“Atlantide is perfect as the gentleman’s cruising yacht; she has crossed oceans, cruised north and south in both Atlantic and Pacific, in comfort and safely. Literally, she is the star of the show wherever she arrives in a new port. Crowds of people gather to admire her. If a individual wants a boat to deliver ‘pride of ownership,’ it would be hard to beat Atlantide, even when up against Russian oligarchs’ megayachts. And she sails!”
That’s what Tom Perkins, owner of Atlantide, said last week regarding his classic 122-foot (37.28-meter) megayacht, which he just listed for sale. While other fine megayachts are on the market, Atlantide has a history that sets her apart.
Atlantide was launched in 1930 as Caleta for Sir William Burton, an Englishman passionate about yacht racing. In fact, Burton was the helmsman aboard Shamrock IV, the famed J-Class yacht that vied for the America’s Cup in 1930. He also owned a number of 12-meter racers, and Caleta was commissioned to accommodate him and his guests during regatta. Burton tapped Alfred Mylne, founder of A. Mylne & Co., to draw her lines and Philip and Son (now defunct) to build her.
As was the case with many megayachts during wartime, Caleta was pressed into service for the Royal Navy in 1939. She famously assisted with the evacuation of British troops during the battle of Dunkirk the following year. When the war ended, Caleta was returned to private service. A Greek gentleman purchased her, christening her Ariana. Movie buffs may recall the megayacht’s role in the 1962 film Tender Is the Night. Known as Corisande at that point, the yacht was on screen with actress Jennifer Jones and actor Cesar Danova, who were filmed both onboard and departing her.
The yacht gained the name Atlantide in the 1980s under Italian ownership, and Perkins acquired her in 1998, preserving the name. Given her age, Atlantide was in need of a thorough refit, so Perkins also preserved her history by commissioning a complete rebuild. Some of the work occurred quite close to where Atlantide was originally built, by the Gosport shipyard of Camper & Nicholson. That’s where her superstructure was rebuilt and the interior, redesigned by Ken Freivokh Design to remain Art Deco accurate, was restored. Meanwhile, her hull was refurbished in Malta, at Manoel Island Shipyard.
The following year, Atlantide relaunched as a proper gentleman’s motoryacht. Perkins has been using the megayacht ever since. Until 2005, Atlantide served as a support yacht to his racing schooner Mariette, and in subsequent years she was often seen alongside his famed Maltese Falcon (above). Of course, Perkins also cruised Atlantide on her own, venturing throughout the Med and the Caribbean, exploring both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada, and even traveling through northern Norway.
Here are a few views of Atlantide, including her accommodations. She’s listed exclusively with Freedom Marine.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 17, 2012: Atlantide has found a new owner. She’ll still bear the same name and is being reflagged in the United States. David Campbell of Freedom Marine says that during the four months his firm had the listing, she showed well and attracted three offers. His company also released a synopsis of the yacht’s storied history, which is quoted below:
Atlantide was launched in 1930 by Philip and Sons in Dartmouth, UK. This classic 122’ motoryacht was originally designed by the gifted English naval architect Alfred Mylne (the designer of the original Royal Yacht Britannia) for Sir William Burton. Originally christened as Caleta, Atlantide has a significant history; from her role in evacuating allied troops during WWII to her impressive pedigree of owners. Atlantide’s distinguished owners, yachtsmen similar to Perkins, in their time, have kept her in impeccable condition.
Perkins acquired Atlantide in 1998, at which time she underwent a complete rebuild. Her hull was reconstructed at the Manoel Island Shipyard of Malta and the new superstructure and interior was caringly restored and fitted out by Camper and Nicholson only a short distance from where she was originally built by Philip and Sons. Overall external and interior design was undertaken by Ken Freivokh Design. Perkins had brought her back to her original designed purpose as a gentleman’s motoryacht and tender to a racing yacht.
From 1999 through 2005, Atlantide had the enviable roll as support vessel to her owner’s 1915, 137’ classic Herreshoff racing schooner Mariette. In 2006, Tom Perkins launched the remarkable 289’ Maltese Falcon. Atlantide and the Falcon were show stoppers at every port in which they dropped anchor. On her own, Atlantide also cruised to distant points on the globe, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Canada’s east and west coasts, and Norway’s high northern latitudes.