Basrah Breeze was built in 1981 by Danish shipyard Helsingor Vaerft for then president of Iraq Saddam Hussein and was launched as Qadissiyat Saddam (the name is a reference to a 7th century battle in which Arabs triumphed over Persia). The yacht's current captain - Hussein Ghazi Khalifa said the cost of yacht at that time was $25 million, but now it would cost approximately $100 million to build such a superyacht.Saddam Hussein’s 82-metre superyacht Basrah Breeze was recently used by Iraqi marine researchers from the University of Basrah’s Marine Science Center to explore the changing Persian Gulf. The Basrah Breeze came to Basra in 2010 with the government ownership, but she was rarely used since then. In the year 2014 professors at the university asked the government to allow them to use the yacht as part of their research fleet.The Basrah Breeze was fitted with marble-tiled bathrooms, numerous guest cabins and a large presidential suite. The superyacht’s indulgent interior then has been modified to accommodate Iraqi scientists but much of the original decor still remains. Saddam Hussein was never able to enjoy the yacht because of the war with Iran and she was left moored in Oman for many years. In the middle 1980's Hussein gave her as a gift to King Fahd bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. The yacht then changed hands several more times before ending up under the ownership of a Cayman Islands company. Following the execution of Saddam Hussein the Cayman Islands company tried to sell the yacht in 2007, but documents were discovered that legally confirmed it to still be an Iraqi vessel. Following a difficult legal battle the Iraqi government was able to claim ownership.The king size bed in Saddam Hussein's superyacht is made, the silk curtains around it have been drawn back and, in the gold-rimmed bathroom next door, a barber's chair awaits its occupant. But then Iraqi president never boarded the 82-metre "Basrah Breeze" built for him and now its amenities will be enjoyed by the pilots who guide shipping in and out of the port of Basra, the main southern city.Equipped with a presidential suite comprising Saddam's private quarters, dining rooms and bedrooms, as well as 17 smaller guest rooms, 18 cabins for crew and a clinic, the opulently equipped and decorated vessel was put on the market for $30 million. The government failed to find a buyer, and for the past two years the Basrah Breeze has served Basra University, hosting researchers on trips to study marine life. "The presidential yacht is in a very good condition. Its two engines and generators are functioning," said Abdul-Zahra Abdul-Mahdi Saleh, its captain. "It only needs periodic maintenance."But authorities have now decided to moor it permanently as a hotel and recreation facility for the southern port's pilots, many of whom live in distant cities. "The port needs the boat to be a station where sea pilots can rest," said Basra port spokesman Anmar al-Safi.While the Basrah Breeze survived the turmoil of Saddam's decline and demise, its sister ship "al-Mansur" - which he also never boarded - suffered a different fate, sinking in the Shatt al-Arab waterway that passes through Basra after it was hit by U.S. planes and then stripped bare in the chaotic aftermath of his overthrow. As regards Basrah Breeze, Basra museum has not given up hope of persuading the port to allow it to dock the vessel next to its exhibition halls in one of Saddam's former palaces overlooking the Shatt al-Arab.
May 23, 2018
Abeking & Rasmussen’s superyacht Aviva is a winner at this year´s World Superyacht Awards which took place on May 19, in Florence. The judges dedicated the famous Neptune Statue in the form of a Judges´ Special Award for this very special yacht.“Aviva is the result of highest workmanship and best communication between the owner and his team during the short building period of less than three years. Together with Toby Silverton and Reymond Langton Design we are very proud to win this important award.” said Till von Krause – Sales Director Yacht.The extraordinary cooperation with Reymond Langton Design already created several award-winning superyachts.Aviva had already convinced also the judges of the Boat International Design & Innovation Award with her special lifestyle feature: a full-size padel tennis court (20m x 10m x 6.65m) inside, stretching over two decks. “It is not only a lifestyle change for the owner but also to crew as this is also the largest gym of any yacht. The crew is encouraged to play with the owner and guests, and when the court is not in use for padel the net can be removed and the crew plays football and use other exercise equipment in the space, it is after all a sports hall.” confirms Reymond Langton Design.With this giant sports ground Abeking & Rasmussen has managed to live up a new trend. More and more customers are attaching great importance on travel around the world while practicing their favorite sports. This yacht harmonizes all needs in a perfect way.
May 21, 2018
The American actor and film producer Pierce Brosnan, 65 and his wife Keely Shaye Smith, 54 were spotted on the superyacht Carla D'or during the Cannes Film Festival. Carla D'or is a 20-metre motor yacht, built by Princess Yachts in 2003. The yacht was sold in 2016 for €305,000. Yacht charter price for Carla D'or is approximately €3,000/day.The German model, television personality Heidi Klum, 44 and Tokio Hotel guitarist and her new boyfriend Tom Kaulitz, 28 were spotted on the 21-metre yacht Black Star, which is from Prestige Yachts 680S series. While sailing in Cannes, they even got their pizza delivered on the Italian-built Lomac tender straight to the yacht. Charter price of Black Star yacht is starting from €4,500/day.
May 21, 2018
Congratulations to the Owner, Captain Michael Gooding and crew of motor yacht Silentworld as the recipient of the inaugural Voyager Award at Australia’s annual Superyacht Awards.The winning 10-day itinerary undertaken in January 2017 was one of discovery of Queensland’s Kenn Reef in which the yacht set out with the Owner, guests and representatives of the Australian Maritime Museum to seek ship wrecks previously undiscovered. They were successful in finding four wrecks over seven sites on Kenn Reef which has laid unseen by humans since the 19th century. The largest wreck they found was that of Dutch-built S/Y Delta wrecked in 1854.“The Owner of Silentworld wants to discover and preserve Australia’s maritime history and in doing so set up the Silentworld Foundation. This journey was a part of the Foundation’s, Owner’s and crew’s effort to paint the nautical picture of indigenous and earlier colonised Australia. We set out to find the Bona Vista and the Hope, the boat the crew of the Bona Vista built with wreckage to escape, but we didn’t find either. However, we did find one wreck thought to be that of a known ship which was not wrecked at Kenn Reef so that adds another new mystery to be solved,” explained Silentworld’s Captain, Michael Gooding who collected the Award on behalf of the Owner.The judges felt the cruise included some destinations and experiences in Australia not usually presented. Kenn Reef is situated 280 nautical miles north east of the Queensland town, Gladstone, and sits off the continental shelf beyond the confines of the Great Barrier Reef.“Australia is an amazing superyacht destination not only for its natural beauty but also for the diversity of experiences which Silentworld’s winning itinerary perfectly exemplifies,” offered Superyacht Australia’s Director, MaryAnne Edwards.Silentworld, a 40-metre Oassive, is one of the most prolific charter yachts available in Australia, which and Ocean Alliance has represented the yacht for more than two years. She accommodates 12 guests for charters, in 6 cabins, from as far north as Papua New Guinea to Tasmania in the south plus the whole South Pacific. Her conservation and research enthusiastic Owner named her after Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s 1956 movie, The Silent World, setting the tone and direction for this superyacht.“We cannot think of a more deserving yacht to receive this newly created award. Silentworld offers the levels of service expected and delivered in Europe. Yet the Owner, Captain and crew curiosity and genuine love of Australia’s marine environment, nautical pedigree and maritime provenance offer guests coming to Australia something truly different whilst simultaneously giving back through the Foundation,” explained Ocean Alliance’s Managing Director Mr Joachim Howard.Silentworld is currently lying in Tahiti and will return to Australia’s east coast in November in preparation for the festive season.
May 24, 2018
Barely cracking the first half of the world's 100 largest yachts, Aviva became the first yacht to have an indoor padel tennis court. Built for a UK billionaire, the 98-meter Aviva is also the largest yacht ever built by Abeking & Rasmussen. The yacht is currently anchored by the Ross Dock picnic area near the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Abeking & Rasmussen’s superyacht Aviva is a winner at this year´s World Superyacht Awards which took place on May 19, in Florence.Photo by Adam JefferyLaunched in January 2017, Aviva was designed by British design studio, Reymond Langton, morphing into their largest creation to date. Boasting large interior volumes throughout its hull, Aviva also manages to feature some exterior space to take in the sun. Its sheer scale required Abeking & Rasmussen to create a special system to launch the yacht with a special pontoon.Delivered within 33 months of signing the contract, Aviva was commissioned by UK billionaire Joe Lewis, currently valued by Forbes at $5 billion. His fourth superyacht named Aviva, Lewis' former yacht was a 68-meter version of his current flagship also built by Abeking & Rasmussen. Extensively used as a floating home and office by the investment mogul, Aviva's volume would be impressive for any yacht.Photo by Adam JefferyThe powerful looking hull is the result of new research and testing which ensures superior seakeeping abilities combined with a 20% decrease in drag. Less engine output is required, fuel consumption is reduced and the maximum speed is a full 20 knots. A very special feature is the hybrid drive system: it allows Aviva to run at up to 11 knots without the use of the main engines, using electric motors only.Aviva's main feature, however, became an indoor, full-sized padel tennis court. Stretching across a length of 20 meters and a width of 10 meters, the court area goes up 6.65 meters high, a space that would be difficult to fit into any type of yacht. Aviva's 5,000GT of interior volume, however, allowed to blend in this space without compromises as to the size of the court.Photo by Adam Jeffery"It is not only a lifestyle change for the owner but also for the crew as this is also the largest gym of any yacht." the yacht's designers' commented. "The crew is encouraged to play with the owner and guests and when the court is not in use for padel, the net can be removed and the crew plays football and use other exercise equipment in the space. It is after all a sports hall."Perfectly lit through lights on the ceiling, this indoor court sits amidst the yacht's hull and stretches down to the bottom of its draft. In addition to the padel tennis court is a small lounging and viewing area up a series of stairs. Hidden away behind a net to protect the ball from flying away, the viewing area can also be used for gym equipment whilst a game is being played. "The owner is adamant that this is the best padel tennis court in the world, period!" the studio continued. Photo by Adam JefferyIn terms of exterior relaxation areas, Aviva features a circular set of lounging pads up on her sun deck as well as small, hidden away lounging pads towards the yacht's bridge. Powered by an eco-friendly system, the 98-meter can reach a top speed of 20 knots and cruise at 11 knots by using only electric power. This is achieved, in part, thanks to her innovative hull design couple with an electric propulsion system.Photo by Adam JefferyApart from her sundeck, most of the areas on the 98-meter superyacht are found inside, which gives it tremendous volume required for a live onboard owner. An exterior lounging area can, however, still be found aft of the main, upper and third decks with a series of lounging chairs and sun pads. A swimming platform also opens up onto the sea, creating a beach club area, her tenders being launched through side doors."Featuring a fresh and dynamic contemporary exterior design, unique, highly personalized layout for the interior and a cutting edge technical platform, Aviva is intended as a home away from home, and as a result the layout moves away from current trends to maximise the spaces that will be used the most, and create a welcome, inviting atmosphere, with a combination of spacious, open social lounges alongside more intimate and discreet areas for dining, working and relaxation." commented Andrew Langton. "The interior design features a number of avant-garde architectural elements and details, and uses a rich combination of fabric and leathers in light, warm tones."Throughout the yacht, Aviva features a modern design with sleek shapes couple with an extensive use of glass and stainless steel. Opting for a clear colour scheme with sprinkles of vivd soft furnishings, Aviva's exterior and interior look follows that of Lewis' former 68m Aviva."Communication and information are critical to me." Lewis said in an interview with regards to his requirements for his floating office. "To be effective, I need reliable phones and internet, these have improved much over the past few years, but, it is too expensive, too slow and not consistently reliable. Aviva is more than an office; it is also my home for much of the year. So for me, it is relaxing working from home, wherever Aviva may be in the world."Currently valued at $5 billion by Forbes, Joe Lewis sits as the 5th richest man in the United Kingdom. Chairman of the Tavistock Group with investments in over 200 companies, the 81 year-old started his career in the catering business in London, joining his father's company at the age of 15 in 1958. Initially making his wealth by selling that business in 1979, Lewis moved into currency trading, switching his residence to the Bahamas. Teaming up with George Soros in 1992, the pair bet against the pound and earned exponential returns with Lewis reportedly pocketing even more than Soros.Lewis' portfolio now includes Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur as well as Lake Nona, a fast growing development in Orlando, Florida. In December 2016, he paid $165 million to acquire the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six hotel in Fort Lauderdale through Tavistock. In addition to this, Lewis owns stakes in UK's largest pub operator, Mitchell's and Butlers as well as luxury club resort Albany.In a deal profiled by the Guardian, Lewis was able to back a Christie's art auction for the Ganz collection, guaranteeing a minimum sales price of $168 million and, eventually, splitting the $38 million net profit with the auction house when the sale fetched $206 million weeks later. "Being a trader means that you are wrong at the very least three times out of 10, and that is very hard." Lewis once told Fortune magazine.Prior to taking deliver of the 98-meter flagship, Lewis' largest yacht was the 68-meter Aviva delivered by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2007. A smaller version of his current yacht, the 68-meter featured a similar focus towards interior volume and acted as Lewis' floating office with a Bloomberg terminal and several trading screens onboard.In 1998, Lewis had taken delivery of 62-meter Feadship, Lady Aviva, which later caught fire in the Red Sea. The yacht was eventually salvaged by serial yacht owner, Dennis Washington, who transformed the yacht into Attessa III. Lewis' second Aviva became the 60-meter Oceanco built in 2004 as Alfa Four and now known as Sea Pearl.
May 25, 2018