Recent quarters have seen the concept of explorer yachts trickling down to a set of smaller yachts. Initially, however, explorers come from the megayacht world and the 115-meter Luna has become almost eponymous with what an explorer yacht should be.
Refreshened through a €50 million refit that came following a change in ownership, Luna was delivered in 2010. Currently the 3rd largest explorer in the world, her open aft deck and swimming pool have set a standard for the yachting industry.
Built for Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, Luna was originally intended as a more sleek version of her owner's existing explorer, the 113-meter Le Grand Bleu. At the time of her launch, the swimming pool installed on Luna was the largest that anyone had ever seen onboard a superyacht.
Luna's current owner, which Forbes names as Farkhad Akhmedov, purchased the yacht from Abramovich in 2014. The man, valued at $1,3 billion by the magazine, later initiated a 14-month refit in Germany that gave the yacht a sleek exterior look and implemented several improvements on one of the world's most iconic yachts.
One of the largest jobs undertaken during the refit was the fairing of Luna's hull. Under Abramovich's ownership, the 115 meter had been left unfaired to reflect the strength and power of the yacht by making a show of her welds. Luna's new owner, however, faired the yacht in order to give it a sleeker look.
Nearly 80 painters and eight months were required to fill and fair the over 2,000 square meters of Luna's hull, whilst also applying a new finish to her superstructure. The result is a complete mirror finish, which perfectly reflects the sea as Luna sails on her world travels.
Luna's exterior refit was led by Newcruise, a German design studio that undertook the project as it's first major one with a motor yacht. Across all proposals that were reviewed during planning, the main idea was to create a very open deck. This led to the project team focusing on style rather than the toy storage one would find on other explorers.
In fact, the aft area of the main and lower deck was amongst the most affected by Luna's recent refit. One of the main attributes of the yacht, in addition to her main deck pool, is her extensive beach club area on the lower deck. Whilst two tender garages sit to port side, two foldable platforms open the beach club onto the sea on starboard.
The beach club is completed by a wave-shaped sauna, plunge pool, steam bath as well as a fully equipped gym. New equipment was installed during the refit including mirrored panels that let Luna's guests open the 12-meter foldable doors and getting a sea view without anyone seeing guests exercise from the outside.
A relatively rare feature onboard superyachts a decade ago, beach clubs have become a must have onboard new yachts of even a smaller scale. Popular options, both for charter guests and owners, include lounging areas, wet bars, saunas, hot tubs, plunge pools and gyms. All of which Luna was already built to accommodate.
Other improvements to the area during the refit include a new mosaic on the walls of the steam room, an updated audio visual system, a pantry area to facilitate service and a new arrangement of couches. Over 80 TVs are found onboard Luna, however, none of them were placed in the beach club for it to be a place to enjoy the sea.
Safe from the beach club, the remainder of Luna's lower deck is dedicated to crew and operations. In addition to the engine room and technical spaces, most crew accommodation can be found on the lower deck. Seven generators produce an output of 15,000hp that goes on to power electric motors. According to her manufacturers, it would be enough to power a town of up to 25,000 people.
Luna's original interior designer was Donald Starkey who joined the project when the yacht was already 70% built at Lloyd Werft. Modifications imposed by the designer included an increased headroom as well as a new dinning room, which wasn't on the initial layout. This was achieved by dividing the upper deck lounge into two by a fireplace that can be enjoyed from both sides of a newly installed wall.
Starkey's theme of light fabrics coupled with darker wood and light that filters from the 115 meter's large windows can be found throughout Luna. Modern oak was in fact used around the yacht and then aged to create the effect of 17th century antique beams.
One of Luna's highlights is, without a doubt, the private, forward-facing terrace that comes as part of the owner's private suite. With a glass panel located directly on top of the master bed, a private terrace in front lets Luna's owner explore the world with her.
Another newly improved area on the 115-meter explorer is Luna's observational lounge. Meant as an area where guests can socialise and take in the view, its panoramic view faces forward and is often found to be a guest favourite location when entering a new marina or anchorage spot.
Whereas the master suit benefits from one of yachting's best views, guests on Luna get to access one of its main locations much quicker from the main deck. Through a straight line corridor, guests can find their way to the pool in a matter of seconds without having to climb up flights of stairs.
Luna's swimming pool area also benefits from a new feature installed during her recent refit. A raised section, which can be covered by a massive tent or opened to the sun, was put in towards the aft of the deck. It features both a dinning table for casual, outdoor dinning, as well as coffee tables and a sofa.
From a technical standpoint, Luna is powered by a diesel electric set up that lets her be both more efficient and flexible when cruising. The explorer can in fact get up to a top speed of 21 knots and even nudge through shallow ice.
Photo by Ron Raffety
Located underneath Luna's master bedroom, her bridge sits forward of the explorer's upper deck. Allowing easy access to anchoring gear and crew areas, keeping all crew operations on the upper deck also frees up higher decks for the guests' relaxation.
One of the most well known figures in the yachting industry, Roman Abramovich currently sits as the world's 139th richest man according to Forbes, with a net worth of $10,3 billion. In the business community he's most well known as the owner of the Chelsea FC as well as for selling his stake in Sibneft to Gazprom.
In yachting, however, Abramovich is synonymous with his 162-meter Eclipse, formerly the largest yacht in the world. Whereas Eclipse was overshadowed by the 180-meter Azzam, the Russian billionaire's exploits in yachting remain on everyone's mind to this day.
Photo by Nicholas Canepa
Other than Eclipse and Luna, the 51 year-old has owned an unequaled fleet of yachts, which have included the 115-meter Pelorus, which he purchased in build from a Saudi businessman in 2003 before reselling it to Dreamworks co-founder, David Geffen in 2011.
Prior to Pelorus, Abramovich also had the 113-meter explorer/support yacht Le Grand Bleu. Carrying a plethora of toys, onboard Le Grand Bleu could be found a Dubois sailing yacht as well as a 21-meter Sunseeker. He later reportedly sold the yacht to Eugene Schvidler.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1955, Farkhad Akhmedov is the 67th richest man in Russia according to Forbes. After moving to London in 1986 and starting out in fur trading, he started his own company in 1987 to supply equipment to Russian gas companies. In 2012, he sold his stake in Russian gas company, Nortgas to Novatek.
Photos by Guillaume Plisson
With her 50 meters in length, 9.20 meters beam, five big decks, the Latona stands out for her perfect balance between the sleek lines of the hull, the streamlined bow, the spacious interior and exterior volumes, and the refined turquoise shade of the hull. The Liberty style and the precious details, due to a long-standing craftsmanship, result in a harmonious ensemble pervading all decks thanks to soft and sinuous lines, constant style which unites all areas of the yacht. The design solutions implemented by CRN make possible to fully enjoy the navigation experience, thanks to a balcony that can be enjoyed even when cruising and a terrace that can be opened when the boat is at anchor. The float-in garage allows the entry into the water of the tender without the use of a crane and transforming a purely technical environment into an open air living area integrated into the beach club.<iframe width="1252" height="704" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ygsrsCiXXFs" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
October 23, 2018
Representing one of the largest yachts ever built by Feadship, this 93-metre masterpiece was towed this morning from the construction hall of the Feadship yard in Kaag. Further commissioning work will continue in the months ahead including the addition of balconies and wing stations. The yacht will remain covered over the winter, to be seen in all her splendid glory next spring.With a generous beam of 14.10-metres this groundbreaking Feadship will set a new standard in luxury. Working hand in hand with the experienced owners, Michael Leach Design has drawn an elegant and timeless exterior with breathtaking lines. Reymond Langton’s stunning interior is akin to a “beautiful and contemporary jewelry box”.Five years in the making, the owners with the help of Burgess assembled a world class build team. Scouring the globe for the finest and rarest materials she promises to redefine the boundaries of luxury yacht construction. One of a kind features include a two-deck IMAX theater, a fully certified helipad with Jet A fuel, four VIP cabins each with 8k TVs, and facilities that cater to a wide range of sports including golf, basketball, volleyball and soccer among many others.The Owners were present at the launch and commented, “We want to thank Jan-Bart Verkuyl and everyone at Feadship for taking us on an amazing journey.”
October 22, 2018
The ConceptThe Seataci is yacht concept that uses a biomimetic propulsion system resembling the movement of whale’s tail. Its main hull would be lowered underwater, providing passengers with an excellent underwater view of the coral reefs and marine life. It features a dozen villas and two landing pads specially designed for personal flying drones.Origin of the ideaThe idea for the Seataci first came to me while my wife and I were visiting the St. Regis resort in Bora-Bora. We were scuba diving one of the channels, and I started thinking about a new type of cruise ship concept capable of navigating in shallow waters by using an eco-friendly propulsion system. First I had in mind a commercial type of vessel, but it could probably first be developed as an experimental / scientific yacht that would bring together scientists and their benefactors.How it worksThe Seataci would be capable of submerging itself by using a water ballast system to sink its main hull. Two side pods would be used to stabilise the ship, and they would be linked with a hydraulic system that would also double as a dynamic suspension. The ship’s crew and passengers would be able to travel to those pods at any time during the cruise, and passengers could use them as galleries to get a different viewpoint from the ship.The ship’s engines would be housed in each pod. A biomimetic propulsion system similar to the Iruka concept would be designed to propel the Seataci. This system is basically an oscillating foil that pushes the water like the tail of a whale. It might prove more efficient than propellers, would probably generate less noise under water, and it would allow the ship to sail in shallower waters without breaking its propellers or rudders.Each pods would feature enclosed water propeller that would siphon water from side intake grills and push it forward when the vehicle needs to back up, like reverse bow thrusters. Another option would be to integrate a pivot around the pods vertical axis to reverse the ship’s course.As you can see, the boat’s actual hull occupies a lot of volume, so it will be hard to sink.This is our first iteration, only meant to depict the idea. Future version of the Seataci should take into account weight, volume of water displaced, type of material, ballasts size etc. They would look different, but would propose the same features.The lower tail section of the main hull would feature an impressive under water experience for the passengers, with large panoramic windows located on each side of the ship. Some of the ship’s suite could be located in that lower section for the view and for the minimal roll. A dining hall or an observatory lounge could also be installed there. On the main deck, a tropical garden would surround a pool next to landing pads for personal drone. The drones could be used by customers to fly to the shore or visit small ‘motu’ or ‘atolls’ nearby.What It’s Used ForThe Seataci is first and foremost a luxury yacht, but it could also be built and sold as a small scientific or commercial excursion ship. It would be interesting to use it to explore channels or islands located in shallow waters and witness the fascinating underwater life during each cruise. When personal drones become widely available and safe, the Seataci could serve as a landing platform to explore inhabited islands without using boats.Integrating new technologies like the oscillating foil is probably a big risk; however it could provide a good payoff if this technology proves to be more sustainable than what is currently being used.The DesignerI would like to thank Martin Rico, who created the images of the Seataci concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also created the images of the Mercuri personal jet and the Sandofi urban cart for the homeless.
October 19, 2018
The group strengthens its presence in the Asian market. Ferretti Group announced the grand opening of its new marvelous showroom in Shanghai at the Bellagio Hotel. This new opening confirms the strategy of international growth of Ferretti Group, and its goal to increase visibility in the Asia-Pacific market.Ferretti Group brand new showroom is located in the shopping section on the first floor of Bellagio Shanghai. It perfectly mirrors the elegant taste, the international excellence and Italian aesthetics of the Group. At this showroom, visitors will see the impressive scale models of the latest yacht models presented from the Group’s portfolio of legendary brands, such as Riva 110’ Dolcevita debuted last month during Cannes Yachting Festival, Pershing 140 to be debuted in year 2019, and 74M mega yacht Cloud 9 from CRN brand which was delivered to her owner last year. These new projects are benchmarks of cutting-edge design and technology innovation in the global nautical world. Showroom visitors can also learn about the history and heritage of all seven brands from the interactive touchscreen totem.“The new grand opening confirms, once again, Ferretti Group’s commitment to further expand in continental China, next to positioning all brands in a selective market, that is definitely strategic in the luxury field” comments Stefano De Vivo, CCO of Ferretti Group.The grand opening saw the participation of distinguished guests such as Mr. Bartolomeo Lamonarca, the Italian Consul Shanghai, Mr. Alain Tsui, the General Manager of Bellagio Shanghai, general managers of yacht clubs from East China, publishers of China’s top lifestyle magazine, partners of Ferretti Group from various sectors in the luxury industry, and successful entrepreneurs and boat owners. Mr. Alessandro Tirelli, Sales Director of Ferretti Group Asia Pacific shared the Ferretti Group’s latest achievements, new fleet, and new vision for the Chinese market, as well as exciting news from the September Cannes Yachting Festival and Monaco Yacht Show.
October 19, 2018
October 18, 2018