Grace Kelly is one of the most recognizable names even today, around 40 years after her death. Not only was she an established movie star in the 1950s, but she also became royalty in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier III. From that moment, she was known as the Princess of Monaco.
While some people get a new kettle or vouchers as a wedding present, Grace Kelly and her royal husband were given a luxury yacht by Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate. Soon after, the vessel (at nearly 150 feet) took the newlyweds on their honeymoon as they traveled around Sardinia and Corsica.
Over the years, many people have wondered what happened to the luxury yacht because the couple passed it on just two years later, in 1958. After nearly 50 years, it fell into the hands of Quasar Expeditions. After a heavy renovation to bring the yacht into the 21st century, it now takes people around the Galapagos Islands on luxurious tours.
Now, the beautiful yacht has been rechristened with the name M/Y Grace, and it brings the story full circle. The name is appropriate given the story, and it’s the ending that the yacht deserves, given that it took Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III on an exploration of their own after marrying in the 1950s. Now, passengers can recreate the story as they travel the Galapagos Islands and see some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna.
In the future, the life of this magnificent yacht might find its way into Hollywood because the story is romantic and full of incredible tales. Originally, it was made in 1928 in England for an Argentinian owner named Santiago Soulas. Ten years later, Rion (as it was called at the time) was acquired by Prudential Insurance Company’s chairman, Sir George Tilley.
After just one year, the yacht was conscripted and called into action during World War II. During the war, Rion played a pivotal role and traveled to Dunkirk’s beaches to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force. After two successful trips, it wasn’t the third time lucky for Rion because a bomb hit her and damaged the hull. Sadly, 15 people died on this third journey.
Eventually, the damage was repaired, and it was 1951 by the time Onassis bought the yacht. As a known figure, many famous names stepped foot onto the yacht, including Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill. Then, it was given to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III in 1956.
Many people know this yacht as Grace Kelly’s honeymoon yacht, but it has a long and storied history that dates back all the way to 1928. Now, you can get a slice of this history as the M/Y Grace takes you around the stunning Galapagos Islands. As well as stunning views in every direction, you’ll see some of the wildlife native to the Islands while enjoying the charm of the Grace.
Quasar Expeditions, leaders in Galapagos charters, have even opened the Grace Kelly Suite, the room in which Kelly and Prince Rainier III stayed during their honeymoon. Measuring 183 square feet, it has luxurious wooden furnishings, a king-sized bed, art deco mirrors, and other beautiful features for guests.
As for the yacht itself, all corners are accessible, and this means a chance to see wildlife from 360 degrees, whether you want to photograph the sea lions, rare birds, penguins, whales, or iguanas. What better combination than to enjoy Grace Kelly’s mode of transport while following in Charles Darwin’s steps?