Tag Archives: superyacht

Force of Nature: World’s Grandest Yacht designed by Sinot

We at Luxuo, influenced by esteemed colleagues at YACHT STYLE, are no strangers to superyachts, so when exclusive yacht design firm Sinot present the 120 metre long concept megayacht named Nature, we paused long enough to pick our collective jaws off the ground and get the news out on this incredible 900 sqm yacht immediately.

Projecting purity and greatness, Sinot’s Nature offers a new perspective on yachting that transcends the traditional parameters of status and grandeur. Nature takes her name from the holistic approach which yacht design company Sinot took to bring the intimacy of the passionate, tempestuous oceans into the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere on-board the Nature. Complete with garden and observatory decks, Sinot’s Nature superyacht aims to be desirable ocean vessel with carefully-designed spaces, an interplay of natural and artificial light, and the pure materials and surfaces combine to create a new world that represents all the good we recognize from nature.

Force of Nature: World’s Grandest Yacht designed by Sinot and the 120 metre, 900 sqm yacht is named “Nature”

Designed as part 6-star hotel and spa, the opulent 120-metre Sinot Nature superyacht concept defies definition due to its atypical design and intelligent layout. From the thoughtful routing and the fully-customized furniture, Nature is extremely functional while offering the most desirable yachting amenities, including luxurious state and VIP rooms, a strikingly spacious Owner’s room, luxurious Spa deck, gym, swimming pool at sea level, and the spectacular circular staircase, winding from the Owner’s deck up to the 900sqm+ Panorama deck.

Presented at Monaco Yacht Show in late September to Sinot’s partner Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards, the Nature superyacht concept was wildly received by the VIP guests and invitees. Founded by namesake designer Sander Sinot, the yacht design firm often displayed a deft balance between natural and artificial, elements which are on fully display on the Sinot Nature superyacht concept. Take for example: The essence of Nature, as epitomized by the Owner’s state room’s fully-functional Inner Garden, equipped with state-of-the-art climate control technology – it stands as not just Sinot yacht design’s ethos but also the fundamental interconnection between the yacht and her environment. Literally, nature within Nature.

Offering Open views, clear sight lines and expansive exterior decks, the 120-metre length Nature superyacht has an abundance of space on four main decks, yet is is still connected to its natural maritime environment. Every detail is intently scrutinized, with immaculate attention devoted to window frames and door handles, mullion design, finishes, sheers and decorative window coverings and outdoor furniture pieces. The resulting sense of unity in style throughout the yacht generates a natural atmosphere of ultimate quality. The meticulous architecture shows how Nature is essentially about balance: between technology and nature, crafted detail and natural grandeur, the inside and the outside. Nature conveys the timelessness of functional beauty evidenced by its ability to accommodate 18 guests in six guest staterooms, two VIP staterooms, and the owner’s suite.

Natural & Artificial Balance on Sinot Nature Yacht Concept

At the lower deck aft, Nature unfolds to forge a close connection to the seas. Opening the stern and side hatches and sliding out the roof hatches creates an open-air beach area exuding an exposed, yet intimate, relationship with the maritime environment. The central pool and surrounding terraces provide unlimited views and space for water toys, relaxation, sunbathing and parties. The roof hatches provide extended balconies at the Owner’s deck level and create an unexpected second level in the beach area, connecting the Spa and Owner’s decks; while the lowered pool ends towards the bow with a waterfall creating an enticing area for diving and swimming in comfort and safety.

The exceptionally spacious indoor Spa area features a spectacular layout with central, column-lined corridors connecting the pool to the plunge pool, sauna and hammam. The full-sized gym is equipped with all the state-of-the art equipment required to perform a total body workout. Throughout Nature superyacht concept, the use of precious stones, skillfully-treated timber and meticulously-sourced natural materials help to create a natural atmosphere that is far-removed from hectic day-to-day life.

The spacious and naturally-outfitted Guest and VIP state rooms stand out by virtue of their spacious design and highly-elaborate furniture. The rooms are specifically designed to offer guests the best possible environment to enjoy their time on-board, cleverly combining a perceptive layout with the optimal use of space. Textured silk carpets, fully-customized furniture pieces in durable woods and the use of multiple woods in wall and ceiling paneling will make everybody feel at home, creating an atmosphere of ultimate hospitality and natural tranquility.

The 900sqm+ top deck aboard Nature is where hospitality, socializing and the interaction with the marine environment intertwine. With its full glass façades and open exterior decks, the ever-changing views will never cease to astonish.

The vast interior and exterior spaces can be connected by opening the sliding glass floor-to-ceiling doors, enabling intimate al-fresco dining, extensive sunbathing in privacy and massive indoor-outdoor gatherings. Everyone aboard the Sinot Nature concept truly experiences the ocean in all its magnificence and unwind from the tensions of daily life.

 

Navetta 33 superyacht from Custom Line unveiled in Ancona, Europe

Introducing the Navetta 33, a new state-of-the-art superyacht joining the wave of Custom Line’s latest generation of semi-displacement superyachts. Measuring 33 metres (108.3 feet) and following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Navetta 37, the Navetta 33 is the second model in the new series to hit the water on June 22 at the Ferretti Group’s Superyacht Yard in Ancona, one of the leading yacht building hubs in Europe and the site of the production facilities for the entire series.

With five units sold ahead of its official presentation at Ibiza on July 29 and 30, the new 33 model is a joint collaboration between the Group’s Product Strategy Committee, headed by Pierro Ferrari, along with Studio Zuccon International Project for exteriors and the Group’s Engineering Department for interior design. “Thanks to its special charm and its innovative features, cutting edge technology and superior design, it outclasses every other boat within the same category. It’s essentially in a league of its own,” says Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group CEO.

 

Boasting a 2000 nautical mile range at economical cruising speed and VOTIS software providing the most flexible and practical onboard infotainment systems, the Navetta 33 also features a special flexible joint in the transmission lines, which absorbs shaft vibrations, as well as other cutting-edge solutions that assist in keeping noise levels to a minimum.

Accommodating up to 10 guests across its spacious four decks, the 33’s external panoramic terrace, multiple lounge areas, interior and exterior dining areas, as well as sun deck with swimming pool provides luxurious comfort and privacy with fabulous views.

“The Navetta 33 will define the nautical landscape in the years to come with its irresistible beauty” declares Galassi. “It is uniquely chic, upgrading luxury to the pure sophistication that every yacht owner desires in order to enhance the pleasure of yachting. I am not surprised that we’ve already sold 5 units ahead of its presentation.”

Custom Line’s Navetta 33 joins the series’ 37-metre models under construction at the yard with a flagship, the Navetta 42, currently in development with a first unit already sold.

US Department of Justice Seizes 91.5m Oceanco Equanimity yacht

As part of growing 1MDB investigations involving the beleaguered Jho Low, the United States’ Department of Justice recently seized $540m worth of assets acquired using misappropriated 1MDB funds, among them, the 91.5 metre Oceanco Equanimity yacht.

1MDB, the Malaysian Sovereign wealth fund is riddled with scandalous allegations of financial mismanagement and criminal misappropriation involving codename “Malaysian Official 1” – widely reported to be embattled Malaysian Premier Najib Razak and model chasing Malaysian business Jho Low. The seizure of the 91.5 metre Oceanco Equanimity yacht among the recovery of other assets adds $540m to the total recovered by the US Department of Justice to $1.7 billion, close of half of the total $4.5 billion amount allegedly stolen from 1MDB or 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund.

US Department of Justice Seizes 91.5m Oceanco Equanimity yacht

The beneficiary of the alleged criminal misappropriation is Jho Low, of which the US government is seeking over $400 million. A close associate of Najib Razak, the Equanimity was delivered by Oceanco to Low in June 2014.

According to US Department of Justice statements, over $250 million was allegedly moved from 1MDB and used to acquire and maintain the 91.5 metre Oceanco Equanimity yacht whose paperwork showed a suspected shell company – World View Ltd, a company in the Cayman Islands.

M/Y EQUANIMITY – ANDREW WINCH DESIGN

The Dutch-based Oceanco delivered the 91.5 metre Oceanco Equanimity yacht in 2014.  It is considered among the best in class for its size, custom built in 2014 by Oceanco in Alblasserdam ( Netherlands ) with yacht’s interior designed by Winch Design.

91.5 metre Oceanco Equanimity yacht can accommodate 26 guests in 9 staterooms and has a crew of 28. Features include a full-suite spa and beach club on the lower deck, a beauty salon, a gym, a sauna, a Turkish bath and a large pool. And additional transport facilities by way of a helipad to her aft. The interior has some oriental inspired themes, using materials as wenge, bamboo and gold lead. She is currently – 2017 – the 54th largest yacht in the world.

M/Y EQUANIMITY – ANDREW WINCH DESIGN

 

 

 

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

Floating superyacht designed by Jonathan Schwinge: HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

Channelling alien spacecraft is now a descriptor for yachts. Just look at Jonathan Schwinge’s design for the HYSWAS (Hydrofoil Small Waterplane Area Ship hull) Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Currently, in the conceptual stage, the vessel which is approximately 70 feet in width has an impressive range of 3000 nautical miles when hull bourne and 1000 nautical miles when foil bourne.

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

Two waterlines mean that once the Tetrahedron Super Yacht becomes a reality, you can sail the vessel at low speed, such that it rests on its three underbelly hulls. When sailing at high speed, the hydrofoils on the lower submerged hull rotate, giving an alien-spacecraft-like effect as the pyramid-shaped yacht emerges from the water’s surface. Designed with Maritime Applied Physics Corporation in America’s 1995 ‘The Quest’ in mind, the Tetra Super Yacht’s elevated hydrofoil propulsion means the vessel can navigate stormy weather with almost no issue.

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

Thanks to its instantly recognisable shape — a Tetrahedron which is a type of pyramid — busts the notion that ocean-going hulls cannot be made of simple geometrical forms. Another key feature of the Tetra Super Yacht is an auto-pilot ‘fly-by-light’ system from the aviation industry that allows the ship to navigate at foil bourne speed even with roll forces at play.

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

The Schwinge HYSWAS Tetrahedron Super Yacht. Project instigation and Designer: Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE; TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management; TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA; CGI Images: EYELEVEL CREATIVE

It may take a while for us to learn more about the interior layout and amenities of the Tetrahedron Super Yacht seeing as how the superyacht is still in the stages of conceptualisation, but the CGI Images give us a few ideas of what we can expect. Once it is anchored, guests can look forward to activity options such as snorkelling, lounging and practising yoga on its three fold-out decks. Accommodation for five guests, excluding the owner and four crew members means an exclusive group can enjoy the space aboard. We look forward to learning the Tetrahedron Super Yacht’s future developments, particularly in terms of interiors and amenities.

For a CGI view of how the Tetrahedron Super Yacht moves in the water, please see the video below.

The Tetra Super Yacht Credits

Project instigation and Designer
Jonathan Schwinge / SCHWINGE
TETRA Lightweight Technologies & Project Management
Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management
TETRA HYSWAS Propulsion
The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA
CGI Images
EYELEVEL CREATIVE

All images in the article are courtesy of Jonathan Schwinge.

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

Luxury superyacht cruises in France: SS Joie de Vivre sails from Paris boasting onboard cinema and spa lifts

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

Stateroom Four onboard SS Joie de Vivre. Image courtesy of Uniworld

A luxury superyacht designed as an opulent floating hotel has launched on the Seine in Paris, as the rich person’s version of the ubiquitous sightseeing cruise.

Aboard the SS Joie de Vivre which translates to “Joy of Living”  there is no queueing like herd animals or jockeying for the best seat against selfie stick-toting tourists on the open-air deck.

Instead, guests board a luxury yacht equipped with a spa and wellness centre, onboard cinema, gourmet restaurant and opulent rooms decorated with handcrafted furniture, antiques and original artwork.

The vessel, which accommodates 128 guests, was christened in Paris this week by actress Joan Collins.

After sailing past Parisian landmarks alongside sightseeing cruises on the Seine, the SS Joie de Vivre continues its journey outside the city, to regions like Normandy, Bordeaux and Avignon in eight to 15-day cruise itineraries.

Guests slumber in sumptuous cabins that feature custom-designed Savoir of England beds, tufted velvet headboards, heavy drapes, Egyptian cotton sheets and marble-lined bathrooms stocked with luxury Hermès and L’Occitane bath and body products.

The Normandy cruise is pitched as the dream holiday for history buffs, as the itinerary takes guests through the medieval capital of Rouen, Monet’s postcard-perfect home in Giverny, Versailles and the famed Normandy beaches.

The 15-day Paris-to-Bordeaux cruise is pitched for oenophiles and gastronomes, with an itinerary that includes wine tastings and gourmet epicurean experiences.

New superyachts in Asia: 5-decker SanLorenzo 46 Steel docks in Asia

SanLorenzo doesn’t consider their beautiful creations as Superyachts unless they have to count their length in metres. The superyacht family starts at 120 feet, and the 46 metre SL46 Steel is 150 feet overall. A sharply cut-back bow and a semi-wide hull at 30 feet maximum beam disguises the fact that there is a fifth (below-lower) deck below the water line, the floor of the engine, purifiers and steering gear rooms, and that essential thing on long voyages, the laundry.

Both the crew (who have nine berths between them) and the eight guests have cabins on the Lower Deck, the guests in two doubles and two twins, all with the benefit of full-size bathrooms as heads. The guest cabins are just forward of the upper part of the engine room, where the twin 2,040 hp CAT diesels live, separated by double bulkheads and the heads themselves. Forward of the guest cabins and reaching to the forepeak are the crew berths. Four double-bunked rooms each with its own head. The crew mess is in here too, with its own companionway to the main deck.

The lower deck continues right aft, with its own cockpit and opening transom and enclosed gym. This space becomes the exercise space, beach and swim centre when the boat is stationary. The main toy garage is just forward, opening through the starboard side. There are another two on the upper deck above the crew cabins right forward.

The main deck comprises another large three-quarter-shaded cockpit and a wide saloon, by-passed by side-decks that connect eventually to crew access points and companionways to higher and lower decks. Forward of the saloon is the galley, about 200 square feet of it, placed within steps of both crew and guest companionways.

Forward of the galley, the main deck continues with the Master cabin, a full-width room with a huge bathroom that even runs to a bath. Beyond this in the bow, but only reachable from above, the two storage areas for more toys: a couple of ribs and a jet ski, to complement the huge rib stored athwart the stern on the deck below in the main garage.

The upper deck has yet another cockpit, the largest yet, leading through semi-circular doors into a huge circular dining room, dominated by a much-too-large circular dining table that extends into the rectangular lounge area just beyond. Forward of this is the bridge and the Captain’s Quarters, the fore-deck sunning area and the access down to the bow and the toy rooms.

Topping this extravaganza is the upper deck, more of a flybridge except that there is no upper helm position. This is mostly shaded, and given over to sun-worshipping with loungers, seats and a dining space. There’s also a jet-spa with attached loungers, in case you need someone to splash while you let the power jets massage away the cares of being a guest on a boat so large that hide and seek is a positively challenging game.

With a full complement of crew, (and a boat this large needs a minimum number of highly-qualified officers and seamen in addition to the stewarding staff), and the full complement of guests, there are up to 19 people on board, some of whom will be off-duty some of the time. With four couples on board as guests and four decks to choose from, it isn’t hard to find somewhere private if you just want to switch off and read a book, at least half a deck’s worth of privacy, without having to hide in your cabin.

For more information, visit SanLorenzo and Simpson Marine.

This article was first published in Yacht Style 37.

Echo Yachts Introduces Sculptured Yacht

Trimaran master builders Echo Yachts has teamed up with One2Three Naval Architects and Sam Sorgiovanni to create this incredibly sculptured yacht. The trimaran design allows for an amazingly stable and ocean going ability in its own right, however gyro stabilizers have also been added to keep things extra smooth.

On board you’ll find an array of amenities, including a sundeck helipad and foredeck touch and go landing pad, as well as multiple swimming pools. When it comes time to head out into the water for some fun, there’s a large tender garage for all the toys. Long journeys are also not a problem for the 120m Trimaran. With a 5,000 nm range and a top speed of 20 kts, the hybrid propulsion system could easily take you from San Francisco to Yokohama or Portsmouth to Port of Spain.

Genting Miami Marina, Wider Yachts Focus

Genting CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, who bought a substantial stake in the Italian superyacht builder Wider Yachts in December 2012, is a step closer to his planned 50-berth superyacht marina in Miami’s Biscayne Bay.

In early October, the Miami Herald reported that Genting’s attorney, Spencer Crowley, made a detailed presentation to the Miami River Commission (MRC), and the MRC voted 10-1 to endorse the idea. Genting is only eligible for eight slips at the site however, and needs approval to transfer 42 existing boat slips from two river marinas to the bay, which Crowley argues would be better for endangered manatees in the area. Slips for vessels up to 175ft or 53m are envisaged.

Genting bought the Miami Herald’s former Bayfront headquarters in 2011 for $236 million and announced plans for a massive Resorts World casino, marina and baywalk. Although the building was demolished last year, Genting has so far been unsuccessful in persuading the Florida Legislature to approve gambling on the site. Currently, it seems that the land and marina proposals are being tackled as separate rather than integrated entities, which reflects a complex approvals process.

Meanwhile, the owner of Resorts World in Sentosa, Genting and Manila, and of Star Cruises, has been helping Wider Yachts expand its acclaimed range by further investing in the superyacht sector. Tan Sri Lim has also merged his private 50% Wider Yachts holdings through Exa, into Genting Hong Kong Ltd, which is a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

At the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, the Wider 150 Genesi won the “most innovative” World Yachts Trophy during the usual Carlton International Hôtel dinner, while yachts paraded past the famous Croisette. Then in Monaco a few weeks later, another Genesi debut at Quai Chicane in Port Hercule, accompanied by two smaller Wider 32 Express Cruisers, saw her receive the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show-RINA Award for the most eco-friendly superyacht exhibited, in front of 350 high-profile guests in the historic Salle Belle Époque at the Hôtel Hermitage. Genesi received a perfect 100/100 score from RINA for her class-leading low levels of noise and vibration, the first time this has ever been achieved.

The vessel’s elegant silhouette was created by Fulvio De Simoni and Tilli Antonelli with Wider’s in-house design team. This is the dynamic duo behind the creation of Pershing Yachts, which was later sold to Ferretti. Antonelli has been at Singapore Yacht Shows in the past few years.

Stemming from the original Wider concept, features include a 90sqm beach club with a 7m indoor and outdoor pool, which is part of the huge 350sqm outdoor area. A 32ft rigid tender, allowing owners to enter smaller bays and creeks, is usually only available on vessels 20m longer than Genesi’s 45m LOA. There is a 75sqm owners’ apartment with sea terrace, two VIP and two standard suites, and an ergonomically-designed wrap-around bridge with attached Captain’s cabin. Another highlight is the diesel electric and azimuthal pod propulsion system. This provides Genesi with a silent “stealth mode.”

A Wider 165, Cecilia, is presently under construction. The company was established in 2010, and is headquartered in Castelvecchio di Monte Porzio. There are two separate facilities: the Express Cruiser composite range up to 42ft is based in Castelvecchio, while the Superyacht Division builds the aluminum range in Ancona, on Italy’s Adriatic Coast.

This article was first published in Yacht Style.

YACHT STYLE 36 Superyacht Issue

With the brand new YACHT STYLE Issue 36, the team behind the quarterly yachting magazine countdown the top 100 superyachts in the Asia-Pacific. It was no easy feat for them, considering that there was a list of 140 to choose from.

Joining this interesting read is a look at the history and milestones of Princess Yachts, a British shipyard with a long and illustrious history. The new issue also explores the vision that the British boating industry has and how it plans to connect to the global boating community.

The European journey continues with the round-up of leading Dutch shipyards that are changing the game in the yachting industry. In the scenic Mediterranean, YACHT STYLE looks at new marina destinations and how developers are catering to the needs of owners.

Of course, the issue would not be complete without highlighting the sea trials and reviews of new yacht models that are available in Asia. The team checks out the ever-so-elegant Sanlorenzo SL78, the spacious Ferretti Yachts 450 and the Leopard 43 Powercat. The final piece of the puzzle are the exciting pieces on the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup before Fukuoka.

Looking to the future, YACHT STYLE will be celebrating the Top 100 personalities in Asian boating. With a chance to find out more about the major players in the yachting industry to explore the Indonesian archipelago has to offer.

Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous Begins In December

From December 10 to 12, Phuket will see superyacht owners, villa owners, industry partners and luxury lifestyle media in town for the inaugural Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous 2016. Organized with sponsor Infinite Luxury, the event will welcome sailing and motor yachts that measure more than 24 meters in length. The yachts in question are those based on or visiting Phuket.

The exclusive event is by invitation only and features an ever-growing list of partners such as Feadship, Burgess, Edmiston, Benetti, Simpson Marine, Northrop & Johnson and many more. The event is more than just a chance for luxury yacht partners to descend upon Southeast Asia’s luxury superyacht haven. The luxurious venue, Kata Rocks, will begin the three-day programme with the Superyacht Rendezvous Opening Reception on board a superyacht and will end with the Kata Rocks Charter Season Opening Party on the final day.

In fact, Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous happens to be one of the many coordinated yachting events from December 3 to 18. The season kicks off with the Phuket King’s Cup Regetta, followed by Kata Rocks Superyacht Rendezvous and ends with the Thailand Yacht Show. “This event is a great opportunity for yacht owners and charter brokers to showcase their yachts in leading yachting and globally renowned luxury media publications” said Michael Nurbatlian, Marketing Director of Infinite Luxury.

Mixed Use Marinas: Residences for Yacht Owners

In the Bay of Kotor, a meandering bay in southwestern Montenegro, craggy mountains rise dramatically from the Adriatic, their rugged backs sheltering the narrow channel where stone villages meet the cobalt sea. The bay’s tranquil beauty belies a turbulent past. Since the beginning of the 19th century the strategic port has been annexed by Italy, France and the Austrian Empire. More recently, it was the site of a former Yugoslav naval facility. Today you are more likely to spot a Benetti than a Destroyer. In the coastal city of Tivat, a marina development called Porto Montenegro is specifically designed to accommodate the world’s growing collection of superyachts.

Bay of Kotor

Bay of Kotor

“The number of superyachts floating in the Mediterranean has increased by 50% in the last 10 years”, says Danilo Kalezic, Public Relations manager at Porto Montenegro. This has led to a shortage of berths, he says, especially as today’s boat buyers are opting for ever-larger models. “Yachts are getting bigger and bigger and people are complaining that they can’t find proper berths for them”, says Peter Munk, a chief investor at Porto Montenegro. In Tivat, he says, this is not a problem. “It used to cater to warships”.

Few marinas in the world can accommodate vessels over 30 meters (98 feet) in length, let alone offer onshore provisions and crew services to complement the standards of the facilities found onboard. Porto Montenegro aims to redress this issue by becoming the Mediterranean’s most comprehensive nautical facility. The homeport for yachts can accommodate up to 850 boats, including 311 superyachts.

However, the project not only accommodates boats. Developers are also creating a coastal community of waterfront residences, a hotel, shops and amenities that offers clients a comprehensive waterfront lifestyle. “Most of the marinas in the Mediterranean rely on the infrastructure of the nearby city/town”, says Kalezic. “The advantage of building a village from scratch is that you can tailor it to the needs of your marina residents”.

The project joins a new wave of waterfront enclaves around the world, from Europe to the Caribbean to Asia, where developers are creating mixed-use marinas catering to wealthy boat owners who want properties in coastal locations.

Porto Montenegro Residence interior

Porto Montenegro Residence interior

So far, developers at Porto Montenegro have built 229 residential units, a 5-Star hotel, retail village and sports club. The second phase, currently under construction, includes a second luxury hotel, The Regent Porto Montenegro, and the Regent Pool Club Residences, a condominium building with 64 units, scheduled for completion in summer 2017. The residences range from one- to three-bedrooms of 796 to 3,702 sq. ft. in size. Prices start from $459,000 and range up to $4.1 million and buyers have access to hotel services and amenities. There is also an optional rental program whereby owners retain 85% of all generated revenues.

Buyers at the Regent Pool Club Residences are not guaranteed a berth at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club, but if a buyer is interested in purchasing an apartment unit and a berth lease they will receive a preferential rate on the berth (provided that latter is of equal or greater value). Leases range from 10 to 30 years.

Despite its natural beauty and central European location, Montenegro has only recently experienced an upsurge in the popularity it enjoyed during the 1950s and 60s when it was a haven for film stars such as Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Kirk Douglas. As the country re-establishes itself, Porto Montenegro aims to compete with the more established European destinations such as Antibes and Portofino, whose yachting facilities are already fully saturated.

Montenegro’s location east of Italy makes for great sailing along the 295 kilometer Adriatic coastline, says Kalezic. “Within a 1.5-hour sail across the UNESCO protected Boka Bay, clients will be able to sail north through the Croatian archipelago to Venice, or down to Corfu visiting the Ionian islands”.

Another country that aims to compete with the more established Mediterranean hotspots, is Cyprus. A new mixed-use waterfront resort in Potima Bay, Kissonerga called Paphos was recently announced, with capacity for 1,000 berths, while Limassol Marina, a luxury development near the Old Town in Limassol is currently nearing completion.

Limassol Marina

Limassol Marina

Limassol Marina features 236 residences, now over 90% sold, as well as a range of amenities and facilities, including restaurants, boutiques and a spa. Some villas are built on reclaimed islands with private boat berths included in the purchase. The Neso Villa, one of the largest, is located on a private island and includes two yacht berths and a 13,132 sq. ft. residence accessed by a private bridge.

Sophia Paraskeva, marketing manager for the site, says a feasibility study for the project showed a lack of berths in Mediterranean locations, but she says, “Even non-boat owners want the lifestyle of waterfront communities”.

Limassol Marina is located within an easy sail of picturesque and popular coastal resorts in Cyprus, a country that has one of the mildest winters in the Mediterranean (average temperatures of 14 degrees from November to February). Cruising destinations further afield include Greece and the Greek Islands, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Turkey, as well as the Suez Canal crossing to the Red Sea.

In the Middle East, Qatar, Dubai and Bahrain are all receiving strong government-backed investment into waterfront development. In Bahrain, residential marina projects currently in the pipelines include Reef Island, a $1.5 billion reclaimed island development that includes plans for luxury residences, a five-star hotel, shopping mall, medical center, marina and yacht club, and Durrat Marina, a 6,458,346 sq. ft., $1.3 billion project that includes sea-facing villas, apartments, a marina and yacht club, and a promenade with cafes and retail outlets.

Demand for mixed-use marinas is rising in Asia too. A recent study by the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association reports that China is expected to have Asia’s largest yacht ownership within five years, surpassing Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Already there is a shortage of large-berth marinas to accommodate the growing demand.

China has built a number of new marinas on Hainan Island, a popular winter getaway for wealthy northerners, but until recently, most were built as an addendum to real estate projects, says Godfrey Zwygart, General Manager of Operations at Sanya Serenity Marina. Now, he says, mixed-use marinas are on the rise, projects such as Clearwater Bay offers 780 berths, residential components and a range of leisure and lifestyle facilities, and Shimei Bay, a mixed use project that includes luxury hotels, residences and retail components, as well as a marina that offers 213 wet berths, 121 dry berths and a ‘mega berth’ that can accommodate yachts up to 50 meters (164 feet), the largest length of berths currently in China.

Mixed-use marinas are also being constructed in Haikou, on the north of Hainan, as well as other parts of the Chinese mainland, including Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin and Dalian. “There are so many other marinas under construction right now, I can’t keep track”, Zwygart says.

Melaka Gateway

Melaka Gateway

Southeast Asia’s largest mixed-use marina, Melaka Gateway, is currently in development in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. Scheduled for completion in 2025, the USD 10 billion project from KAJ Development Sdn Bhd will feature a 1,000-berth marina and a range of residential, commercial, cultural and lifestyle elements, including an 80-storey tower housing a hotel and residences. The reclaimed area offers 15 kilometres of seafront land and there will also be a number of waterfront villas with private boat slips.

In the Caribbean, known for its strong winter sailing trade, there are a number of highly ranked superyacht marinas, but few of them offer integrated residential components. This may soon change, however, as developers attempt to address the issue.

At the Albany, a high-end resort in the Bahamas, amenities include an Earnie Els golf course and a deep-water, 71-slip marina with floating concrete docks that can accommodate boats from 50 feet in length up to 300-foot megayachts. Berths are sold, primarily to property owners, with prices starting from USD 12,000. Properties range from land plots to colonial-style villas and condominiums designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, where prices range from USD 3 million to USD 25 million.

In St. Lucia, a project called The Landings combines a beachfront resort with spacious designer suites, a private marina and a 7,000 sq. ft. spa. Moorings are available to residents only, and the properties, which range from one to three bedrooms, are priced from USD 400,000. In St Kitts, a residential resort named Christophe Harbour recently opened a 300-berth marina where berths are sold on a freehold basis. Prices start from USD 1.5 million and qualify buyers for the Citizenship by Investment program. Developers are also building a Park Hyatt Hotel, villas and fractional ownership units that range from USD 450,000 to around USD 4 million.

As the international appetite for superyachts grows, developers appear to be catering, not only to the demand for larger boat berths, but to boat owners who desire a seamless transition between land and sea. This is what Tino Zervudachi, designer for Port Montenegro had in mind when he created a low-rise waterfront community. “The interior and exterior design incorporates the magic of the existing destination: the way the light bounces off the water, the distinct interconnection between sea and land…we want the transition from bay to land, deck to promenade, yachts to residences to be seamless and stylish”, he says.

Today’s boat owners want to disembark at a place where their luxurious nautical adventure can continue uninterrupted. As Tony Browne, Marina Director at Porto Montenegro puts it: “We have created
a visionary marina and homeport that offers land-based services, facilities
and amenities that mirror the standards that guests would expect to receive on-board”.

This article was first published in PALACE.

Sanlorenzo 46Steel Superyacht: Hong Kong Debut

Within its Superyacht Division out of Hong Kong, Simpson Marine have sold their first Sanlorenzo 46Steel since becoming a dealer for Sanlorenzo Spa. Delivered to Hong Kong earlier this year, the superyacht will be based there for her owner’s to use for adventures around the region. Simpson Marine have gone on to sell a 460EXP and Sanlorenzo 106 since the sale of the initial 46Steel.

Boasting a spacious interior and spanning five decks, the 46-meter long 46Steel is a superyacht kitted out with all the creature comforts you can imagine. The Sanlorenzo 46Steel has space for 10 guests and nine crew, with a maximum speed of 17 knots. With such a generous offering of style and comfort, it was certainly no surprise that Simpson Marine was able to make its first and subsequent sales in the country.

This article was first published in Yacht Style.

For more information, visit Sanlorenzo and Simpson Marine.

OCEANEMO 55 Superyacht Unveiled

The Monaco Yacht Show drew many yacht manufacturers as they unveiled new designs and OCEANEMO certainly didn’t miss out. From the brand’s Sport Utility Yachts range, comes the OCEANEMO 55 that is the latest introduction to the OCEANEMO series.

Designed by Fulvio De Simoni, the 55-meter superyacht has particular advantages for those looking to bring their toys aboard as they take to the open seas. As a result of this design, we find here smaller external spaces that make room for more tenders, water-toys and accessories. However, this does not mean that the design skimps on the needs of the passengers. In fact, it is crafted to suit the specifications of the owner.

With the design better suited for those who prefer a more athletic lifestyle while aboard a superyacht, Simoni provides a covered hanger and a raised deck that will accommodate various equipment. In the hanger, owners can store a tender limousine that measures 9.6 meters in length, a crew tender of 4.5 meters, two water-jets and even a helicopter or airplane with folding wings. The raised deck can host a fisherman, a luxury car or SUV, a hovercraft or even a personal submarine should one wish to explore what lies beneath the waves.

In the stern area, is a beach area measuring 45 meters where guests can relax while a 42 square meter covered veranda provides privacy and shelter from bad weather. Within the yacht, is a dedicated apartment that provides pure comfort.

Isaac Burrough: 35-Meter Catamaran Design Concept

Isaac Burrough is all set to present his new 35-meter superyacht concept to the world and we get a sneak peek. You may ask what exactly makes this catamaran design any different from other catamarans. Made almost entirely of glass, this is a concept that may just set the standard for others to follow.ib_35mcat_03-top

Rather than leaving matters to batteries and regular fuel, the superyacht is fitted with 40 solar panels that are integrated into the glass roof. The result is an impressive graphic feature that reflects a honeycomb pattern. With natural light passing through the gaps between the panels, the feature also provides privacy for those on board. As you move towards the aft, the panels make way to invite more natural light, which then leads to an open space on the sundeck.

These solar panels help to provide enough energy for lighting, communications, climate control and entertainment. By cutting the emissions from fuel consumption, the design creates a positive bond between the superyacht and nature. With five cabins, each with its own ensuite, the catamaran can host up to 10 guests. While the owner’s cabin takes up the space of the main deck, the other four cabins can be found on the lower deck.ib_35mcat_04-sundeck

The owner’s cabin provides panoramic views thanks to its open layout, complete with a large ensuite and private office space. Sharing the same level as the owner’s cabin are three distinct zones in the aft area that feature two lounges and a dining space. Not forgetting a pace for entertaining guests, the design also incorporates a bar that means everyone is well taken care of. On the outlook over the bridge sits an elliptical Jacuzzi that allows guests to stargaze once the sun sets.

Benetti Delfino 95 Rendering

Benetti Sells Third Delfino 95’ Superyacht

While the Cannes Yachting Festival may be over, some yacht manufacturers are basking in the glow of another successful event. One such brand in a celebratory mood is Benetti, thanks to the sale of its third Delfino 95’ superyacht.

While the delivery of the 29-meter superyacht will only take place in 2018, Benetti promises to deliver a creation that is not only luxurious but also stylish. Featuring cool external lines on the exterior, a design feature by Giorgio Cassetta, the superyacht comes from the brand’s Class D range. For the interior, Benetti enlisted the help of designer Achille Salvagni to create a cozy and elegant space in which the new owner will be able to relax.

Over the years, the Benetti shipyard has produced award-winning designs. The most recent honor was the World Yacht Trophies Award 2016 for the 64-meter Benetti FB264. With this in mind, it is certain that Benetti will deliver a superyacht of exceptional quality that will be enjoyed by the lucky new owner.

Review: Princess 75 Motor Yacht

The world-wide launch for this star of the Princess lineup was at the London Boat Show earlier this year, and her first in-water display was in Asia at the Singapore Yacht Show in April.

A product of the Princess Design Studio, the Princess 75 Motor Yacht was developed to combine agile cruising with open-plan elegance, all packaged together in a family-sized yacht of 24 metres (or just under). Princess – which is owned by L Capital, part of the LVMH group – is renowned for their attention to detail and for taking note of customer feedback.75-motor-yacht-interior-helm-2-american-walnut-satin

This well established British motoryacht shipyard produces yachts up to 132ft and has its premises at the old naval shipyard in Plymouth. The company employs over 2,000 people, and has been creating perfect sea-worthy yachts with luxurious styling for over 50 years. Last year, as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, they restored one of the very first Princess production motor yachts, Project 31 and took it on a world wide tour. The craftsmen and women who work at Princess are responsible for over 80 per cent of the production of every yacht built in the yard. From the vacuum-sealed infusion of the hull to the carpentry that features specially curved wooden edges and shapes, all of these details go together to make Princess styling unique and distinctive.75-motor-yacht-interior-saloon-american-walnut-satin

Princess has long staked their reputation on the seaworthiness of their designs. Now, the dynamic new styling of the Princess 75 makes a good product even more elegant, and offers increased cruising efficiency. The modified deep-V hull is both efficient and stable, and allows the yacht to plane at lower speeds. The yacht comes with a choice of three different engines, and can reach speeds of up to 36 knots with twin MAN V12 1800hp engines.

This 75’ yacht offers a great deal more than just speed and agility, giving her owner a variety of options for entertainment, or just simple relaxation with the family. The flybridge is a spectacular area for socialising, with seating on either side of the upper helm providing excellent panoramas for guests. The flybridge also has sun pads and a wet bar, while the u-shaped seating and dining table give owners yet another al fresco dining option.75-motor-yacht-interior-dining-area-american-walnut-satin

The elegant exterior artfully conceals a voluminous interior, where natural light flows into the main saloon, creating an informal, calm, and relaxed atmosphere. The extended window lines, in conjunction with the unique full-height window on the port side, make this area a spectacular free standing dining space. Comfortable sofa seating is paired with a full entertainment centre featuring a 50-inch LED television, DVD player, and MP3 system with clear and crisp surround sound.

There is a plethora of options for owners when it comes to interior styling. Further customisation is available using a range of premium upholstery and carpeting. When it comes to interior decor and finishings, Princess owners have the opportunity to work with a number of luxury brands including Dedar, Hermes, Fendi Casa, Loro Piana, Milano and Zimmer Rohde to name just a few. Choices for the woodwork are also varied, and include Rovere oak with satin or high-gloss finish, American walnut or Alba oak depending on the owner’s preference.75-motor-yacht-interior-owners-stateroom-alba-oak-satin

A very special custom feature in the saloon of the first Princess 75 Motor Yacht is a bespoke humidor cabinet, and a bar box designed by Linley – Princess believe that they have found “a great synergy in Linley’s sophisticated skills, craftsmanship and design, particularly their unparalleled expertise in marquetry, and selection and hand dying of veneers.” The Linley for Princess Bar Box opens to reveal an immaculately designed interior stocked with Linley Trafalgar crystal and bar accessories.

The galley comes with a four-zone ceramic hob, microwave and conventional oven with grill, and a refrigerator. Everything is perfectly set up for on board dining and entertaining. The galley is separated from the airy open-plan living space by sliding glass panels, allowing the chef to stay in touch with the diners, and creating a contemporary styled saloon that opens out to a well-equipped cockpit (via flush sliding patio doors) and creates an incredibly spacious area for entertaining. It can also be completely enclosed. A dedicated staircase leads to the owner’s stateroom amidships via a private lobby area. The master suite is nothing short of majestic, with its plush yet minimalist styling, and large bathroom and dressing area. The room is special not only for its size, but also for the large windows that allow daylight to pour in. Other special features include a private seating area, desk and a 46” television with entertainment system.75-motor-yacht-interior-owners-dressing-table-open-american-walnut-satin

The VIP accommodation is forward, on the lower deck, with all of the three guest cabins sporting their own en suites. The guest cabins can be configured either as doubles or with twin beds –  simply by pressing a button. The rooms also include specialist storage lockers, wardrobes, and stylish bedside tables.

Crew accommodation includes a compact space for up to three staff, adjacent to the engine room. Crew in the comfortable twin cabin can enjoy natural light through the glazing at the stern, and there is also an option for an additional berth if required. Driven by five-blade props and a power-assisted electro-hydraulic steering system, the twin-engine Princess 75 cuts through the waves at a top speed of 36 knots with a Twin MAN V12 1800 configuration. A twin Caterpillar C32 A option is also available. In the lower helm position, manoeuvring is made easy with a modern navigation system featuring colour radar, GPS and chart plotter. The bridge features plenty more high-tech assist items, such as an echo sounder with alarm, intercom access to the flybridge, and a toughened glass screen for clearer night vision. The second steering position is ‘upstairs’ on the large flybridge, which comes into its own as a viewing platform when the scenery is particularly delectable, and can also be used as an excellent leisure or entertaining area. The flybridge includes an option for a 450 kg lift capacity electric crane for handling a tender.75-motor-yacht-interior-helm-2-american-walnut-satin

To date, six Princess 75 motor yachts have been delivered, are in build, or on order, with a number of the units being from the original layouts presented by Princess. The company has produced a large yacht that is fast and fuel-efficient, giving a comfortable ride at high speeds up to 36 knots dependent upon the engine configuration. This package brings with it confidence on long cruises – and the fuel capacity of 1,300 gallons provides a good range. Collectively, this means a mix of performance and cruising ability that few, if any, in its class can match.

Taking the Princess 75 Motor Yacht as a whole, it is difficult to find a fault. The policy of listening to feedback from owners – coupled with attention to detail and rigorous quality control, and the production of so much of every yacht in-house – is certainly paying dividends. The 75 provides Princess with a cruising platform that meets most, if not all, the needs of a buyer, and sets a much-raised bar for future models from this UK manufacturer.

Specifications

LOA 24.25m (79ft 7in)

Beam 5.76m (18ft 11in)

Draft 1.76m (5ft 8in)

Displacement 47,700kg (105,160lbs)

Max Speed 33 – 34kts (Twin Caterpillar C32 A) 36kts (Twin MAN V12 1800)

Cruising Speed 31 – 32kts (Twin Caterpillar C32 A) 34kts (Twin MAN V12 1800)

Engines Twin Caterpillar C32 A / Twin MAN V12 1800

Fuel Capacity 6,000L / 1,585 USG

Water Capacity 1,350L Builder: Princess Yachts

This article was first published in Yacht Style. Look out for Princess Yachts at the upcoming SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS.

M/Y Eleonora

M/Y Eleonora III Making US Debut in November

From November 3 to 7, guests at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2016, can get a chance to see the M/Y Eleonora III for the first time in the US. The superyacht is the first model in the 40M Sport Hybrid series and follows the green approach that Columbus Yachts is aligned with.

The interior of the superyacht was designed by Hot Lab Yacht and Design and the owner of the M/Y Eleonora III to create a warm space that is devoid of strong contrasts. With the help of materials that provide warmth and soft colors, the interior of the yacht has a streamlined look. Within the yacht, the designers used marbles such as Breccia Sarda and Adria Venato that provide a luxurious atmosphere. Brightly colored leather and polished stainless steel are paired with soft wool carpets and precious fabrics.M/Y Eleonora

On the main deck is a bar that greets guests as they walk in while an eight-seater dining area lies beyond it. Comfortable compact chairs join the custom-made dining table while an onyx rectangular plaque invites natural light into the yacht. In the lounge is a sofa and armchairs that surround a large TV screen which is hidden in a sleek panel in the ceiling. For those looking to enjoy nature, the lounge also boasts two large windows that provide a view of the ocean. On the same level is the Master Suite that features a king size bed in the middle of the cabin. In the Master bathroom, are two “his and her” marble sinks as well as a large shower with glass walls.M/Y Eleonora

The upper deck features another area for relaxation with its massive sofa from the Diesel collection by Moroso. In line with its environmentally friendly approach the wood selected to be used on the M/Y Eleonora III are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified for eco sustainability. Adding on to the hybrid factor of the yacht, is the hybrid propulsion system developed by Palumbo Shipyard.

Oceanemo 33 by Benetti

Oceanemo 33 Superyacht Concept By OCEA

While many yacht manufacturers are gearing up to showcase the final products of the labour at the Cannes Yachting Festival, OCEA is getting ready to unveil the model that will soon be the Oceanemo 33. The 3-meter model will be on display at the yachting festival and will showcase the additions that can be made to cater to various owners.Oceanemo-33m_bow-details

The soon-to-be-built superyacht was designed by architect Fulvio De Simoni and will be built by French shipyard OCEA. Dubbed a “Sport Utility Yacht”, the Oceanemo 33 brings elements of the famous 44-meter Oceanemo to help broaden the series. Set to span four decks, the superyacht will not compromise on the luxurious space to accommodate the 56 square meter hanger. Designed for lovers of water sports the hanger is said to be able to hold a seven-meter and a 4.5-meter tender, two wave runners and four sea-doos.

One new feature that boasts versatility is the “Raised deck” that measures 46 square meters. Owners can choose to use the space to hold a 19 foot Sportfisherman AL Custom and a six-meter Day Sailer or even a one or two-seater submarine for amphibious exploration. For more entertainment, the superyacht can also be fitted with inflatable slides and other water gadgets and toys. Should water sports not be something you are looking for, then the external layout also holds space for an outside bar and a lounge on the upper deck along with a “Veranda” that can be used as a dining space on the main deck.

Seating space within the Oceanemo 33

Seating space within the Oceanemo 33

Apart from the many amenities, the superyacht will also be fitted with two VIP cabins and two guest cabins each with its own private bathroom. For the owner, the Oceanemo 33 provides a owner’s suite complete with a study area and private bathroom that takes up most of the space on the upper deck.

Superyacht Crystal At Cannes Yachting Festival

Originally designed by Bill Dixon, the Crystal happens to be one of the most expensive superyachts that Burgess will have on display at the Cannes Yachting Festival this year.

Boasting five cabins in total, the superyacht is able to house 10 guests on board, along with a crew of seven. The tri-deck design has a price tag of nearly $17 million, which is not so bad considering that the superyacht measures 36.9 meters. On the main deck, sits the master cabin while the VIP guest cabin is located below. Also on the lower deck are the double cabin and two twin cabins.

On the aft deck is a spacious area to entertain while a bar is available on the main deck. For those who love water sports, the Crystal also has a bathing platform that will provide a space to enjoy activities. The superyacht has a cruising speed of 16 knots and a maximum speed of 22 knots.

For further details on Burgess or Burgess Technical Services call +65 9665 8990, email: [email protected] or visit www.burgessyachts.com

Hawk Yacht: Sea Hawk Concept

Guide: Exotic Adventures Aboard Explorer Yachts

The concept of explorer yachts is nothing new; sturdy, ocean-going private vessels have been around since the ’60s, granting their owners access to isolated hideouts around the globe. However, the last few years have seen a spike in the number of explorer yachts launched, in build and in concept. We take a look at this more adventurous side of yachting and what it says about the shifting focus of luxury travelers.

It would be hard not to have noticed the rise in rugged yacht projects in build and on designer’s drawing boards. From Kleven’s mighty 107m M/Y Ulysses to the trio of expedition-ready concepts from Hawk Yachts, explorers are everywhere. In response to this growing market, there has been a tendency to hail the explorer as evidence of the shifting face of superyachting. The question is: is the popularity merely a trend for a more robust aesthetic or does it denote a true evolution in how owners and guests want to use their yachts?

Vard and Bannenberg & Rowell, Kilkea

The 82m conversion project from Vard and Bannenberg & Rowell, Kilkea.

“This is a very good question,” says Marnix Hoekstra, director at Vripack, a studio that has worked on countless explorer and expedition projects in its 55 years. “We have been doing a lot of research and analysis into the motivations of people worldwide, and believe that what we are seeing is a superyacht genre that has evolved from a growing human need to escape.” For Hoekstra, as life gets busier, as time gets more scheduled and as populations get larger, the natural reaction is a desire to get away.

“We call this trend ‘wandering’,” he says. “To counter-balance the structure of everyday life, people want to wander, explore and get lost. The functional response to enabling this kind of travel for many UHNWIs is the explorer yacht.”

Long-range, sturdy displacement vessels with unparalleled sea-keeping, spacious accommodation and room for plenty of toys, ‘explorer’ yachts as we know them today cover both yachts suitable for ocean crossings and longer periods away from marinas, as well as true expedition yachts suited to adventure travel, challenging locations and real autonomy.

Sanlorenzo’s 460 EXP M/Y Moka

Sanlorenzo’s 460 EXP M/Y Moka

Luxury travel is changing

Looking at the wider luxury travel industry – from which trends drip feed into superyachting – the way people have been travelling has been changing. The words ‘experiential’ and ‘authentic’ are firmly established in the travel lexicon, while luxury adventure travel is booming, particularly with families, and holidays centre around unusual and interactive experiences. For wealthy Millennial travelers, going the extra mile to achieve an exclusive experience worthy of bragging rights on social media is also the basis of many travel decisions.

While the industry has tended to view Asians as a more conservative superyacht market, their travel habits are also evolving. “Asian clients are more adventurous than one might imagine,” says Mike Simpson of Simpson Marine. “Like most clients, these customers look for something out of the ordinary that can bring them unique, memorable experiences; something that the less wealthy cannot afford. A superyacht is certainly one of them but an expedition yacht is even better.”

Mike Simpson of Simpson Marine

Mike Simpson of Simpson Marine

Simpson Marine’s regional customers include those who have driven 6,500 km across the Sahara, gone diving in the Pacific and chartered a Russian icebreaker to go to the North Pole. “Asian HNWI are generally younger than in the West and many are energetic and keen to explore the world around them,” he says. Indeed, according to figures released by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) for the 2015/2016 Antarctic season, the Chinese are the fastest growing segment of the Antarctic market, with one in 10 of all visitors to the region from China; a 25.7 per cent leap from the previous year. “A common misconception about clients from this part of the world is that they do not want to go further afield or out of their comfort zone,” says Fleur Tomlinson, charter manager at 37 South, a company with strong explorer experience. The company’s director, Allan Jouning, captained Itasca, the first ever private yacht to cross the North West Passage. “I cannot speak for the whole industry, but in my experience I have found Asian clients to be very adventurous. We have seen a definite increase in the number of people looking for adventurous charters and I am truly excited about this.”

One of 37 South’s clients is an Asian woman who has chartered traditional and explorer yachts between 30m and 70m everywhere from Antarctica to Tonga and Indonesia. “She loves diving and all water sports,” says Tomlinson. “She charters with large groups of family and friends and has even chartered by herself. She dispels all preconceptions about this market.”

The many faces of the explorer yacht

The growing interest in experiential travel and explorer yachts has seen designers and shipyards come to market with increasingly sophisticated expeditionary offerings and owners push the boundaries of what fits in the explorer mould.

M/Y Storm

the most recent Darwin Class launch, 32.6m M/Y Storm

In the past, expedition yachts were mostly refitted commercial vessels; tugs or fishery vessels, for example. Many owners still enjoy taking on a conversion project. The owner of 2013’s M/Y Enigma XK (ex-Norna) was attracted to the 71m fisheries vessel’s capability, strength and history. Similarly, the owner of M/Y Sherkhan, Jan Verkerk’s latest project is a retrofitted 1973 icebreaker called M/Y Legend (ex-Giant), destined for charters in Antarctica.

Open for an owner through Edmiston and under construction at Norwegian shipyard, Vard, Project Kilkea is a striking conversion from Bannenberg & Rowell that will transform an 82m offshore support ship into a luxury world explorer. “Kilkea in her partly-built state already has a pretty unique look with her pronounced ‘cab forward’ stance,” says Dickie Bannenberg. “Coupled with that you have the astonishing real estate of the huge deck and tank area. The space available is exciting and allows us to pencil in features like double-height lounges, research zones and a beach club cum-training-area-cum-workshop.” With accommodation for 36 guests, she is designed to be self-sufficient for up to 30 days and will have an Ice Class C hull for light ice conditions.

Today, clients are not limited to taking on a project though or to liking the typically ‘sturdy’ look of many converted explorers. A growing number of shipyards are offering dedicated, well-conceived explorer ranges that embody a refined explorer aesthetic. Mike Simpson points to Sanlorenzo’s 460 EXP series as an example. Two have already been launched, with a further five sold to buyers across the globe; USA, Russia, Mexico, China and the EU. Interestingly, the first 460 EXP, 42m M/Y Moka, was delivered to an Asian owner, who plans to circumnavigate the globe. “He has a great interest in water sports and wanted a stylish, rugged yacht that combined the comfort of a superyacht with the ability to carry many toys,” Simpson explains. “The 460 EXP ticked all the boxes. As the project progressed, the flexibility of the Sanlorenzo team saw the owner’s ideas about what he could carry and the places he could explore grow. In the end, the yacht was extended by over four meters to accommodate a mini submarine and a helicopter.”

SeaXplorer SX90

The SeaXplorer SX90 has an icebreaking stern and reinforced Polar Class hull

For designer Sergio Cutolo of Hydro Tec, the more compact size (under 500GT) of displacement yacht is well suited to the explorer model as they provide extraordinary volume in relation to size. With Italian yard Cantiere delle Marche, Cutolo has designed a range of explorer yachts called the Darwin Class. Built for long range cruising and ocean voyages, the Darwins, ranging from 26m to 32.6m, are sturdy, safe and entirely customizable. The most recent launch was 32.6 M/Y Storm, delivered last year to a British owner. “The success of this series is due to the perfect balance between design and function,” says Cutolo. “The ‘home’ feeling you get when you step on board is so important.”

For those looking for boundless travel, the design check-list is long and very specific; suitable yachts are limited to a few. “On a true expedition yacht there are some key features,” says Rob McCallum, co-founder of EYOS Expeditions, a company that arranges yacht expeditions to some of the most remote places on earth. “The hull and propulsion installation should be built according to the Polar Class regulation with the capability to break through the ice. Light ice reinforcement (for example, Ice Class 1C) is not always enough. Their needs to extra storage space for expedition equipment, provisions, specialist staff and guides so you can explore the remotest coasts and islands with no shore support. When you ‘get away from it all’, you need to be completely self-sufficient.”

Putting this in perspective, most yachts are fitted with a seven- to 10-day garbage capacity, a two- to three-week fuel capacity and limited provision storage space. While explorer yachts as we know them today offer slightly longer periods of autonomy, more storage and are more robust that your typical ‘white yacht’, they are usually not up to an expedition somewhere like the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

Virpack Sketches

sketches and mood boards for the Dutch studio, Virpack’s, latest explorer yacht design, M/Y Point Break

With these crucial specs in mind, last year Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyard partnered with EYOS Expeditions and Azure Naval Architects to design the ultimate luxury expedition yacht: the SeaXplorer. “This is the first time I know of that an expedition vessel has been designed from the point of view of a practitioner,” says McCallum. “A lot of the attributes of the SeaXplorer have come from the experience of hundreds of EYOS expeditions on dozens of vessels. We provided over 150 design suggestions for the SeaXplorer.” Available in 65m, 90m and 100m versions, the SeaXplorer will offer 40-day autonomy, a hidden helicopter hanger and be the first yacht to meet the new Polar Code Standards, which comes into force in 2017. Importantly, unlike many flashy explorer concepts on the market, it is 100 per cent ready to be built.

One of Vripack’s latest explorer projects, Point Break, has been created for two brothers looking for a yacht to help them surf and explore the most beautiful places in the world. Point Break is packed with toys and features for the brothers, their children and their dogs; surfboards and kites, even snowboards and skateboards. This is going to be a family-orientated yacht for cosy get-togethers and socialising in between adventuring. “The most unique feature is the water ballast wing tank,” says Hoekstra with a smile. “When there are no wave breaks or wind, the captain can put her in full speed diesel-electric mode to fill up this tank, which will sink the stern creating a great wake that the the brothers can surf on behind the boat.”

Survival at sea and sophistication hardly seem to go together, but there is no need for luxury or comfort to be compromised on a capable expedition yacht. “A vessel’s looks shouldn’t be determined by its capability,” says McCallum. “You can have a very capable vessel that is also very good looking.” Prime examples of beautifully capable yachts are Lürssen’s M/Y Octopus, a yacht that EYOS has taken through the North West Passage three times, and M/Y Latitude, designed by Vripack, also a two-time traverser of the North West Passage. Neither would look out of place in St Barths, but have taken guests, owners and scientists to the far corners of the globe. It would be difficult to tell the more sturdy exteriors from the interiors of most explorer yachts. Designer Katharina Raczek of the eponymously named Hamburg studio has recently been working on the interior refit of a 100m+ explorer yacht and has been cutting no corners in terms of materials, comfort or the fine art installed on board. “Just because the yacht is an explorer, doesn’t mean it needs to feel like a research ship,” she says.

For most UHNWIs, privacy is one of the greatest luxuries. As more travellers seek to get as far away from crowded hotspots as possible, it makes sense that their yachts are capable of taking them where ever they wish, safely, reliably and luxuriously. Owners and luxury travellers increasingly want no barriers to their experiences and with explorer yachts offering the ability to go the distance (and no longer limited to the realms of converted tugboats), it seems that the age of the explorer may be here to stay.

On Your Doorstep

You don’t need to take your explorer yacht all the way to Antarctica to experience something remote and special; there is plenty to see within easy reach of Asia. Dan Tookey of Henry Cookson Adventures, creators of tailored luxury adventures and experiences, highlights three of their top explorer yacht destinations in the region.

Kamchatka

Largely closed to tourists for military reasons since the Russians explored it in the 17th century (half of the peninsular is still controlled by the army), the area is now opening up for the intrepid. Washed by the Bering and Okhotsk seas, the area is home to 28 active volcanoes and 160 extinct ones. Mineral hot water springs and geysers are found at the eastern part of the peninsular, while hundreds of glaciers line the mountains. Keep a look out for wildlife: bobcats, sables, minks, wolves, foxes and brown bears all live here. This is a difficult area in which to operate, and permits and permissions must be sought from the army to bring in an expedition yacht. However, the rewards of such effort are rich.

When to go: July to September

Australia’s Kimberley Coast

Travelling down the Kimberley coast can be a truly indulgent experience. To fully experience this diamond coast, we would recommend an expedition yacht capable of carrying at least one helicopter, depending on the number of guests. Before heading in to the lush rivers, from your yacht we can arrange scuba diving with humpback whales, manta rays, dolphins and dugongs. Motor up to the impressive dual King George Falls before sweeping away in your helicopter for a bespoke lunch looking over them. Heading up the Mitchell River you will spot crocodiles basking semi-submerged in the mangroves. Time can be spent chipping fresh black-lip oysters from the rocks to enjoy with a squeeze of lemon and we will introduce you to the taste of pearl meat.

When to go: March – September

Tasmania

Tasmania is home to five national parks and two World Heritage areas making it a pristine environment to explore. Based from a yacht, we would recommend exploring the southeastern part of the island, using helicopters and/or light aircraft to penetrate its inner areas. Once in the remote parks you will be guided by experts and rangers through the beautiful landscape. You’ll stop at remote dining locations and sleep in bespoke African-style safari camps that have been flown in and erected specifically for your trip. Using tender vessels, you can go up the narrow tributaries with local ecologists and conservationists in search of endemic wildlife including the Tasmanian devil, the Eastern quoll, pademelons and the shy bettong. Peaceful cruises along the coastline can be contrasted with adrenaline-fuelled adventures through the island’s canyons and rapids. We can arrange quad-bike journeys and races to remote farms and vineyards for wonderful private culinary experiences.

When to go: November – February

This article was first published in Yacht Style Magazine.

Story Credits

Text by Angela Audretsch