THE SMALL MEDITERRANEAN island of Formentera, off the coast of Spain, is the perfect getaway for a vacationing billionaire with a boat. Accessible only by sea, it has white-sand beaches that remain virtually untouched by human development. Last year some of the world’s largest superyachts anchored in its crystal-clear water. Giorgio Armani spent a few days there. Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko spent a few weeks there. Yachts owned by entertainment mogul David Geffen and retailers Philip and Cristina Green were spotted off Formentera’s beaches in 2017 as well.
Many of the superyacht set hit the usual playgrounds: St. Barts, Majorca, Monaco. In typical billionaire fashion, others charted their own unique course. Dennis Washington, who kept his lovingly rebuilt Attessa IV (below) on the West Coast, near his Montana home base, followed a route from Vancouver to Mexico that he has plied for decades. Paul Allen, a noted conservationist, took an extended tour of Africa, feeding lemurs in Madagascar, observing elephants in Gabon and witnessing a volcanic eruption on Réunion Island.
To chart the voyages of the world’s billionaires, Forbes pored over a year’s worth of data from Marinetraffic, which tracks the reported positions of ships around the globe. Using that information, we were able to map the routes of the world’s seafaring billionaires throughout 2017, which you can see on the next two pages. They visited at least 30 countries on four continents, traveling more than 250,000 nautical miles all told.