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

Latest News

The full story of the Dilbar fleet
Famously known as the world's largest yacht by gross tonnage, ie interior volume, the 156-meter Dilbar has redefined the notion of space in yachting. The third yacht to bear the same name, she was delivered by Lurssen to her Russian billionaire owner in 2017.The first Dilbar superyacht to be delivered to Alisher Usmanov, a billionaire investor whose net worth was valued by Forbes at $16 billion, became a 66-meter Oceanco. Launched in 2005 by the Dutch shipyard, the first Dilbar was a significant step forward for the yard thanks to the 66-meter's innovative features such as her spa pool and beach club. Both well ahead of their time.With an interior by Alberto Pinto, she became one of the most sought-after yachts on the water. Her rounded aft as well as her impressive 1,801GT of interior volume made her stand out from the crowd on the exterior. Inside, amenities included a private cinema, spacious cabins on the main deck, a vast dinning room and a salon with a piano.Shortly prior to the delivery of his second Dilbar, Usmanov renamed the 66-meter to Ona in 2008 and subsequently put her on the brokerage market. The yacht was then sold in 2010 to US oil mogul, William Kallop at an asking price of €59.9 million.Lately, Natita was in the press following her being seized by Goldman Sachs from Kallop and then sold. The American oil veteran had taken out a $32 million loan against Natita and his other yacht, the 57-meter Bad Girl, from Goldman before stopping to service it with nearly $28 million still left on it.The investment bank thus decided to seize the 66-meter yacht from Kallop in Palm Beach and put her on the market. Goldman quickly offloaded Natita from their books by selling the yacht at a final price of $39.9 million, hence covering Kallop's remaining payment on the loan.Usmanov's second Dilbar became a 110-meter superyacht out of Germany. A close sistership to Pelorus, she was launched by Lurssen in June 2008 and became the world's 17th largest yacht in the world. In addition to this, she also became one of the first yachts on the water to have particle filters on her main engine exhausts.Known throughout her build as Project Opal, the 110-meter featured some similarities in interior design and amenities with the first Dilbar. A large Jacuzzi with a glass wall and water feature was installed forward of the sundeck with a lounging area around it, both on the 110-meter and the Oceanco. A lounge with a bar and piano was also incorporated into both yachts as well as a private cinema.The scale of the new superyacht, however, allowed for some new, ameliorated features such as a large owner's office with several meeting areas and lounging area that opens onto the upper aft deck. A separate, executive conference room was also built onboard with an unbeatable view onto the sea through floor-to-ceiling windows. Other improvements include a spacious gym and spa area.After several years near the top of the list of the world's largest yachts, the Dilbar name leapfrogged onto the number spot with the delivery of the 156-meter behemoth that is now the fleet's flagship. One of yachting's most anticipated projects ever, Dilbar was launched in 2016 and boasted a gross tonnage of 15,917 confirmed by the shipyard.Around the same time, the 110-meter was renamed from Dilbar to Ona and put on the brokerage market according to landing pages that had then sprung up on websites of superyacht brokers. These have since been taken offline, however, it is yet unknown if the owner of the 110-meter changed or if these simply updated their marketing strategy.Photo by Josip BaresicWith an exterior design by Espen Oeino, Dilbar now has a gross tonnage of 15,917 tons, hence topping Al Said's 15,850 tons and Azzam's 13,136 tons. Notably, all three of these voluminous yachts were built by Lurssen that has kept fortifying its position as the main destination for megayacht construction.Impressive facts about the new Dilbar flagship include her beam of 23 meters as well as her deep, 6-meter draft. 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Riva 90 : more details revealed by Ferretti
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62m CRN yacht sold
CRN, Ferretti Group’s brand specialising in the construction of super and mega yachts, is about to create a new masterpiece. The Ancona-based shipyard has indeed announced the sale of a new 62-metre fully-custom yacht - the shipyard’s hull no. 138.The new project has been developed by CRN’s engineering department in close cooperation with the Dutch design firm Omega Architects by Frank Laupman, who are taking care of the exterior concept, and with the Italian architecture & design firm Pulina DNA, in charge of interiors.Characterised by sporty and sleek exterior lines - Omega Architects’ distinctive design feature, CRN’s new fully-custom yacht skilfully combines the infinitely large – huge size and impressive perfomances – and the infinitely small, in the form of precious, functional details. CRN has previously collaborated with Omega Architects in 2014 on the creation of the 73-metre superyacht Yalla. CRN has three other vessels in build: a 50-metre vessel to be launched this February, a 79-metre superyacht, CRN 135 and a 62-metre CRN 137.
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