Johnny Carson’s Prized Yacht Is Available for Charter in Beautiful Locales for a Tidy Sum

Before his death in 2005, Tonight Show legend Johnny Carson spent a lot of time sailing on his treasured yacht. He had the vessel custom built in 2002, and it sold for over $8 million in 2010. So, how much does it cost to charter the iconic late-night host’s custom-build for a week in 2022?

Johnny Carson in a black and white suit and bowtie
Johnny Carson | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

The Serengeti is available for weekly charters priced around $120,000

Carson’s “stunning yacht” is listed as available for charter by Worldwide Boat. The website boasts how the vessel was one of the host’s prized possessions until his death.

It almost goes without saying that it has a long list of extremely extravagant features. It fits up to 12 people in five staterooms that offer “en-suite bathrooms with enclosed showers in addition to closets, entertainment systems, individual climate control, and Wi-Fi.”

So, admirers can bring some friends along to split the cost and share in the luxury of living life like Carson for a week. But while it would be a dream for any fan of the television icon to spend a little time on the 130-foot behemoth, it won’t come to them cheap.

The yacht is listed at a base price of $120,000 for weekly excursions in Alaska or Mexico.

Johnny Carson stayed afloat for months aboard the Serengeti, sometimes hiding from NBC executives

Johnny Carson and others waving aboard his yacht, the Serengeti
Johnny Carson | Beth Sahley/Getty Images

In Carson’s final years, he spent lots of time relaxing on the enormous yacht he named the Serengeti for his love of the African savanna.

According to a 2002 Esquire profile, Carson would board the vessel or its predecessor and disappear after retiring from The Tonight Show. Former NBC executive and close friend Bob Wright shared how he tried to get the beloved host to return to television, but Carson would stay on the water for months at a time.

“I told him we have planes,” Wright said. “We can catch him anywhere he is. The boat is not a prison!”

However, Carson seemingly didn’t always want to be within reach of NBC executives, friends or not. The three-decade host planned to sail through the Panama Canal and into the Caribbean. He made it clear he had no desire to return to TV.

“They can send a plane,” Carson said. “I’m going to be in the Bermuda Triangle. Planes have been known to disappear there, you know.”

The Serengeti was the last place Ed McMahon saw Johnny Carson

The Serengeti, the yacht of entertainer Johnny Carson
The Serengeti | Beth Sahley/Getty Images

Friend and co-host Ed McMahon recalled that the Serengeti was the location of his last meeting with Carson. In his book, Here’s Johnny, he revealed the old friends got together about a year before the groundbreaking icon’s death. They sat onboard Johnny Carson’s yacht, had dinner and wine, and shared memories from 46 years of friendship.

“When I walked down the gangplank, I turned and gave him a salute and he gave one to me,” McMahon wrote of the end of their visit. He explained his salute was a little better because he was thanking Carson for his career.

But McMahon also shared in the book that his friend wasn’t the only one with a yacht. “I also had a yacht,” he noted, “but next to Johnny’s, mine would have looked like a dinghy.”

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Carson’s yacht carried a price tag of $8.95 million when it sold in 2010.

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