A team of enthusiasts have unveiled a project to convert a French aircraft carrier into a luxury yacht complete with golf course.
The ‘Foch’ was the second Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier that served with the French Navy from 1963 to 2000, after which it was sold to Brazil and renamed Sao Paulo.
The historically important vessel, that displaced 30,000 tons and could carry around forty modern aircraft, was decommissioned in 2018 and has ever since been used for scraping of recyclable materials after a Turkish company bought it for EUR 1.58 million (GBP 1.36 million).
However, several medium-sized German companies from the city of Dusseldorf have now joined forces for a project called the ‘Dusseldorf Initiative’ to buy out and convert the ship’s 265-meter-long (869 ft) flight deck into a luxurious leisure space.
The companies based the concept on the Dutch Studio Mitsi’s Super Yacht model, called the Noah Twins Carrier, which is a design for the very first aircraft yacht in the world.
Entrepreneur and spokesperson for the ‘Dusseldorf initiative’ Udo Stern, 58, said he was looking for an international investor who will buy the ship, pay the transfer costs and finance its renovation, which the group of medium-sized companies would then be involved in.
Stern said: “It’s not about the money for us. I’m thinking of a European ship of cultures, a globally unique project to transform a military into a civilian object.”
He explained that the 13,800 square meter hangar under the flight deck alone holds a sufficient amount of space for congresses, exhibitions, sporting events, cinemas and concerts.
The team is currently waiting for France’s resale approval which is currently pending, which Stern hoped would give him and his colleagues enough time to find an investor.
Stern reported that a visionary from the tourism industry could easily convert the ship’s 55 military rooms into hotel rooms, casinos and restaurants, and make huge profit out of it.
Additionally, the Clemenceau-class aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch formed the backbone of the world’s second-largest carrier force for the latter half of the Cold War.
Both vessels were of CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off Barrier Arrested Recovery) design, which was a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of aircraft carriers.