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President Trump’s Yacht the “Trump Princess”

PortandTerminal.com, February 11, 2020

NEW YORK CITY –  President Trump is not a big fan of boats. “I’m not into them,” he’s been quoted as saying, “I’ve been on friends’ boats before and couldn’t get off fast enough.”

That’s not to say that Donald Trump has never owned a boat, or to be more precise, a yacht. It’s hard to imagine the President owning anything other than a yacht. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who has his own bass boat.

In the late 1980’s President Trump purchased his first and only yacht which he and Ivana named the “Trump Princess”.

The 282-foot “Trump Princess” Note how the ship’s exhaust funnels point off to the side so that they wouldn’t interfere with helicopters landing up on top of the vessel

The Trump Princess

Black and white photo of yacht moored. Rolls Royce car parked beside it.
Before it was the “Trump Princess”, Donald Trump’s yacht was called the “Nabila” and was owned by the billionaire Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

In 1980 the shipbuilding firm Benetti built a yacht for Saudi businessman and billionaire, Adnan Khashoggi, for $100 million (equivalent to $310 million in 2019). Khashoggi was a billionaire Saudi Arabian businessman known for his lavish business deals and lifestyle. At one point in time, it was estimated that he spent an average of $250,000 a day just to maintain his lifestyle. He named his yacht Nabila.

READ: Is a $450m Leonardo da Vinci painting hanging on a Saudi prince’s yacht walls?

Khashoggi, who made his money as an arms dealer, ran into financial problems in the late 1980s and did some jail time. Needing quick cash, he sold his yacht to the Sultan of Brunei. The Sultan turned around and quickly sold the yacht to Donald Trump for $29 million in 1988.

Why did President Trump, who is on record saying that he doesn’t really like boats, purchase the yacht? Probably for its trophy value. Khashoggi’s 282-foot yacht in its day was ranked as one of the largest and most impressive in the world. 

“A certain level of quality” is the phrase that President Trump used, again and again, to explain just why he bought Adnan Khashoggi’s yacht.

How nice was the yacht? While it was owned by Khashoggi, it appeared in the Bond movie, “Never Say Never Again”. That’s it featured on the movie poster in the bottom left-hand corner.

Movie poster from the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again"
Adnan Khashoggi’s yacht in its days was ranked as one of the world’s largest and was featured in the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again”

After President Trump purchased the yacht, which was already outrageously nice, he spent a ton of money refitting it out to he & Ivana’s taste and they renamed it Trump Princess. A pool on the sun deck, a sauna, a cinema, an elevator, a disco and even a private hospital are just a few of the amenities that President Trump reportedly added to the vessel.

The Holland-based re-fitters Amels completed the job for near $10 million according to the LA Times. They even changed the H on the helipad and replaced it with a letter T to stand for Trump.

For those of you keeping track at home, the President has now spent at least $39 million in late 1980s dollars on purchasing and refitting the yacht. Here are a few shots of the interior.

Interior shot of the Princess’ disco
Bathroom on the Trump Princess

After running into his own financial difficulties in 1991 with his New Jersey casino the Taj Mahal, the President sold the Princess to Prince Al-Waleed. The Prince is a Saudi Arabian businessman, investor and a member of the Saudi royal family who knows a good deal when one is offered to him. He reportedly paid just $19 million for the Trump Princess and renamed the yacht to ‘Kingdom 5KR’. He still owns it.

President Trump’s yacht was sold to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed in 1991. This is a recent photo of the yacht which has been renamed “Kingdom 5KR”

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