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Casino Tycoon James Packer Gets the Keys to His New 354-Foot Benetti Gigayacht

With a 91,000-gallon fuel tank, the Italian-built yacht should have no problem crossing oceans.

Benetti Gigayacht 354-foot Benetti IJE James Packer Photo: Courtesy of Benetti

Australian billionaire, casino mogul and inveterate superyacht collector James Packer has just taken delivery of his latest plaything, a brand-new 354-foot Benetti gigayacht he’s named IJE.

The Italian-built floating palace—Benetti’s longest yacht ever—is estimated to have cost Mariah Carey‘s former fiancé around $200 million. It was handed over at the builder’s Livorno yard, just in time for the prime Mediterranean cruising season.

Packer, 51, who recently sold a stake in his casino company Crown Resorts for a reported $1.8 billion, named the yacht IJE after his three children: Indigo, Jackson and Emmanuelle.

Don’t confuse that, however, with EJI, the 180-foot Dutch-built Amels superyacht that Packer took delivery of in May last year and off-loaded five months later in September, after listing the yacht for $47 million.

Before EJI, Mr. Packer was the proud owner of the massive 288-feet converted German ice-breaker Artic P, which he gave to his sister Gretel in 2017, prior getting the keys to the Amel.

In recent years, Packer has owned the 170-foot Amels Seahorse, which he sold in 2015, a 165-foot go-fast Mangusta he named Z Ellerston and the go-even-faster 150-foot Leopard called Z Sydney.

NEW YORK-DEC 13: Actor Robert De Niro, model Grace Hightower and businessman James Packer attend the "Joy" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 13, 2015 in New York City.; Shutterstock ID 351724169; Notes: James packer yacht

Packer (far right) with Robert De Niro and model Grace Hightower at the “Joy” premiere in 2015.  Photo: Shutterstock / Debby Wong

Naturally the new Benetti is the crown jewel of the Packer armada. Previously code-named FB275, it’s one of three Benetti gigayachts—so-called because of their 100-plus-meter (328-foot) length—being launched this year within 100 days of each other.

IJE has twin MTU 3,800 hp diesels under the ‘hood’ to deliver a top speed of 18.5 knots. Throttle back to 14 and with its 91,000-gallon tanks, the yacht has a range of 6,500 nautical miles.

The Benetti also has a 670 hp electric Schottel pump-jet system for short-distance, low-speed zero-emission cruising—perfect for sneaking out of Saint-Tropez late at night without waking the neighbors.

Benetti Gigayacht 354-foot Benetti IJE James Packer

The yacht features more than 10,000 square feet of outdoor deck space.  Photo: Courtesy of Benetti

Designed by Britain’s RWD, EJI has a stunning five-deck ‘wedding cake’ aluminum superstructure with a  3,367 GT interior from the drawing boards of Benetti’s in-house team. According to Benetti, a staggering 500,000-plus man-hours went into creating the interior spaces.

In addition to the 11 cabins for guests and 15 for the crew of 29, the yacht comes with all the toys, like a cinema, sauna, gym and huge heated pool. The more than 10,000 square feet of outdoor deck space includes a vast observation deck and over-sized fire pit along with a foredeck with space to accommodate the yacht’s two 45-foot tenders.

Finding time to spend aboard EJI might be Packer’s biggest challenge. Last September he bought Danny DeVito’s old Holmby Hills mansion in Los Angeles for a reported $80 million, and is said to own property in Aspen, Palm Beach, Argentina and back home in Sydney where in 2016 he splashed $60 million for a two-floor condo.

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