Lady Hutton

Lady Hutton docked at Riddarholmen in 2006

Lady Hutton is a former luxury yacht built in 1924 at Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, Germany. She has now been converted to a hotel and restaurant ship, riding at anchor at the Riddarholmen in Stockholm since 1982.[1] In addition to its size and proximity to the old city, much of her fame is tied to Barbara Hutton, for whom the ship has been named.


With a 240-foot (73 m) steel-and-nickel hull, this 1924 motor yacht was "the largest of its day."[2] It was originally named Vanadis, was ordered by C. K. G. Billings, a Texas oil millionaire.[3] The diesel-driven vessel was his second yacht.[1]

In 1926 she was owned by Harrison Williams, who took his new bride on a year-long around-the-world honeymoon cruise on the Warrior.

Barbara Hutton, Woolworth heiress,[4] reputedly received the vessel in 1930 as a present from her father on her 18th birthday.[upper-alpha 1]

The yacht was twice eponymously named in Hutton's honor, and she is Vanadis's most celebrated owner.[3][5][upper-alpha 2] The affectation and flirtation with yachting was part of her over-the-top lifestyle, complete with such infamous quotes as: 'If you've got it, flaunt it' and also declared: 'Living well is the best revenge'. This hard-edged and vocal elitism made her unpopular with Woolworth employees and customers"poor people were reluctant to spend their hard-earned pennies at a business which had such a gargoyle at its prow."[4] Indeed, such an ostentatious lifestyle hurt the business, and was particularly unpalatable admidst the Great Depression.[4] In any event, though Hutton is popularized as though she is the current owner (by the ship's operators), she "only kept it" for one year.[2]

In 1940 the yacht was sold to the British Royal Navy. After the Second World War, it was stationed in Panama and also used as a schoolship in Norway from 1948. At the start of the 1950s it was renamed Cort Adeles at Stadsgårdskajen, Sweden. The vessel was also used as a regular passenger ship to and from Åbo, Finland.[1]

The yacht was later slated for scrap, but was purchased by a group of Swedish businessmen who spent more than $2.5 million to renovate her.[3]

Current use

The hotel in winter as located near visible Stockholm City Hall.

The renovation and rebuilding as a hotel for business travelers and a restaurant ship began in 1980 and was completed in 1982. Most of the rooms or cabins are comparatively small. The vessel includes meeting facilities for up to 20 people and a Finnish sauna.[2][3] The yacht is registered as the Lady Hutton, and this name appears on the stern, but the name on the prow is Mälardrottningen (Lake Mälar Queen).[2][3] And Barbara Hutton's name is used once again, as the ship is renamed Lady Hutton.[7]

Since September 1982, the yacht has been docked at Riddarholmen in Stockholm. It is owned by the family company Mälardrottningen Holding AB;[7] "Mälardrottningen" has been a nickname for the city of Stockholm since the end of the 1800s.[8]

The lounge is glass-floored, so that the guests can view the engine room below.[2] The Captain's Lounge has the best view, overlooking city hall. The 59 eccentric rooms are generally described as "tiny." On the other hand, one writer notes that parents traveling with their children will probably opt for separate rooms for their offspring. And sleeping in a floating palace is proferred as a unique way to calm them down.[2]

The hotel has conference rooms which will hold up to 20 guests.[3] Meals are said to be relatively expensive at the gourmet restaurant.[2][3]

A positive attraction is its central location. It combines easy access with ample parking, and is just a brief jaunt to the Gamla stan, the Old Town city core. It is near Stockholm Palace and City Hall where the Nobel Prize award dinners are fêted.[2][3]

Earlier names

Before the yacht had its current name, it was changed no less than ten times:[9][10]

  1. Vanadis (1924–1926)
  2. Warrior (1926–1937)
  3. Vanadis (1937–1939)
  4. Warrior (1939–1940)
  5. Troubadour (1940–1948)
  6. King (1948–1950)
  7. Cort Adeler (1950–1954)
  8. Brand VI (1954–1960)
  9. Marina (1960)
  10. Gann (1960–1978)
  11. Vikingfjord (1978–1981)



  1. "In 1939 [sic], on the Woolworth heiress's 18th birthday, Barbara Hutton's father gave her a little present: a 240-foot yacht named Vanadis. 3 years later Daddy gave her another trinket: a check for $1 million. The million dollars is long gone, but the Vanadis still exists."[2] There is an evident discrepancy between the date of her birth, her age, and the "1939" claim that is reported in The Milwaukee Journal. She was born in November 14, 1912. She was awarded it as part of her share in a 1935 divorce. Applying Occam's razor, it is reasonable to deduce that she received it on her 18th birthday in November of 1930, and that the "9" was a typographical error.[2]
  2. This yacht should not be confused with the Sea Cloud –a barque owned by another 'Lady Hutton' – which was built in 1931 and "at that time [was] the biggest yacht" and named Hussar. That sailing yacht was owned by Lady Marjorie Hutton, whose husband, financier Edward Francis Hutton purchased it. In contrast, Barbara Hutton acquired the Lady Hutton in 1930, and was awarded it in her 1935 divorce, at which time it was renamed. See also RV Vema.[6]


  1. 1 2 3 "M/S VANADIS (1924)". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Hammond, Margo (November 23, 1988). "All Aboard: Luxury Yacht Rocks Gently at Stockholm Harbor" (PDF). The Milwaukee Journal. pp. 33, 35. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Snow, Brook Hill (March 15, 1987). "Off The Beaten Path The Lady Hutton, One Of The World's Largest Luxury Yachts, Is Now An Elegant Hotel In Downtown Stockholm". Sun Sentinel. Stockholm, Sweden. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 Wilson, Christopher (27 November 2008). "The heiress who blew the Woolworth's billions on vodka breakfasts, seven husbands and jewels galore". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  5. Vanadis to Lady Hutton, Kajsa Karlsson, (1987)
  6. "Sea Cloud - IMO 8843446 Sea Cloud, bt. 1931, gt. 2531". Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Hotell Mälardrottningen – Riddarholmen i Gamla stan – Unique Hotels". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  8. Nordensvan Georg Mälardrottningen: En skildring i ord och bild af Sveriges hufvudstad och dess omgifningar (1895)
  9. "Plimsoll ship data – the Lloyds Register searchable database". Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  10. "Miramar Ship Index". Retrieved 18 October 2014.(subscription required)

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 59°19′26″N 18°03′46″E / 59.3240°N 18.0627°E / 59.3240; 18.0627

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