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. The royal spent $458 million to acquire the former largest yacht in Italy.
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.
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Heesen has announced the sale of a full-custom all aluminum motor yacht to a former shipyard’s clients. Project YN 20857, code-named Project Setteesettanta with an internal volume of 920 GT fits perfectly into the shipyard’s production portfolio. Frank Laupman of Omega Architects has been tasked with the design of the exterior lines of this new project, while Cristiano Gatto Design is responsible for the interior. “This new project possesses all the characteristics to become the crown jewel in Heesen’s fleet, and I’m sure it will create many ripples, just like M/Y Crazy Me did ten years ago!” comments Cristiano Gatto. Twelve guests will be accommodated in six large cabins. The owners have reserved the upper deck as their own private place, where the master stateroom is located forward with a 180-degree view and also enjoys private access to a huge terrace of nearly 200 sq. m – which can also serve as a touch-and-go helipad. The VIP cabin is situated forward on the starboard side of the main deck, adjacent to a fully equipped gym. Four large guest cabins, two twins and two doubles, can be found on the lower deck. An elegant oval staircase ascends through all four decks, running back-to-back with the crew staircase for perfect space optimization. The dining area on the main deck is located towards the stern, adjacent to the aft terrace. Thanks to wide sliding doors, this space seamlessly connects with the outdoors. The transom area is one of the key spaces on board Project Setteesettanta. Symmetrical sets of steps flank the four-meter infinity pool and lead the guests down to the swimming terrace, which features a hydraulic transformer platform for easy access to the water. With tenders and toys unobtrusively stowed in the forward garage behind gull-wing doors, the lazarette aft provides storage space for additional water toys. A draft of just 2.3 meters will allow Project Setteesettanta to cruise in shallow water. The yacht’s lightweight aluminum construction, combined with its advanced hull design, allow for the installation of two compact and fuel-efficient MTU 16V2000M72 (1,440 kW) diesel engines, which are very modest power plants for a yacht of 57m and 920GT. Project Setteesettanta will reach a top speed of 18 knots, with a transatlantic range of 3,900 nautical miles at 12 knots. “We are extremely honored that our clients have entrusted us with the build of a new yacht for the second time. YN 20857 will be a quintessential Heesen. Lightweight aluminum construction requires very specific skills. A full-custom, 57-meter motor yacht cannot be anything other than perfect, and there isn’t a shipyard in the world with a better knowledge of the techniques and disciplines needed to reach these heights. This will be a memorable journey that will lead to the creation of a dream, and we can’t wait to enjoy it with the owners of YN 20857 and their team,” comments Friso Visser, Heesen’s CCO.Tank testing will take place at the Wolfson Unit in Southampton on December 20 and 21, and construction will officially commence with the laying of the keel in August 2023.The yard has no fewer than 14 yachts currently in build, ranging from 50 to 80 meters, in both steel and aluminum. Deliveries run through 2026. Heesen Yachts is a Dutch ship building company that specializes in custom-built superyachts in aluminum and steel from 30m to 70m in size. Founded in 1978, it has launched more than 170 yachts since its inception.Credits: Heesen Yachts
December 2, 2022
The superyacht Elandess was sold by Seattle Yachts broker Glenn Runyan representing the buyer and Dominic Millman of Burgess representing the seller.The 74m Elandess was built by Abeking & Rasmussen in 2018. In 2019 she received four awards at the Boat International Design & Innovation Awards. Elandess boasts interior and exterior design from the award-winning Harrison Eidsgaard of London and is built from steel and aluminum. Her naval architecture was made in-house. She features a modern interior with large lounging areas suitable for informal family time and entertaining on social occasions. She can welcome 14 guests across seven well-appointed staterooms, including a master suite, which is located at the bow. The 8-meter swimming pool on the sun deck is one of her most notable features.Thanks to twin Caterpillar engines she can reach 16 knots and cruise at 14 knots. Her last known asking price was EUR130,000,000.Abeking & Rasmussen was founded in October 1907. The German based shipyard is looking back to 114 years of ship and yacht building. A&R is now able to launch yachts of up to 125 meters length. Credits: Yacht Harbour archive
December 2, 2022
The 61st Antigua Charter Yacht Show is about to start. It was established in 1961, and celebrated its diamond jubilee in 2021. Set in the historic surroundings of Nelson’s Dockyard Antigua, the show attracts attendees from North America, Europe, and the Caribbean islands. The six-day schedule includes numerous network opportunities organized via the dedicated Hospitality Desk. Charter Yacht viewings are made directly with yacht teams, often with advance bookings. Showcasing the world’s finest Charter Yachts, the Antigua Yacht Charter Show attracts about sixty attending yachts, ranging from under 15m to 70m and over. Let's take a look at the finest superyachts, who will attend the Show from 4–9 December.Christina O99.06mCanadian VickersThe truly iconic superyacht was built by Canadian Vickers in 1943. She was first owned by the Canadian government as a WWII frigate, then bought by Aristotle Onassis in 1954. After that she was under different owners, including an Irish bank teamed up with Greek investors and had witnessed some of the most iconic events over the last century. She had her last refit in 2022 and remains the perfect setting for cruise in style and comfort. Christina O can accommodate 34 guests across 17 staterooms. She is available for charter with Morley Yachts from EUR700,00 per week. Faith96.55mFeadshipThe award-winning Faith was launched by Feadship in 2017 and received the World Superyacht Award for the motor yacht in 2018. She features a games deck and helicopter landing pad with a hanger below for a Bell 429 WLG helicopter. She has a revolutionary swimming pool made of glass panels that also form the ceiling of the beach club below. The Faith features exterior design by RWD, her interior was made also by RWD. The naval architecture by De Voogt Naval Architects. She can accommodate 14 guests and 26 crew members. Lady E74.37mAmelsLady E was launched in 2006 by Amels and went into rebuild in 2020. Refitted and extended by 6m, she sports a spacious new beach club. She features the BBQ deck with a new large hammam, a heated pool, a climate controlled gym and a beauty salon. 12 guests can be accommodated across six cabins. She is available for charter with Burgess from USD665,000 per week.Coral Ocean72.54mLürssen Coral Ocean (previously known as Coral Island), was built in 1994 and became one of the yard’s largest projects at the time and she was built to the designs of the late Jon Bannenberg, the convention breaking legendary Australian designer who is universally acknowledged as the godfather of modern yacht design. Following the change of ownership in 2019, Coral Ocean underwent an extensive refit, which was completed in 2022. Coral Ocean can accommodate 12 guests across seven cabins. Coral Ocean is available for charter with Ahoy Club. Her rate starts from EUR650,000 per week. Sherakhan69.49mA. Vuijk & ZonenThe 70 meter motor yacht Sherakhan can host 26 guests across 13 cabins. She was built in 1966 as a merchant navy training vessel by A. Vuijk & Zonen and was rebuilt in 2005. In 2022 Sherakhan had an extensive refit to elevate her into a high-tech yacht with new luxury amenities. She offers a choice of guest deck areas, from the generous wicker seating on the main deck or several loungers on the large foredeck to the stellar sundeck with a hot tub, wet bar and barbecue, dining tables and multiple sun loungers. The yacht is available for charter with Y.CO. Her rate starts from USD485,000 per week.Triumph65.23mBenettiThe 65m Triumph was delivered by Benetti in 2021 and was named after the owner’s motorcycle collection. She is constructed in steel and aluminum and designed by Giorgio M. Cassetta. Green & Mingarelli Design arranged the elegant interiors and many furnishing details, closely following the direction of the Benetti Interior Style Department. Triumph spreads across six decks and her guests can enjoy exterior terraces and verandahs, plus an open sundeck with a lounge and hot tub. Triumph can accommodate up to 12 guests and 15 crew on board. Triumph is available for charter with Royal Yacht International with a weekly charter rate starting from EUR650,000Illusion64.92mHeesenIllusion was delivered by Heesen in 2013 and fresh from a full refurbishment in 2019. Her fresh modern interior was made by the Bannenberg & Rowell design team. Yacht has a 106 sq. m sun deck with two lounge areas, and a large hot tub with sun pads aft. She also features a spacious air-conditioned beach club with fully equipped bar, sauna, day head and shower. She welcomes 12 guests in six double cabins, a full-beam master suite on the main deck with study and full-height glass sliding doors opening onto a private breakfast balcony to starboard, a VIP suite on the bridge deck and four lower deck double cabins. Illusion is available for charter with Royal Yacht International with a weekly charter rate starting from USD 462,000.Come Together60mDamen YachtingFirst Amels 60 Limited Editions superyacht was launched in Vlissingen earlier this year. Come Together features contemporary exterior design by the Monaco-based studio Espen Oeino International. She was built on Amels’ new ultra-efficient hull and features a metallic 'pebble' gray hull, and a superstructure in Matterhorn white and 'super jet black’. Bespoke interiors were created by Winch Design and features a warm palette, smooth edges, brushed finishes and a contemporary selection of furniture. The superyacht can accommodate up to 12 guests across six staterooms. Come Together is available for charter with Y.CO. with a weekly charter rate starting from USD 450,000.Credits: Antigua Yacht Show; Yacht Harbour archive
December 2, 2022
The British studio AB Yacht Design and Naval Architecture studio presented a 60-meter sportfisher superyacht concept which was named Project Canyon.It is a 60-meter long ultra-luxury, adventure focused sportfisher yacht. The exterior design is characterized by smooth lines and clear volumes, with just the tower betraying the mission of the yacht. She has been made for an owner who would enjoy more being on a 24 meter motor yacht rather than any typical 60 meters superyacht. The lifestyle of such an individual is depicted in every aspect onboard. The main aim of the concept is to let the owner and the guests experience the privilege of being really close to the sea, but with the comfort, amenities and space missing from a smaller yacht.Project Canyon can accommodate 12 guests in six cabins and features a pool, a wet bar, an open-air cinema and a 5.15-meter WilliamJet Rescue Tender.The sportfisher will be able to reach a top speed of 22 knots. AB Yacht Design and Naval Architecture was founded in 2018 by Aristotelis Betsis. Aristotelis has graduated from the University of Strathclyde with the degree of Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture. In 2018 and 2020 he had been shortlisted as a finalist at the Young Designer of the Year Award, organized by Boat International and Oceanco. Credits: AB Yacht Design and Naval Architecture
December 1, 2022
The 48.8-meter superyacht EIV sold by Allied Marine broker Dean Anthony representing the buyer and seller with the help of co-listing broker Kevin Bonnie of IYC Yachts.EIV was built and delivered by Rossinavi in 2020 for an American client. She has an aluminum hull and aluminum superstructure. The 498 GT vessel’s exterior and interior was made by Enrico Gobbi’s Team for Design, while her naval architecture was made by Rossinavi and Arrabito Naval Architects. She can accommodate 10 guests between five well-appointed cabins. She features contemporary interiors, with fabrics from Hermès, Rubelli and Armani Casa. Accents come in onyx, leather and bronzed brass metals.She also features a spacious lower deck swim platform, a hot tub on the foredeck, and a circular alfresco dining table at the aft. She is powered by MTU engines of 2600 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 19 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots. EIV's maximum range is 3600 nautical miles at 10 knots. Rossinavi is an Italian manufacturer of custom steel and aluminium superyachts 28m in size and larger. The Rossi shipyard was founded in 1970s and is located in Viareggio.Credits: Yacht Harbour archive
December 1, 2022