Basrah Breeze was built in 1981 by Danish shipyard Helsingor Vaerft for then president of Iraq Saddam Hussein and was launched as Qadissiyat Saddam (the name is a reference to a 7th century battle in which Arabs triumphed over Persia). The yacht's current captain - Hussein Ghazi Khalifa said the cost of yacht at that time was $25 million, but now it would cost approximately $100 million to build such a superyacht.
Saddam Hussein’s 82-metre superyacht Basrah Breeze was recently used by Iraqi marine researchers from the University of Basrah’s Marine Science Center to explore the changing Persian Gulf. The Basrah Breeze came to Basra in 2010 with the government ownership, but she was rarely used since then. In the year 2014 professors at the university asked the government to allow them to use the yacht as part of their research fleet.
The Basrah Breeze was fitted with marble-tiled bathrooms, numerous guest cabins and a large presidential suite. The superyacht’s indulgent interior then has been modified to accommodate Iraqi scientists but much of the original decor still remains. Saddam Hussein was never able to enjoy the yacht because of the war with Iran and she was left moored in Oman for many years. In the middle 1980's Hussein gave her as a gift to King Fahd bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. The yacht then changed hands several more times before ending up under the ownership of a Cayman Islands company. Following the execution of Saddam Hussein the Cayman Islands company tried to sell the yacht in 2007, but documents were discovered that legally confirmed it to still be an Iraqi vessel. Following a difficult legal battle the Iraqi government was able to claim ownership.
The king size bed in Saddam Hussein's superyacht is made, the silk curtains around it have been drawn back and, in the gold-rimmed bathroom next door, a barber's chair awaits its occupant. But then Iraqi president never boarded the 82-metre "Basrah Breeze" built for him and now its amenities will be enjoyed by the pilots who guide shipping in and out of the port of Basra, the main southern city.
Equipped with a presidential suite comprising Saddam's private quarters, dining rooms and bedrooms, as well as 17 smaller guest rooms, 18 cabins for crew and a clinic, the opulently equipped and decorated vessel was put on the market for $30 million. The government failed to find a buyer, and for the past two years the Basrah Breeze has served Basra University, hosting researchers on trips to study marine life. "The presidential yacht is in a very good condition. Its two engines and generators are functioning," said Abdul-Zahra Abdul-Mahdi Saleh, its captain. "It only needs periodic maintenance."
But authorities have now decided to moor it permanently as a hotel and recreation facility for the southern port's pilots, many of whom live in distant cities. "The port needs the boat to be a station where sea pilots can rest," said Basra port spokesman Anmar al-Safi.
While the Basrah Breeze survived the turmoil of Saddam's decline and demise, its sister ship "al-Mansur" - which he also never boarded - suffered a different fate, sinking in the Shatt al-Arab waterway that passes through Basra after it was hit by U.S. planes and then stripped bare in the chaotic aftermath of his overthrow. As regards Basrah Breeze, Basra museum has not given up hope of persuading the port to allow it to dock the vessel next to its exhibition halls in one of Saddam's former palaces overlooking the Shatt al-Arab.
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EYOS Expeditions, the world’s foremost provider of private yacht expeditions, and Nansen Polar Expeditions have joined forces on a long-term strategic alliance coinciding with Nansen’s recent fleet expansion. Together, EYOS and Nansen will combine their collective experience to introduce a new expedition yacht experience in the polar regions. 72m Cloudbreak EYOS works regularlyNansen Polar Expeditions has been operating since 2019 with their first vessel, Villa, a rugged – yet luxurious – expedition ship, and they’ve recently acquired Nansen Explorer, a 72m ICE 1A+ vessel that will accommodate 12 guests following an extensive refit. EYOS has more than a decade of experience operating private yacht expeditions to the polar regions aboard the world’s most prestigious private and charter expedition yachts. Photo by Reeve JolliffeEYOS CEO Ben Lyons said, “One of the most exciting elements of our new alliance with Nansen Polar Expeditions is the ability to go beyond the boundaries of a typical expedition. Given the high ice-class and helicopter capability of MV Nansen Explorer, we intend to reach destinations far removed from even where most expedition vessels are sailing, and certainly well out of reach of a conventional superyacht.” Photo by Reeve JolliffeNansen Polar Expeditions CEO Audun Lie Dahl said, “Working so closely with EYOS on this multifaceted alliance opens up new markets and opportunities for both companies. There is a great personal connection and history between us, and we couldn’t have found a better partner as we continue to expand our fleet.” Credits: Reeve Jolliffe; EYOS Expeditions
February 28, 2021
The new 94m Feadship hybrid yacht Project 817 launched in Kaag, the Netherlands yesterday. Her advanced hybrid propulsion system allows the yacht to cruise on diesel-electric power at 12 knots. In diesel mode she’s able to reach a top speed of 20 knots. Her exterior was made by Azure and Feadship's Studio De Voogt and the interior is the work of Peter Marino Architects. Project 817 can carry a 14m tender, the largest ever installed on any Feadship. “There she is, the 94m Project 817; this groundbreaking eco-friendly Feadship has left the yard for the first time. Onlookers are admiring her special pearl-white livery, which is housing an exceptionally advanced hybrid propulsion system,” the shipyard’s Facebook page notes. Feadship was formed as a group in 1949 as a marketing partnership between six Dutch shipyards, de Vries Lentch, Van de Stadt, Witsen & Vis, Akerboom, De Vries Scheepsbouw and Van Lent Shipyard, and De Voogt Naval Architects. Feadship is well-known as one of Netherlands’ most elite yacht builders and delivers superyachts from 50–100+ meters in length.Credits: Feadship
February 27, 2021
Jeanneau Yachts 60 became the Philippe Briand’s 120th production yacht design. She was due to be launched at this year’s Dusseldorf Boat Show in January, but the bold new design is still making waves after a virtual launch.It took four years of hard work with Jeanneau’s in-house designers to bring the project to fruition. Measuring 60ft overall, with a modest taper towards the stern, a chine in the hull and a reverse bow, the proportions of the boat are absolutely amazing.“The JY 60 is special because it is the last in the range, and also the 120th of our series drawings,” explains Briand. “We put all our know-how into the yacht, and also a lot of personal emotion. I am used to putting myself in the shoes of the customer every time I draw a production boat. It's easy for me: I would like to own this one.”Beneath the aesthetics, the technical qualities of the hull and rig also promise agility, seakeeping and excellent balance. The chine will dig in to fight heeling, while buoyancy at the bow and stern reduce pitching. Twin rudders give a perfect balance on the helm, and the integrated bowsprit makes light work of launching a big reaching sail. In fact, the boat can be readily sailed by a couple, thanks to the option of in-mast furling for the main and a self-tacking jib. Either way, it is a fast hull, capable of an easy 8kt upwind and 12kt on a broad reach. Philippe Briand“This is a real sailor’s boat,” says Briand. “It is ideally suited to almost any brief from fast bluewater cruising to a leisurely jaunt across the bay – a boat for both the Mediterranean and the Baltic. The interior space is the owner’s home on the water, while her exterior living spaces are unmatched by the competition. She is more fun to sail, faster and more comfortable under sail and power than any catamaran available for the same budget.”The interior design of the yacht was made by Andrew Winch: sculpted surfaces with the use of real wood, fine fabrics and leathers create an atmosphere of timeless elegance below. It has the option of a full-beam owner’s cabin that is simply flooded with light, with a his-and-hers bathroom not usually seen in this size range. The open galley is positioned forward and includes the option of a full-height fridge. Meanwhile, the floor of the flexible saloon is slightly raised to give clearer sightlines out through the coachroof windows. This shipyard was founded in 1957 by Henri Jeanneau, and it has designed, produced and sold an extremely wide selection of over forty outboard, inboard, sailboat and yacht models around the world for over 60 years. Jeanneau stands out with its elegant, ingenious boats, ranging from 15 to 64 feet, with their pure, modern, timeless lines created by world-renowned architects.Credits: Jeanneau Yachts
February 26, 2021
Camper and Nicholsons has announced the delivery of the 54.2m Baglietto to her new owner. Built in aluminium, with a volume of 902 GT, this superyacht was designed by Horacio Bozzo, with interior design by Hot Lab and valuable input from her knowledgeable Owners. The project management and delivery were both handled by the Camper and Nicholsons New Build department.Featuring six double staterooms plus a kid's playroom, the two master suites and two VIP suites are located on the main deck, while the remaining two staterooms are located on the lower deck. Designed for maximum enjoyment by family and friends alike, there are two infinity freshwater pools, an exceptionally large beach club, a massage room, a sauna and a fully equipped gym. This superyacht has a shallow draft design along with an impressive 4,500 nm range, ensuring many more cruising areas are available for exploration.Credits: Camper and Nicholsons
February 26, 2021
Denison Yachting has announced that they sold more yachts over 80 feet than any other brokerage firm in 2020. This data was collected by Boat International Media, powered by Boat Pro, which tallied the total superyacht transactions by firm. Denison led other brokerage houses with 65 total transactions sold by 24 different yacht brokers. This is the second year in a row that Denison ranked number one in superyacht sales. “In this age of evolving technologies, if you’re caught singing the same old tune, you will eventually be drowned out in white noise. Our in-house marketing team has allowed us to remain dynamic and nimble. Rather than waiting to respond to changes in the market of 2020, our team was perfectly poised to take on the challenges of the year,” said Josh Valoes, Director of Marketing.Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Denison was fortunate to experience one of the best years in terms of total yacht sales, charters booked, and marketing goals. The team adapted through shelter-in-place orders and canceled boat shows, yet continuously strived to make the yacht-buying process easy and safe for clients. 2020 Global superyacht sales infographic“2020 presented us with plenty of obstacles to navigate, but we entered the year with momentum from strong sales in 2018 and 2019. Our successes in 2020 were the culmination of hard work, vision, and focus,” commented Superyacht Director, Ben Farnborough. “We adapted to new ways of staying in front of buyers, sellers, and charter clients. We have a dynamic team with industry-hardened experience, youthful drive, and determination in equal measure; a group that loves what they do and always asks 'what’s next?' We’re excited to continue building our brand and making a mark on the large yacht sector.”Denison Yachting has long been a leader in the yachting industry, with a rich family history dating back to 1948 with the start of Broward Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, the company provides complete yachting services worldwide, from sales and charters to yacht management and new construction. Credits: Denison Yachting
February 26, 2021