Innovation in the superyacht space can sometimes seem barely incremental, until a ship is launched that changes the game. Barely cracking the first half of the world's 100 largest yachts, Aviva became the first yacht to have an indoor padel tennis court. Built for a UK billionaire, the 98-meter is also the largest yacht ever built by Abeking & Rasmussen.
Launched in January 2017, Aviva was designed by British design studio, Reymond Langton, morphing into their largest creation to date. Boasting large interior volumes throughout its hull, Aviva also manages to feature some exterior space to take in the sun. Its sheer scale required Abeking & Rasmussen to create a special system to launch the yacht with a special pontoon.
Delivered within 33 months of signing the contract, Aviva was commissioned by UK billionaire Joe Lewis, currently valued by Forbes at $5 billion. His fourth superyacht named Aviva, Lewis' former yacht was a 68-meter version of his current flagship also built by Abeking & Rasmussen. Extensively used as a floating home and office by the investment mogul, Aviva's volume would be impressive for any yacht.
The powerful looking hull is the result of new research and testing which ensures superior seakeeping abilities combined with a 20% decrease in drag. Less engine output is required, fuel consumption is reduced and the maximum speed is a full 20 knots. A very special feature is the hybrid drive system: it allows Aviva to run at up to 11 knots without the use of the main engines, using electric motors only.
Aviva's main feature, however, became an indoor, full-sized padel tennis court. Stretching across a length of 20 meters and a width of 10 meters, the court area goes up 6.65 meters high, a space that would be difficult to fit into any type of yacht. Aviva's 5,000GT of interior volume, however, allowed to blend in this space without compromises as to the size of the court.
"It is not only a lifestyle change for the owner but also for the crew as this is also the largest gym of any yacht." the yacht's designers' commented. "The crew is encouraged to play with the owner and guests and when the court is not in use for padel, the net can be removed and the crew plays football and use other exercise equipment in the space. It is after all a sports hall."
Perfectly lit through lights on the ceiling, this indoor court sits amidst the yacht's hull and stretches down to the bottom of its draft. In addition to the padel tennis court is a small lounging and viewing area up a series of stairs. Hidden away behind a net to protect the ball from flying away, the viewing area can also be used for gym equipment whilst a game is being played. "The owner is adamant that this is the best padel tennis court in the world, period!" the studio continued.
In terms of exterior relaxation areas, Aviva features a circular set of lounging pads up on her sun deck as well as small, hidden away lounging pads towards the yacht's bridge. Powered by an eco-friendly system, the 98-meter can reach a top speed of 20 knots and cruise at 11 knots by using only electric power. This is achieved, in part, thanks to her innovative hull design couple with an electric propulsion system.
Apart from her sundeck, most of the areas on the 98-meter superyacht are found inside, which gives it tremendous volume required for a live onboard owner. An exterior lounging area can, however, still be found aft of the main, upper and third decks with a series of lounging chairs and sun pads. A swimming platform also opens up onto the sea, creating a beach club area, her tenders being launched through side doors.
"Featuring a fresh and dynamic contemporary exterior design, unique, highly personalized layout for the interior and a cutting edge technical platform, Aviva is intended as a home away from home, and as a result the layout moves away from current trends to maximise the spaces that will be used the most, and create a welcome, inviting atmosphere, with a combination of spacious, open social lounges alongside more intimate and discreet areas for dining, working and relaxation." commented Andrew Langton
"The interior design features a number of avant-garde architectural elements and details, and uses a rich combination of fabric and leathers in light, warm tones."
Throughout the yacht, Aviva features a modern design with sleek shapes couple with an extensive use of glass and stainless steel. Opting for a clear colour scheme with sprinkles of vivd soft furnishings, Aviva's exterior and interior look follows that of Lewis' former 68m Aviva.
"Communication and information are critical to me." Lewis said in an interview with regards to his requirements for his floating office. "To be effective, I need reliable phones and internet, these have improved much over the past few years, but, it is too expensive, too slow and not consistently reliable. Aviva is more than an office; it is also my home for much of the year. So for me, it is relaxing working from home, wherever Aviva may be in the world."
Currently valued at $5 billion by Forbes, Joe Lewis sits as the 5th richest man in the United Kingdom. Chairman of the Tavistock Group with investments in over 200 companies, the 81 year-old started his career in the catering business in London, joining his father's company at the age of 15 in 1958.
Initially making his wealth by selling that business in 1979, Lewis moved into currency trading, switching his residence to the Bahamas. Teaming up with George Soros in 1992, the pair bet against the pound and earned exponential returns with Lewis reportedly pocketing even more than Soros.
Lewis' portfolio now includes Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur as well as Lake Nona, a fast growing development in Orlando, Florida. In December 2016, he paid $165 million to acquire the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six hotel in Fort Lauderdale through Tavistock. In addition to this, Lewis owns stakes in UK's largest pub operator, Mitchell's and Butlers as well as luxury club resort Albany.
In a deal profiled by the Guardian, Lewis was able to back a Christie's art auction for the Ganz collection, guaranteeing a minimum sales price of $168 million and, eventually, splitting the $38 million net profit with the auction house when the sale fetched $206 million weeks later. "Being a trader means that you are wrong at the very least three times out of 10, and that is very hard." Lewis once told Fortune magazine.
Prior to taking deliver of the 98-meter flagship, Lewis' largest yacht was the 68-meter Aviva delivered by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2007. A smaller version of his current yacht, the 68-meter featured a similar focus towards interior volume and acted as Lewis' floating office with a Bloomberg terminal and several trading screens onboard.
In 1998, Lewis had taken delivery of 62-meter Feadship, Lady Aviva, which later caught fire in the Red Sea. The yacht was eventually salvaged by serial yacht owner, Dennis Washington, who transformed the yacht into Attessa III. Lewis' second Aviva became the 60-meter Oceanco built in 2004 as Alfa Four and now known as Sea Pearl.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel has announced itineraries and shore excursions for its Luxury Yacht Collection. Three luxury cruising yachts are scheduled to sail in 2020. Ritz-Carlton will start taking reservation from May 21 from its loyalty members and those of its parent company Marriott International. The very first voyage will sail out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Feb. 1, 2020, for a 8-night cruise in the Caribbean. The yacht will travel to Bimini, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida, before returning to Fort Lauderdale.In its inaugural season, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer 40 different voyages, most ranging from 7 to 10 nights. Number of experiences will be available, such as visiting a renowned winery in Bordeaux, France, learning how baby oysters are grown in a private farm in Sete, France or even emeeting with a spiritual shaman in the Grenadines. The shore excursions will be grouped into five categories: Iconic Sights (art and culture); Stirring the Senses (wellness); Cultural Connections (wild life); Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences. The trips “illustrate our commitment to providing rare opportunities to today’s luxury traveler,” said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton, in a statement.The unique designed yachts will measure 190 meters, with 149 suites accommodating up to 298 passengers, which is more like superyacht than an actual cruise ship. Each stateroom has its own private terrace. The yachts will also feature two 158-square-meter penthouses, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. Prices have not yet been released.
April 19, 2018
Equanimity is 91.5-metre yacht built by Oceanco and delivered in 2014. Her owner is Malaysian financier, Jho Low. Previously, Equanimity was seized by the request of the US Government and then was in the spotlight of the US Government. Recently, an Indonesian court blocked U.S. efforts control a $250 million yacht connected to fraud scandal, on the basis that its arrest off the resort island of Bali was invalid and saying the vessel should be returned to its owner. The U.S. Justice Department contends that the Equanimity was acquired with money stolen in fraudulent schemes linked to the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. The Indonesian judge said that the seizure of the yacht in Bali by Indonesian police acting at the request of U.S. authorities was “invalid and legally baseless.” The judge ruled the seizure was invalid on a technicality. He said the U.S. request didn’t follow a 2006 law on mutual legal assistance because it didn’t go to the Justice Ministry, but directly to police. The ruling can’t be appealed.Equanimity is owned by a trust that is controlled by a Malaysian financier, Jho Low, who the Justice Department alleges is a central player in a $4.5 billion fraud that involved siphoning money from 1MDB. The fund was set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 and is the focus of investigations in half a dozen countries. Both 1MDB and Mr. Najib have denied wrongdoing and said they would cooperate with any lawful international investigation. Multiple investigations in Malaysia into 1MDB closed without finding wrongdoing. Indonesian police said they accept the verdict and will soon turn over the 300-foot, Cayman Islands-flagged vessel to its owner, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd. The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta referred queries to the Justice Department. The department didn’t respond to requests for comment. In a statement to Yacht Harbour, a spokeswoman for Equanimity's owner said:"Claimants, the owners of Equanimity, welcome the Indonesian court's ruling, which upholds the rule of law and confirms that the FBI-instigated seizure of the vessel was improper and unlawful. The incident is yet another example of the unjustified global overreach by the U.S. Government, which has gone to extreme and improper lengths to seize assets around the world while steadfastly avoiding having to prove that there are any merits to its case."Indonesian police came aboard the Equanimity in Bali on Feb. 28 after the vessel had cruised Southeast Asian waters for months. FBI agents and Indonesian police searched the vessel and its computers and interrogated crew members. The boat has stayed in Bali with a crew on board while the case moved through the courts. Lawyers for Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd. said that the seizure didn’t follow Indonesian law on providing mutual assistance to foreign law-enforcement agencies. The U.S. has sought via civil lawsuits in California, since mid-2016, to seize almost $2 billion in assets allegedly bought with money stolen from 1MDB, including mansions, a Bombardier jet and royalties from the film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The Equanimity is the largest single asset. The U.S. has asserted in court filings that U.S. laws were broken in the larger 1MDB case, and that gives it rights to those assets. The Justice Department had hoped to quickly transport the boat to the U.S. to sell. In the U.S., the government has filed a civil asset forfeiture case against the Equanimity, which means that the asset cannot be sold until the case is resolved. To take possession of the boat, the government has to prove it was bought with stolen money. All asset forfeitures tied to the 1MDB case are technically on hold, because the government asked for a temporary stay on all 17 cases while it completes a parallel criminal investigation into 1MDB affair and all dealings related.
April 19, 2018
Tactical 77 is 23.47-metre new-build project recently sold to American client by Canadian yard Tactical Custom Boats. With unique hull shape design, aggressive pseudo-military exterior styling and luxurious accommodations inside by American studio Bill Prince Yacht Design, this go-anywhere all-aluminium yacht will be built at Tactical’s shipyard in British Columbia, focusing on speed and comfort. Key features will include gyroscopic stabilisers, a folding transom that allows superyacht water toys launch without the davit crane, the most modern electronics and lightweight carbon fibre in the interior. Tactical Custom Boats is a brand of Platinum Marine and Crescent Custom Yachts, specializing in high performance aluminum boats designed for speed, comfort, and safety in all operating conditions . Tactical 77 is due to be delivered in 2019.
April 18, 2018
Luna is a 114.2-metre superyacht built by Lloyd Werft and delivered to Roman Abramovich in 2010. In 2014 the yacht was sold to Azerbaijani billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov at an asking price reported at €240 million. In 2015-2016 Luna had a refit with an alleged value of near €50 million. Works included a new paint job, fairing of the hull for the first time, 2 meter lengthening to improve the balance of the yacht. The spa area and beach club were also refitted, larger windows were added for more light coming in. All the engines were overhauled, plus all the tenders were replaced. In February 2016 Luna left Bremerhaven, with first destination Norway. In the winter of 2017/2018 Luna was sent to Dubai for additional works. Recently, Luna has been impounded in the Dubai, United Arab Emirates by the authorities as billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife Tatiana Akhmedova are fighting for control of the asset. It follows a British court ruling that Akhmedov owes his ex-spouse $567 million and as she seeks his global assets to get her share of the settlement. She claims that he has been hiding his money to avoid paying her. Forbes says the net worth of Akhmedov, who started his business career selling sable furs, was $1.4 billion which he made after he sold shares in the Russian company ZAO Northgas in 2012. He was included last year on the U.S. Treasury blacklist of Russian businessmen and companies that had close links to Vladimir Putin.However, Straight Establishment, which is the family trust for Akhmedov, is appealing for the vessel to be released after a ruling by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, Reuters reported on Thursday. Akhmedova’s lawyer, Dakis Hagen Q.C., said the yacht had its flag transferred to the Cayman Islands and then to a Panamanian company in 2014. The previous year, the couple’s marriage had broken down. The seizing is now being appealed in Dubai by Straight Establishment according to local media.Luna has the world’s largest swimming pool on a superyacht as well as two helipads. It can host 18 guests. Luna’s seven generators output a total of 15,000hp and the power electric motors are coupled to each shaft. There are more than 80 TVs on board. She can cut through ice on speed of 21 knots and has such generators power that they can run a town of 25,000 people.
April 18, 2018
Italian yard Fincantieri has revealed their latest concept at the 2018 Singapore Yacht Show - 66-metre superyacht Griffin 66. The project is a result of a collaboration between Fincantieri, Castlemaine International, Christopher Seymour Designs and Guido de Groot Design.A little is known about the project, excepting that her beam will be 12.3-metres, a draught of 3.8-metres, will have an interior volume of 1,575 GT and a top speed of 17 knots. Accomodation will be for 12 guests across 6 cabins and crew quarters for staff up to 15 people and a garage space for an 8-metre tender. Versilia Yachting Rendez Vous will see the release of more information about this superyacht project.
April 17, 2018