The first superyacht ever built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, the 134-meter Serene was delivered in 2011 to Russian billionaire, Yuri Scheffler. As was later revealed, the oligarch sold his superyacht in July 2015 to Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman for $458 million.
Featuring a salt-water swimming pool, a supersized hot tub, a sauna in front of the sea and a fully-operational helipad, Serene became known in yachting as one of the most inspiring superyachts ever completed.
At the time of her delivery, Serene was the 9th largest yacht in the world, barely topping the Emir of Qatar's 133-meter Al Mirqab and outdone by David Geffen's 138-meter Lurssen, Rising Sun. For the state-controlled Italian shipyard, Fincantieri, Serene was, however, the first yacht the company ever built, having primarily focused on commercial ships before.
Currently the 15th largest yacht, Serene turns heads anywhere she goes, not only due to her giant-like size, but also her exterior lines drawn by Espen Oeino and series of innovations in the interior.
Following the sale, her former owner, Scheffler claimed that Fincantieri's second yacht, the 140-meter Ocean Victory built for Russian billionaire, Viktor Rashnikov, had infringed on his intellectual property by building the superyacht on the same platform as Serene. As a result, Scheffler filled a suit against Fincantieri claiming €20,9 million from the shipyard in damages.
Whereas it is unknown how much exactly Scheffler spent building the 134-meter Serene at Fincantieri, it is widely believed in the superyacht sector that the vessel was sold at a profit by Scheffler to the Saudi Arabian deputy crown prince. As revealed by media as part of the Paradise papers, Serene was sold for €420 million.
At the time of the sale, some publications had reported that the sale was closed within several hours with the buyer having asked Scheffler to vacate the yacht within hours of the purchase. The new documentation that emerged through the Paradise papers leaks, however, tells a different story as the sale took at least 10 days to close. Before it could change hands, Serene had to cruise into international waters.
Stretching over a beam of 18.5 meters, Serene is 6 decks tall and boasts a myriad of amenities that few five-star hotels have. One of her most noticeable features from the outside is her supersized bathtub located aft of the sundeck.
One of the seven pools onboard Serene, the Jacuzzi on the top deck is surrounded by lounging pad for sunbathing. Forward of the hot tub is a fully-stocked, wet bar underneath the yacht's observational deck that features an additional set of sun loungers.
Up on the sundeck is yet another spa pool surrounded by lounging pads, located forward of the deck. This particular pool features bar stools and is connected to a fully stocked bar surrounded by two additional hot tubs. A table for casual dining can also be found in the shaded area of the sundeck.
Serene's interior was designed by British design studio Reymond Langton, incorporating a sophisticated mix of cream and dark colors with wooden fixtures. Offering views from any imaginable vantage point, Serene's sky lounge is equipped with a myriad of sofas, chairs and coffee tables for cocktails and tea.
A more formal location designed for the entertainment of larger groups, the main lounge features white colors with dark tones. At the center of the room is a piano with cocktail tables spread out across the room. Interestingly, this lounge sits just over the main dining room with its chandelier hanging through the two spaces and letting the music spread.
The formal dining area features two tables, capable of each accommodating up to 12 guests, bringing the total to 24 guests. Its layout, however, allows for the possibility to extend the table in order to hold larger banquets. On both sides of the room are floor-to-ceiling windows. In terms of food, Serene features a fire pizza oven as well as a teppanyaki grill.
Each space on Serene features a different set of colors, all coordinated across one central theme that spreads around the yacht with circles both on the floor and on the ceiling to create a sense of symmetry. Some of Serene's unique features include an indoor climbing wall as well as an underwater observation lounge.
The 134-meter yacht can carry a total of 24 guests across 12 staterooms divided into one master suite with essentially an owner's deck, a VIP cabin, three twin cabins and seven double staterooms. Serene carries a crew of over 40 people onboard.
Prior to the yacht being sold to the Saudi Arabian crown prince, Serene was made available for charter to select guests by Scheffler. These have included Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, who reportedly chartered Serene at a price tag of $5 million per week during the summer of 2014.
In addition to her vast interior spaces, Serene's exterior lounging spots have been optimized to best utilize the space onboard the 134-meter superyacht. Forward on the bow, for example, forward of the commercial-grade helipad can be found a lounging spot on the bow of the yacht. Although a long walk from the aft deck, these spaces are often used for maximum privacy when moored in a harbor.
Perhaps the most unique space onboard Serene is her swimming pool located aft of the main deck under a retractable glass roof. Up on the main deck, this opening can be closed with glass panels and is surrounded by lounging areas.
One of the most advanced swimming pools ever built on board a superyacht, it is the key element of the beach club that stretches for a large portion of the yacht's lower deck. Within the pool area are two additional Jacuzzis for the yacht's guests to relax in. On both sides of the yacht are lounging areas with access to the sea through foldable platforms.
Serene's beach club facilities, however, do not stop just with its pool. The superyacht features a full-sized spa with a sauna room with glass doors looking out onto the sea through a foldable platform. Next to the sauna are a hammam as well as a snow room.
Lighting systems were installed throughout Serene's exterior to ensure that the yacht could boast a sleek look at night as well as during the day. During the summer, the yacht could previously often have been seen lighting up Monaco and the Côte d'Azur.
Photo by Julien Hubert
Following her sale to the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the yacht started spending time in the Persian Gulf. During the summer of this year, Serene ran aground on a reef near Tiran Island in the Red Sea. Some damage is believed to have been sustained to her bow at the time, although the superyacht has been repaired since. Several days ago, she cruised to a shipyard in the Netherlands for maintenance work.
Currently valued at $1,6 billion by Forbes, Yuri Sheffler made his fortune in the alcohol business. Venturing into business in 1993, Sheffler made a series of moves that got him the rights to brands of vodka such as Stolichnaya, which was previously owned by a state-owned corporation. This has put him at the center of long litigations with the Russian government over the ownership of the brand.
Having left Russia for Switzerland and the United Kingdom during the early 2000s, Sheffler is currently the main shareholder in SPI Group, a conglomerate that sells alcohol under 380 brands in 160 countries. Earlier this year he acquired an estate in Scotland at an asking price of £25 million.
In 2014, Fincantieri launched its second megayacht, the 140-meter Ocean Victory which was commissioned by another Russian oligarch, Viktor Rashnikov, whose net worth is estimated at $4.8 billion. Prior to its launch in December 2014 however, Fincantieri was ordered to pay €20.9 million to Serena Equity Limited (the company controlled by Shefler that owned Serene) by London courts.
Shefler's main claim was that Fincantieri had used Serene, on which the billionaire says he holds intellectual property, to develop Ocean Victory which he says is a near sistership. In fact, both superyachts boast an exterior design by Espen Oeino and seem to have similar technical characteristics.
As such, English courts have granted Shefler €13,2 million for the violation of his intellectual property and €7.7 million for late deliveries, which were to be paid by Fincantieri where the Italian government holds a 70% controlling stake. Fincantieri, however, filed a motion in Trieste's Court of Appeals in 2015 to dismiss the fact that London's ruling applied.
Mohammad bin Salman, born in 1985, is the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia and currently sits as the youngest defense minister in the world and the first deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.
From a technical standpoint, Serene can reach a top speed of 25 knots and cruise at 15 knots. Reportedly, her interior volume comes in at 8,231GT, ie, half of Dilbar, the world's largest yacht by gross tonnage.
Part of the Ferretti Group, Italian builder CRN has unveiled interiors of its new 62-metre superyacht concept M/Y 138. The vessel born out of collaboration among CRN, Dutch studio Omega Architects (the exteriors) and Pulina Exclusive Interiors, is now under construction at the yard. The hull composition of the new model will feature sporty lines in the signature of Frank Laupman, who is the head of Dutch design studio Omega Architects. One of the key trademarks of the 62-metre is her distinctive zest for the on-board lifestyle.The superyacht will come with sophisticated wall décor. The generous living and dining areas, as well as the owner’s suite and the cabins will reflect an enlightened contemporary living concept, enhanced by chic details, premium materials and a colour palette of very natural tones. Meanwhile, the large windows, such as the 180° glazing in the owner’s suite, flood every room with natural light.The metal hull and superstructure of the new vessel have been already completed, and the ship has now been moved to another location for the interior outfitting, starting with systems and equipment (pipes, cables and insulation), ahead of installation of the furnishings and décor begins. Construction of the 62-metre is running on schedule for delivery in 2021. Besides, CRN is also currently constructing another three fully custom yachts – CRN M/Y 137 (62 metres), CRN M/Y 139 (70 metres) and CRN M/Y 141 (60 metres).
November 19, 2019
Mischief, the 54-meter Baglietto, is now available for charter in Sydney through Ahoy Club. This follows the yacht being transported from the Mediterranean earlier this week. Mischief becomes the largest commercial yacht ever imported into Australia.Photo by @sxmlukeNews of her transport to Australia follows Ian Malouf, her Australian owner, purchasing a 73-meter yacht in 72 hours at the Monaco Yacht Show. His new Lurssen, Coral Ocean is set to continue its charming history and charter excellence through Ahoy Club in the Med after a new refit."It will be the largest commercial superyacht ever brought into the country" commented Ian Malouf. "Mischief will show what seven-star service is all about. It's a good addition to Sydney Harbour."54-metre superyacht was launched in 2006 by Italian shipyard Baglietto and was regularly refitted, with the latest in 2018. With newly painted French Navy hull and white boot stripes, her racy lines cuts a sleek form on the water. Her interiors are just as special - the dramatic use of white reflective surfaces accented with blues and blacks gives her a real sense of identity.Malouf’s interest in yachting goes beyond yacht ownership. Last year, together with his daughter Ellie, after four years of preparation they launched Ahoy Club, a digital marketplace of yachts for charter allowing users to book any yacht, anywhere in the world, for the best possible price by reducing commissions through an improved tech stack, that instantly presents users with the choice of over 3,300 yachts available for charter worldwide. Ahoy also handles yacht sales with reduced fees.Earlier this year, Malouf took his vision for simpler charters and more affordable prices to private aviation, co-founding Central Jets The web platform lets users book flights at direct pricing from owners through a simple €199/month subscription. This has allowed users to save up to 50% per flight. The company guarantees the lowest priced jets in the market.
November 19, 2019
Early on Saturday November 16th, properties at Fort Lauderdale went on fire, leading to destruction of two superyachts, the 49-metre Lohengrin and 32.6-metre Reflections. According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the estimated loss from the fire is over $20 million. The city fire marshal reported, the fire broke out at around 4.43am, with loud explosions waking up residents. Allegedly, the blaze started on-board Lohengrin and spread to a neighbouring Reflections. It is understood that the two yachts were under maintenance and refit work at the time of the fire.Reportedly, around 100 firefighters from several agencies were called out to the blaze. Many cellphone videos spread on social media witnessed flames going out, with huge plumes of smoke in the air. However, the fire brigade managed to bring it under control.At the moment, no injuries have been reported. It is known , that the four crew members of Reflections were staying at an Airbnb for the weekend.Fort Lauderdale Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan called the yachts destruction “the biggest fire loss in Fort Lauderdale history.” The cause of the fire remains unknown, with investigation to be conducted.Handout/Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue/TNSIf the fire does not appear intentional from the video materials though, it might be difficult to detect exact source of the fire due to the extent of damage, fire officials said.Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency also arrived on site on Sunday with view on environmental damage, “to control and contain contaminants into the water,” Gollan said. One of the concerns now is to prevent fuel leakage into the river. However, no active leaks were reported on Sunday evening.M/Y LohengrinLohengrin was built by Trinity Yachts in 2007. She features exteriors by Geoff van Eller and interiors by Scott Carpenter. She offers accommodation to up to 11 guests across 5 cabins. In January 2019, she was sold asking $12 million.Reflections was built by Christensen in 1997 with a GRP hull and superstructure. She can accommodate 8 guests across 4 cabins with an interior design by Merritt Knowles and an exteriors by Setzer. In 2016, she was sold asking $4,295,000.M/Y ReflectionsSun Sentinel media reports, the owner of Reflections, Chip McElroy, was present at the fire scene with his family. He has owned the yacht for over three years and has made many family trips to the Caribbean aboard. Reflections had sailed two weeks ago and was in the Fort Lauderdale marina for annual repainting.
November 18, 2019
Dutch builder Moonen Yachts has announced successful joining of the hull and superstructure of the latest Moonen Martinique superyacht. Currently under construction in the Netherlands, the 36-metre YN199 is available for sale, and is on track for a Summer 2020 delivery.The 36-metre motor yacht YN199 is the second yacht built on the semi-custom Martinique platform. She features exterior design from René van der Velden, with naval architecture undertaken by the Dutch experts at Diana Yacht Design in collaboration with René van der Velden. The London-based Studio Indigo is responsible for her sophisticated interior design.Following the keel laying on 14th December 2018, the second hull in Moonen’s Martinique line, the 36-metre motor yacht follows the delivery of her award-winning sistership, Brigadoon, in summer 2018.YN199’s Project Manager, Nicky van Zon, comments on the latest construction milestone: It’s no secret that Moonen has faced a challenging period over the past few months. Regardless, we’ve worked hard to ensure that project delays have been kept to a bare minimum. We’re all extremely proud that we have been able to reduce the delay in the construction of YN199.On-board, the yacht accommodates up to 12 guests across a six cabins, as well as a crew of seven. Her interior design concept remains flexible to allow prospective owners to customise it to personal style and taste. Still, special consideration has been already given to maximising internal areas to enhance a sense of space and ease of movement.Regarding her technical features, the yacht has a high-tensile steel hull and an aluminium superstructure. Reduced construction weight results in a maximum speed of up to 16.5 knots, lower fuel consumption and low noise and vibration levels for comfortable cruising around the world.Following delivery next summer, YN199 will be on display at the 2020 editions of the Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show. At the moment, Moonen also has one more 36-metre steel and aluminium yacht under construction. Noteworthy, the yard filed for bankruptcy protection with the Dutch court this summer. Later, it has entered into a new ownership under an Australian couple, Matthew and Louise Baxter.
November 15, 2019
Brokerage company SuperYachtsMonaco has presented a new futuristic superyacht concept Project L by French designer Thierry Gaugain. Known for collaborations with Philippe Starck on several yachts including M/Y A, S/Y A and Venus, he is now presenting his solo 120-metre project. Project L will accommodate an indoor and outdoor cinema, nemo room, beach club, spa, gym, live performance area, dive centre, polar gear room, pools and a tender drive-in garage. Designer Thierry Gaugain, working on this project, did not limit himself to established frameworks. For example, it seems that the ship is generally devoid of windows, but this is not so. The area of glazing is actually large, just glass with one-sided visibility.Project L has a focus on sustainable yachting and will be powered by a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system with azimuthing thrusters fore and aft. She will have an impressive 10,000 nm range at 12 knots and a high capacity waste management system to support her autonomy.She is also designed to be silent on the water. Her original naval architecture allows stable gliding through the water. Her low drag and seamless lines are to ensure best levels of low noise and vibration.Furthermore, Project L will feature a retractable ballast – like a sailboat keel – to adjust stiffness, roll time, feel and stability according to conditions, swell and wind direction when at anchor.Guest capacity of Project L is flexible, depending on her owner's needs. She can accommodate 12 guests with 40 crew plus staff, but it’s possible to expand this up to a maximum of 36 guests and 50 crew.The yacht's interiors will be well-lit, as lots of natural light can flood in. Her lighting system will mirror the hue of natural light as the day passes, promoting wellness and calm on board.The exteriors of Project L will be linked to the interiors by one-way glass which reflects the seascape. Her only exterior light will run the length of the yacht, which can change colour to transform the reflections or her nighttime silhouette. A futuristic concept is now exclusively for sale with SuperYachtsMonaco.
November 15, 2019