Aristotle Onassis’ legendary yacht “Christina O“, a luxury boat has hosted some of the world’s biggest celebrities in the past century, has been spotted on patrol in the Arvanitia gulf of the city of Nafplio.
The yacht has been a host to several celebrities and influential figures of the 20th century, when it was owned by Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis.
Among those who have graced its decks over the years were Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, JFK, Frank Sinatra, prince Rainier and princess Grace of Monaco and, of course, Onassis’ wife and former First Lady of the US, Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
At 99.06 metres long, Christina O is number 31st among the Top 100 largest yachts in the world as of 2013. She was originally a Canadian anti-submarine River-class frigate called HMCS Stormont and was launched in 1943. She served as a convoy escort during the WWII Battle of the Atlantic and was present at the Normandy landings.
After the end of the Second World War she was one of many surplus naval vessels; Onassis purchased her at scrap value of $34,000. He then spent US$4 million to convert her into a luxurious super-yacht named after his daughter Christina. Upon Onassis’ death, Christina donated the yacht to the Greek government as a presidential yacht, renamed Argo.
Allowed to decay, the vessel was purchased in 1998 by fellow Greek shipping magnate John Paul Papanicolaou, an Onassis family friend, who secured it in a government-sponsored auction. He spent $50 million to retrofit her, restoring her previous name in honor of his then departed friend, Christina. Since Papanicolaou’s death in 2010, Christina O has been rented for private charters and cruises.