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

No fuel needed for this solar superyacht
At sea, your gaze and your imagination have no limits. You keep on feeling the vastness of the sea and experience a completely new feeling of exploring or rediscovering the true meaning of life. This ship takes you to a new level of emotionality - right where the sea meets the sky. The Solar Impact is a yacht for people who want to travel further, without sacrificing comfort, elegance and state-of-the-art technology, and for whom the destination is the actual experience of the journey itself. The Flybridge is a welcoming outdoor space. The view is fantastic and as you watch the sea, all your wishes can come true."SolarImpact is synonymous with state-of-the-art in shipbuilding when it comes to fluid mechanics, highly efficient energy technologies, and sustainability. Our yacht concept avoids noise and CO2 emissions and is therefore an important step towards electric mobility in the maritime sector." - comments Werner Vögeli, CEO of SolarImpact Yacht AG.<iframe width="1260" height="709" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wP3Ye1ee70c" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>This new yacht is a game-changer, not just in terms of its solar propulsion and design. Two aspects that have prevented a pleasant stay on board in the past have also been addressed: rough seas and high noise levels. The innovative solar yacht glides almost silently and without swaying - even over waves several metres high. The hull technology is based on the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) construction principle.This achieves a physical shaft decoupling that reduces the rolling and heeling of the yacht by up to 90 percent. the hull lies calmly in the water even in strong swells, putting an end to the annoying swaying motion of the boat. But SolarImpact has recognised that the principle offers yet another invaluable advantage: it significantly reduces energy consumption. All systems on board can use the sun as their primary energy source. The yacht‘s solar drive is not only environmentally friendly, but also extremely quiet.Not only is the solar yacht almost self-sufficient in terms of energy, but with a top speed of over 20 knots it is also exceptionally fast. This is due to the technical components used, which collectively ensure the yacht‘s high overall efficiency and are optimally controlled using artificial intelligence (AI). All key systems are highly automated, so that a single person can even manoeuvre the yacht."However, the technology is not in the foreground: our customers can expect a product that sets new standards in terms of user-friendliness, comfort and convenience, and individual freedom. For instance, our yacht also caters to people’s increasing desire to move their centre of life permanently onto the water. The yacht concept we‘re presenting takes an important step towards maritime e-mobility by avoiding noise and CO2 emissions. We also see this as a special incentive for investors, who not only invest in a promising emerging technology, but also, by purchasing the yacht, pay into an environmental fund that serves to preserve and rebuild the environment for the future." -comments Werner Vögeli, CEO of SolarImpact Yacht AG.The interiors of the Solaryacht were designed for long stays on board with luxurious living areas and spacious cabins. It is especially dedicated to people who know comfort on long journeys and love sophisticated aesthetics. That excellent balance of shapes and the elegance of design make the SolarImpact Yacht an exceptional residence with a view of the sea. On deck you enjoy your own oasis to the sun and an environment where you can relax and unwind in complete peace. The SolarImpact is a yacht for cruisers who want to travel further without sacrificing comfort, elegance and the latest technology, whose goal is the actual experience of the journey itself. The large windows offer unparalleled views and incredible brightness in every area. The interiors are designed to pamper owner and guests with maximum comfort. Light flows into the large open living room, which combines modern taste with a warm and cosy style. After an day out at sea, the skipper's suite and the guest cabins offer a maximum of comfort and a pleasant peace and quiet. The interior presents only one variant. The equipment is adapted according to the customer's wishes. You can glide the yacht anywhere - without a single drop of fuel! Thanks to absolutely free solar energy, the SolarImpact Yacht has an unlimited range. Just enjoy the quiet and solar-powered journey.The SolarImpact Yacht is a ship with an exceptional feeling of airiness, wide and spacious corridors and a special crew area that promises passengers maximum privacy. It also offers technical extras for further travel and unique comfort for journeys to the horizon and beyond. The flybridge is an inviting open-air living room where you can spend hours in the sun.and spend it in the light. The view is fantastic and while you are watching the sea, all your dreams can come true.To ensure the perfect functioning of all systems, the required energy quantity of the solar system should be up to 500 kilowatt hours per day. How much energy can the solar system generate? This depends primarily on the geographical location of your yacht and the current weather conditions. The number of daylight hours and the intensity of sunlight are the most important factors. However, the solar system could produce more than enough energy in the world's most popular sailing areas. The yacht is equipped with a real-time energy monitoring system so that the owner can monitor and make optimum use of energy consumption at all times. Under optimal environmental conditions, the solar system generates up to 320 kWh of electricity (32KW/h peak => 10h), which charges the energy store or drives the yacht.
Top largest yachts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2018
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the "Yachting Capital of the World" will host the 59th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on October 31- Nov 4, 2018. The show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show program will showcase the latest vessels, technical innovations, and performance reviews, as well as highlight the wide array of lifestyle amenities, likeunparalleled hospitality, dining, and shopping options in the area. Additionally, a Best of Show trophy created by renowned industrial designer, Derek Jenkins, will be presented to the most innovative new model design on display. Top largest yachts attending FLIBS 2018 : 1. Areti (85m)2. Elandess (75m) 3. Party Girl (63m) 4. Utopia IV (62m)5. Excellence V (60m)6. Elysian (60m) 7. Minderella (59m)8. Lady Sheridan (58m)9. Power Play (56m) 10. Lady Michelle (55m)A wide variety of boats will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts. This is exactly where you want to be.
23-meter superyacht Joy delivered to a client in the Mediterranean
Van der Valk Shipyard in the Netherlands has delivered the 23-metre Joy to a delighted client in the Mediterranean. As the latest motoryacht in the popular Flybridge range, Joy features timeless design and cutting-edge equipment. She also benefits from the experienced owner’s distinctive taste and considerable experience.First introduced in 2010 and regularly updated, Van der Valk’s Flybridge range remains very popular today. Its elegant appearance, outstanding quality and state-of-the-art technology have stood the test of time, and the yachts are renowned for their excellent value retention. The 23-metre version was launched eight years ago and ten have been built to date. This versatile model is equally suited for families, lone yachtsmen and sailing with a crew.Joy’s owner hails from the shipbuilding industry himself and has a rich understanding of yachts as well as large commercial vessels. As such, he had a very clear idea of what he wanted – the client opted for Van der Valk after considering several other brands and realising that his particular needs and tastes could not be fully met by any of them.“The owner did not have a great deal of time for hands-on monitoring of the construction process,” recalls Van der Valk’s marketing manager Yoeri Bijker. “Once the contract was signed, he trusted us and mostly followed the build via progress photo reports received from the yards production management team. Thanks to careful planning and implementation, this remote approach worked very well and the client found the final result to be entirely in line with the images and his requirements.”Joy has a classic, timeless exterior characterised by Van der Valk’s award-winning semi-displacement hard chine hull in a moderate V design and a distinctive, elegant dark blue hull. The flybridge deck comprises an outdoor helm station with co-pilot seat, a U-shaped sitting area, a mini wet bar and a large inflatable water slide, as well as space for a Williams Turbojet 385 tender and an Opacmare crane with a capacity of 450 kg.The main deck has a contemporary style with a traditional touch, represented by rich Pennsylvanian walnut and Zebrano woods. The lounge centres on a U-shaped settee to port, and there is a dining area to starboard opposite the well-equipped galley. The outside dining space aft is comfortable and spacious, and the separate wheelhouse contains an indoor helm station and the latest navigation technology. The lower deck houses well-appointed accommodations, each with ensuite bathrooms. The full-beam master stateroom amidships is flanked by a VIP cabin forward and two guest cabins, one with a double and one with a bunk bed. There is also a separate full beam crew area with two cabins and a bathroom.Joy is propelled by three Volvo Penta IPS800 engines with full joystick control. A Seakeeper 26 gyroscopic stabiliser keeps her stable both underway and at zero speed. An unusual bonus is the RINA classification for recreational craft. Rarely seen on a 23-metre vessel that will not be used for chartering, this was a special request by the owner to ensure the highest safety standards and enhance her commercial resale value.
Paul Allen - owner of the 92m Tatoosh and 126m Octopus passes away
Passionate superyacht owner - Paul Allen passed away at the age of 65, as he had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since 1982. Paul Allen was one of the founders of the Microsoft, alongside with Bill Gates. It is well knonw that he had a passion for the ocean and adventures. Paul Allen owned 126-meter superyacht Octopus built in 2003 by Lurssen. The exterior was designed by Espen Oino Naval Architects, whilst Jonathan Quinn Barnett of Seattle was responsible for the interior. Unlike the other owners of superyachts who are trying to stand out with non-standard form or with a length of their boats, Paul Allen has made a bid for excellence, for example, his yacht was built under the scheme of diesel-electric with 8 diesel generators, who simultaneously work on two electric motors of 6 megawatts, propelling screws. Also, Octopus has thrusters that allow her to go into any port or moor without help of tugboats despite the length of 126 meters.Megayacht's alluring features include two helicopters, a submarine, swimming pool, music studio and basketball court. She can accommodate up to 26 guests in 41 suites and a crew of 60. Octopus is also known for its annual celebrity-studded parties hosted at Cannes film festival, where Allen and his band play for guests.Another Paul Allen's superyacht was 92-meter Tatoosh. Tatoosh was built by Nobiskrug for mobile phone magnate Craig McCaw. Then the vessel was purchased by Paul Allen for a reported $100 million. The yacht's interior has been designed by Terence Disdale and has exterior styling by Kusch Yachts.The owner's accommodation incorporates two deck levels and is designed for total privacy, with a full beam bedroom, family room, observation lounge, gymnasium and a private office along with two children's cabins. She can sleep 20 guests overall in a further nine double staterooms and two cabins for four staff. Amenities aboard include a cinema and a heated swimming pool with contra-flow jets and Tatoosh also has two helicopter pads.
42-meter superyacht Lalibela has been destroyed by fire
42-meter superyacht Lalibela has been heavily damaged due to fire, which broke out at the night while she was docked near Cannes, France. The fire destroyed the top deck and cabins inside, reports Maritime Bulletin. Two of the firefighters had been injured while extinguishing and two seamen were on board, while the fire broke out, but they succesfully left the vessel without any damage. Lalibela was built by Benetti in 1972 and last refitted in 2013. She was available for charter starting from € 75,000 per week + expenses.