As the Co-Founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen was never a man to do thing in small measures. Not satisfied with building one of the world's largest and most successful ever companies, he also made a hell of a name for himself in the way he came to use his vast amount of accrued wealth – not only as the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers franchises, but also with gargantuan displays of both wealth and philanthropy.
Before he died, he'd given billions away to charitable causes, and spent almost as much fulfilling his wildest dreams – but perhaps the crown jewel in his collection of assets was the yacht you see before you, which has just come up for sale now that his sister is looking to liquidate his former assets.
A 126m monster of a vessel named Octopus, the yacht was built by German shipbuilders Lürssen for a reported $200 million back in 2003. Since then, Allen spent a good amount of his post-Microsoft years touring the world in it, using the vessel partly as an exploration tool and partly as a hub for his legendary parties.
Despite the fact that it has the size and stature of a floating hotel, Octopus can only house 26 guests full time as well as its crew. That being said, those lucky 26 people will be sailing at the height of luxury. All the classic superyacht mod cons are there, including a heated freshwater swimming pool, a bar and a spa, but things get a little more opulent once you get inside.
Here, you'll find cinema, basketball court, a beach club, a glass-bottomed underwater observation lounge, and a dive centre equipped with a hyperbaric chamber.
The last two are particularly important, as the Octopus was almost purpose built to be an exploration vessel first, luxury yacht second. In its decade or so on the water, it's actually built itself quite a reputation as a research vessel, having helped discover the wrecks of both the USS Indianapolis and the USS Lexington, which were sunk in combat during the Pacific Theatre of WWII.
The yacht's gargantuan size comes down to what's stored inside. Two submarines are housed within the hull for further exploration of marine areas, as is an ROV with a diving capability of 3 kilometres. Octopus also comes with the awesomely named Man-of-War - a private tender intended purely for ferrying passengers to and from shore.
Of course, all of this stuff takes a ton of people to run it – Allen apparently employed 60 full time staff on board. It also takes the same weight in cash to keep it going. Octopus's annual running costs? $17 million. We'll leave this one to the oil barons.