top of page
  • Writer's pictureBoating-greece

"Christina O.": The story of the Aristotle Onassis' legendary yacht

Pioneering for its time, the cruiser was a decommissioned anti-submarine frigate of the Canadian fleet that during the Second World War was used as an vessel for convoys to transport war material to the Allied forces in England and Russia.

"Christina O" built her history in the hands of Aristotle Onassis' "savior", who named her after his daughter and hosted on its decks historical figures such as Winston Churchill, King Farouk of Egypt, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly.

This historic yacht, 99 meters long and 11 meters wide, was built in 1943 as the frigate Stormont, after the end of World War II she was one of many surplus naval vessels. It passed into the hands of Aristotle Onassis, in 1954, at the price of 34,000 dollars. Then he spent on its renovation the legendary amount of 4 million dollars for the time. After the death of Onassis in 1975 the "Christina O." was inherited by his daughter, however, Onassis noted in his will that if for some reason she did not want the yacht, the vessel would become the property of the Greek State, on the condition that it would be maintained and granted exclusively for use by the respective head of state.

In 1978, Christina Onassis donated the yacht to the Greek government, to be used by the current President of the Hellenic Republic. The government renamed the yacht "Argo", while its maintenance was taken over by the Navy and those in charge made sure that the boat was ready to set sail at all times, at the immediate disposal of the President of the Republic and his distinguished guests. The yacht was used only once by Christos Sargetakis, while Konstantinos Karamanlis refused to use it.

After 23 years, the yacht was discovered half-submerged in Ampelakia, Salamina by the distinguished shipbuilder Costas Karabela. The latter took on his own initiative to contact investors with the aim of renovating the boat and reviving its legend, including John-Paul Papanikolaou. The Greek shipowner, brilliant businessman and friend of the Onassis family, who had been hosted on the yacht as a child, proceeded to purchase it through an auction, renovated it and restored its original name in honor of Christina Onassis, who was his friend, adding the letter "O".

After some repairs to regain the ability to move, the "Christina O." it was transferred to the shipyards of Rijeka in Croatia, where its complete reconstruction took place. The process, completed with complete respect for the vessel's history, took three years and cost $50 million. Shortly after its restoration work was completed in 2001, the "Christina O." awarded in Monaco as the most beautiful mega yacht in the world.

Today the yacht belongs to the Irish Philhellenic lawyer Ivor Fitzpatrick and is available for charter for 700,000-800,000 euros per week.

Luxury and Comfort

The outdoor swimming pool with the mosaic floor where the Minotaur is depicted, which rises and turns into a dance floor

The luxury of this particular yacht is evident in all its spaces: in the impressive presidential suite of Aristotle Onassis with the living room, the fireplace, the library and the Renoir painting, the 18 passenger cabins, the indoor and outdoor bar, the outdoor swimming pool with the mosaic floor where the Minotaur is depicted, which rises and turns into a dance floor, the "Winston Churchill" library with works of Greek classical authors, but also in all the other spaces that are connected to each other by an imposing spiral staircase. In fact, the mosaic of the pool with the Minotaur was restored with special care, as the mosaics were found broken up and repositioned by the student of the artist who created it.

Christina O, yachting , superyacht, Onasis
The "ARIS" bar

The yacht also has a helipad, gym, playground, jacuzzi and massage area. One of its most impressive and historically important points is the bar "Aris", with its elaborate stools made of white whale skin and handles made of whale teeth, where there are carved representations from Homer's "Odyssey". The famous "Maria Callas" salon is also worth admiring, where her first gold record, acquired at auction, is framed, her rings from her marriage to Giovanni Battista Meneghini, her piano, as well as the souvenir she had been given to her by President Kennedy after her performance in New York. The library of Churchill, who was a regular visitor of the yacht, and the "Jackie Kennedy" salon, where there are photographs from her life as well as paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, are spaces that also carry special memories. Modern technology formed the backbone of the yacht, with innovative systems for their time: radar, communication media, air conditioning, electronic control of the water temperature in the pool and much more

The "Maria Callas" salon

Christina O , superyacht , yachting
The "Winston Churchill" library



bottom of page