The legendary Christina O was built in 1943 as the frigate Stormont (GRT 1602) and belonged to the Canadian Navy. During the Second World War, it was used as an escort vessel for convoys to transport war material to the Allied forces.
In fact, it took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Landing of Normandy.
Launched in 1943, Christina O started out as a Canadian anti-submarine River-class frigate known as HMCS Stormont. Retired at the end of the war, it was sold at scrap value to Onassis in 1954, who paid US$34,000 for its worth in metal, and then invested another $4 million to convert it into the fanciest, most outrageous and luxurious passenger ship. He named it Christina O, after his daughter.
He even named her after his daughter, Christina.
After the death of Onassis, the yacht passed from his daughter Christina in 1978 to the ownership of the Greek State for use by the current head of state. The vessel was effectively decommissioned.
After 20 years, the yacht was bought by the shipowner Ioannis Pavlos Papanikolaou and renovated for the astronomical sum of 50 million dollars in 2001.
Today, Christina O is valued at $40 million and has been with lawyer Ivor Fitzpatrick for a number of years. It charters for over $700,000 a week, not including expenses, and while it doesn’t have a tender garage like the superyachts it inspired, it still packs a lot of toys: a flyboard, waterslides, jetskis, towables, and four tenders, including a gorgeous retro limo. The original steam engines were replaced with twin MAN engines that take it to a top speed of 19 knots (21.8 mph / 35 kph); at a cruising speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph / 18.5 kph), range is up to 5,000 nautical miles (5,754 miles / 9.260 km).
The most recent major social event hosted on the legendary yacht is the wedding of model Heidi Klum to Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Cowlitz last August in Capri, Italy in the presence of 120 guests.
The cost of the ceremony is estimated at 3 million euros.