Mohammed bin Salman is the controversial heir apparent to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is credited with a lot of things from remaking the Saudi Government to ordering the assassination of a critical journalist, Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. The prince has a reputation for living large. The Wall Street Journal reported that in the summer of 2015 boats carrying 150 women from Brazil and Russia and other places arrived at Velaa Private Island, a fashionable Maldives resort. The women were checked for sexually transmitted diseases then sent to a private villa. They were part of the entertainment at a party given by 29-year-old named Prince Mohammed bin Salmon. The party is alleged to have cost $50 million dollars. It ended abruptly when word of it reached the media in Iran, at the time of the party he bought a yacht and a Chateau near Versailles with fountains and a moat for more than 300 million dollars.
In July of August 2014, he took delivery of the first super yacht ever built by the Italian shipyard Fincatier in 2015. The Serene was built for Russian billionaire, Yuri Scheffler who is said to have made his fortune in Vodka. The yacht is 439 feet 4 inches long which ranks it at about the 15th largest yacht in the world.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reported to have spent $458 million for the super yacht. She is 60’ 8” wide with six decks. Serene weighs 8,231 tons and draws 18’ 1” of water. There are seven pools onboard the yacht and two Jacuzzis. There are numerous lounges and bars. The passenger capacity is 24 while there are 52 crew members. Serene has an indoor climbing wall and an underwater observation room. For entering the various tenders there is a retractable boarding dock which also serves as a center for water sports. There is a garage for the submarine, two heliports and a helicopter garage. There are all sorts of lounges, a gym and meeting rooms. Wet bars abound. There is a cinema and the latest in electronics aboard. There is a supersized bathtub located aft. An elevator makes getting to any of the six decks easy.
The Serene is available for charter. It was once chartered by Bill Gates. Top speed is 25 knots while she cruises at 15 knots.
In August 2017, Serene ran aground on a shallow rock reef in the Red Sea, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Sharm El Sheikh. The damage was reported to be extensive. The cause of the grounding was reported to be a combination of navigational error and propulsion failure.
Super Yacht News reported “Sources close to Super Yacht News have reported that the 134m Fincantieri build, Serene has run aground in the Red Sea, 20 nautical miles east of popular Egyptian holiday resort, Sharm El Sheikh. The vessel is reportedly bow-up on the rocks, and has sustained structural damage to the bulb, bow and hull. The hull has allegedly punctured forward while there is no water ingress at present, there are concerns of her sustaining further damage on the rocks. The cause is thought to be a navigational track error and propulsion failure, although this information is not yet confirmed. The situation is said to be resolvable with a hull patch and ballast placed aft, however, weather conditions have not favored her removal, but are improving.”
In another report from The Howorths Yacht Experts “ The 134 meter super yacht Serene grounded on 22nd August, some 20 nautical miles east of the popular Egyptian holiday resort of Sharm El Sheikh in the Red Sea close by Tiran Island. The yacht is reportedly hard aground on the rock and as well as causing environmental damage has also sustained damage to her bulbous bow and hull in the forward sections. The hull has reportedly been punctured forward and even though there was no water ingress at the time of the accident, concerns remain locally that she may sustain further damage that could lead to fuel oil being spilled into the water. The reef is a popular dive site known for its hard and soft corals including nudibranchs (soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks) hidden in caves and crevices. The reef is teeming with fish and divers visit the island to see white tip reef sharks and eagle rays. The reef is home to octopus and many different species of eel including moray, peppered and gold edged morays. Other reef residents include schools of large barracuda and tuna.
A navigation track error coupled with propulsion failure is reportedly the cause of the incident, although that information has not been confirmed by us.
A marine salvage team is in position at the site and has already attempted to pull the yacht free from the reef. Weather and the fear of causing further damage to both yacht and reef are factors hampering success.”
Bloomberg News reported Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, whose whereabouts has been a mystery since it sold in 2017 for a record $450 million, has turned up in an unlikely place, according to Artnet.com.
"Salvator Mundi" is being kept on super yacht Serene owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the publication reported Monday, citing two "principals involved in the transaction" that it didn't identify.
Another Saudi prince was said to have purchased the 500-year-old painting on MBS's behalf at a 2017 Christie's auction, the New York Times reported previously. Christie's declined to confirm that report.
The Saudi government's Center for International Communication didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The yacht's location as of May 26 was in the Red Sea off Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian resort town on the Sinai Peninsula, according to Bloomberg ship tracking data.
While the high seas may not be the best place for a fragile Old Master painting, it's not uncommon for the super-wealthy to decorate their yachts with trophy art. Joe Lewis hung Francis Bacon's "Triptych 1974 - 1977," worth an estimated $70 million, on the lower deck of his yacht, the Aviva.
"Salvator Mundi," whose provenance has been questioned, will remain aboard MBS's 439-foot (134-meter) Serene until the Saudis create a planned cultural hub in the Kingdom's Al-Ula region, Artnet said. The project was in an "exploratory phase," a spokesman for the commission overseeing the plan said in December.
Experts at the Louvre have attributed the work to Da Vinci's workshop, rather than to the artist alone, according to a published report. Celine Dauvergne, a spokeswoman for the Louvre, declined to comment on the painting's attribution but said the Paris museum has asked to borrow the work for an October exhibition.”
Serene is an incredible yacht owned by a man who may one day be the King of Saudi Arabia. He is hailed for moves to improve women’s rights and to bring Saudi Arabia into the modern world. Many of his methods have been criticized.