Ocean Alliance has hosted a select group of international charter agents, travel designers and media representatives onboard motor yacht Oneworld to discover the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. The outstanding feedback from the guests highlighted a greater appreciation of the destination, delight in its vibrancy and a desire to protect and celebrate this UNESCO World Heritage Listed location.
Among the six hand-picked guests were three representatives of world’s leading brokerage houses - Camper & Nicholsons (France), Northrop & Johnson (USA), and the Luxury Charter Group. Thanks to the growing interest for superyacht bookings in the travel agency world, the group included a representative from influential Australian high-end inbound agency, The Tailor. A journalist contributor to Forbes, Bloomberg and Michelin guides flew in from New York with Tourism Australia’s support, to join The CEO Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief.
Setting out from Hamilton Island, the five-day familiarisation trip took in the highlights of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef from both above, on and below the water’s surface. The invaluable support received from Tourism Australia allowed guests access engaging experiences alongside Oneworld’s unique offering in the domestic charter market.
These wide and varied experiences included cuddling a koala; wandering along the iconic Whitehaven Beach on the south east coastline of Whitsunday Island (recently voted the best island in the world by Condé Nast’s 2018 readers survey); a trek to the heights of Hamilton Island’s Passage Peak to expansive views of the entire region under an iconic Australian crisp blue sky; undertaking a scenic seaplane flight over the islands and reef, spotting mantarays and turtles under the clear surface; diving into the depths from the aft deck during a brief yet memorable Outer Reef experience; and an adrenaline-fueled slide down the inflatable slide at Chance Bay.
“It was wonderful to experience first-hand the latest addition to the Australian charter fleet. Oneworld is a beautiful, well-equipped Majesty 100 that delivers a premium charter experience. The Crew and Chef were so professional and the service, the food and the ambience were exceptional. I have a renewed enthusiasm for the Whitsundays and the Reef, thanks to the amazing Oneworld charter. We were able to explore the region's picturesque islands, from the most remote and untouched bays to the 5-star luxury of qualia and the boutiques, restaurants and attractions of Hamilton Island,” said Jeni Tidmarsh of Luxury Charter Group.
The compact trip also included cruising out to the Great Barrier Reef, in a short 3-hour motoring passage, and taking the opportunity to dive on the reef guided by Reef Safari’s insightful Instructor.
“'I've dived in many places in the world and the clarity on the reef was exceptional at the Stepping Stones dive site. I was so excited to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, and my expectations were way surpassed. I was blown away. The team at Reef Safari were wonderful guides, pointing out different types of fish and, after our dive, giving a great mini lesson on the fascinating life of reef and coral,” said journalist Sophie Friedman.
The Stepping Stones are a unique feature of Bait Reef. They are made up of 18 or more flat topped, thus the name, coral pinnacles lined up in a row. At the Southern Face shallow waters are dominated by flat terrain completely covered by hard corals with the odd sand patch. Large turtles, manta rays and some pelagic fishes such as mackerel and barracuda are often seen cruising along the drop-off.
“I recently read a quote by renowned marine biologist, Sylvia Earle, where she said ‘Please get out into wild places…. And get under the sea. Look at creatures and how they live. It's hard to be reckless with nature if you have spent time in a wild place. So be a curious explorer!’ and without doubt, we now have six of the most committed ambassadors for the reef and chartering a superyacht in the Whitsunday Islands,” said Laurie Foulon, Charter Experience Manager of Ocean Alliance.
The familiarisation trip wasn’t all at sea as the group had the opportunity to discover Hamilton Island and its leading resort, qualia, for a private tour of its private pavilions and sumptuous hosted lunch. The final leg was returning to Airlie Beach on the mainland of Australia, whilst Tourism Australia’s representative Ingrid Sellarulo guided the group through the Signature Experiences program, followed by Captain Matt Baily who imparted his immense knowledge of the area and secret spots for beach BBQs and exploration.
Oneworld was launched onto the Australian superyacht charter market earlier in the year. Built to the exacting standards of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the yacht is available for charter along the east coast of Australia offering guests a quintessentially Australian experience on a leading superyacht.
As superyachts are limited to no more than 12 guests, the impact of international guests discovering a destination as unique and sensitive as the Great Barrier Marine Park is very low. Whilst the tourism expenditure is high yielding, a recent Economic Impact study undertaken by peak industry body, Superyacht Australia, calculated that superyacht guests spend AUD$7500 per guest per day ashore.
“Our partners from this trip onboard Oneworld will return to their desk invigorated by the experience of cruising on a superyacht on the Queensland coast. Their recommendations will result in discerning travellers selecting the destination for their next holiday bringing tourism dollars to this regional centre not to mention a heightened awareness, appreciation and celebration of the reef. We see it often, guests return from a reef experience with altered perspectives and committed to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef,” offered Joachim Howard, Managing Director of Ocean Alliance.
Piracy, an extremely rare, yet often talked about hazard in the boating space, has yielded few solutions other than armed security whilst cruising in dangerous areas. The real estate market has come up decades ago with the concept of a panic room where owners could hide in the event of an armed robbery. How could this actually work in yachting?Simon Rowland, CEO of Veritas International Consultants, indicates that while the general concern with security matters in the world is growing, it is not surprising that these issues transmit into the yachting industry. “If you go back five years, it would have been a hard justification to have a panic room on board, but now it is becoming more of a requirement,” claims Rowland.There are two significant functions that a panic room should perform. It should not only support life, but also enable communication between the sheltered ones and the outer world. That is why the consultants from Veritas company normally recommend to locate a panic room at the crew mess, and it is important to think over all security measures on design stage. It is also cheaper to equip a safe room within that area, as a lot of important facilities such as water supply and toilets are already fit into the mess room.However, the locations, where a completely secure room can be equipped, are not limited to the crew mess. Rowland reports that they have advised several clients to equip their room or bathroom as secondary safe rooms, so that they could hide themselves in case they feel anxious or if the boat is being robbed.It is natural, that most of the owners would not stay on board while the boat passes through dangerous zones, therefore panic rooms are in a greater degree a measure aimed to protect the crew rather than the owners. The yachts themselves might be comparatively vulnerable against piracy, as conventional defense mechanisms applied to many vessels do not seem that effective. For instance, many rely on razor wire, but in fact this measure would not normally prevent the criminals from getting on board.That is why the need of taking security measures on-board is becoming more vital these days. Rowland stresses, that it is much more common to have a fully equipped safe room on larger vessels of 70 metres and above, as it might be quite problematic to fit such room onto a smaller yacht. All in all, the danger of piracy or any other form of attack on a large vessel is very low in our time. Nonetheless, panic rooms have become one of the latest trends the owners would not want to overlook in their superyacht design.
February 14, 2019
Oceanco’s new project currently named Y716 has been demonstrated for the first time earlier today, moved within the company’s facility at Albasserdam, Netherlands. Official launch and delivery of Y716 to her owner is scheduled later this year.Photo by Tom Van OosanenNot so much information on the project has been revealed so far. Y716 is trademarked with aluminum superstructure featured with teak decks on a steel hull within a 14,2-metre beam. Additionally, her interior volume will make 2950 GT. Her top speed will reportedly be reached at 20 knots, with cruising speed of 18,5 knots.Photo by Tom Van OosanenThe yacht will be equipped with spa zones, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, beach club, underwater lights system, tender garage and helicopter hangar. Accommodation capacity will make 23 guests and up to 33 crew members onboard. Photo by Tom Van OosanenIn contrast to her 90-metre forerunner Dar, that featured extravagant black-and-white contrasts resembling killer whale colouration, new superyacht’s exterior designer Espen Oeino has limited her surface outfit to classical white colour.Dar (90m), OceancoY716 is announced to be the only project to be launched by Oceanco in 2019. Meanwhile, the company has received several design industry awards for their project Black Pearl.
February 13, 2019
The story behind Oceanco’s 91,5-metre luxury superyacht Equanimity takes another twist. According to Malaysian lawyer Jeremy Joseph, parties potentially interested in purchasing Equanimity can bow approach the government or 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) alongside the yachts’ broker Burgess. Burgess though retain their right to be considered an exclusive central agent. It was earlier announced, that the auction for Equanimity will take place in March 2019.Mr Joseph, who represents both 1MDB and the government, reports that prospective buyers can negotiate directly with them from that moment on. The main purpose of this decision is to increase potential sale opportunities of the vessel. At the moment, the government of Malaysia allocates $500,000 monthly for Equanimity’s maintenance, according to Bloomberg. The yacht has been reportedly remained in a good condition under a supervision of 21 crew members.Burgess is determined to sale the superyacht at a price not lower than $130,000,000, which halves her initially estimated price of $250,000,000. The main concern of potential purchasers remains the vessel’s undesirable past, that could potentially cause trouble to owners once they leave Malaysian waters, as several claims from other countries have been already levied against Equanimity. However, Sitpah Selvaratnam, consultant at Tommy Thomas Advocates and Solicitors, disproves those risks. The judicial sale would determine an official start-over of the yacht’s history and wipe out her notorious background, he claims.
February 13, 2019
44,06-metre Benetti’s yacht Diamond 145 recently presented at Cannes Yachting Festival has been announced sold. The yacht is currently under construction at the company’s Viareggio shipyard with her delivery scheduled to the beginning of 2020.The project features a 9,05-metre beam and a maximum draft of 2,28 metres, whilst her full load displacement makes 362 tonnes.Diamond 145’s exterior design concept was developed by Giorgio M. Cassette, a renowned Italian architect. In general, the project demonstrates smooth and elegant lines entwining into her particularly high hull sides and elongated line of reverse sheer. Glazed surfaces dominate within the concept, implementing two important functions: they highlight the yacht’s visual length and brighten her interiors with natural light.The vessel’s interior design was commissioned to Salvagni Architetti. The main idea was to transmit the overall concept of smooth twisted lines into inner zones and open-air recreational areas and fill the yacht’s spacious rooms with light. The motor yacht can accommodate up to 10 guests in 5 cabins, coloured in light natural palette. Meanwhile, Diamond 145’s crew accommodation capacity is limited to 7 people. The master suite is situated at the main deck’s bow area and is extended to the beam’s size. The vessel offers a variety of lounge zones featuring onboard beach club at water level in the stern.The yacht will be reaching her top speed at 15 knots with normal cruising speed of 11 knots, powered by two MAN engines of 1400 HP each. Generally, Diamond 145’s range can boasts 3,800 nautical miles. Franco Fusignani, CEO of the Bennetti Group, emphasises the significance of this contract to the company’s general course. "Diamond 145 was presented only four months ago but right from the design stage we realised it was a model with incredible potential, representing the perfect synthesis of the core features of the Benetti Displacement Class across its entire history", he comments.
February 12, 2019
According to a recent update from Zelanian yacht builder Profab Central Engineering, their current catamaran project The Beast planned for delivery in spring 2019, has been nearly completed. The Beast has been already moved from her Palmerston North build yard, and her superstructure has been joined to the hull at her new location at Loxton beach. The yacht is now being perfected with final touches, before her release for sea trials. This 39,5-metre superyacht project features a 2,3-metre draft and an 11,7-metre beam, offering a lot of space on-board, while her gross tonnage of 493 tonnes is spread upon three decks. The Beast's exterior fully-aluminum design concept was developed by LOMOcean, known among others for their work on Echo Yachts' Charley's naval architecture. One of key design features of the yacht is her large aft deck more typical for work boats. That is why The Beast has an option of storing a full range of tenders and water toys. This enables launching and retrieving of a small custom-built sport fishing yacht (13 metre), what makes it easier to reach narrow or distant spots (for instance, remote atolls). A 9,3-metre amphibious tender and a rescue boat shall be listed among other equipment options of the vessel.The yacht’s accommodation capacity amounts to 12 guests with up to ten crew members on-board. The guests can comfortably use 4 double cabins that can be easily converted into twins and a twin cabin fit with Pullman beds. Meanwhile, the interior decoration will be designed in the owners’ cooperation with Oceania Interiors studio based in New Zeland. When it comes to open-air recreational zones, they can be found on the upper deck along with a barbecue of teppanyaki style.A pair of Caterpillar C32 engines should secure extensive cruising range of The Beast, while the vessel’s total fuel capacity amounts to 76,000 litres.
February 12, 2019