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.
One of the largest yachts, which have ever been built in the UK, Samar has been recently seen in Malta. The 77-metre superyacht was built by Devonport Yachts in 2006. With a beam of 0.013 m and a draft of 0.04 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 2159 tons. She is powered by engines giving her a maximum speed of 17 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots.The motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in 7 cabins. She has an opulent interior, designed by Joe Thome. Samar’s exterior design was created by H2 Yacht Design & Nick Meyers.Samar has an impressive pool, a gym, a cinema, and several bar areas. The superyacht features several toys, including a Mini Cooper and a Bell 407 helicopter.Samar approximately costs $100 million and is owned by Kuwaiti billionaire Kutayba Alghanim.
July 6, 2020
Dutch Damen Yachting launched the first private luxurious 77m ice breaker La Dacha in Vlissingen today. She is owned by extravagant Russian banking billionaire and adventurer, Oleg Tinkov, whose net worth is estimated at $2.4 billion by Forbes.Due to enhanced fuel tanks and top of the state garbage management systems, La Dacha can stay on sea for 40 days without returning to a port, making her the ultimate expedition and adventure yacht. Furthermore, guests and the owner will never get bored due to the extensive collection of toys and tenders, snowmobiles, two helicopters, and a personal submarine.The vessel features an ice-classed hull and is polar code compliant, designed to cruise the world’s wildest natural regions with no sacrifice to the levels of luxury onboard. Offering adventure without limits, La Dacha Expedition Yacht 77 also features 2 hot water Jacuzzis — 1 indoor and 1 outdoor, a sauna & steam bath, massage room, and a fully equipped gym.The yacht offers accommodation for 12 guests in 6 staterooms, including 2 master cabins and 2 VIP suites. Each suite comes with a bathroom (a toilet and a shower or a tub) and a walk-in wardrobe. Guests can safely enjoy the most spectacular Arctic and Antarctic landscapes with 25 crew members on board to assist guests in any way they can.As a part of Tinkov’s recreational luxury project La Dacha, consisting of several holiday hikes in remote high-end destinations, the explorer is being built. She will be available for weekly charter but for the moment the owner is planning to spend up to 20 weeks a year on the yacht himself.Oleg Tinkov said just before the launch:The Earth is so big and our life is so short, so we have to explore as much as we can. And the SeaXplorer project is just perfect. I fell in love with the shape, the design. Don’t forget that this is the one yacht with two helicopters, so you can really go further into the mainland. You can see the bears. You can see the animals. You can heli-ski. Any kind of activities, fishing and so on. With two helicopters you have absolute freedom to explore any remote territory as deep as you wantRose Damen, Amels and Damen Managing Director was also at the launch:The owner has a lot of energy and ideas that went into the design of La Datcha. This yacht is the largest and most capable SeaXplorer so far, custom-built to the owner’s requirements. There is no other yacht like it in the world. We’re very proud to be building her and can’t wait to see La Datcha exploring the world
July 3, 2020
Let's take a look at Dutch shipyard Oceanco´s magnificent vessel Sea Walk, initially launched in 2005 under the name Lady Christina, the 62m motor yacht, went through a refit in 2014 at MB92 in Barcelona. This picture shows her in the Croatian port of Rijeka. The work included an extension of the main deck aft, as well as adding a new Jacuzzi to the sundeck forward area. Oceanco was leading the design of Sea Walk´s exterior and Zuretti Interior Design worked on the furnishings inside.With a beam of 10.5 m and a draft of 4.6 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 1166 tons. Oceanco is powered by engines of 1673 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 15 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots.She features a large main salon with several relaxing areas featuring drop-down cinema screen and projector as well as a plasma TV with surround sound for a full cinema experience. Oceanco yacht can accommodate 10 guests in 5 beautifully appointed cabins, including one generous master cabin, two double guest cabins, as well as two twin guest cabins and full comprehensive entertainment centres fed from a central server. The staterooms are generous in size and have silk panelled walls with attractive marble bathrooms. The fabrics, marbles and joinery details differ slightly for each cabin.
July 3, 2020
Solaris Yachts, the Italian sailing brand, delivered the Solaris 80 RS yacht Alithia, the first of its kind. The yacht measuring 24m in length is built to offer a comfortable journey on the water, featuring open-plan areas and a functional living area, as well as ease of use built into all the systems onboard. The representative of the owner was Jens Cornelsen of Cornelsen & Partner, he also managed the project throughout the building phase. Stepping on board of the guest cockpit on deck, the salon can be entered through a central companionway, with eye-level windows creating a bright atmosphere around the dining table and the lounge area. For the Solaris 80 RS, there are 2 different interior layouts available, both featuring four-cabins, distinguished by a master cabin either in the bow area or in the aft section below the steering position. There is lots of room for creativity, since customization can be applied to the outdoor deck spaces, such as the fold-down beach club space. If improved maneuverability is desired, clients can get the 80 RS with a lifting keel, reducing the 4-m draft to 3.5m. The next project to be launched by Solaris Yachts will be the flagship Solaris 111, that is expected to take place mid-August.
July 3, 2020
Italian builder Overmarine Group has announced the sale of 43-metre project Venezia to an American client. She is fifth unit in the Mangusta Oceano 43 and the second Mangusta Oceano displacement yacht to be sold to Florida.The shipyard submitted the new-build project to the owner through Worth Avenue Yachts with a delivery date of November 2020.The tri-deck Mangusta Oceano 43 was designed by Alberto Mancini and features such design elements as large windows, skylights for daylight, wide glazed surfaces, and special lighting solutions. Noticeable features of the model include a forward-facing infinity pool with a waterfall, a beach club aft with the stern door folding down to become a swim platform, sunbathing area, a garage at the bow, and several alfresco living areas.The engines of the yacht provide a top speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 11 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles. Overmarine Group’s Interiors Department is already in contact with the new owner to customize the layout and the furniture, and decor to match the owner’s preferences.Stefano Arlunno, Overmarine Group’s Americas Area Manager explained:This sale once more confirms that our vessels – be they Maxi Open, fast displacement, or displacement yachts – perfectly meet the needs of our American clientele. Behind a successful sale always stands the harmonious combination of the right product, an owner who has fallen in love with it, and passionate teamwork. In this specific case, our gratitude goes to Worth Avenue Yachts
July 2, 2020