Yachts are symbols of luxury on the waters. The sleek and powerful boats combine pleasure with exploration. Their design immediately attracts attention and their amenities inspire awe. The largest of these luxury vessels are called superyachts, which are owned by some of the world’s richest people. And now the oceans are going to see more of them as a series of launches, both superyachts and smaller luxury yachts, are set for 2023.
But first, a question that comes to the minds of many when a yacht is mentioned revolves around the definition of superyachts.
Built with the latest technology and bespoke amenities, some billionaires have at least one superyacht in their collection of expensive toys. However, not every yacht is essentially a superyacht, and the yacht industry offers no set definition of the word “superyacht.”
It is generally understood as a very large yacht attaining the highest levels of luxury, which has enticed even celebrities to buy the vessel. In the absence of a definition, some believe that luxury boats above 40 metres can be called superyachts. Many are also of the opinion that the minimum size should be 60 metres, while some others believe that vessels of over 100 metres alone can be called superyachts.
Whatever the length, the common features of all large luxury yachts are that they can comfortably accommodate at least 10 people, can carry an array of toys (like jetskis and kayaks), boast high-end suites and cabins, have decks made of the finest material, and have amenities such as lounges, wellness facilities, and, perhaps, even a theatre.
Here are the superyacht launches set for 2023
The construction of Project Luminance started in 2018. It was unveiled on 9 February 2023, following which Lürssen, known for producing high-quality yachts, said in a press release that it is “scheduled to be tested and completed” in 2023.
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As such, Luminance is the largest of all the yachts set for launches in the ongoing year.
Not much is known about the specifics of the superyacht, but reports suggest that it will also be among the most technologically advanced vessels in the world. Given the advanced manufacturing systems of the German shipyard, Project Luminance is likely set to have state-of-the-art navigation and communication systems as well as propulsion systems.
Pictures of the superyacht from the time of its unveiling reveal that it could have six to seven decks with an observation point in front of the mast. Its interiors are designed by Zuretti Interior Design, and the owner’s name is yet to be known.
Koru has been in the headlines for its universally famous owner — Jeff Bezos. The new superyacht is one of the world’s largest vessels owned by any billionaire, and it is the first yacht that Bezos will add to his collection of mansions, cars and private jets.
Koru would be seen as one of the most unusual yachts of 2023. This is because, unlike most other vessels, which are motor yachts, Koru is a sailing yacht. It has the distinction of being the tallest of its kind in the world, with three towering masts measuring over 70 metres.
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Originally known as Y721, its current name is Maori for “new beginnings.” The vessel has a large pool on the aft deck and alfresco lounges, but detailed information about its exterior and interior or, for that matter, the designers are yet to be revealed. So far, reports suggest that because of its masts, it cannot accommodate a helicopter.
Following its sea trials, the vessel left the Dutch shipyard on 6 April 2023 on its maiden voyage to Gibraltar.
Length: 118.2 metres
Maker: Abeking & Rasmussen
One of the biggest superyacht launches of 2023 is set to be of Abeking 8507. It is the largest vessel ever built by the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen.
Both the interior and exterior design of the massive superyacht has been done by Paris-based Joseph Dirand Architecture. One of its most significant features is a semi-submerged Neptune lounge on the starboard side, whose underwater window allows guests to view the marine life just below the surface.
It has a sleek black hull. To ensure that it looks sleek and smooth all around, the designers fitted the underwater anchors to the keel instead of making anchor pockets on the hull. Among other features of the yacht are a helipad on the sky deck and a 16-metre hatch as a tender garage for a day boat. For relaxation, the forward sundeck has a marble fireplace with a round sofa.
Project Icecap is being constructed at Lürssen’s Peene-Werft shipyard in Wolfgast, Germany. The vessel has an axe-style bow and has been designed by Salt Ship Design.
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It is believed to be an explorer superyacht. According to reports, the vessel is diesel-electric powered and has a helicopter hangar, ice-classed hull and forward observation lounge. It has 10 staterooms which can accommodate up to 20 guests.
As of now, Project Icecap is scheduled for a 2023 delivery, as per various reports.
In March 2023, Project 1601 set sail for sea trials from Lürssen’s shipyard in Germany. The vessel is believed to be commissioned by a tech entrepreneur.
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The vessel has a reverse bow and its upper deck has greenhouse-style glazing. The yacht’s interior design is by Dölker + Voges of Hamburg, and the exterior has been accentuated by Monaco-based Espen Øino International.
Lürssen said in a press release on 11 February 2023 that the boat is expected to be delivered in spring.
Length: 79 metres
Completely designed by UK’s Harrison Eidsgaard, Toro is a superyacht that is set to be the largest vessel delivered by Turkish shipbuilder Turquoise Yachts after its 77-metre-long GO.
“She features a neoclassical exterior with hints of a funnel rising from main deck to sun deck. The interior is the definition of serenity and calm, featuring a huge Neptune lunge, and many other stunning features,” said Ben Harrison from Harrison Eidsgaard Design in a statement.
The superyacht has a beam of 13.2 metres. According to the official site of the maker, the yacht’s sale had been done through SuperYachtsMonaco.
Project Black Shark
Length: 77 metres
Work on Project Black Shark started in 2019 but it got delayed after German shipbuilder Nobiskrug filed for insolvency in 2021. The work restarted in March 2022, after Nobiskrug was acquired by Lars Windhorst, the co-founder of Sapinda Group, which is now known as Tennor Holding B.V.
Set for delivery in 2023, the superyacht features exterior design by British studio Winch Design. Its sleek interiors are the creation of Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design of the Netherlands.
Length: 67 metres
Heesen collaborated with Winch Design in designing Project Sparta, which is the longest steel yacht undertaken by the Dutch shipbuilder.
Given Heesen’s expertise in making fast vessels, Project Sparta is expected to be one of the fastest of its kind on the waters, with an estimated top speed of 37 knots.
The superyacht, which is seen as one of the most highly anticipated launches of 2023, has a stepped aft deck and an expansive stern with a 6.5-metre infinity pool. The interior design takes note of the highest level of luxury that its owner would expect from a vessel of its kind. There is a full-beam saloon on the main deck and an array of amenities such as a steam room, a gym, a sauna, a wellness area and an oval jacuzzi on the lower deck.
There are four double guest cabins on the main deck. Of the four cabins, one has sliding partitions that can convert it into a full-beam suite. The upper deck is designed as the owner’s private space, with forward as well as aft-facing suites.
Here are the other yachts of 2023 making a splash
SeaXplorer 58 ‘Pink Shadow’
Length: 58 metres
SeaXplorer is a series of yachts designed by Dutch shipbuilder Damen. Pink Shadow, built at Damen’s shipyard in Antalya, Turkey, is set to be delivered to its unnamed owner in 2023.
The ice-hull vessel immediately catches attention with its outstandingly beautiful design and colour. According to Damen, the owner shared inputs regarding the living spaces and other comforts they would want to have on the vessel.
Pink Shadow is designed for long-distance exploration and has a high endurance that allows it to visit even the extreme parts of the ocean. The ship is built keeping sustainability in mind; it has wastewater tanks that make it perfect for even zero-discharge areas. The vessel also has a deck made of premium synthetic teak.
The vessel can carry two multi-role tenders and a custom 11.4-metre performance sailboat. It can also house motorcycles and vehicles for use on land.
The naval architecture of Pink Shadow has been done by Damen Yachting. The interior designer is Design Unlimited, while Azure Yacht Design is behind the exterior design.
Length: 52 metres
Maker: Royal Huismann
Royal Huismann, the Dutch shipyard which is constructing this vessel, describes it as the “world’s largest true sportfish yacht.” Indeed, the vessel is perfect for anyone who loves fishing in scenic spots in the world.
Dutch studio Vripack Yacht Design is behind the naval architecture as well as interior and exterior design. The vessel has six decks, with at least three lounge areas in the rear.
Project 406 has a long bow, fishing cockpit and high bulwarks to balance its height. It has a sky lounge from where the occupants can have uninterrupted views of sportfishing during the day and enjoy a relaxed time under the star-lit sky at night.
Length: 44 metres
X-Space has five decks and a gross tonnage of 495 GT, making it one of the most voluminous boats in its size. It can go up to a maximum speed of 15 knots and is meant for wide exploration at sea.
One of its defining features is its large aft area with a pool, which Italian shipyard Snalorenzo describes as “an open-air living room.” Folding balconies in the aft area help expand the space by 18 square metres. The owner’s cabin has access to a forward terrace in the bow. A second pool is located on the main deck.
The interiors have been designed by Piero Lissoni, while the exteriors are by Zuccon International Project. The vessel can accommodate 10 people and is run by a crew of eight.
Hero image: Courtesy Nobiskrug; Featured image: Courtesy Damen Yachting
This story first appeared on Prestige Online Hong Kong.