Top 5 luxury yachts in the world
There are several marinas is Palma de Mallorca and the net worth of the yachts and super yachts moored there on a typical day must run into trillions of Euros. It’s fascinating to walk along the Paseo Maritimo and gawp at the sheer scale and luxury of some of the boats. There are usually teams of deck hands buffing the chrome, swabbing the decks and polishing the glass. They certainly like to keep them spic and span. I guess if you’ve spent multiple millions you’d want things ship shape.
Occasionally you see a super yacht that dwarfs even the largest of the luxury yachts. I’m not sure it’s correct to call these behemoths yachts at all. They probably qualify to be called ships. The price of these floating villages is eye watering and only the very wealthiest people on the planet can possibly afford to commission the design and building of such vast vessels.
Each year, international super yacht builders from around the word launch and deliver new, and ever larger, yachts to owners around the globe. The below list changes a little every year, but some of these vessels have remained in the top 5 for years. To put the sheer size of these beasts into perspective the length of a soccer pitch must be between 90m and 120m. Here are the top 5 largest yachts in the world to date.
1 Azzam (180m) Lürssen Yacht
It’s not surprising that the world’s longest yacht came from a builder with nine out of the 20 top builds in the superyacht arena. Unfortunately, Lürssen could never really boast about Azzam after its launch in 2013 because of the owner’s penchant for privacy.
Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi directed a team of designers and engineers who started with the bare concept, worked through the technical challenges of what might be the most complex super yacht ever, and finished with an unusually large vessel that can top the 30-knot mark. Nauta Design’s exterior features a long, sleek forward area, with well-proportioned tiers moving up to the skydeck. Lürssen describes the interior by Christophe Leoni as “sophisticated, with luxurious decor inspired by the Empire style of the early 19th century,” but is otherwise short on details. Its gas turbines connected to water jets push Azzam to more than 30 knots.
2. Eclipse (162m) Blohm + Voss
The stately Eclipse, delivered to billionaire Roman Abramovich, took five years to design and build. When it left the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg in 2010, it was the world’s largest yacht. The interior has 17 staterooms and a palatial master suite, with the capacity to carry 85 crew.
The Terence Disdale exterior has a proportional profile, with tiered decks that sweep upward and bend ever so slightly at the aft ends. Eclipse has a 185-foot-long owner’s deck and, at the time of its launch, the largest swimming pool on any super yacht (the bottom raises and converts to a dance floor). Other features reflecting its stature: the capacity to hold three helicopters, including one in its belowdecks hangar, a sophisticated stabilisation system, and an enormous spa, gym, and beach club. Hybrid diesel-electric engines are connected to Azipod drives that give Eclipse a top-end speed of 21 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles.
3. Dubai (162m), Platinum Yachts
This Andrew Winch design was originally commissioned for Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei as a joint project between Blohm + Voss and Lürssen, before it was halted in 1998 with just a bare hull and skeletal superstructure.
The hull was sold to the government of Dubai, and, under the direction of the country’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, work on the 531-footer began again, though this time by Platinum Yachts. ‘Dubai’ is now the sheikh’s royal yacht, with accommodations for 24 guests and quarters for 88 crew. It has an impressive 70-foot-wide atrium, landing pad for a Black Hawk helicopter, submarine garage, disco, and cinema. Full certification was obtained from Lloyd’s Register in October 2006.
4. Dilbar (156m), Lürssen
The 2016 launch of Dilbar gave Lürssen the distinction of not only building the longest yacht ever (Azzam), but also the largest in terms of volume.
Espen Øino did the exterior, creating a full-bodied superstructure of long, flowing decks, along with two helicopter pads. Dilbar also has an 82-foot swimming pool that, according to Lürssen, is the world’s longest on a yacht. The interior by Winch Design is defined by its “rare and exclusive luxury materials,” says the builder, declining to go into detail. Lürssen added that the world’s largest motor yacht was one of the most complex and challenging yachts ever built, because of its dimensions and technology. Despite Dilbar’s volume, the designers did a masterful job making the yacht look relatively svelte, with no obvious bulges along the length of the hull.
5. A (141m) Nobiskrug
As it stands at the moment Yacht ‘A’ comes in at the ninth largest in the world but I’ve included it here because of all the very largest yachts ‘A’ is the most futuristic and the most original.
The futuristic look of sailing yacht A includes smooth, silver-metallic surfaces and windows that look nearly invisible, three composite masts that bend slightly, and a deck hidden by high bulwarks. The Philippe Starck design is a wild fantasy yacht of the future. The 141m sailing yacht is a technical victory for German yard Nobiskrug, which developed composite fashion plates to create the unusual shapes, without any compromises in strength or fluidity. It has the tallest freestanding composite masts on any sailing vessel. The boat also reportedly has an underwater viewing platform in the keel. “Sailing yacht A is undoubtedly one of the most visionary projects Nobiskrug has ever been involved in,” says Holger Kahl, the firm’s managing director. Starck’s interior remains a secret. The yard reports the yacht has a top speed of 21 knots.
Danny Frith is Director at SkiBoutique. SkiBoutique is a luxury ski chalet agency based in Switzerland.