Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed sailed around the south of France during the summer after her divorce. Photo: Michel Dufour/Getty Images
Since her untimely death in August of 1997, Princess Diana’s last summer spent with Dodi Al-Fayed has been described in various ways: a passionate love affair, a fake publicity stunt, a temporary fling, a rouse to infuriate another suiter, or the beginning of a lifelong commitment. Although the stories change, the setting remains: a summer tour through the Mediterranean aboard a multi-million dollar superyacht. Later this year, nearly 25 years to the day, the 208-foot vessel will launch for sale again.
Originally named Jonikal, then Sokar, and most recently Bash, the luxury vessel was first owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed, former owner of Harrods and father of Dodi Al-Fayed. During the fateful summer, Al-Fayed hosted Princess Di and her two sons aboard the Jonikal. After the couple’s tragic death, Mohamed Al-Fayed attempted to sell the yacht numerous times before it was finally bought in 2014. It was most recently purchased by Bassim Haidar in June of 2021, who is selling it just over a year later as he reportedly has plans to upgrade to a larger vessel. “She is in the yard being refitted, and will be launched for sale in September,” said John Wood, director at Seawood Yachts.
Bash, as the yacht is currently named, was designed by navel architect Vincenzo Ruggiero in the 1980s and built by the superyacht building firm Codecasa before launching in 1990. The vessel can hold up to 18 people across nine staterooms in addition to rooms for 26 crew members. Among many notable features, Bash includes a jacuzzi, swim platform, sun deck, a formal dining room, main saloon, a bar, and office space. Full of dark wood paneling and coffered ceilings, the interiors are reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts style of the early 1900s.
Powered by Wärtsilä engines, the yacht has a cruising speed of 15 knots and top speeds of 20 knots. Even though an exact price hasn’t been advertised just yet, the last time the boat was sold, it was listed for $10,000,000.