Paul Allen: Adventure Through Superyachts and Philanthropy

Co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen is a superyacht owner, entrepreneur and ...

Paul Allen: Adventure Through Superyachts and Philanthropy

February 15, 2018

Written by Maria Korotaeva

Co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen is a superyacht owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist using his company Vulcan Inc. to change the way we see the world and interact with it.

The scope of his contributions is wide-ranging, from working to slow the effects of global warming and improve ocean health to patronising the arts and uncovering and preserving history. To further these causes, he has given away over $2 billion USD.

Motor yacht Octopus. Photo credit Sam Sorgiovanni

His own private yachts are not only impressive feats of engineering in their own right but also help to further his own ambitions with onboard facilities designed for studio quality recordings and facilities for entertaining during extended periods away from land undergoing deep sea research. Read on to discover what’s inside Paul Allen’s superyachts and the wrecks they’ve rediscovered after decades of being lost at sea.

Tatoosh – A home away from home

Built by Nobiskrug in 2000, 94m/303ft luxury yacht TATOOSH is an impressive sight when cruising the seas, and her head-turning exterior styling comes from Kusch Yachts while Terence Disdale produced her interiors. Her onboard amenities include a helicopter hangar, a basketball court, gym, swimming pool and cinema, all of which were installed into Paul Allen’s next superyacht, M/Y OCTOPUS.

Nobiskrug Tatoosh

Her accommodation sleeps 24 guests over 12 cabins (1 Master suite, seven double cabins and 2 twin cabins) while her crew of 39 will take care of everything on board.

A pair of Deutz-MWM SBV16M engines produce a top speed of 19 knots, a cruising speed of 15 knots and a range of 5,000 nautical miles.

Tatoosh. Photo credit James Whittaker


Octopus – The treasure-hunting expedition yacht

Estimated to be worth around $250 million USD, Paul Allen’s 126m/414ft mega yacht OCTOPUS is one of the largest in the world and contains a customised layout fitted with state-of-the-art technology for research expeditions, music recording and entertainment.

Octopus photo credit Christo303

M/Y OCTOPUS was built by Lurssen in 2003 and has an exterior design from Espen Oeino, while her interior is the work of Jonathan Quinn Barnett. She is designed to sleep up to 26 guests over 13 cabins with a crew of 57 accommodated in 28 cabins.

The bridge deck is entirely dedicated for the Owner’s use and contains an impressive study, an en-suite bathroom, walk-in wardrobe and an alfresco dining area with a bar and whirlpool tub. The bridge deck is also the location of the recording studio, while additional amenities include an observation lounge, cinema, gym, basketball court and swimming pool. Other accommodation includes a spacious VIP stateroom, four further guest cabins and a children’s cabin. There are also two additional cabins to be occupied by doctors or staff during expeditions.

126m superyacht Octopus. Photo credit Raphael Belly

Two helicopters are stored in the hangar on the main deck, and the tender garage houses a 10-person submarine for research and exploration.

Using 8 x Mercedes Diesel engines, she is capable of a top speed of 20 knots, a cruising speed of 17 knots and an exceptional range of 8,000 nautical miles.

Luxury yacht OCTOPUS is a member of Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) and has been involved in a numerous search and rescue missions.

Octopus – Lurssen

As a research vessel, her expert crew have been involved in the 2015 discovery of the Musashi, a WWII battleship that was one of the most technologically advanced at the time.

Every year the billionaire hosts a themed party at the Cannes Film Festival (taking place on May the 9th in 2018). In previous years, themes have included Bollywood and Shakespeare, and Mick Jagger, Sharon Stone, Dolph Lungren, Mischa Barton, and Chloe Sevigny have all been guests on board.


76m/250ft research vessel PETREL was originally built for pipeline inspection in 2003. Bought by Paul Allen in early 2017, she underwent an extensive refit for underwater exploration: She has subsea equipment capable of reaching a depth of 6,000 metres/9843ft the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) can host up to 50 people on board. A helipad on the foredeck provides a way to search from the air and to ferry guests to and from nearby islands without R/V PETREL needing to change position.

No time was wasted putting her to work, and RV PETREL discovered the wreck of Italian WWII warship ARTIGLIERE in March 2017 and another WWII warship, the U.S.S. INDIANAPOLIS, in November 2017. After 72 years lying on the sea floor, the mystery of how the INDIANAPOLIS sank was solved: She was torpedoed twice by a Japanese submarine.

More wrecks will undoubtedly be uncovered as the billionaire continues in his hunt to find and preserve history for future generations.

Look out for Paul Allen’s luxury yacht OCTOPUS at the Cannes Film Festival this May, where he will host another of his amazing themed parties to the glamorous backdrop of the French Riviera.


Octopus – stern

Octopus – aerial shot

M/Y Octopus – Photo by SuperyachtsGibraltar

Octopus at Sunset

Octopus – Lurssen


Please contact CharterWorld - the luxury yacht charter specialist - for more on superyacht news item "Paul Allen: Adventure Through Superyachts and Philanthropy".

Quick Enquiry

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter