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.
Tankoa Yachts has launched 50m superyacht Vertige, known as S501, at its facility in Genoa. The project, sold in February 2015 to an experienced French client, is expected to be delivered in April. Francesco Paszkowski was responsible for the concept, exterior design, as well as for the interior design in collaboration with Margherita Casprini. Despite the impressive background and success track records of the entire Tankoa management, we are extremely proud that the client, his surveyor and broker, Daniel Bussani from Aquila Yachting, decided Tankoa was the most suitable shipyard to built his new yacht after investigating a number of European buildersTankoa's CEO, Euro ContentiS501 hull number one is a six cabin yacht including main deck full beam owner's suite and vip suite, 2 vip and 2 guest cabins on the lower deck, gym, home cinema, a 7 meter tender garage among other amenities as well as floor to ceiling windows and hydraulic balconies in the owner's suite and on the aft deck.The superyacht is entirely built in aluminium light alloy 5083. Performance wise S501 M/Y Vertige in its full displacement version is offering a range of 5,000 Nautical Miles at 12 knots and 16 knots top speed. Under 500 GRT mark Vertige offers such alluring amenities as a beach club/gym in the transom, upper deck TV saloon with bar, floor to ceiling windows in the main saloon with cut down bulwarks allowing to enjoy the view, upper outdoor deck with dining table for 16 guests and wrap-around sofa for up to 20 people with a foldable TV screen.In December 2016, Tankoa Yachts has joined forces with Francesco Paszkowski to create what would be its fastest yacht to date. 58m Open concept will reach a maximum speed of 30 knots.
February 22, 2017
Last week 95.2m superyacht Kismet has been seen in Miami. She was built in 2014 by Lurssen and is owned by Shadid Khan, Pakistani-American billionaire and business tycoon, who is also the owner of the Fulham FC and Jacksonville Jaguars. The yacht's interior has been designed by Reymond Langton Design and her exterior styling is by Espen Oeino. Kismet is able to accommodate up to 12 guests in 8 staterooms, including a master suite. She is also capable of carrying up to 28 crew onboard. The superyacht's luxury amenities include a large swimming pool and Jacuzzi area, movie theatre, spa, an outdoor fireplace and winter garden deck space. As for the performance, Kismet is capable of reaching a top speed of 17 knots and cruising at 14 knots. She also features at anchor stabilizers which work at zero speed, increasing onboard comfort at anchor and on rough waters. Kismet is available for charter through Moran Yacht & Ship for a €1.2 million p/w. In December 2016, Kismet has been spotted in Jacksonville, Florida. Marinetraffic.com data shows that now the superyacht is en route to Barcelona.Photos by Ron Raffety
February 22, 2017
Fincantieri and Ferretti Group announced that they have reached a cooperation agreement with the goal of developing commercial and industrial synergies between the two Italian companies. The partnership was announced during the IDEX-NAVDEX in Abu Dhabi, one of the global exhibitions dedicated to the defense and security sector. Both civil and military, international and national sectors will be part of the partnership.The agreement relates to the security and defense sector and to the recreational yachting industry. Fincantieri, the world’s largest shipbuilding group, and Ferretti Group, one of the most recognized yachting companies, share a particularly interconnected market view, especially after the foundation of FSD, Ferretti Group’s division dedicated to security and defense. We are very pleased to work together with Ferretti Group because Fincantieri, even though it is continuing – with great effort - its internationalization path, does not forget its Italian roots and is keen to network into a system with all the Italian companies that believe to be able to grow together and contribute to their international expansion . In fact, we strongly believe that this agreement – and its future activities - will have significant effects on Italy’s economy demonstrating, once again, that the entire “country system” must be the driver for Italy’s future growth Giuseppe Bono, CEO of FincantieriFerretti is a rapidly evolving and growing Group: the collaboration agreement with a global leader such as Fincantieri represents a recognition and confirmation of our strategy both in the recreational yachting industry and in the security and defense sector where Ferretti Group entered with its new division, FSD. We are certain that we will be able to develop important synergies that will bring benefits not only to both organizations, but especially to the customers, which are particularly keen on product innovation, reliability of supply and ever more demanding to receive outstanding service level. Three factors that have become the priority of our strategies and associate us with the vision of Fincantieri’s leadershipAlberto Galassi, Ferretti Group’s CEO
February 22, 2017
Feadship has shared the picture of its 66.25m superyacht Vanish during her photoshoot in the Virgin Islands.Photo by René MarkusStyled by Eidsgaard Design, she is another superyacht which the Dutch yard has made in collaboration with the London-based studio following such projects as Tango and Halo. One of her highlights includes the large free-standing staircase that is flanked by a glass wall in the full-height atrium. Vanish also boasts two touch and go helipads and an outdoor cinema. On the main deck, the full beam owner's suite includes his and her bathrooms, a separate lounge and a unique balcony, that extends out from under the starboard companionway to sit flush with the floor level. There is also a large VIP suite on the main deck, which can be converted into two separate cabins if required. Four additional guest suites can be found on the lower deck, while the crew area can accommodate 17 people.Performance wise, Vanish can reach a maximum speed of 17.5 knots and cruise at 12 knots.More photos coming soon.
February 22, 2017
The 142.8m S/Y A, largest private sailing yacht in the world, had been arrested in Gibraltar following a €15,3 million claim filled by Nobiskrug, the shipyard it was built at, late last week. According to our sources the judge approved the order to release the yacht and it will leave Gibraltar soon.This unfortunate incident concerning Sailing Yacht A is now resolved. The yacht will now be handed over to the owner’s project team and will leave Gibraltar shortlySpokesman for the ownerOn February 5th, the sailing yacht left Kiel to undergo further fit out works and sea trials in Spain, and arrived in Gibraltar a few days ago. The vessel is scheduled to be handed over to Mr Melnichenko in late Spring 2017.However, lawyers acting for Nobiskrug have filed a claim against the yacht for a breach of contract. The claim indicated that the final €9,8 million installment was not paid by Valla Yachts Limited, the company that owns S/Y A, despite its January 27th deadline stated in the shipbuilding contract according to their lawyers. This sum is however now in arbitration.A further €2,6 million and €2,9 million were being claimed and are currently disputed costs also under arbitration. Nobiskrug's total allegations therefore amounted to near €15,3 million plus interest. Two days ago S/Y A was moored in the Bay of Gibraltar under the custody of admiralty marshals.With masts taller than Big Ben at nearly 100 meters in height, S/Y A had managed to provide a top speed of 20 knots without using her sails during her first sea trials. The yacht is projected to have a cruising speed of 16 knots powered by twin MTU engines of 4,827hp each which will give her a transatlantic range of 5,320 nautical miles.S/Y A also boasts a digital control system that has a touch sensitive sheet of black glass, allowing the crew to raise and lower sails and the anchor with a simple swipe according to the Daily Mail. Amongst the yacht's key features is also an underwater observation pod and a large swimming pool with a retractable roof located towards the bow of the yacht.Philippe Starck, who had also worked on M/Y A, is responsible for the design, whilst the rig and keel were done by Dutch-based Dykstra Naval Architects, with the masts constructed by British firm Magma Structures and the sails by Doyle Sails in the United States. The yacht boasts eight decks and her keel incorporates one of the largest single pieces of curved glass ever made at 193 square feet and weighs a whopping 1.8 tons. S/Y A is expected to be operated by a crew of 54.When the project for S/Y A was first announced in August 2015, she was first referred to as a sail-assisted motor yacht and can in fact reach up to 20 knots without using her sails as became known during her sea trials. Stretching across a beam of 24.8 meters at her widest point, she comes in at just 3,100GT less than Dilbar, the largest yacht in the world by interior volume.Photos by Nicolas Canepa
February 21, 2017