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Russian Super Yacht Docks In Port Of Palm Beach Ahead Of President Trump’s Visit

The Town of Palm Beach is preparing for President Trump’s Thanksgiving visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Eight miles up the coast, the Port of Palm Beach is hosting another visitor: a mega-yacht owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stretching nearly two football fields long and valued around $500 million, Abramovich’s yacht Eclipse is the second largest in the world. It sports two swimming pools, a disco hall, a submarine, its own missile detection system, and a crew of around 90 people, according to marine websites.

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich’s yacht Eclipse  will be in the Port of Palm Beach for the next two weeks.
Credit Peter Haden / WLRN

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“Eclipse arrived on Friday afternoon around 1:15 p.m.,” said Port of Palm Beach spokesperson Aidy Alonzo. “We expect that she will spend about two weeks here.”

Eclipse was built in Germany and launched in 2009. Alonzo said she believes this is the ship’s first visit to the Port of Palm Beach.

“We have had many onlookers,” Alonzo said. “She’s stunning.”

Also drawing attention is the ship’s timing, coinciding with President Trump’s Thanksgiving holiday at nearby Mar-a-Lago.

The Palm Beach Post reports Abramovich’s spokesman said the Russian oligarch is not aboard and that the yacht is in town for scheduled maintenance.

Stretching nearly two football fields long and valued around $500 million, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich’s yacht Eclipse is the second largest in the world. Port of Palm Beach, Nov. 20, 2017.
Credit Peter Haden / WLRN

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Members of Trump’s campaign staff have been under investigation about whether they colluded with Russians to interfere with the election.

Bloomberg Politics has reported that Abramovich has met President Trump’s aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner in the past. It’s not known whether Trump and Abramovich have met.

Eclipse is docked in a berth usually reserved for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s ship Grand Celebration. That vessel has been chartered by FEMA and is away doing hurricane-relief in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alonzo said.