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Remember Superyacht Serene? Gates Family Is Vacationing Aboard

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European news media are reporting that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has chartered a luxury yacht owned by Stolichnaya vodka magnate Yuri Scheffler.

The yacht, named Serene, is the third-largest superyacht in the world. The cost of chartering the boat runs around $2.1 million a week, according to Yacht Charter Fleet. That's roughly $212 a minute.

Gates and his family are vacationing in Sardinia. They are reportedly using the yacht's helicopter to go ashore for tennis.

[asset-images[{"caption": "The superyacht Serene has a snow room and an on-board helicopter, which the Gates take to shore to play tennis.", "fid": "66781", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201408/SERENE-29.jpg", "attribution": "Credit Yacht Charter Fleet"}]]

But they could well stay aboard. Serene's many pleasures include pools, spas, a snow room for children to play in – the three Gates children are teens now – a glass-floored room and a submarine.

Visitors to Seattle's Pier 90 saw plenty of Serene last fall, where she was docked for repairs. As KUOW reported, Serene stayed in Seattle for nearly two months. The yacht left before incurring the wrath of Washington tax authorities, which tax any yacht here longer than 60 days a tenth of its value. For Serene, that would have been around $30 million - or 14 weeks’ worth of charters.

[asset-images[{"caption": "According to Yacht Super Fleet, Serene costs roughly $2.1 million a week to charter. That breaks down to about $500 per minute.", "fid": "66782", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201408/SERENE-formal-dining-11.jpg", "attribution": "Credit Yacht Charter Fleet"}]]Although Gates has not acquired a yacht of his own, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns several, including Octopus, believed to be the fifteenth-largest yacht on the planet. He has been known to lend it for rescues and research.

Octopus is a stranger to Washington's shores. Its last known positionwas in the Mediterranean Sea.