A Russian billionaire has made waves by unveiling the world’s biggest sailing ship in the German harbor town of Kiel. Although a symbol of extravagance, the design could chart the course for a low-carbon cargo industry.

When money is no object, it pays to keep up with the times.

And that’s exactly what one Russian billionaire has done as he has upgraded his £190million superyacht for a new model – at a cost of £260million.

Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko’s ‘Sailing Yacht A,’ which Mr Melnichenko is thought to have named ‘A’ to ensure it is listed first in shipping registers, is taking its first sea trials in Kiel, northern Germany.

The behemoth is the world’s largest sailing superyacht as the Russian industrialist takes his quest to ruling the seas one step further.

At 468ft long and with three huge masts, the yacht has a price tag of £260million but the simplest of names - A 

At 468ft long and with three huge masts, the yacht has a price tag of £260million but the simplest of names

The luxury yacht, that was built at a shipbuilding yard near Hamburg, Germany, has masts that are 300ft high and is the largest sailing boat in the world

The luxury yacht, that was built at a shipbuilding yard near Hamburg, Germany, has masts that are 300ft high and is the largest sailing boat in the world

The sailing ship is owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, who is believed to have paid £260m for the vessel

The sailing ship is owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, who is believed to have paid £260m for the vessel

Cruise speed of the ship is 18mph, with a top speed of 24mph. The hull is made of steel, with a teak-finish deckCruise speed of the ship is 18mph, with a top speed of 24mph. The hull is made of steel, with a teak-finish deck
The epic vessel boasts a staggering eight decks and its keel incorporates one of the largest single pieces of curved glass ever made at 193 square feet and weighs a whopping 1.8 tons

The epic vessel boasts a staggering eight decks and its keel incorporates one of the largest single pieces of curved glass ever made at 193 square feet and weighs a whopping 1.8 tons

The vessel is an upgrade to the Russian billionaire’s current multi-million pound ‘Motor Yacht A,’ that set him back £190million.

At 468ft in length, with ship masts nearing 300ft high, the ‘mega-yacht,’ has eight floors and includes an underwater observation room.

Superyachtfan.com reports that the boat is powered by a ‘hybrid diesel-electric package with controllable pitch propellers,’ and is designed to accommodate 20 guests and a crew of 54.

The yacht was designed by Frenchman Philippe Starck and built by German Naval Yards, Nobiskrug.

Mr Melnichenko is expected to recover some of the costs by licensing the technology developed for the vessel for commercial applications.