Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, some Russians were able to amass vast fortunes putting them amongst the richest men in the world. According to Forbes, Russia currently has 77 billionaires despite the country's current economic crisis.
In the past two decades, these oligarchs have been instrumental to the development of the yachting industry, setting a new benchmark as to what could be considered to be a megayacht.
In 1990, the world of megayachts was mainly dominated by Middle Eastern Royal families and Greek magnates such as Stavros Niarchos (commissioned the Atlantis and Atlantis II). The 147m Prince Abdulaziz, owned by the Saudi Royal family, was at the time the largest superyacht in the world.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of the megayacht industry however started to change with a new influx of owners from Russia and the US tech scene. From 1992 to 2005, 20 superyachts over 80 meters in length were delivered, surpassing the 19 megayachts delivered from 1865 to 1992.
These new megayachts famously included Paul Allen's Octopus, David Geffen's Rising Sun, Berezovsky's Radiant but also the yachts that came to be known in the field as Abramovich's Navy consisting of Sussurro, Ecstasea, Le Grand Bleu, Luna, Pelorus and later Eclipse.
As the financial crisis hit the sector in 2008, the small and middle-size yachting market was severely hit but while many thought the megayacht industry would collapse, it continued its exponential growth. Between 2008 and 2016, a further 48 megayachts have been built, doubling the previous decades' amount of yachts over 80m delivered.
Not only were there suddenly more megayachts but their size also grew with the 162.5m Eclipse being delivered in 2010 for Mr. Abramovich. This growth in uncertain times was once again, in most part, brought by an expanding class of Russian oligarchs.
Serene, first yacht built by Ficantieri was ordered by Yuri Sheffler before being sold in 2015 to a Middle Eastern buyer. M/Y A was famously commissioned by Andrei Melnichenko and delivered in 2008, same year as Lurssen delivered the first 110m Dilbar to Mr Usmanov.
As many began to think that this segment would finally collapse with a weak recovery followed by recession in Russia, demand did not go away. In 2014, 104m Quantum Blue was delivered to Sergey Galitskiy and 140m Ocean Victory to Viktor Rashnikov.
In the summer of 2016, a new Dilbar, which is now speculated to be the largest yacht by gross tonnage, was delivered to Mr Usmanov. As for Abramovich's Navy, it has now been split up with Eugene Schvidler now owning Le Grand Bleu, Farkhad Akhmedov buying Luna whilst Pelorus and Ecstasea were both sold to Middle Eastern buyers.
Whether this growth of the megayacht sector will continue is questionable due to renewed turmoil in Russia's economy. Melnichenko's newest 142m S/Y A project however does seem to be a good indicator that there may be one day a 200m yacht.
Here below are some of the most advanced and industry-leading yachts that were commissioned by Russian oligarchs over the past two decades.
162.5m Eclipse - Roman Abramovich
Photo by Julien Hubert
The 162.5m yacht was built by by German shipyard Blohm & Voss in 2010 and held the title of the world's largest private yacht until 2013, when the 180 metre Azzam stole the crown. Although not all the details of the megayacht are unveiled, it is known that her interiors feature designs by the renowned London-based team at Terence Disdale Design. It is speculated that Eclipse boasts a military-grade missile defense system, armor plating and bulletproof windows, while hosting three helipads, a private theater and a fitness center.
156m Dilbar - Alisher Usmanov
Photo by @superyachts_gibraltar
World's largest yacht by a volume, the 156m Dilbar was delivered to Alisher Usmanov in May 2016. Confidentiality is upheld to the highest degree at Lurssen, which celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2015, but it is understood that Dilbar's exterior design comes from Espen Oeino with interiors by Andrew Winch. It is also know the yacht has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. The Russian oligarch has another Lurssen superyacht, 110m Ona, that was previously named Dilbar as well.
140m Ocean Victory - Viktor Rashnikov
Delivered by Fincantieri in 2014, Ocean Victory is designed by Espen Oeino with interior spaces created by the late Alberto Pinto together with Sessa Romboli. Owned by Viktor Rashnikov, the vessel accommodates up to 36 guests. As with many other yachts of this size, she is packed with alluring features such as 6 pools spread out over her 7 decks, an internal floodable dock to house her 14m tender,two helipads and a vast spa area.
119m A - Andrey Melnichenko
M/Y A, owned by Andrey Melnichenko is reportedly now for sale. A was built by Blohm+Voss in 2008. Designed by Philippe Starck, the vessel remains the most talked-about yacht on the seas. She is capable of accommodating 14 guests in 7 luxurious cabins, as well as a crew of 42. Mr Melnichenko's second yacht, the 142.8m S/Y A, is being built at the Nobiskrug shipyard in Germany. According to the Daily Mail, the new project will cost close to 450 million dollars.
99m Madame Gu - Andrei Skoch
According to Forbes Russia, the 99m superyacht belongs to Andrei Skoch. Madame Gu was built by Feadship in 2013 and delivered after four years of construction. Andrew Winch styled her exterior, whilst De Voogt was responsible for the naval architecture. With perfect proportions, it's hard to imagine that her tonnage exceeds 2,900 GRT. The interior, also designed by Andrew Winch, accommodates twelve guests in six cabins. The crew quarters are composed of 18 cabins for 36 members. This twin screw superyacht is powered by quadruple 3,600kW MTU engines providing a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 22 knots.
95.15m Palladium - Mikhail Prokhorov
With an original design by Michael Leach, Palladium, formerly Project Orca, is thought to be owned by Mikhail Prokhorov. Palladium is a 95.15m (312.17 ft) luxury motor yacht, built by Blohm + Voss in 2010. With a beam of 16.00m and a draft of 4.40m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure.
88.5m Nirvana - Vladimir Potanin
Built by Oceanco in 2012, Nirvana was the star of the Monaco Yacht Show the following year busting an aquarium aft and a set of revolutionary features. Owned by Vladimir Potanin, the yacht features a jungle-themed interior design. Nirvana also hosts two spa pools and extensive lounging accommodations. Designed by Sam Sorgiovanni, the yacht has a transpacific range and a maximum speed of 19.5 knots. Nirvana was previously listed for sale asking 199 million euros but was supposedly taken off the market without any sale occurring.
The second hull of the 42-metre E-Volution hybrid sloop has been launched in the water at Perini Navi Istanbul facility. It is the second launch of that particular model within a year, with construction still in progress on both hulls.With ‘E’ standing for electric the 42-metre E-volution was first presented at the Monaco Yacht Show 2017. The vessel features a hybrid propulsion engine system, combining diesel engine with eco-friendly electric motor and contributing to the yard's course on environmental sustainability. While the yacht’s naval architecture was designed by US-based Reichel-Pugh studio, the head of Perini Navi in-house design department developed the yacht’s exterior styling. The 42-metre comes with aluminium hull and carbon fibre superstructure.Within 275GT interior, the design concept trademarks a foldable transom door, giving staircase access to both sides of a sea-level alcove. A sail drum storage is situated below deck, whilst carbon fibre helm pods lay at the aft.Accommodation on-board will be provided to a total of eight guests across four cabins, while the crew quarters will accommodate seven people.The diesel-electric system will allow silent cruising with a range of 3,200 nautical miles at the speed of 10 knots, given that the yacht's total fuel capacity will make 20,000 litres.The vessel will now be moved to Viareggio for completion. She remains on track for a 2021 delivery. Meanwhile, the builder has recently sold the first unit of the 47-metre sailing yacht of the E-volution range.
December 6, 2019
Financial news source Milano Finanza has reported that Italian yard Sanlorenzo has been on track for its trading debut on Italian Stock Exchange on December 10.Sanlorenzo CEO Massimo PerottiDuring the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019, CEO and majority shareholder of Sanlorenzo, Massimo Perotti, made an official announcement about the company’s IPO plans by the end of the year. Now, the release date for the Milan Stock Exchange has been announced. Meanwhile, Perotti has been recently named the Entrepreneur of the Year in Italy.According to Milano Finanza, Massimo Perotti has completed the company’s international roadshow with the share offering covered by several Italian and international investors. Among institutional investors are Kairos, Mediolanum, Fideuram and Azimut, along with JP Morgan, Amundi and Norges placing ‘heavy-hitting’ bets on Sanlorenzo.The final share price has not been revealed so far. Sanlorenzo will have 31.9% of its share capital on offer, with an indicative price of €16 to €19 per share, to a targeted valuation of €480 to €570 million.Noteworthy, Ferretti Group, one of the main competitors of Sanlorenzo, abandoned the idea of trading on the stock exchange due to unsatisfactory results of the public offering period earlier this year.
December 6, 2019
By November 2020, new superyacht marina should be completed and open for yachts on Navi Island (Fiji). Located in a 10-minute drive from Savusavu Airport, it is set to become one of the region’s first green facilities.The 150-berth Marina is conceived as one of the first eco-friendly yacht harbours in the world, by forbidding the use of disposable plastic bags on its territory. What is more, the marina and associated resort will be powered by renewable solar energy.Nawi Island Ltd’s Managing Director Mike Gann commented: We intend to be one of the first green marinas in the world. In doing so, the development on the island will be powered by renewable energy, namely solar. We are also putting in place an organic wastewater treatment system for the whole island and in addition, the company is using sustainable and organic building materials on the island.The marina’s berths will be able to welcome boats from 10 to 60 meters in length. In addition, fuel and power connections along with fire service pedestals, wastewater pump-out, ferry and taxi pontoon and a 75-tonne travel lift will be provided.The yard will offer repair and maintenance services, a hard stand, pull-up fuel and wastewater pump-out, and long-term dry storage. The marina will also comprise a hotel with a spa and sports facilities, 38 private villas and a yacht club.The works should be completed by early 2020. The official opening should take place ahead of the 2021 America's Cup yacht race held in New Zealand.
December 5, 2019
The 78-metre Full Custom superyacht project by Dutch builder Amels has touched water for the first time. The vessel is the builder’s largest superyacht in terms of interior volume. Earlier launched at Damen hull-building facility on the Danube, the 2,850 GT yacht features Espen Øino design and naval architecture and interiors by Zuretti Interior Designers. She is scheduled for completion in 2021, following transport to the AMELS outfitting yard in the Netherlands.Although several Amels superyachts including the 83-metre Here Comes The Sun and the 82-metre Ilona outdo the new-build in terms of LOA, the new Full Custom project features larger Gross Tonnage to make her the largest Amels superyacht once delivered.Espen Øino comments on the project’s details:The layout with the big pool on the upper deck with the boats below either side, but they are all hidden so you don’t see it. And of course the balconies with the direct access from the cabins out which you can spot very easily and it’s actually looking pretty amazing. The contract for construction of the vessel was signed in 2017, during the Monaco Yacht Show. Representing the owner, Andrew Tree of Superyacht Technical Services commented:This truly custom yacht, with stunning design both inside and out, could only be achieved with the greatest collaboration, having the very best of European design and the highest quality of construction and management.
December 4, 2019
The largest private sailing ketch in the world, the 86-metre superyacht Aquijo has been seen arriving in Antigua to take part in Antigua Charter Yacht Show taking place December 4-9.Video: Dutch YachtingThe 6th largest sailing superyacht in the world, Aquijo was built in 2016 out of collaboration between two Dutch shipyards, Oceanco and Vitters. Vitters developed a custom steering system specially for Aquijo. It transmits the hydrodynamic forces on the rudder blades directly to the steering wheels on the flybridge, thus providing the helmsman with immediate feedback and a feeling for how the yacht is moving through the water. German studio Dölker + Voges was responsible for her interior design, whilst Tripp Design Naval Architecture styled her exterior. The yacht comprises 4 decks and accommodates up to 12 guests across 17 cabins. On-board, Aquijo offers space and amenities normally seen on motor yachts, comprising guest elevator, interior and exterior dining for up to 24 people, 3 outdoor bars and a beach club with steam room, sauna and ocean view Jacuzzi. craftsmanship.The package of Aquijo’s toys and tenders includes and does not confine to 3 tender boats, 1 jet ski, 4 kayaks, 2 wakeboard, 3 water skis, 3 stand up paddle boards, 8 diving packs etc.Featuring a mast of of 90 metres, Aquijo boasts a maximum speed of 17.5 knots.The vessel is available for charter from EUR 450,000 per week in winter season.Photos via Y.CO.
December 4, 2019