Octopus, a megayacht owned by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft

When billionaire Paul Allen, American investor and philanthropist who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, decided he wanted his own yacht, he naturally went all out and spared no expense. The result: a 414-foot megayacht, affectionately known as Octopus, which is among the largest privately owned vessels of its kind in the world.

The magnificent exterior of the Octopus was designed by Espen Øino Naval Architects and the vessel was built by the German shipbuilders Lürssen in Bremen, Germany and HDW in Kiel, Germany; the stunning interior was imagined by celebrated designer Jonathan Quinn Barnett. Upon first glance at Octopus, it is easy to see the vessel embodies German discipline, preciseness and flawlessness. Octopus offers luxury accommodation for up to 26 guests in 41 suites. She is also capable of carrying up to 57 crewmembers onboard to ensure a relaxed luxury yacht experience. Octopus’ highly unique features include two helipads on the top deck each with their own choppers, a sixty-three foot tender docked in the transom, seven boats varying in size and scope, several jet skis, a pool on one of the upper decks, a full length basketball court, and perhaps most notably, two submarines. One of the submarines is a ground crawler operated by remote control and ideal for researching the bottom of the ocean; the other is a 10-man vessel designed to endure up to two weeks underwater and a capacity to sleep up to eight. Octopus is the ultimate vessel on which to entertain and considering that Allen is well known for keeping eclectic and high profile company, the two are a match made in heaven. On one particular News Year’s eve, for example, Allen threw a bash that included EU Commissioner of Trade, Peter Mandelson, and superstar pop artist Usher. On other occasions, Octopus has hosted members of U2, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and clothing designer Diane von Furstenberg. Most recently, the ship was spotted at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where Allen was hosting a Brazilian-themed party onboard. Guests included supermodel Bar Refaeli, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Paul Haggis and Ryan Gosling, who sipped on caipirinhas and dined on authentic Brazilian cuisine. The megayacht is an ideal shelter for Allen and his high profile guests who seek refuge from maddening crowds and intrusive media. Octopus is frequently seen en route to exotic locales and ports in Barbados, Jamaica, Florida, Greece, Croatia, Norway, and Tahiti. The vessel is valued at around $200 million, with an estimated $20 million annual budget to operate.

Additionally, Octopus features THG luxury faucetry and accessories within its bath environments. When designing one of the world’s most lavish yachts, the Parisian manufacturer was a natural choice in achieving the look and feel of opulence.