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Billionaire David Geffen’s yacht returned to New Bedford

A 2017 photo of the Rising Sun superyacht, which docked in New Bedford.
A 2017 photo of the Rising Sun superyacht, which docked in New Bedford.MIKE LEYRAL

Showbiz mogul David Geffen apparently can’t get enough of New Bedford.

Geffen’s superyacht Rising Sun recently returned to New Bedford for fuel and repairs, said John Liarikos, CEO of Sea Fuels Marine, a company servicing the 454-foot luxury vessel. He said in a phone interview Thursday that the behemoth was docked at the New Bedford State Pier “for a couple of weeks.”

Adding to the intrigue, the website MarineTraffic.com, a real-time vessel locator, reported Thursday morning that the Rising Sun left New Bedford Wednesday and was en route to the Caribbean, specifically Philipsburg, the capital of Sint Maarten.


A spokesperson for New Bedford State Pier later confirmed in an e-mailed statement that the Rising Sun “arrived at the New Bedford State Pier on September 17 at 1 p.m. and departed on October 14 at 11:30 a.m.”

The superyacht is valued at a jaw-dropping $570 million dollars, according to Forbes. Originally built in 2004 for Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, Rising Sun was added to Geffen’s sizable portfolio in 2010. No surprise, the five-deck yacht boasts a number of amenities, including a spa, gym, elevator, helipad, swimming pool, and accommodations for 18 overnight guests as well as 45 crew members, according to YachtCharterFleet.com. (Per the site, Rising Sun is not available for charter.)

Liarikos said his company previously serviced the yacht in July and again in August. After gassing up in July, the vessel made its way up to Maine where it cruised the waters around Mount Desert Island before dropping anchor near McHeard Cove, according to the Ellsworth American.

Liarikos said he’s had a few prior celebrity customers over the years, and they’re “like any other client.”

“I make it a point to tell my people not to bother anybody on the ship,” Liarikos said. “We’re there to fuel the ship, not to bother anybody.”


He said he did not believe the Hollywood kingmaker was on the vessel Thursday.

Geffen, 77, got himself in some hot water last spring at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when he posted an Instagram photo of the Rising Sun anchored in the Caribbean with the caption, "Isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I hope everybody is staying safe,” the Guardian newspaper reported at the time. Many criticized his post for being tone deaf at a time when millions of people around the world were suffering during the outbreak.

Forbes pegs the net worth of Geffen, who founded major record labels and the film studio DreamWorks, at $9.1 billion. A host of tycoons and celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Orlando Bloom, and Chris Rock, have made themselves at home, albeit briefly, on the Rising Sun.

Speaking during a 2012 press junket to promote the documentary “Inventing David Geffen,” the megaproducer said he’s ”proud of all of the things I’ve done. I look back on it, particularly in seeing this film, and I think, ‘Wow, you did all of that.’ I don’t tend to think about the past. I think about what I’m doing now. I really don’t reflect on my career, or I don’t like to talk about myself. I avoid it as much as possible. And when I saw the film, I thought, ‘Wow.’ I was impressed."


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.