By: Eric Althaus
24th January, 2022

The original iconic version of KALIZMA has been previously sold by the senior broker Eric Althaus, CEO of Althaus Luxury Yachting, and has undergone an extensive refit by her new Owner.

46-meters KALIZMA is certainly one of the most famous yachts worldwide. Her story is certainly an intriguing one. “This was the most famous yacht in the world in the 1970s and 1980s”. Numerous Hollywood stars have come aboard in the past – from Clint Eastwood, Rex Harrison, Brad Pitt to who reportedly tried to several royalty such as Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The current Owner managed to purchase KALIZMA to a poorly attended auction, in a port state – uninsurable, out of class, “a dead ship”.

KALIZMA’s life began with much fanfare. She was commissioned in 1906 as the private steam yacht Minona, by Scotsman Robert Stewart. He needed a vessel to travel around his land – the Kinlochmoidart Estate on the North West Coast of Scotland – and something that was sturdy enough to withstand the punishing weather.

The yacht was designed by naval architect GL Watson, giving life to one of the first steam boats to have electric lighting. She went on to serve both world wars as part of the Royal Navy, and was converted from steam to diesel between 1945 and 1955. She also became known as Cortynia and Odysseia, and passed through numerous different owners, including a self-made millionaire and former chairman who used her as his floating headquarters during the America’s Cup in the early 1980s. He regarded the classic yacht as a “sensible purchase”, and hosted numerous business events on board. 

In 1967, KALIZMA has been purchased by Richard Burton, considered to be the yacht’s legendary owner who bought her as a gift for the beautiful and tempestuous actress Elizabeth Taylor, when she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? KALIZMA has been renamed after the Hollywood couple’s daughters, Kate, Liza and Maria.

In October 2019, the yacht has been purchased by the new Owner Shirish Saraf, who continues the onboard works, making KALISA truly exceptional. In the end, Mr. Saraf spent around four times more on the yacht’s refit than on the vessel herself.

The works on restoring KALIZMA began – and there was plenty of work to be done. The yacht had been laid up for almost two years, or three years prior with very little maintenance. Her steel was in a reasonable condition, but the engines, generators and stabilizers all needed work. In addition to the carpenters, there were 42 other workers on the project, from Spain and Portugal, focusing on the mast and woodwork; Italians from interior designer Alessandro Ortenzi’s team; Indian workers focusing on the polishing and high-end finishing; and a handful of remaining Sri Lankan contractors. Due to the pandemic, workers had to apply for a new pass to access the port every two days, while quarantining was still in force.

The main structural changes to the yacht involved opening up the galley to make it more spacious, and creating a proper crew mess. The top deck spa pool was also removed and replaced with a large lounge area, while the full complement of toys – two tenders, two jet skis, a wakeboard and waterskis – is now on board.

One of the main objectives, was to try and help make the yacht more stable, in order for her to regain her RINA classification. It was incredibly hard to adapt this 1906 yacht to modern regulations. The team tried to solve this issue by adding more and more ballast, consulting the yacht’s former captain and undergoing various tests, until the requirements were met. The main post-refit difference to KALIZMA, however, is her interiors, which have been lifted, brightened, freshened and modernized, while still retaining an overriding sense of old-world glamour.  The interior design was characterized on grey shades, champagne white and neutral tones. 

The master cabin has been completely refreshed with custom-made furniture, and a new lighting system creating a more relaxed and intimate mood on board. On board, beautifully detailed and sophisticated pieces from Italian artisans and brands such as Palazzo Morelli have elevated the look of the vessel, still maintaining with a classic nautical theme.

With the new Owner and since her refit, on board KALIZMA there’s been a never-ending stream of guests on board. There is never a time with less than 11 or 12 owner’s friends on board. Life on board, KALIZMA is, in fact, a relaxed affair- waking up every day and swimming alongside pods of dolphins or admiring prehistoric-looking whale sharks with the family. Furthermore, the Owner enjoys to match the pace of life with the destination, therefore exploring and cruising to numerous worldwide locations. 


Eric Althaus