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."
Introducing Naseem (2008) - a classically elegant 47m motor yacht by Heesen Yachts, which combines award-winning design by the acknowledged Bannenberg & Rowell Design Studio and unmistakable Dutch prestige. Delivered in 2008 and beautifully maintained by her present owner, the superyacht was fully refurbished in 2018 with a major focus on outdoor activities. NASEEM is equipped with 5 cabins and can accommodate on board up to 12 guests in utmost comfort, as well as a 10-person crew. Among her key features there are a Deck Jacuzzi and a convertible tender garage which can be used as a beach club for swimming and sunbathing or as a launchpad when using water toys. The yacht is powered by twin MTU 8V4000M70 heavy-duty engines and has a comfortable 14-knot cruising speed. With an impressive range of 4,000 nautical miles, she is suitable for Transatlantic cruising. The interior of the yacht is open-planned and is finished with bleached Wenge wood and polished marble flooring. The sense of space and light is enhanced by large windows.A vast salon on the main deck offers an open-plan lounge with an elegant bar for pre-dinner cocktails. It is also equipped with a 60” plasma TV with a full entertainment system and can be transformed into a private cinema for after-hours movie sessions. The spacious formal dining area can comfortably fit up to 10 guests. Naseem’s full-beam master suite is located forward on the main deck and is beautifully finished in cream with a nice contrast of wood veneer shades. The suite offers guests a private lounge and vanity area overlooking the ocean and a bathroom finished in marble.Exterior-wise the yacht offers multiple lounges, dining spaces and a forward-facing spa pool - perfect for onboard socialising, enjoying panoramic ocean views and relaxing in the sunshine.
September 21, 2020
The classic Benetti yacht Hidalgo got seriously damaged by the fire on September 15 in morning. The yacht fire was spotted at the Muggiano shipyard close to La Spezia in the region of Liguria where Hidalgo was hauled out for refit works. “A dense column of smoke” was created by the fire and was “visible from a considerable distance”, as the local news portal "Liguria Nautica" reported. Main and upper deck of the vessel got severely damaged, however the fireguards were on time to prevent the fire from spreading elsewhere, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire still remains unclear. Designed for long-distance cruising, the yacht was delivered in Viareggio in 1968 and got last refitted in 2012. The vessel was previously known as Mirabella. (Photos: Giusppe Orru)
September 19, 2020
The new Ferretti Yachts 500 are the winners in the “Best Interior Design” category, whilst the Pershing 7X and CRN M/Y 62m Voice won in their “Best Exterior Design” categoriesCannes, September 16, 2020 – The harmonious number three is the number of major prizes taken by Ferretti Group at the World Yachts Trophies 2020, the prestigious seasonal event in yachting organised by SG Publications, for undeniably perfect style and design.The ceremony took place last Saturday, on September 12, in Cannes - on the beach of the luxurious InterContinental Carlton, - and was attended by guests and business insiders.Ferretti Group's boats that feature innovative technology and design, along with inimitable Italian style in all aspects, deservedly won three awards.These are the Awards assigned to the boats: - Ferretti Yachts 500: Best Interior Design Trophy, 45 to 64-foot category (13.70-19.50 meters); - Pershing 7X: Best Exterior Design Trophy, 64 to 80-foot category (19.50-24 meters);- CRN M/Y 62m Voice: Best Exterior Design Trophy, 164 to 270-foot category (50-82 meters) Ferretti Group continues to grow and will be announcing many important novelties in the coming months.Ferretti Group shows sustainable growth and is going to announce a lot of interesting novelties in the near future.(Press release and photos provided by Ferretti Group Web News)
September 18, 2020
Sunreef Yachts has revealed a 40 metre catamaran explorer concept. The yard adds an unstoppable explorer concept to the shipyard’s range of luxury catamarans. The 40M Sunreef Power is a versatile multihull craft dedicated to discovering new horizons. Her propulsion options allow for transoceanic range and solid performance in rough seas.Blending elegance and modern technology, the 40M Sunreef Power can be heavily customized to match ambitious navigation plans. The extended aft deck houses a launching crane, a 7m tender, two jet skis and storage for a variety of water toys. With the hydraulic aft platform lowered, guests can enjoy a full-beam private beach.The superyacht’s 13,34m beam provides for immense living areas totaling 654m² with accommodation spread across three decks. Custom features available for this concept include a playroom with a self-leveling pool table, a steam room or a master suite with a private fold-out balcony.⠀Alfresco relaxation areas include a large sun lounge with a spa pool surrounded by oversized sunpads and a bar as well as a vast bow terrace.
September 10, 2020
How to design a yacht for Freddie Mercury and Forrest Gump? Feadship reveals new 109m Superyacht concept
If you could combine rock star level partying with down-to-earth innovative design, what kind of superyacht would you end up with? Meet Project FG (Freddy Gump), a Feadship design created for the fictional combination of Freddy Mercury and Forrest Gump. It is the latest design to be revealed from the “Carte Blanch Exclusives” archives.⠀The 109-metre Project FG came to life during the Feadship Brokers Course in 2019. Together with the Feadship design team from Studio De Voogt, the invited brokers created a design for a wild – but down to earth – Freddy Gump. In a few days’ time, Project FG was born as a technically feasible design that allows for wild partying at night and peaceful relaxation during daytime.More than 200 people can party in the outdoor beach club. Hidden from the outside world, FG includes a mysterious hidden club in the bow of the yacht for exclusive private gatherings.Marsha Van Buitenen and Jan Schaffers in conversation. Credit: FeadshipFeadship sales director Marsha Van Buitenen says:“The group wanted a character that embodied extremes. They thought about a client that one hand has a party attitude but on the other is very down to earth as well. They combined a fictional character and a real character to dream up the client – for the down to earth side, it was Forest Gump, and for the wilder side, it was Freddie Mercury. With that, Freddie Gump as born.”On the aft deck there is a huge outdoor beach club, which is four times larger than Feadship designed “Savannah”. This beach club accommodates parties of up to 300 people while a panoramic piano lounge on the upper deck acts as the heart of the superyacht and the meeting point of the two personalities – a place that both Freddie Mercury and Forrest Gump could retire to as dusk falls and from where the rest of the yacht design branches out into the individual elements of each character.Other unique design elements of Project FG include a pop-up table tennis court on the tip of the bow that features a glass tube that “pops up” at the push of a button and encloses the table-tennis table so that the players are protected from the effects of the wind.One particular design feature that certainly caters to the rockstar inspirations of Freddie Mercury is the hidden club for where the really crazy parties happen – even crazier than those happening on the aft deck. Guests are not given directions on how to get there but instead have to find a hidden door past an engine in the superyacht’s belly.While Project FG Freddie Gump has yet to find an owner, the technically feasible Feadship design is still open for the kind of owner with an appreciation for wild nights of partying like Mercury and peaceful days of relaxation.Farouk Nefzi, Feadship marketing and brand director, says:There are so many future concepts coming out, but they are simply designed for 50 years from now. That too easy. Everybody can dream but to create something using technology that's applicable today, if you just have the will to do it, that's what we're showcasing. We feel like we can bring some joy to people's life by showcasing the possibilities that we are able to do right now. If you look at these designs, they trigger people to move forward and leverage on the existing technology. We want to showcase what is possible and not be dominated by the generics of this industry. It's very easy to make baby steps into what the next stage of yachting should be. We think we could really speed up the process if we find clients ready and wanting to invest in this.
September 9, 2020