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Prince of Wales charters luxury yacht to cut costs

LONDON - Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are to tour the Caribbean in one of the most expensive charter yachts in the world in an effort to cut travel expenses and greenhouse gas emissions.
Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, seen in Ankara in this November 29, 2007 file photo. (REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

The couple will hire the yacht Leander from National Car Parks founder Donald Gosling for the 11-day trip next month, Clarence House said.

The cost, which will be included in the prince's annual report later in the year, will be less than travelling by chartered planes, a spokesman said.

The vessel will also emit about 40 percent fewer carbon emissions than the planes did on the prince's last Caribbean tour in 2000, he added.

The royal couple will further reduce costs by flying to and from the Caribbean on a scheduled flight.

The visit, which will take in Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Jamaica is aimed at reinforcing Britain's ties with Commonwealth countries and its relations with the UK Overseas Territory Montserrat.

"It will advance key British government priorities in the promotion of sustainable development, environmental protection and youth opportunity," the spokesman said.

The 246 foot-long vessel has a crew of 25 and facilities including a Jacuzzi deck, bar, gym and sauna while the owner's quarters contain two suites as well as a saloon and a private deck.

The magazine Power & Motoryacht said Leander has been the world's most expensive charter yacht during the past few years, but has since been overtaken.

It remains "arguably one of the finest to vacation aboard", it added, with its "sumptuous spaces".

The royal yacht Britannia was decommissioned in 1997 after the Labour government came to power.

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