As if the idea of sailing the world in your very own cruise liner wasn't by itself enough, one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons decided to take it a step further, and do so in the company of sharks!
Hannibal Gaddafi, the fourth son of the dead Libyan despot had apparently become so frustrated with the difficulties of chartering cruise liners at short notice that he decided to cut out the middle-man, and commission his own 335m/1,100' long, 140,000 ton cruise liner to be called the 'Phoenicia'. However he apparently decided that a £330 million vessel, lavishly decorated with marble floors, gold fittings, statues and complete with glass lifts, 'virtual waterfalls' and luxury bars was just not ostentatious enough, and what he really needed to impress guests was a huge, two storey high fish tank populated by sharks.
Hannibal, who until his father's demise controlled Libya's maritime industry, had planned to stock the tank with six sharks including Sand tigers (Carcharias taurus) and Black-tipped reef (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and to employ four resident marine experts to make sure his fish were kept in tip-top condition.
Whether or not the tank's design included a trap door to deal with troublesome secret agents is not clear, but whatever plans Gaddafi had are now dead in the water.
Having fled to Algeria after the Libyan uprising last year, his budget has been severely dented, so the unfinished project has been sold by the South Korean ship builder STX to cruise operator MSC for use in the eastern Mediterranean.
The company plans to name the ship the MSC Preziosa and according to the website it will boast, "1,751 cabins, 26 lifts, and 18 decks...Guests will be able to enjoy four main restaurants, two speciality restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, including an infinity pool, 12 whirlpools, a bowling alley, a sports area with playing fields, a fitness centre, a childrenís area and the superb MSC Aurea Spa".
Sadly for fish loving Hannibal there is no mention of a shark tank should he ever be in the market for a cruise...
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