When renderings of the Princess X95 were presented at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in 2018, in a top secret room with no phones or notepads allowed, opinions were divided. Yes, it was different. Yes, the internal volume the British boatbuilder had achieved was outstanding. But it wasn’t very pretty. It wasn’t very Princess.
This, however, was exactly the point. While the X95 shares a framework with the more classic Y95, it was designed to compete, not only with other 30 metre yachts on the market, but also with Princess’ existing line of semi-custom formats. This was Princess looking to the future. Pushing the boundaries of what it could do, what a 30 metre yacht could be and, in the process, shoring up a strong commercial outlook for this heritage yard. And, with the first one hitting the water earlier this year, the sceptics have finally had the chance to really examine what the X95 has to offer.
Let’s start with exterior because, unless you happen to have a spare $10 million lying around, that’s the part you’ll be admiring next time you’re in Antibes. Featuring input from highly regarded naval architect Olesinski and iconic Italian design house Pininfarina, the X95 is all about flowing lines that blend with the waterline. On the technical side, a wave-piercing bow is coupled with a deep-V hull concept that Princess claims will result in 15% better fuel efficiency as well as stability in all sea conditions, with twin MAN V2 engines powering it to a top speed of 26 knots.
It’s inside, however, where things get really interesting. The X95 is the first yacht to feature Princess’ ‘super flybridge’, which sees both the main deck interior and the flybridge extend nearly the entire length of the yacht (something like an incredibly chic double-decker bus for the seas). The result is a 10% increase in outdoor space and 40% increase in indoor space, giving this 29 metre yacht the feel of a much larger vessel.
So how has all that space been put to use? With head of design Andy Lawrence leading the project, the X95 has what Princess is calling an ‘open concept’ layout. The yacht is defined by large, flexible and adaptable spaces which can be customised on a journey-by-journey basis, rather than being fixed at the time of construction.
The lower deck is, as usual, dedicated to guest cabins, with a full beam en suite master stateroom amidships. Two en suite double cabins and a VIP suite are all positioned forward – with the owner of the X95, like all Princess clients, able to take advantage of the yard’s LVMH stablemates when it comes to choosing soft furnishings and finer details.
Up a level and the main deck is given over to a vast saloon flooded with light thanks to full-height windows to port and starboard. Three layout options are offered here, with the first, a traditional formal seating area, dining space, private galley and impressive master stateroom forward (taking the total cabin number to five), seen on the recently launched X95. Alternatively, the yacht can be configured with a focus on entertaining, turning the stateroom into a cinema or, more informally, replacing the galley and stateroom with an open-plan chef’s kitchen, breakfast bar and recreation area – the ideal option for owners who plan to operate with minimal crew. Despite its large interior, the X95 also leaves enough room on the main deck aft for a dining area with built-in seating.
Up again to the flybridge, which stretches nearly 22 metres, and you begin to see where the X95 really sets itself apart. While a traditional yacht of this size might feature a helm station, a few sun pads and maybe a dining space, the X95’s sun deck is an all-singing, all-dancing living area.
Forward, a fully enclosed sky lounge plays home to the pilot house, which can be completely separated from a spacious indoor seating area midships. This opens out onto a covered dining area for eight with a highly flexible al fresco entertaining space aft, which can be configured for sunbathing, parties, relaxing and other recreational activities. Accessed from either the sky lounge or flybridge side deck, a large forward area also offers further sun pads or, alternatively, can be fitted with spa pool – another unusual benefit for a yacht of this size.
“X95 takes spatial architecture on a yacht to a new level,” says Lawrence. “With a large cockpit, rear flybridge, forward flybridge and foredeck areas, owners will have four large and unique outdoor environments on an X95. Combined with the spacious and flexible main deck space and the unique sky lounge, the X95 has a range of living spaces, indoor and outdoor, that dwarfs those of any other boat of its size.”
So has the X95 silenced the naysayers now it’s out on the open waves? While purists may still grumble about tradition and heritage, we reckon its owner will be too busy enjoying the vast space on their new yacht to care.
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