FrontRunners: Greek Myth

  • Mike Nolan

For centuries the islands of the Mediterranean Sea, once the playgrounds of heroes and gods, have drawn seafarers following in the wake of Odysseus, eager to visit the shrines of Apollo that rise above the long white beaches. This spring, those who secure a berth on the Christina O, Aristotle Onassis’ fabled yacht, will find that the world of myth and legend extends beyond the beaches and shrines and onto the decks of the ship itself.

From 1954, when Onassis converted a Canadian convoy escort into the most elegant private yacht afloat, until his death in 1975, the Christina O served as his floating home. His daughter, Christina, donated the yacht to the Greek government following the death of her father. Purchased in 1998 by a group of private investors, the yacht has undergone a $50 million refurbishment that has restored her former grandeur and added the latest technology.

All of the 325-foot yacht’s signature features have been meticulously restored to the same degree of opulence and luxury present at the onboard wedding receptions of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. At the push of a button, the floor of the bronze-bordered swimming pool rises above the water to become a dance floor on which Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor once danced. Guests can relax in the Lapis Lounge and wonder what Eva Perón or Frank Sinatra may have had to say about the Renoirs and de Chiricos that hang from the walls.

The chance to take a private cruise aboard the Christina O, and the opportunity to launch your own myths and legends, are available for approximately $70,000 a day. Contact Tauck World of Discovery at 800.465. 2825 (www.tauck.com) or Titan Brokerage Corp. at +30.1.428. 0889 (titancorp@panafonet.gr).

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