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.
Van der Valk has recently delivered 26-metre Forum to her delighted owner. This Raised Pilothouse yacht was designed by Guido de Groot, and boasts an interior devised by the owner’s own interior architect in partnership with our in-house department. Built for sailing principally in the Baltic Sea, she features a mast that lowers hydraulically to keep her clearance below six metres, as well as a very large flybridge designed specially for entertainment. Forum’s king-size flybridge includes an American barbecue & grill, a wet bar & pantry, and two L-shaped settees with two tables that can be merged into a single large one. This level also features an outdoor helm station as well as several delightful alfresco lounge possibilities, including sun pads forward to port and a large sunbathing area far forward on the flybridge level (accessed directly from the main deck).The main deck aft is taken up by a large outdoor dining space and a hydraulic platform for the tender. The lovely saloon includes a spacious conference room for business meetings, which contains lots of communications & entertainment equipment and doubles as an informal dining space. The galley has a practical direct connection to the utility area below, which contains a large storage room and freezer room. And the generous master suite forward on the main deck features a king-sized bed on the centreline as well as a beautiful bathroom forward.Forum’s other accommodation spaces are below deck. They include two identical VIP suites with large beds as well as one guest cabin for up to four people; each of the cabins has its own bathroom. The crew mess forward links to a captain’s cabin and a crew cabin with bunk bed, as well as a bathroom and pantry.Forum sports a V-drive propulsion system with twin MTU 10V 2000 M93 engines of 1502 hp each, which can deploy a substantial maximum and cruising speed of 23 and 18 knots, respectively. She also has twin 26-kilowatt generators and a Najad hydraulic fin stabilization system.Contributing to what has already been a busy 50th jubilee year for the shipyard, the delivery of Forum adds to a series of achievements that has already included the 23-metre Flybridge Valencia and Anemeli.
August 23, 2017
On Saturday, the 18th of February, 49.9m superyacht has been launched at the Rossinavi facility in Pisa. 300 guests were present at the ceremony, turned around the speeches of the owner family thanking the shipyard and the team involved in the boat construction.Christened Endeavour II, the yacht features exterior design by Enrico Gobbi - Team For Design, interior style by Achille Salvagni with the naval architecture by Arrabito Naval Architects. This all-aluminium displacement yacht comprises a total volume of less than 500GT and can sleep up to 10 guests, as well as a crew of 9. Performance wise she is powered by 2 x CGT/Caterpillar C32 Acert engines providing the yacht a maximum speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. Inside, a generous full-beam owner’s suite forward to the weather deck enjoys plenty of light and a wonderful panorama thanks to the long windows along the two main sides and an unusual private balcony. The exterior areas of the Endeavour II make various configuration possible, including an exclusive sun area forward, placed over the wide garage.Rossinavi has recently sold 70m motor yacht project King Shark and is currently building 63-meter Project Vector for JR Ridinger.Photos by Emmanuel L
August 23, 2017
Lurssen has launched the 74-meter Aurora at their facility in Rendsburg, Germany, in March 2017, with Moran Yacht & Ship confirming the delivery 2 months ago. Now the yacht has been captured cruising in the South of France.Previously known to the public as Project Thor, the yacht was commissioned back in the first quarter of 2014 through Moran Yacht & Ship. With an interior and an exterior by Winch Design, the 74-meter Aurora, known internally as Project Gatsby, features accommodations for 16 guests in 8 well-appointed staterooms. With an interior volume of 2113 GT, Aurora is larger than most yachts of comparable length.Her interior is based on the early 1900s Art Deco era, taking inspiration from influential artists and designers from the time period. Unique and particular, the interior was heavily influenced by the owner's input. The master suite is based on antique artworks and each guest cabin boasts individual characteristics.Powered by twin MTU engines, Aurora stretches over a beam of 13.2 meters and reaches a top speed of 18 knots and cruise at 16 knots. The last Lurssen yacht to bear the name Aurora was a 61-meter yacht also designed by Winch Design launched in 2004 under the name Phoenix for the late Jan Kulczyk.In 2009, Phoenix was listed for sale asking €65 million and then sold in 2010 at an asking price of €55 million, ahead of the delivery of the 90-meter Lurssen, Phoenix 2. Following the sale, she was renamed to Aurora. In February 2015, she was listed for sale again asking €49,750,000 and then sold a little over a year later at the same asking price. The 61-meter yacht has since been refitted and is now known as Avanti.Photos by @acyachts_monaco
August 23, 2017
First unveiled during press conference in Milan, Sanlorenzo has today launched its new SX88 crossover yacht. Measuring 27m, the yacht features interior by Piero Lissoni, who will collaborate with the yard to develop the rest of the SX range. As for the exterior, it has been penned by Officina Italiana Design.Built from a GRP hull and carbonfibre superstructure, the yacht incorporates the best features of an explorer and a flybridge yacht. A particular attention was given by Sanlorenzo to the environment sustainability, with a specific care and sensibility to the environment where the yacht is operating and the one where is built. SX88’s construction process is based on low environment impact procedures and materials developed and tuned by Sanlorenzo. Thanks to the combination of high power lithium batteries with new lighting technologies, low consumption systems, efficient thermal insulation assured by the special new insulating glass fit on the windows, SX88 can use all the services on board for 4 to 8 hours at “zero emissions”. Because of these features Rina awarded SX88 with the Green Class.SX88 is built and assembled in the traditional Amelia’s (La Spezia) boatyard where Sanlorenzo elected its headquarter. She will be officially introduced to the market and press during Cannes Yachting Festival in September. The international market already welcomed SX88, buying the first six units. Next deliveries will beavailable starting from spring 2018.Sanlorenzo’s Superyacht Division, located in La Spezia, has recently launched the third superyacht in its 460Explorer line: Ocean’s Four.
August 22, 2017
The 110-meter Jubilee has been delivered by Dutch-based Oceanco in July. Now the largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands has been spotted in Gibraltar.With an exterior penned by Russian designer, Igor Lobanov, the yacht can carry a total of 31 guests in 16 cabins catered to by a crew of 45. Key amenities onboard include a swimming pool with a built-in aquarium, a helipad and a large beach club.Known as Project Jubilee throughout her build, the 110-meter was however listed for sale a few months prior to her delivery and is at the moment still on the market. An investigation published by Dutch publication, Quote states that the yacht was ordered by the late, former emir of Qatar.Powered by twin MTU engines of 4,828hp each, Jubilee can reach a maximum speed of 18.5 knots and cruise at 14 knots for up to 5,000 nautical miles. She becomes the latest in a string of impactful projects for Oceanco including the largest sailing yacht in the world, the 106-meter Black Pearl and the 88-meter Barbara.Photos by Superyachts Gibraltar
August 22, 2017