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.
At the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Ocean Alexander will present three brand new models, ranging from 30-37 meters. The 30R and 35R are models in the popular Revolution series and the 37L is the new flagship of the Legend series. All three yachts were designed in collaboration with Evan K. Marshall has once again commanded the attention of the yachting world with their innovative design, compelling amenities, and luxurious finishes.30RThe 30m 30R has a vertical bow, a signature to the Revolution series. The main salon with the open concept layout features the floor to ceiling windows with near 360° views. Coupled with a stunning on-deck master stateroom and four more spacious staterooms on the lower deck, this yacht rivals a peer group that measures well over this size category. The upper bridge deck is an owner favorite place and can opt for the opulent enclosed skylounge or the openness of the New Generation Pilothouse. Both configurations provide a bar, TV, grill, comfortable sun beds, and an optional hot tub. The helm station fits with large touchscreen Garmin navigation and other top of the line equipment.35R The 35R represents the pinnacle of the Revolution series. The volume of the 35R interior is unrivalled and features a layout that can only be compared to much larger yachts. It also has expansive outdoor spaces for clients to enjoy. The beach club has beyond the sea level entertaining space complete with television and wet bar, it is fit with a sauna and gym that is accessed either directly from the beach club with its fold down swim platform or from the interior via side deck stairs on the port side. Further, the space is also equipped with a day head and stall shower which connects directly to this highly active area.37L The 37L is the largest yacht in the Legend series. The main salon seamlessly flows into the dining area with enough seating for ten guests. The dining table is flanked on both sides by two massive sliding glass doors that open to the wrap around deck that leads to the bow and aft deck. The 37L is also fit with a beach club that is the ideal place to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the water.Ocean Alexander is a family business. Two generations of one family have guided the shipyard for almost four decades. With manufacturing in Taiwan, Ocean Alexander is consistently one of the top selling brands for large yachts in the U.S. and currently produces models ranging from 26 to 36 meters in length. Credits: Ocean Alexander
October 22, 2021
The Berlin-based design studio 3deluxe unveiled a new superyacht concept VY.01 at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021. The zero-carbon yacht is available for purchase as an NFT on the auction platform SuperWorld. The aim behind the concept was to develop the zero-carbon superyacht. The concept features a seawater desalination system, powered by solar panels, for the watering of the greenhouse. Healthy food can be cultivated on board – the yacht has its own green and vegetable gardens. The interior of the 110m yacht also sets new standards and corresponds to the visionary, nature-oriented philosophy of the project: a light-suffused, loft-Iike space forms a spacious room continuum made up of a greenhouse. Lounge living space, kitchen, bar and vegetable garden. Luxury is rewritten entirely, with natural surroundings replacing acrylic glass and brass. The master cabin is an open-topped space within a greenhouse with a sky view. The spacious open and close interior also corresponds to the modern design concepts. The most attractive and progressive key technology for zero-carbon propulsion of cruise ships and yachts is currently considered to be fuel cells driven by hydrogen. The silent electric engines also avoid any noise pollution. The construction of a yacht is planned to be emission-free and sparing in its use of resources as possible. Credits: 3deluxe
October 22, 2021
The 62nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will be held from October 27th – October 31st. The event will take place at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, FLIBS showcases more world and U.S. debuts than any other boat show in the country. The five day event showcases over 1,500 yachts and boats across seven locations. The boat show is an excellent opportunity to participate in the best of Fort Lauderdale’s luxury lifestyle, which includes waterfront dining, seven miles of white sand beach, luxury resorts, and high-end shopping.Each year, the show brings together boat enthusiasts from across the globe to the “Yachting Capital of the World.” Attendees get access to the industry’s latest boats and yachts of all sizes.“We are excited to welcome back the global community of visitors and exhibitors to the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,” said Andrew Doole, President of U.S. Boat Shows with Informa Markets, who produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. “In 2020, Informa was able to host an incredibly successful event that exceeded industry expectations despite the pandemic, and we anticipate that the 2021 boat show will raise the bar even higher for boating exhibitions.” FLIBS is a major economic driver benefitting the marine industry, the city of Fort Lauderdale, and the state of Florida with a total statewide economic impact of $1.3 billion as a result of the 2019 show and over $714 million in products sold over the exhibition. With over 80 percent of the show taking place in open-air outdoor spaces, FLIBS will continue to offer a safe, open-air experience for exhibitors, visitors, and the local community to enjoy the greatest boat show on the seven seas. FLIBS 2021 spans more than three million square-feet of exhibit space:Superyacht Village brings to South Florida the world’s most spectacular superyachts and exhibits including renowned shipyards, personal submarines, and exotic collectible automotive items. The Superyacht Village and marina feature vessels nearly 300 feet. The Superyacht Village will be open to all general admission ticket holders and features direct access by water tenders and shuttle bus routes to and from the show’s other locations, as well as on-site valet and self-parking. Windward VIP Club is an exclusive indoor and outdoor destination to enjoy the excitement of the boat show featuring shore and water views with a premium open bar, gourmet food offerings, and the perfect setting to enjoy this international boating event. AquaZone is designed to give boat show-goers an upfront and personal experience with a variety of water sports and innovative marine products.629 boats will be attending the Show, including Feadship 77m Boardwalk, Benetti 40M Oasis, 45.6m Damen Yachting Pink Shadow, 29.1m Sanlorenzo NiniPop XL.Tickets are priced from USD 30 till USD 300 for a VIP and experience. Credits: FLIBS
October 22, 2021
Abeking & Rasmussen has announced that the contract for building a 120m plus superyacht was signed this summer. The shipyard's current order book includes the 118m length megayacht in its stage of outfitting. She is the largest ship A&R has ever built and will be delivered to her owner next year. Except this year’s additions the Abeking & Rasmussen order book include three Multi Purpose Vessels with more than 90m length each. These are some of the most innovative and challenging projects the shipyard has ever worked on. Abeking & Rasmussen has managed to contract two mine hunting vessels for the Indonesian Navy. The next generation of mine hunting vessels is 62 m long and made of high-strength and non-magnetic steel produced using an innovative laser welding process.Nine refits have arrived at the shipyard, some new clients included and there are more refit projects to follow soon. Yacht new builds, refits, multi purpose vessels, mine hunters, LNG propulsion systems, laser welding – it seems like a lot of different challenges the shipyard has to work on. How does Abeking & Rasmussen deal with this versatile and challenging order book? “Working on a range of projects and technologies for different clients and purposes has always been a strength of Abeking & Rasmussen. Besides certain synergies we always found it very helpful to gain expertise with technologies in one market before these things where even asked for in other markets,” says Matthias Hellmann, CFO. Abeking & Rasmussen was founded in October 1907. The German based shipyard is looking back to 114 years of ship and yacht building. A&R is now able to launch yachts of up to 125 meters length. Credits: Abeking and Rasmussen
October 21, 2021
Antalya-based Bering Yachts and Trasco Bremen, the world’s leading commercial builder of armoured vehicles with over 35 years of experience, has announced a collaboration for protecting specific areas aboard Bering explorer yachts. The aim of the partnership is to provide discerning owners with comfort and autonomy combined with added on-board safety so they and their families can cruise remote locations with complete peace of mind. Steel-hulled Bering yachts are already renowned for their rugged construction, but shielding the most critical areas with bullet proof materials – such as the wheelhouse or engine room, as well as vital machinery or the navigational, communication and alarm systems – offers ultimate protection against unwanted intrusion.Bering Yachts is located in Antalya, Turkey. Its shipyard designs and builds semi-custom steel expedition yachts and luxury steel trawler yachts ranging in size from 50 to 145 feet. Credits: Bering Yachts
October 21, 2021