Wednesday, March 12, 2014
PORTLAND - One of the largest yachts in the world will be berthing on Portland's waterfront this month.
The Rising Sun, a five-story super-yacht, sits at anchor next to a sailboat and smaller yachts at the Yacht Haven Grande harbor in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands in 2007. The yacht is expected to berth at the Maine State Pier later this month.
2007 file photo/The Associated Press
City of Portland spokeswoman Nicole Clegg says the city has been contacted by representatives of the Rising Sun and is in the process of making berthing arrangements for the 82-room super-yacht, reported to be the sixth-largest in the world.
Clegg said the yacht will have to be berthed at the Portland Ocean Terminal -- also known as the Maine State Pier -- instead of the Ocean Gateway International Marine Terminal because of previous bookings at that location for cruise ships.
She does not know the Rising Sun's exact schedule, but the ship's agent said the yacht is expected to dock in Portland in late September. It is not clear how long the yacht will remain in Portland. Clegg said the city is excited about showcasing its offerings.
"We welcome the Rising Sun to port and are excited that they have selected Portland as a destination. The timing fits nicely with the onset of the busiest months of the cruise ship season," Clegg said.
The Rising Sun is 453 feet long and reportedly cost more than $200 million to build. It features 82 rooms, an extensive wine cellar, bathrooms with jacuzzis, a private cinema with plasma screen, and a basketball court/helicopter landing pad.
According to Forbes.com, the Rising Sun was built for Larry Ellison, the CEO and co-founder of Oracle, one of the nation's leading enterprise software companies.
Billionaire David Geffen, a record executive and film producer who started DreamWorks Studios with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, bought the Rising Sun from Ellison two years ago.
Justin Costello, who will serve as the ship's agent, said he does not have an exact date yet for the Rising Sun's arrival in Portland.
Costello owns Fred E. Gignoux, a Portland-based steamship agent and customs broker that was established in 1918.
Costello will provide the Rising Sun with an array of foreign-made items while it is in port -- anything from spare mechanical parts to artwork to stemware.
He described the Rising Sun as a "mega-yacht." He said other celebrities and their yachts have called on Portland in the past, including singers Eric Clapton and Diana Ross.
Costello said he heard that the vessel's owners chose Portland so they could do some leaf peeping. The Maine Tourism Association says the fall foliage season starts Sept. 12.
"There are good reasons for people to want to come and visit Portland, and hopefully, after a day or week, visitors are not only satisfied with what they have found but a little surprised by how much Portland and Maine have to offer," Clegg said.
The Rising Sun will be charged $2.10 per linear foot for each day it is berthed in Portland, Clegg said. There may be other fees for ramp use, water and electricity.
Clegg said 60 cruise ships with a total capacity of 68,977 passengers and 25,425 crew are expected to berth in Portland during the cruise ship season, which runs from June through October.
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: