Luxurious superyachts are a distinct and prestigious asset. It may seem that building a sea vessel, when the cost is of no concern, is more straightforward than constructing a budget ship using standardized and readily available technical solutions. However, this is far from the truth. A superyacht is always crafted as a unique masterpiece, where the potential client’s requirements need to be fully considered. Compromises that assist in achieving an optimal balance between price and quality are absolutely unacceptable.
When designing superyachts, top yacht manufacturers often face complex technical challenges and employ unique solutions tailored to the specific client’s requirements. The concept of such yachts goes beyond the principle of “more expensive and more luxurious.” A luxurious yacht must be unique and unparalleled while remaining powerful, technologically advanced, stylistically refined, and flawless in every detail.
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Jan Huisman, the founder and chief visionary of Royal Huisman shipyard (Netherlands), one of the best yacht builders in the world, once said, “If you can dream it, we can build it.” Luxurious superyachts embody prestige, status, high social standing, success, and the wealth of their owners. However, they also serve as a testament to luxury yacht manufacturers’ capabilities and the talent of developers, engineers, and designers.
Best yacht manufacturers
There are not many companies operating in this sector of the market, but the competition for lucrative contracts is exceptionally high. Only a few best yacht brands in the world have the ability to construct truly legendary superyachts, where flawlessness and technical perfection merge seamlessly into a unified whole.
- The shipyard’s headquarters are located in Vlissingen.
- This luxury yacht builder has over 100 years of experience in the industry.
- The yacht lengths range from 50 to 120 meters.
- The traditionally used materials for the hull are steel and aluminum alloys.
- Amels’ production capabilities allow the construction of superyachts up to 200 meters or more.
- The shipyard also produces semi-custom yachts, such as Amels 60, Amels 80, and Full Custom.
- They offer a yacht refit program for already-built vessels.
- Some of the most renowned yachts from Amels include La Datcha (77 meters, recipient of the special prize at the BOAT International World Superyacht Awards 2021), Here Comes The Sun (89 meters, designed by Tim Heywood), and Project Signature (120 meters, the largest superyacht ever built in the Netherlands).
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- Being one of the best yacht companies, Benetti was founded in 1873. Its headquarters are located in Viareggio.
- Some estimates consider Benetti the leading global manufacturer in terms of the number of launched vessels.
- Benetti’s production capabilities allow for the release of up to 100 yachts per year.
- Some of the most renowned superyachts from Benetti include Lionheart (2016, 90 meters), Lana, Luminosity, and IJE (2019, 100 meters).
- Benetti’s semi-custom yachts range in length from 29 to 44.06 meters and include models such as Benetti Delfino, Benetti Tradition Supreme, Benetti Mediterraneo, Benetti Classic, Benetti Classic Supreme, Benetti Oasis, and Benetti Diamond.
- The shipyard also offers high-speed yachts with a cruising speed of 18 knots, such as Benetti Vivace (38.1 meters) and Benetti Veloce (42 meters).
- The shipyard was founded in 1949.
- Unlike other top yacht manufacturers, Feadship has no serial production. The company solely focuses on individual orders.
- Feadship caters to clients with extremely high demands and expectations.
- The yacht builder has facilities located in Hoofddorp, Aalsmeer, Makkum, Kaag, and Amsterdam.
- Some of the most renowned superyachts from Feadship include Musashi (2011, 87.78 meters), Madame Gu (2013, 99 meters), Symphony (2015, 101.5 meters), and Anna (2018, 110 meters).
- The shipyard focuses on producing sea vessels starting from 70 meters in length, and the maximum yacht length is only limited by the client’s desires. Fincantieri’s production capacity enables the successful execution of orders of any complexity.
- Fincantieri is one of the oldest luxurious yacht builders in the world, founded in 1780. The company has constructed over 7,000 ships throughout its history.
- The product range includes yachts built according to standardized designs, such as Prospect (70 meters), Goldmine (75 meters), Wave (85 meters), Marco Polo (102 meters), and Morpheus (115 meters). However, clients have the flexibility to make any desired modifications to these designs.
- The most renowned superyacht from the shipyard is Serene (2011, 133.9 meters).
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Heesen Yachts, Netherlands:
- The shipyard was founded in 1978.
- As one of the best yacht companies, Heesen specializes in crafting luxurious and unconventional yachts.
- Heesen prefers not to participate in informal competitions among luxury yacht manufacturers where yacht length is the main criterion.
- Among the superyachts built by the shipyard, no two are the same or similar.
- Some of the most renowned yachts from Heesen Yachts include Galatica Star (65 meters), Galatica Super Nova (70 meters), and Serenity (55 meters).
- Lürssen is a family-owned shipyard that was founded in 1875.
- Lürssen was among the most innovative luxury yacht brands, constructing the world’s first motor yacht in 1886.
- The shipyard’s production facilities, spread across eight centers throughout Germany, enable the construction of superyachts up to 220 meters in length.
- Some of the most renowned yachts from Lürssen include Azzam (180 meters), Blue (158 meters), Dilbar (156 meters), Al Said (155 meters), A+ (147 meters), and North (142 meters).
- The shipyard was founded in 1905 but joined superyacht builders only in 2000.
- The first yacht launched from the Nobiskrug shipyard was Tatoosh (92 meters).
- Nobiskrug operates two production centers in Germany.
- The technical and engineering capabilities of the shipyard enable the construction of superyachts up to 426 meters in length.
- Some of the most renowned superyachts from Nobiskrug include Tatoosh (2000, 92.42 meters) and SY A (2017, 142.81 meters).
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- The shipyard specializes in technically complex superyachts ranging from 80 to 140 meters long.
- The first yacht was launched in 1992.
- Oceanco provides only personalized customer service, catering to individual needs.
- Oceanco collaborates with renowned design studios such as Espen Øino, Dykstra, Lateral Naval Architects, Nuvolari Lenard, Luiz de Basto Designs, Lobanov Design, Sam Sorgiovanni, and Bill Tripp.
- Some of the largest superyachts built by Oceanco include Kaos (110 meters), Bravo Eugenia (109 meters), Black Pearl (106.7 meters), H (95 meters), Tranquility (91.5 meters), and DAR (90 meters).
Perini Navi, Italy:
- Perini Navi is a conglomerate of four independent luxury boat manufacturers specializing in different types of marine vessels.
- The shipyard has the capability to construct a wide range of yachts, including sailboats, large sailing vessels, racing yachts, high-speed cruisers, and motor yachts.
- Perini Navi focuses on building sailboats equipped with traditional propulsion systems.
- Some of the most renowned sail-powered superyachts built by Perini Navi include Maltese Falcon (2006, 88 meters), Nautilus (formerly Grace E, 2013, 73 meters), Badis I (formerly Sybaris, 2016, 70 meters), Spirit Of The C’s (2003, 64 meters), and Seahawk (2013, 60 meters).
Royal Huisman, Netherlands:
- The shipyard is among the oldest top yacht builders, founded in 1884.
- Sailboats created by Royal Huisman have twice made it into the top 10 list of the largest vessels in their class, a unique achievement in maritime history.
- The specialization of the shipyard lies in crafting luxurious and technically flawless sailing yachts.
- Royal Huisman’s production facilities are located in Vollenhove, Netherlands, and Emden, Germany, with plans to launch another facility in Amsterdam.
- Some of the most renowned sailing yachts built by Royal Huisman include Athena (2004, 90 meters), Sea Eagle II (2020, 81 meters), Sarissa II (2023, 59.7 meters), Ngoni V (2017, 58.14 meters), and Ethereal (2009, 58.04 meters).
Luxury superyachts: figures and facts
Elite sailing vessels have long ceased to be solely a means of transportation. Superyachts are perceived by society as an indicator of the owner’s status, success in business, a sense of style, a prestigious element, and a sound investment tool. Achievements in this field related to superyacht prices, their length, displacement, speed, and concentration in specific countries are regularly updated.
Here are the top 10 countries with the highest number of registered superyachts (data from Business Insider for 2018 / 2019):
- United States – 162 / 158
- Italy – 129 / 133
- Spain – 113 / 133
- France – 89 / 118
- Greece – 62 / 82
- Bahamas – 35 / 45
- Monaco – 26 / 41
- United Arab Emirates – 21 / 22
- Australia – 26 / 19
- Netherlands – 10 / 18.
The most interesting and unusual superyachts in 2023 (source – elitetraveler):
- Ethereal (58.1m, Royal Huisman) – the first superyacht with a true hybrid power system
- Black Pearl (106.7m, Oceanco) – the largest sailing superyacht
- Savannah (83.5m, Feadship) – the first hybrid motor yacht and the largest one painted in a metallic color
- ICE / AIR (90m, Lürssen) – the most technologically advanced superyacht with maximum ecological efficiency
- Artefact (80m, Nobiskrug) – unique design and eco-friendliness
- Juliet (43.6m, Royal Huisman) – silent operation capability, zero harmful emissions, and provision for battery-powered operation
- Swan 88 Hybrid (26.5m, Nautor’s Swan) – a hybrid-electric power system, minimalist design by German Frers
- Rainbow (40m, Holland Jachtbouw) – a retro design with a luxurious interior
- Canova (43.3m, Baltic Yachts) – the first superyacht with zero emissions into the atmosphere, featuring the first practical application of a transverse dynamic stability system in a commercial product
- SW108 Hybrid (32.77m, Southern Wind Shipyard) – diesel-electric hybrid system by SWS, designed by Nauta Design / Farr Yacht Design
- REV Ocean (182.9m, Fincantieri / Vard Holdings / Vard Brattvåg) – an ultra-modern yacht combined with a laboratory designed for ocean exploration, equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment and featuring a contemporary design
- Arksen 85 (Project Ocean, 27.3m, Arksen) – a luxurious yacht designed for travel, elite leisure, and ocean exploration, with a range of 7,000 km
- Project AQUA (112.3m, Lateral Naval Architects) – a superyacht featuring hydrogen fuel cells, unique design solutions by Sinot Yacht Design, and an environmentally friendly propulsion system
- Bliss (94.75m, Feadship) – offers exceptional passenger comfort, featuring a custom design by Studio de Voogt and Remi Tessier, a hybrid power subsystem, and all the amenities for family leisure
- Eco Explorer (77.1m, Feadship / Merveille Yachting) – one of the most environmentally friendly superyachts, a luxurious sailing vessel with a triple power system consisting of wind turbines, solar panels, and underwater turbines
- Vento (100m, Nuvolari-Lenard) – a modern visualization of an environmentally friendly superyacht concept (design developed by Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard) powered by a diesel-electric system, with traditional sails as the primary propulsion source
- Project Crystal (94m, project) – a yacht project based on the developments of Nick Stark catering to buyers who value large vessel size, environmental factors, and a unique exterior
- Sunreef 80 Eco (23.87m, Sunreef Yachts) – a compact catamaran-style superyacht described as an “ecologically luxurious vessel” in the official presentation, features164m² of solar panels with a total capacity of 45.5 kWp
- Aegir 2.0 (80m, Tillberg Design of Sweden) – equipped with a hybrid power system combining wind and electricity, featuring a large battery capacity, a trimaran hull, and enhanced functional capabilities supported by unique design solutions
- Project COSMOS (114m, Lürssen) – the world’s first superyacht with fuel cells, offering maximum ecological safety and impressive autonomy (1000 nautical miles without harmful atmospheric emissions).
The most expensive superyachts: Top 12 of 2023
Personal luxury liners are not just symbols of prestige and status. Elite yachts also serve as excellent investments with minimal risk. These maritime vessels are almost always built as unique masterpieces, offering unparalleled levels of luxury and technical sophistication. The data presented here is accurate as of the beginning of April 2023, sourced from bscholarly.
The most expensive yachts (estimated cost, last known owner):
- History Supreme (30m, $4.5 billion), believed to be owned by Robert Kuok. It is constructed using 100 tons of solid gold and platinum, with one design element featuring a genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex bone.
- Eclipse (162.5m, $1.5 billion), owned by Roman Abramovich. It boasts a maximum speed of 21 knots and a range of up to 6,000 miles. The project was realized at the German shipyard Blohm+Voss, with a design by Terry Disdale. Until 2013, it held the title of the world’s largest superyacht.
- Streets Of Monaco (152m, $1 billion), a conceptual model. When this project is realized, Streets of Monaco will become the largest floating city, replicating a famous French resort destination for the affluent.
- Dilbar (156m, $800 million), owned by Alisher Usmanov. This exclusive superyacht boasts unique capabilities, cost, and technical equipment. It reaches a maximum speed of 23 knots and features a 25-meter-long swimming pool.
- Azzam (180m, $650 million), owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayan of the UAE. Azzam stands out for its exceptional technical features, luxurious amenities, and enormous size. It was presented to the owner as a gift.
- Topaz (147m, $527 million), owned by Sheikh Mansour, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The superyacht’s maximum speed is 25.5 knots, and it is equipped with a powerful climate control system and two helicopter landing pads.
- Dubai (162m, $400 million), owned by Sheikh Mohammed Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai’s Emir and Prime Minister. The yacht embodies an impressive combination of luxury, technical excellence, and exquisite design.
- A (142.81m, $400 million), owned by Andrey and Aleksandr Melnichenko. This luxurious superyacht features six guest bedrooms, and a design concept focused on minimalism.
- Serene (133.9m, $350 million), owned by Mohammed bin Salman. It is one of the largest superyachts with a strong emphasis on design, overseen by Espen Oeino and Reymond Langton Design.
- Radiant (110m, $320 million), owned by Abdulla Al Futtaim. This classic superyacht incorporates additional anti-piracy measures, such as powerful water jets, and offers a full range of options for the affluent owner and their 20 guests.
- Pelorus (115m, $300 million), owned by Samuel Tak Lee. The yacht was built in 2003 and has changed ownership multiple times. It features two helicopter pads, a landing craft, and watercraft. Its maximum speed reaches up to 19 knots.
- Lady Moura (104.85m, $210 million), owned by Nasser Al Rashid. Although completed in 1990, this superyacht remains technologically advanced even after 33 years. It set standards that continue to be upheld to this day.
Purchasing a superyacht can be quite costly. However, that does not mean you cannot acquire a suitable vessel and register it in a carefully selected jurisdiction. Our experts will assist you in finding the best options and help with the documentation process.
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