The Russian billionaire, and reportedly ninth richest man in the UK, is enjoying a free vacation in Dubrovnik. His mega yacht Eclipse dropped anchor overlooking Cavtat, to the south of Dubrovnik, for the second time this year on the 15th of September and it hasn’t moved an inch over the last few days. The second longest private yacht in the world is certainly dominating the Bay of Zupa with other yachts and pleasure boats resembling toy boats. But $500 million buys you a look of yacht, exactly 162.5 metres of yacht.
And although Roman Abramovich’s yacht has been enjoying the crystal, clear Adriatic and soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine it appears that the billionaire isn’t dipping into his $13 billion fortune to pay for his Croatian cruise. The cost of dropping anchor in the sheltered Dubrovnik bay is exactly zero Euros! It hasn’t yet been confirmed whether the Russian oligarch is actually on-board his mega yacht, but anyway his yacht is at anchor for free. And as it has been reported that the charter of Eclipse costs a massive $3 million a week there should be money left in the budget to pay for anchorage charges. But Abramovich isn’t to blame, he can’t pay fees even if he wanted to, the law doesn’t exist and so there is no way to charge him.
Is that Roman arriving? - Photo Mark Thomas
The sea area in front of Cavtat, and indeed the vast majority of the Croatian Adriatic coastline, doesn’t charge anchoring fees. According to a report in Dubrovacki Vjesnik the Port Authority of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County commented that” The sea area controlled by the County Port Authority is only a relatively small section, yachts that anchor in the Bay of Cavtat, or the Bay of Zupa, are not inside that controlled section of sea and therefore they are not charged mooring fees.”
Mooring fees are however charged if private yachts drop anchor in front of Lokrum with views over the Old City of Dubrovnik. Recently the mega yacht “A”, also owned by a Russian billionaire, stayed for one night in Dubrovnik in this very spot. Yachts here are charged by the metre and as this super yacht was 142 metres in length the billionaire owner paid around $1,000 for the pleasure of anchoring for one night. Unlike his fellow countryman who has been at anchor for at least a week and hasn’t paid a penny. “He fills his fuel tanks in Montenegro and probably only spends on food and drink whilst in Dubrovnik,” commented a local reporter.
A paid a thousand Euros for one night - Photo Mark Thomas
So far this season a grand total of 240 private yachts have dropped anchor in front of the island of Lokrum and paid 714,890 Kuna in anchorage fees. But the number of private mega yachts that have been at anchor at other unpaid parts of the Dubrovnik Adriatic is quite possibly ten times that number, and these yachts have all paid nothing.
A few years ago the Ministry of Sea, Infrastructure and Traffic was urged to introduce a new law which would regulate the payment of yachts in the Adriatic, however so far nothing has changed and the pleas fell on deaf ears.