Earlier this year it was revealed that Norwegian billionaire, Kjell Inge Røkke would build the world's largest yacht in the world. With a length of 181.6 meters, his Research Expedition Vessel (REV) is set to beat out the current record holder, the 180 meter Azzam, by 1.6 meters.
Designed by industry superstar, Espen Oeino, the REV will be built by Vard and boast accommodation for up to 36 guests. Following her delivery in 2020, the superyacht will be made available for charter, her main purpose will however be to act as a platform for research and expeditions according to her owner.
"The REV will be a platform for gathering knowledge" her future owner, Kjell Inge Røkke explained. "I would like to welcome researchers, environmental groups, and other institutions on board, to acquire new skills to evolve innovative solutions, to address challenges and opportunities connected to the sea."
Valued at $2,9 billion by Forbes, Røkke is currently the fourth richest man in Norway and 693rd in the world. Having started out as an 18 year-old fisherman with no higher education, Røkke made his fortune in the fishing space, purchasing his first trawler in the 1980s and eventually building up a large fleet. Earlier this year Røkke said he planned to give most of his fortune away.
The REV, set to be operated in tandem with WWF is one of the key focuses of his plan to help the environment. Set to be delivered by Vard in 2020, the yacht will be able to deploy mini-submarines, drones and actual submarines, transport up to 60 researches, gather data up to a depth of 6,000 meters and remove up to 5 tons of plastic per day.
Røkke further explained to the media that his first large factory trawler was built by Vard 30 years ago and that he had maintained a great working relationship with them since then, which is why the Norway-based shipyard obtained the contract to build the REV.
Amongst key features on the REV will be equipment for monitoring and surveying marine areas, modern laboratories, an auditorium, two helipads, a hangar for a remote operated vehicle and an autonomous underwater vehicle as a multifunctional cargo deck aft of the ship.
"There may not be any economic rationale for the private construction of such a ship, but the case is compelling from the ocean's point of view" Røkke explained. "I look forward to working with scientists and positive, knowledgeable, solution-orientated people both in Norway and internationally."
When not in use for research, the Research Expedition Vessel will however also engage in 'traditional' charter activity, being rented out to ultra high net worth individuals on a weekly basis. Under this configuration, the megayacht would carry up to 36 guests and a crew of 54.
"The vessel will be built to the highest standard making it suitable for charter to private individuals, companies, and institutions, which will generate research funding, and my family and I will also charter and use the ship as a place for recreation and inspiration" detailed Røkke.
Operated by the World Wide Fund's (WWF) Norwegian branch and its CEO, Nina Jensen, the non-profit will benefit from complete autonomy in managing the yacht with regards to her billionaire owner according to one of his statements. Røkke plans to give away most of his fortune to clean up the oceans.
With a length of 181.6-meters, the REV beats out the 180-meter Azzam for the title of the world's largest yacht by 1.6 meters. Built for the Emir of Dubai by Lurssen in 2013, Azzam is world famous for being the current record holder. Designed by Christophe Leoni and Nauta Yachts, Azzam can reach a top speed of 30 knots powered by engines giving her a total of 94,000 hp.
Prior to Azzam, the title was, for a long time, held by the 162.5-meter Eclipse. Built by Blohm+Voss in 2010 for Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner, Roman Abramovich, she features two helipads and a special set of lime-colored lifeboats to qualify to transport a larger number of guests.
Whilst the REV's 2020 delivery date positions her to becoming the world's longest yacht, it is currently unlikely that she will become the world's largest yacht by interior volume due to her open space of the yacht. This record is currently held by Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov and his 156-meter Dilbar, delivered by Lurssen in 2016.
The REV is part of a recent explosive growth in Norway's super yacht sector, with several of the world's largest yachts in build in the Scandinavian country. One of these is the 116-meter explorer, Ulysses, which will become the second explorer yacht the shipyard will have delivered to New Zealand's richest man, Graeme Hart in the past 3 years.
Just a few days ago, the shipyard signed a contract to build yet another 100m explorer in partnership with Lurssen. This follows several other commercial shipyards in Norway venturing into the super yacht space and Norway increasing its popularity as a destination for super yachts itself.
Previously most famous for importing his version of American capitalism to Norway, Røkke is already not a stranger to the super yacht world as one might expect. The first yacht that the press linked to Roekke has been the 66-meter sailing yacht, Aglaia delivered by Dutch-based Vitters in 2012.
Designed by Dubois and built out of aluminum, the 66-meter can have its mainsail up in less than two minutes according to the shipyard. She also carries the largest artwork ever made on canvas, a fully customized sail made by Norwegian artist Magne Furuholmen. Now renamed Ahimsa, she was sold at the end of 2014.
Roekke was also reportedly the original owner of the 70-meter Reverie. The largest yacht by gross tonnage ever built by Italian shipyard, Benetti at the time of her build, Reverie was delivered to a design by John Munford in 2000.
With an interior volume of 1,975 GT, Reverie, now known as Freedom following her recent change in ownership in 2013 at an asking price of $49,5 million, she stretches over seven decks.
Røkke's latest yacht is believed to be the 85.9-meter sailing yacht Aquijo. Delivered in 2016 as a joint partnership between Vitters, the builders of the first yacht linked to Røkke and Oceanco, a renowned builder of yachts mainly over 80 meters.
Vitters developed a custom steering system for Aquijo. It works by translating the hydrodynamic forces on the rudder blades directly to the steering wheels on the flybridge, thus providing the helmsman with immediate feedback and a feeling for how the yacht is moving through the water.
The yacht comprises 4 decks and is able to accommodate up to 12 guests. Spaces, particularly where alfresco areas abut interior ones, were configured to flow from one to the other without restrictions.
Aquijo is not only the largest ketch in the world but also among the 10 largest sailing superyachts completed to date. Built under the project name P85, the German studio Dölker + Voges was responsible for her interior design, whilst Tripp Design Naval Architecture styled her exterior.
Often hailed by media as the self-made man who changed the way business was done in Norway, Roekke is also known in the business world as a billionaire with an explosive temper and a taste for the supersized according to Reuters. Currently valued at $2,9 billion by Forbes, Roekke's fortune initially came from fishing, since then the 55-year-old has however expanded his empire.
Leaving high school as a dyslexic teenager with no education, he moved to Seattle to become a fisherman in Seattle. Saving up and eventually investing in a number of old boats, transforming them into trawlers and building up his fortune in the process. Roekke then chose to return to Norway in the 1990s, seeing new opportunities in his home country.
Shortly after his return to Norway, Roekke acquired 40% of 173-year-old conglomerate, Aker in 1996 and merged it with his Resources Group International before acquiring Kvaerner in 2000.
"He was the first one to bring American-style, aggressive capitalism to Norway, daring to use shareholder power to get what he wanted." detailed one of his biographers. "This was quite unheard of in Norway at the time."
When many had thought that Roekke would act as a corporate raider, chopping off the company piece by piece for cash, he took a different approach. "He has shown he thinks about the long-term when he makes investments and buys firms." commented Det Norske former executive, Erik Haugane.
In 2014, Roekke's Det Norske paid $2,1 billion in cash to acquire Marathon Oil's Norwegian business, creating the second largest oil producer in the country behind Statoil. Since his Aker holding has also divested from his original fishing business.
"My wife is totally right when she says I suffer from an incurable disease: gigantomania. She has tried to cure me but given up." he wrote in a 2011 letter to shareholders. "We had agreed to build a sailboat of 66. She meant 66 feet; naturally, I was thinking in meters. It ended up at 66 meters."
Italian leading yacht builder Benetti has delivered the eighth hull in Benetti's Fast 125 Series, Project BF108, or Bangdang.The project has been overseen by Jim Evans, Managing Director of SuperYachtsMonaco. Bangdang features dynamic exterior profile with clean sporty lines by Benetti’s long-term collaborator Stefano Righini.The 38.1-metre yacht’s standout features will comprise a large sun deck with a spa pool surrounded by sunpads, a vast beach club venue with a bar area and multiple outdoor areas for dining and socialising in the sunshine.The interiors of Bangdang were developed from the boards od British design studio RWD, bringing modern minimalistic profile based on their contemporary Air theme, also complimented by light eucalyptus and bay wood throughout.Spacious and open, Bangdang will be able to house up to 11 guests across 4 cabins including and a full-beam master suite on the main deck, along with accommodation for a 7-person crew on the lower deck.One of the model’s trademarks, the state-of-the-art propulsion system with steerable carbon thrusters, was developed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. The Azipull C65 system improves manoeuvrability whilst reducing fuel consumption for smooth and efficient sailing.Thus, Bangdang is a high-performance yacht, propelled by twin 2636hp MTU 12V2000 M96L engines to a top speed of 24 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots under range of 1,750 nautical miles.
July 22, 2019
A renowned tennis player Rafael Nadal ranked 2nd in the men's singles rating, has commissioned an 80 Sunreef Power catamaran with Polish multihull specialist Sunreef Yachts. It has been earlier rumoured in the press, that Nadal has put on sale his 23.5-metre MCY 76 Beethoven asking £2.3million.While Nadal’s fully customised vessel is due for 2020 delivery, the first unit in the range will debut at Cannes Yachting Festival 2019.The model’s distinctive features comprise stainless steel portlights, high bulwarks and subtle ambient lighting. She comes equipped with a garage for a tender and Jet Ski, as well as numerous other water toys.The vessel comes with a number of options for the upper deck, including a waterfall-fed spa pool, upper helm position, bar area and retractable hard-top.The 23.5-metre provides accommodation for up to 12 guests and four crew members. Her power options can be chosen from either twin 575hp engines or twin 1,200 hp engines.Nadal commissioned the yacht after chartering a number of Sunreef catamarans and meeting yard founder and president Francis Lapp at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival. Rafael Nadal expressed himself: As someone from an island as I am, the sea is part of our lives and it’s not a secret that I love the sea. Every time I am at home in Mallorca I try to go out and find that time where I can just enjoy my time on a boat. I am very happy to be on board of this Sunreef Yachts family.With 82 titles overall including 18 Grand Slam victories as well as a record 34 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, Rafael Nadal is one of the world’s most renowned and highest-paid athletes. The 3rd all-time leading tennis player in terms of earnings, Rafael Nadal earned $35 million in 2019 only, according to Forbes.
July 22, 2019
Turkish builder AvA Yachts has launched the first explorer yacht from Kando 110 series in Antalya. The 34-metre model has been also commissioned by NBA superstar Tony Parker, due for delivery in 2020.The yacht features a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, all designed and engineered by the yard’s in-house team. With a volume of 320 GT, Kando 110 spreads over four decks and accommodates up to 10 guests across five double guest suites, including the 27-square-metre owner’s cabin with full height windows forward of the main deck.The 34-metre features a deep swim platform for easy access to the tenders and water toys and for sunbathing close to the water. The upper deck aft hosts an alfresco dining table beneath the shade of the sundeck overhang, while the foredeck holds the tenders, which are launched and retrieved using a Davit crane. Above, the sundeck provides a lavish spa pool and a shaded lounge beneath the hardtop bimini.The modern interiors of Kando 110 have been trademarked with accents of American walnut, wenge and stainless steel.Boasting a range of over 6,000 nautical miles, the yacht will have a max speed of 14 knots.AvA Yachts chairman and founder Atilla Küçükdiker highlighted: We have designed, engineered, and meticulously constructed Kando as a super strong and sturdy ship with a phenomenal commercial equipment level and superyacht interior quality and build.The vessel will now depart for the Côte d’Azur, ahead of her international debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September.Meanwhile, the French-American NBA All-Star Tony Parker commissioned another 35-metre Kando 110 from Ava Yachts in 2018. The yacht, scheduled for delivery in 2020, will become the second hull of the series and is understood to cost nearly €6,650,000.Drafted from Europe into the NBA, Tony Parker had a 17-year run with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, playing 6 All-Star games and being named the MVP of the 2007 NBA Finals. Now 36 years old and playing for the Charlotte Hornets on a $5 million a year salary, Parker is estimated to have earned over $165 million in salary over his 18 years in the league.
July 22, 2019
After successful sea trials, the first Amels 220 superyacht Aurora Borealis has been delivered to the owner. The 67-metre superyacht departed the yard in Vlissingen on 16 July, as the last delivery of a busy 2019 season for Amels.Photo by Maritimephoto.com via Dutch YachtingOverseen by Antoine Larricq of Fraser, the project first known as Project Waka, hit the water for the first time in March 2019 inside the yard's covered dry docks. The yacht remains listed for sale at € 83,500,000 via Fraser.The 67.11-metre vessel features exteriors by Tim Heywood Design and interiors by Winch Design. Spreading over six decks, Aurora Borealis features a 65-square-metre swim platform and beach club area. Special features on-board comprise a guest elevator to all decks, a steam room, spa and a fully-equipped gym, as well as a tender garage spacious enough to house two eight-metre tenders.Photo by Maritimephoto.com via Dutch YachtingAntoine Larricq also represented the owner in terms of interiors. Aurora Borealis' interior volume of 1,500 GT provides for nearly 1,150 square metres of interior space, comprising seven luxury guest suites. Thus, accommodation will be offered for up to 14 guests, along with 15 crew members.Aurora Borealis is now heading to Antibes. Overall, this year’s four new build Limited Editions yachts, plus three AMELS Refit yachts, were all delivered on time and on budget, the yard reports.Photo by Maritimephoto.com via Dutch YachtingRose Damen, Managing Director with Amels, comments: We’re delighted to see our new Amels owners enjoying their yachts delivered as promised. This has been one of our busiest seasons ever at AMELS, and we’re very proud of the high quality of each yacht and the very positive feedback from their new owners.In the meantime, the yard continues work on several yachts under construction inside the drydocks and building bays for 2020 deliveries at both Vlissingen City and Vlissingen East facilities. Photo by Maritimephoto.com via Dutch YachtingOne of the recent projects in hype to be welcomed by the yard for completion, is the 77-metre DAMEN SeaXplorer luxury expedition yacht La Datcha ordered by a Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov.
July 19, 2019
Previously known as Project Fiji, the 95-metre Lürssen superyacht Madsummer, has been delivered to her owner, a repeat client with the Lürssen. The vessel was launched earlier this year at Lürssen’s Rendsburg facility. During her construction period of nearly 2,5 years, the project was supervised by the owner’s captain and brokerage company Moran Yacht & Ship.Featuring a 14-metre beam, the exterior profile of Madsummer comes from a British designer Harrison Eidsgaard maintaining sleek and elegant lines within impressive volumes.Photo: Klaus JordanThe vessel's main trademarks are the 12-metre swimming pool and Jacuzzi laid on the aft deck and protected with glass bulwarks. That contributes to clean and uncluttered appearance of hull surfaces. Other decks are connected through exterior staircases and centreline openings.Spacious beach club and spa zone with a sea terrace on the lower deck also belong on the list of Madsummer’s special features. The bow is equipped with a helipad, while the sun deck aft features hidden crane in the bulwark, aimed to handle an aeroboat. As to the upper deck, it encompasses walkable skylight and an integrated fireplace.Photo: Carl GrollMadsummer’ interiors for 20 guests across 10 suites were designed by Italy-based Studio Laura Sessa represent contemporary modern style. Laura Sessa commented earlier: For this interior design yacht project, I invested inner artistic creativity due to my long relationship with the Owner. I playfully created spaces full of customised details and colours from the sea, emanating harmony and elegance.Photo: Klaus JordanThe latest delivery from the yard will be displayed at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019. She will be spending her first weeks in the Mediterranean before her world debut would highlight the port during the show.The superyacht is the third one in the recent series of the 90-metres plus vessels delivered by Lürssen, along with impressive 136-metre Flying FOX and 111-metre Project TIS. Furthermore, the largest Lürssen’s unveiling of 2019, the 130-metre plus in-build Project Lightning has been revealed recently.
July 19, 2019