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.
For the first time since the joining of her hull and superstructure, 38 meter Moonen Martinique, YN201 has been towed out of the outfitting shed at Moonen Yachts in Den Bosch. The steel aluminum superyacht is the first of the Martinique’s to feature an anthracite hull and a fully integrated hydraulic swim platform at the owners request.YN201 became the fourth hull to be built on the Moonen Martinique platform and the first of two Moonen Martinique’s currently in build at the Dutch superyacht builder’s shipyard. Both superyachts were sold earlier this year.Originally a 36 meter design, the 1.5 meter extension to the swim platform also came at the owners request. She therefore had to be towed out of the shed and realigned to allow for the 1.5 meter extension to be built.The 38m yacht features the exterior design by Dutch designer René van der Velden and naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design. Her fully customized Scandinavian design interiors will be executed by Andreas Martin-Löf Arkitekter who was also introduced to the project by the owner. "Having looked at multiple shipyards and what they had to offer, the choice to choose Moonen was simple. A beautiful boat with very high build quality, smart design and layout. Add to that a great team and the decision was easy. I can't wait to see the final product, " says the owner. She is scheduled for delivery in early 2023, with A2B Marine Projects is heading up the owners team with Christian Poorte as the owner's representative.Moonen Yachts is a yacht builder based in the Netherlands, and its first yacht was built in 1964 under the original yard name of De Ruiter. In 1981, the yard was renamed Moonen Shipyards. It’s launching its first vessel under new ownership: Alhena. In 2017 Moonen Shipyards changed into Moonen Yachts. With the help of strong vision, innovative technology and new designers, Moonen is once again becoming the market leader in 30m to 50m luxury yachts.Credits: Moonen Yachts
July 4, 2022
The 160m Blue left Lürssen's shipyard in Bremen on 2nd July and embarked on her maiden voyage, heading to the Mediterranean where she will now enjoy her very first season with her new owners. Before that Blue had a successful second sea trial at the end of June.The yacht is equipped with a highly efficient Diesel-Electric Hybrid Propulsion Concept developed by Lürssen’s own engineering specialists. The concept combines diesel-propulsion-technology with efficient modern electric propulsion systems. Blue’s system consists of two diesel engines that drive two controllable pitch propellers through individual gearboxes. These gearboxes are equipped with PTI/PTO units that can be used for either electric propulsion (slow speeds) or for generating electrical energy to operate the vessel at higher speeds. Blue is also equipped with an electric Azimuth Pod Drive, which in electric mode can be used separately, or when the PTI units are engaged, with the two propeller shafts.In order to generate less noise and vibration and reduce nitrogen oxide levels, the megayacht is equipped with a state-of-the-art exhaust after-treatment system. Furthermore, the wastewater treatment plant is equipped with new membrane technology that allows the treated wastewater to be safely disposed of in ‘drinking water quality’.“To execute such a comprehensive project, an excellent team is necessary. In this case, the team consisted of the owner's technical project management team, the design team from Terence Disdale who are responsible for the contemporary exterior and the traditional fresh interior design and of course, Lürssen’s own project team,” says Peter Lürssen, managing partner. “We are very proud of Blue as yet another statement of Lürssen’s ability and desire to build yachts that meet all of our exacting owners’ requirements, guided by our core focus of expert engineering, beautiful design and being a proud market leader in developing sustainable technologies.”Lürssen is a German shipyard with headquarters in Bremen-Vegesack and shipbuilding facilities in Lemwerder, Berne and Bremen-Aumund. Founded in 1875, Lürssen is one of the world's leading builders of custom luxury superyachts and has launched many of the largest yachts in the global fleet.Credits: Tom van Oossanen/Lürssen
July 4, 2022
The 54.30m Amels motor yacht, Ariela has joined the IYC sales fleet. Ariela was launched by Amels in 2011. Her exterior was penned by renowned designer Tim Heywood, while interiors were made by Laura Sessa. Privately owned and never chartered despite the Amels 177 model from the shipyard’s Limited Editions range proving popular on the charter market. She has a large hot tab at the sundeck, a spacious beach club and an al fresco dining space aft on each deck, additional sunpads and loungers at the foredeck. Ariela features an impressive main saloon with a Yamaha Clavinova situated aft and large sitting area. Large windows provide the saloon with natural light. The second upper deck saloon also has an area for socializing.Ariela can accommodate 12 guests across six cabins, including one master suite, three VIP cabins and two cabins. Thanks to two MTU 16V 2000 M70 she can reach a top speed of 15.5 knots and a cruising speed of 13 knots. The yacht has a range of 4,500 nautical miles.Ariela is asking EUR29,500,000.Damen Yachting, a division within the Damen Shipyards Group, was created in 2019. The division combines the pedigree and heritage of Amels yachts with a growing portfolio of SeaXplorer yachts and Yacht Support vessels.Credits: IYC
July 1, 2022
The German shipyard cooperates with the extremely experienced team of Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage. The new Preferred Partner maintains several offices in France and Monaco. With Bernard Gallay Yacht Brokerage (BGYB), YYachts has brought on board one of the most competent brokers in France as a Preferred Partner. BGYB specializes in the sale and management of yachts. From now on the models of YYachts are part of the official portfolio at BGYB.Y7Founded by Bernard Gallay, a highly experienced sailor - including two participations in the Vendée Globe, 14 Atlantic crossings, an America's Cup engagement - BGYB has been present in the yachting industry since 1994. Two years after its founding, the company was admitted to the Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association (MYBA).Bernard GallayThe contact person at BGYB for all those interested in YYachts will be François Boucher. Boucher is a very successful sailor who has participated in many major regattas such as the Clipper Race, the Two Ton Cup and the Route du Rhum. He sailed Round Britain and the Ireland Race crossed the Atlantic 45 times. With Boucher, who has also handled project management for numerous formats up to 140 feet in length, YYachts customers will have one of France's most experienced sailing yacht experts at their side as an advisor at BGYB."France is a sailing nation and I am sure that with Bernard Gallay and his network we will tap into completely new potential. This will certainly already be evident at the Cannes Yachting Festival, where we will be presenting two brand new YYachts," comments Christian Möller, CEO of YYachts.YYachts is a German shipyard that builds carbon sailing yachts between 70 and 100 feet in length. The portfolio consists of the Y7, Y8 and Y9 models; the Custom Division implements completely individual designs.Credits: YYachts
July 1, 2022
Glamorous Bluegame yachts have a lot in common with glorious Costa Smeralda. That’s why the shipyard decided that it will be the perfect location for the family reunion. From 29th June to 4th September the entire Bluegame fleet – BG42, BG54, BG62, BG72, BGX60 and BGX70 – will be at the Marina in Porto Cervo for the most awaited summer event. BG72For example, the BG54’s design continues the tradition of all Bluegame yachts. The yacht proves its safe sea worthiness in any weather condition. The cockpit is open to 360° to offer breathtaking views, the hardtop is equipped with a private sun lounge and the wheelhouse remains unsurpassed for maximum visibility and the reverse windshield. BGX70The BGX70 features direct access from the beach area into the saloon and owner’s cabin, which gives her an unprecedented internal layout, never seen before in a 70’ yacht. The main deck offers a 360° visibility thanks to large windows surfaces, which create a single in-out environment.BG62The BG72 was born as a happy intuition of Architect Luca Santella with the collaboration of Zuccon International Project, which has given great personality to both interior and exterior spaces. She features a spacious saloon and an impressive owner’s cabin, that can be found on any 72-footer. She has a top speed of 31 knots and a range of over 800 nautical miles at 10 knots. BG54And this is only a part of what can be seen in the crystal waters of the Costa Smeralda. The Bluegame might be also found inside the temporary store of Sanlorenzo, the international group the shipbuilder belonged to. A beautiful lounge located in the Porto Vecchio pier among other exclusive luxury brands from all over the world.Bluegame is part of Sanlorenzo. The Sanlorenzo shipyard has been building high-quality motor yachts since 1958. It is a boutique firm in the yachting industry, building only a limited number of made-to-measure units per year. Each yacht is designed and produced according to the specific requests, style, and desires of the individual owner.Credits: Bluegame
July 1, 2022