Gaddafi`s son wanted cruise ship with a shark tank
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Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 19:32
London: Hannibal Gaddafi, the fourth son of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, had reportedly ordered a playboy cruise ship with an in-built shark tank to entertain guests.

Hannibal, who controlled Libya's maritime industry during his family's rule, had commissioned the vessel, The Phoenicia, after being unable to charter cruise ships at short notice.

The vessel, which could not be completed before the fall of Gaddafi regime, was aimed at providing entertainment for up to 3,500 guests with elaborate gilt-edged architectural flourishes, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Inside the ship, Hannibal asked for a 120-tonne chamber filled with seawater for two sand tiger sharks, two white sharks and two blacktip reef sharks.

Flanked with marble pillars, gold-framed mirrors and giant statues, the shark tank was to be a unique centrepiece for his guests and four full-time biologists would have tended to the creatures, with an on-board dedicated food source, said the report.

After the 36 year-old fled to Algeria and the uprising felled the Gaddafi regime, the contract for the playboy cruise liner was terminated and the vessel was put on sale. The ship was now bought by MSC Cruises -- one of the largest cruise operators in the world.

The ship is being renamed "The MSC Preziosa" and will be deployed on cruises around Greek island in March next year. But, passengers will be unable to see the shark tank, as the company is removing it along with his elaborate architectural touches, the report said.

"I personally don't know why, but he wanted a shark tank," Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC's chief executive, was quoted as telling The Financial Times.

MSC, which spent nine months negotiating with Korean shipbuilder STX Corporation over the sale, is the same company Hannibal Gaddafi had chartered cruise ships from before ordering his own.

"They had great difficulty understanding that cruise ship holidays are sold a year in advance, so there’s no way you could ever find availability of a cruise vessel at the notice he gave," Vago said.


First Published: Friday, March 16, 2012, 19:32

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