Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Apartments for those Seeking Superyacht Ownership

There was a time when the word superyacht was used to describe an expensive motor yacht some 50 metres long, capable of carrying just 12 guests in absolute luxury.  Now, with the erosion of regulation and flag states eager to bend old or create new regulations, that concept is sinking faster than Titanic.

The latest to claim the superyacht tag is the 222 metre 33,500 gt Somnio currently under construction at Vard Søviknes in Norway, part of Italy’s Fincantieri, Group of ship builders.

Flying the flag of Bermuda and registered in Hamilton, the passenger ship is being built to class with DNV/GL.  The breakdown of passengers and crew numbers are not being disclosed by the operators but the maximum number of persons to be carried on board will not exceed 400.  Northern European officers will be employed on board and a multinational crew will be hired by office managers recruited mainly from Western Europe

For those looking for superyacht ownership, the so called; “largest superyacht in the world,” Somnio, is to set to launch in mid-2024. With just 39 residential apartments onboard and an ever-changing worldwide itinerary, Somnio will slowly travel the globe in a safe and exclusive environment.

Conceived to provide all the benefits of superyacht ownership Somnio will be equipped, with onboard amenities only found in the world’s finest hotels.  Onboard medical care will also be available providing apartments with a high level of safety away from pandemics and other global risks. 

Two architectural and design studios, Winch Design of the United Kingdom known for its superyacht design and Tillberg Design of Sweden who are renowned for passenger ship design, have been at work for the past 18 months to bring the project to life.

Environmental sustainability is a key focus for Somnio, which is being built with the latest clean engine technology and advanced onboard equipment to help scientists and marine experts conduct research into ocean environments. Internationally recognised experts will join the ship’s itinerary to update owners on the latest global challenges and solutions on key environmental and philanthropic issues.

Those wanting a secure environment at sea can choose to buy their home on one of 6 apartments decks, with prices starting from nine and a half million Euros. Bespoke features will depend on the owner’s selection but can include personal kitchen, a gym, a library, inside/outside dining spaces and distinct dressing areas.  Full concierge services will be available for both onboard and land-based needs.

Captain Erik Bredhe, previously the Master onboard The World, to date the only other residential vessel at sea, is on record as stating, “The project, has a build, design and outfitting cost of 500 million Euros.”

Launched in February 2001, The World, was built by the Fosen Yard in Norway. She is also incorrectly described by her owners as a private yacht and is the largest private residential ship afloat.  Home to 165 apartments, 126 more than are available onboard Somnio, she is somewhat shorter in length at 196 metres and has a larger volume of 43,188 gt.

The World, to date the only other residential apartments vessel at sea

Perhaps Somnio will fare better than the ill-fated Utopia another residential apartment ship which sought to emulate the success of The World.  Utopia never materialised, having failed to raise the necessary funding for her construction.

Somnio is not alone in erroneously calling herself a yacht in a bid to piggyback on the luxury, ultra rich marketing nuances.  The US-based company Storylines, will launch their first vessel, the 226 metre Narrative in 2024.  Like Somnio, she is to the design of Tillberg Design.  With 17 decks, three pools and more than 20 bar and dining options, residential apartments on this so called yacht, range from studios to four bedroom family apartments and are being offered for sale at prices beginning at $300,000.

Storylines, will launch their first vessel, the 226 metre Narrative in 2024.
Storylines, will launch their first vessel, the 226 metre Narrative in 2024. 

Yet another residential ship under construction is the 293 metre Njord.  She is also due to be launched in 2024.  Owners; Ocean Residences, commissioned superyacht designer Espen Øino to draw the ships exterior with interior design from FM Architettura in Italy.  Njord offers 118 private residences yet is still described in promotional material as a “private yacht like no other.”

The hotel chain Ritz-Carlton are still resolutely marketing their cruise ship Evrima as the first vessel of the hotel chain’s ‘Yacht Collection’. With 149 apartments on board and offering charters lasting between seven to ten days, she is clearly a cruise ship no matter what Ritz Carlton may want you to think.

Announcing the launch, of Somnio, Captain Erik Bredhe said: “Owners will share a truly unique lifestyle at sea, with a hand-picked crew and a never-ending global itinerary of carefully selected destinations and experiences befitting a yacht of this nature.”

Amenities onboard will include a spectacular 10,000-bottle capacity wine cellar and tasting room; a choice of restaurants and bars; and an onboard beach club featuring water-sports facilities. A lounge in the ship’s bow will also provide for spectacular views when sailing in scenic areas or when entering port.

The plans is that the ship will explore the world’s oceans from the Mediterranean, and the South Pacific and will undertake expeditions in Antarctica.  

Ownership details will remain a tightly guarded secret and the process is by invitation or referral only.  Those with the cash, can enjoy experiences at sea whilst enjoying the true intimacy of private yacht ownership with added ability to share a unique life with like-minded owners and friends with whom to explore the world.

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