts can go up to 180 meters in length and the second hand prices range from 1 million euros (about 10.2 million lira) to 50 million euros (about 515 million lira). He added that the crew salary, the operating cost of the ship and the anchoring fees correspond to an annual average of 200 thousand euros (approximately 2 million lira).
While superyacht owners could equip their ships with spa pools, sun terraces, gyms, Campbell said the increase in sales prices was driven by a “group of very wealthy people” who wanted to move away from travel restrictions and quarantines.
On the other hand, the pandemic forced the rich to fly to the Mediterranean and sail around. However, Campbell said that more than 50 percent of superyacht sales are in the United States so that people there can navigate US waters, avoiding travel restrictions. Campbell also stated that many yacht owners “do not want to approach the land” due to the epidemic.
However, Cambell argued that there was a misconception that all superyachts belonged to oligarchs and that the majority of the people who own them earned their money ethically, or that many donated their money to charities. He also stated that superyacht owners also contribute to the boat building and tourism sector in places such as Germany and the Caribbean.
The three largest yachts sold in second hand this year were Solo, over £ 54 million (approximately 645 million TL), Elixir for £ 33.5 million (approximately 400 million TL), and Lady Sheridan, which was sold for £ 24.7 million (approximately 300 million TL). Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ super yacht is estimated to cost around $ 500 million (4.2 billion lira).
On the other hand, the global aid agency Oxfam reported that not spending such wealth on vaccines was “inappropriate.” The agency reported that with money spent on super yachts this year, Nepal with a population of 28 million could all be vaccinated.
“The £ 1 billion billionaires spent last year on super yachts is more than the cost of fully vaccinating a country like Nepal, where Covid paid a terrible price,” says Max Lawson, head of Oxfam International’s inequality policy.
This is quite an awkward situation and a sign of a world where their priorities are very wrong. Poor countries cannot get the vaccines they need to protect their people, as few people have so much wealth.