The superyachts, the supercars and the super stylish residents – it’s hard to visit the perfectly poised principality of Monaco and not feel at least a little pang of aspiration. And this longing is never more palpable than during the annual Monaco Yacht Show, when the harbour of Port Hercules is filled with more than 100 superyachts and all the kit to go with them.
Not just about boats, the Monaco Yacht Show also showcases all the accoutrements that accompanies the affluent yachting lifestyle. Expect to find tents on shore dedicated to watches, cars, jets and luxury interiors.
If you’re thinking about dipping a toe in the rarified world of superyachting – or have already jumped right in – then there is no better place to be 25-28 September. Set under the watchful eye of the of the Norman Foster-designed Yacht Club de Monaco, which overlooks the port, this is the largest yacht show in Europe.
A third of all the yachts on display will be making their world debut at the show, allowing the public – or at least those with the right credentials – the first opportunity to step on board the biggest and best yacht launches of the year. Here are just a few of the yachts that you should not miss seeing in the flesh.
Lady S has sharp, jewel-box interiors
Fancy flitting about the South of France on one of the most impressive yachts launched in 2019? Look no further than the 93-metre Lady S, which you can rent for a week for a cool €1.470 million. Lady S was built by renown Dutch yard Feadship and is currently the largest Feadship available for charter.
Michael Leach Design dreamt up her sharp exterior, while Reymond Langton Design created the jewel-box interiors, which are equal parts glamorous and comfortable. She has all the features you might want on a charter yacht, including four VIP cabins, a helicopter pad, basketball court and glass-bottom swimming pool. But the real showstopper is her full IMAX cinema, the first to ever appear on a superyacht.
Madsummer is the largest yacht at the show
The largest new yacht to debut at the Monaco Yacht Show is slated to be 95 metre Madsummer, built by the inimitable Lürssen shipyard out of Germany for an American client. Madsummer was designed by the UK-based Harrison Eigsgaard while Italy’s Laura Sessa crafted the interior.
She is large enough to welcome 20 guests for overnight stays in 10 spacious suites, who might very well arrive on a helicopter, which can be stored in the bow. Guests can swim in the yacht’s 12-metre long pool or dive straight into the ocean from the sea terrace on the lower deck, afterwards warming up around a real fire pit on the upper deck.
Bold is the latest Espen Øino masterpiece
With a name like Bold, you can expect a daring design. Monaco-based Espen Øino, regarded as one of the world’s top yacht designers, created a striking and masculine exterior for this 85 metre yacht. With a muted grey exterior and angular lines, she has a distinctly militaristic feel. The interior is equally spirited yet offers a sophisticated contrast, with Vain Interiors employing a mix of metallics, oak and marble.
The piece de resistance is the massive 300-square-metre skylounge with floor to ceiling windows. Built by Australia’s Silver Yachts, which is known for creating nimbly narrow and swift superyachts, Bold can reach a high speed of 24 knots. Not just a fast boat, she is built for true exploration and can travel 4,500 nautical miles at 18 knots.
Artefact doesn’t look like any other yacht in the harbour
One of the most visually interesting yachts to feature at the Monaco Yacht Show this year, the exterior design of the 80-metre Artefact is defined by geometric cut outs and a groundbreaking glasswork – not merely floor-to-ceiling, this glass stretches the height of three decks.
Designed by Canada’s Gregory C Marshall and built by Germany’s Nobiskrug, Artefact certainly doesn’t look like any other yacht in the harbour. The interior by Reymond Langton has been kept top secret, only being revealed for the first during the show. But we can imagine that the views from inside will be equally stunning thanks to the extensive glass, totalling 740 square metres.
Excellence is a spaceship for the sea
The clue is in the name. This 79.95-metre head-turning yacht, created by London-based Winch Design and built by German yard Abeking & Rasmussen, comes from some seriously excellent pedigree. With an angular reversed bow, she is sure to stand out among the other yachts at the Monaco show.
Beyond the futuristic exterior lines, which her designers have compared to a spaceship, what makes this yacht impressive is the vast use of glass on the owner’s deck. This deck is entirely encircled by curved floor-to-ceiling glass, mirrored to promise privacy inside, which has never been installed in these dimensions before now. This feature met the request from her owner to create a yacht that had a seamless feeling of openness and connection to the outside world. Mission accomplished.
Bintador is a floating eco-friendly haven
The boutique Italian yacht builder Tankoa shows how superyachts can also be eco-friendly with its latest launch, the 49.9-metre motor yacht Bintador. The yacht boasts a hybrid propulsion system, pairing electric motors to traditional diesel engines to allow the yacht to function in four distinct power modes. The most environmentally friendly of which is running on only the 300kW engines, yet still achieving a respectable speed of 10.5 knots.
This is the owner’s preference for fuel savings and quiet operation – you can barely hear the yacht running in this mode, says the owner’s representative. When Bintador needs to be relocated quickly, crew can amp up to the full speed mode, pairing electric and diesel engines for a brisk 18 knots. Designed specifically for private use, Bintador features a huge kitchen on the main deck so the owners can cook and entertain guests. Of course, there is a separate kitchen belowdecks for the yacht’s chef to serve up fabulous fare on the nights when the owners prefer to be doted on by their crew of nine.
The Sunreef Power 80 is small but mighty
Not every yacht on display in Monaco is a monster. At 24 metres, technically the starting length for the “superyacht” designation, is the Sunreef Power 80. The semi-custom catamaran from Polish shipyard Sunreef will debut for the first time this September. In the meantime, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has already commissioned his own Sunreef Power 80.
He will take delivery of his yacht in 2020 and plans to put it good use on the water around his home island of Mallorca. The two hulls of a catamaran means more living space compared to comparably sized yachts, making her seem larger than her 24 metres would suggest, and offering up the option for plenty of features usually found on larger yachts, like a waterfall flowing into a Jacuzzi.
Race is Riva’s largest yacht — and built for Ferrari
It’s fitting that a yacht built for Piero Ferrari, son of the famed Ferrari founder Enzo, would be named Race. This is a family that understands the need for speed, but Piero himself also appreciates slowing down and living la dolce vita on the water. At 49 metres, Race is the largest yacht to emerge from the famed Riva marquee.
Though best known for their stylish, mahogany clad runabouts – made famous by the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor – Riva has expanded into the world of large yachts with its Superyacht Division. Though Race is the biggest Riva yacht ever, she is still imbued with the brand’s signature style and elegance. Designed in collaboration with Officina Italian Design, the Riva Superyacht Division has its sights set on going bigger yet, eventually up to 90 metres.
Looking for destination inspiration? Here are the best weekend getaways 2 hours from London…