The superyacht industry is a funny old thing. On the one hand, it involves the gratuitous drama of wealthy tycoons butting wallets and agonising with their egos over the scale and opulence of their latest superyachts. And on the other, its facile crusade for one-upmanship continues to spawn some of the most ambitious and advanced private vessels the world has ever seen. Of course, in the more extreme cases, it’s easy to view gem-encrusted staircases and gold-plated mermaids as the by-products of excess cash and awful taste – but whichever way you choose to look at it, it remains a fascinating spectacle.
However, while the superyacht industry’s routine fusion of grandiose theatre and cutting edge innovation fully merits our wide-eyed infatuation, we can (at least in principle) do much more than just peer in from the cheap seats. In order to offset costs and keep their on board systems in good order, a great many wealthy yacht owners make their vessels available for charter (via specialists like Edmiston, Burgess, Camper & Nicholsons and Imperial) – and that allows the likes of you and me to cease the sneering disdain and sample what an A-list lifestyle is really all about.
From the season to the cruising grounds, the on board toys, the crew, the Skipper and the yacht itself, there is enormous potential to match a charter experience to your tastes and aspirations. You can go iceberg-dodging among glaciers, island-hopping among tropical archipelagos or diving among the oceanic wildlife of the world’s most pristine environments. You can even rub shoulders with film stars at the world’s most exclusive events. But if the sheer scale and complexity of a high-end superyacht appeals to you as much as it does to the people who commission and buy these things, then let’s ignore common sense for a bit and examine 10 charter vessels that really push the envelope…
Launched by Lurssen in 2008 and refitted in 2011, the 257-foot superyacht TV offers a 43-foot beam for huge internal space, alongside an Alberto Pinto interior design boasting 10 cabins, a jet pool with bar, a spa area with gym and an owner’s deck with private Jacuzzi. There’s also ample space for a cinema and 25 crew. Charter guide price: 850,000 Euros per week.
The gorgeous 211-foot superyacht Okto reportedly comes with grey decks designed to cater for high heels, plus a swimming pool on the aft deck, a lift from the lower deck to the bridge deck and a private owner’s balcony. Delivered in 2014 and now worth well in excess of 50 million Euros, she operates in the Caribbean during the holiday season and will sleep up to 10 guests in five cabins. Charter guide price: from 400,000 Euros per week.
Although she’s more than 20 years old, the iconic superyacht Coral Ocean, from world-beating yard, Lurssen, showcases a Jon Bannenberg design that has been broadly copied ever since. In addition to its muted, casual interior vibe, this 12-guest platform comes with a huge sun deck, a pool and an alfresco bar, plus a gym, a spa complex and a beach club. Charter guide price: from 320,000 Euros/week.
The 207-footer, Lady Britt, delivered by Feadship in 2011, features cinemas both indoors and outside, plus a top deck gym and a ready-rigged DJ systems for impromptu parties. She also offers a Wellness Zone, with a sauna, a beautician, a masseuse and a hairdresser, plus a guest elevator, a vast armoury of water toys and a sundeck with Jacuzzi. Charter guide price: from 445,000 Euros per week.
Lady Kathryn V. This 203-foot superyacht by Lurssen boasts a pair of high-performance tenders, as well as the option of a more holistic marine experience, courtesy of stand up paddleboards, Seabobs and sea kayaks. Delivered in 2011, she sleeps up to 12 guests in six cabins and comes with a private terrace and a cinema. Charter guide price: from 450,000 Euros per week.
Since her arrival in 2006, the vast 289-foot Maltese Falcon has become a global icon. Her tenders (high-class offshore powerboats from Scorpion and Pascoe International) set the tone and the rest follows suit, with a spa area, a masseuse, a gym, a huge saloon and plenty of alfresco dining options. Yes I know she’s got sails, but with a 24-knot top end, she’s actually much faster than most comparable motoryachts. Charter guide price: from 350,000 Euros per week.
Having won ‘Motoryacht of the Year’ at the 2010 World Superyacht Awards, the 197-foot custom motoryacht Arkley, from designer, Espen Oeino in collaboration with the prolific Lurssen shipyard, offers space for 12 guests and 15 crew. Built with a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, she comes with all the usual toys and on board luxuries, plus a 5,000-mile range and the latest stabilisation systems for comfort both underway and at anchor. Charter guide price: from 430,000 Euros per week.
Having undergone a recent overhaul, the deliciously classical Nero from Corsair Yachts can sleep 12 guests in six cabins. Alongside a warm and welcoming internal fit-out defined by the relaxed elemental warmth of limed oak, she boasts a generous pool with a current-generating machine on the foredeck, plus a large Jacuzzi, a foldout side platform, a trio of tenders and five personal watercraft. Charter guide price: 475,000 Euros per week.
The award-winning 268-foot superyacht Romea is one of the largest power-driven charter yachts in the world. Launched in 2015 by Abeking & Rasmussen, she comes with space for 23 crew and 12 guests, alongside two spas (one on the bridge deck and one on the lower deck) and an outdoor cinema. A sumptuous Terence Disdale interior, replete with bespoke furniture and original artworks, is an experience in its own right. Charter guide price: 875,000 Euros per week.
Built in 2012 by Nobiskrug, Mogambo immediately won ‘Best Displacement Motoryacht’ at the World Superyacht Awards and you can see why. In addition to her dynamic external styling, she offers a 17-knot top end plus ocean-crossing range, alongside all the luxury features you would expect – from a gym to an alfresco Jacuzzi, a lift and a Reymond Langton interior design that equals her external loveliness. Charter guide price: from 600,000 Euros per week.
For more stunning superyachts, see Superyachts in the Rolex Fastnet Race, Superyachts of the future and 10 of the most expensive megayachts afloat.