YachtPlus’ first Norman Foster designed superyacht Ocean Emerald
By Merijn de Waard
Last Saturday fractional ownership company YachtPlus, officially launched it's first superyacht, Ocean Emerald. This much anticipated event took place at Porto Lotti, La Spezia, Italy in the presence of the yacht's designer, the world renowned architect Norman Foster.
Ocean Emerald will be the first of four identical superyachts to be launched by the company over the next two years, all of which are currently under construction at the Italian boatyard Rodriquez Cantieri Navali in Sarzana, Italy. The next two superyachts to launch will be Ocean Pearl and Ocean Sapphire.
“When we were thinking of names for the fleet we not only wanted something that followed a theme but reflected the quality, excellence and exclusivity of the YachtPlus product. Gemstones seemed the perfect fit and we feel that this will give us a strong brand identity in a very competitive market,” said Robert Hersov, Vice Chairman, YachtPlus.
This spectacular and contemporary 41 metre masterpiece has been designed with a strong emphasis on space and light and has five suites for up to 12 guests at any one time who will be looked after by a permanent, highly trained crew of seven to cater to their every need. The internal planning of the yacht offers total flexibility to respond to the most discerning requirements of the owners and their guests and keen attention has been paid to design and detail ranging from the internal and external areas to cutlery, crockery, fabrics and crew uniforms. All furnishings and fittings are provided by the Italian manufacturer Cassina and kitchen and galley equipment by Schiffini.
The YachtPlus 40 Signature Series
The yacht’s design concept is the result of the work over a 15-month period by a permanent team of 7 architects at Foster + Partners in London and Italy, headed by Lord Foster himself.
The result is a new concept luxury yacht that compares very favourably to many predecessors in her type, with four genuine deck levels offering over 30% more outdoors and indoors space than any yacht in her category.
Special attention was paid to the quality of light and views, with all major areas of the yacht benefiting from forward-looking views, including the master suite that has two private balconies forward. Much thought went into making the yacht user-friendly for families and children.
On the engineering side, the technological prowess of the Italian Rodriquez yard successfully combined the Foster design concept with the requirements of a fully MCA compliant ocean-going vessel.
Foster + Partners’ interiors for the 40 Signature series have been created with an eye on beauty, function and luxury, right down to the smallest detail. They have reconfigured traditional superyacht interiors to create a fresh style that is contemporary, technologically advanced and timeless.
Taking advantage of the floor-to-ceiling windows and wide views. Foster + Partners has created a sense of continuity between the outside areas and interior spaces. On the main deck, solid teak wood continues indoors through the length of the spacious saloon (538 sq ft / 50 sqm) while the panoramic saloon on the upper deck has coconut husk fibre flooring, evocative of the laid-back interior style of a beach hut. On the lower decks the cabins’ walls follow the rounded profile of the hull and are inset with lights, showing to best effect the unique ‘eggshell’-curved living spaces.
The superyacht is flooded with natural light on each of the four decks, which are in turn connected by a transparent glass spiral staircase. On the lower levels glossy, highly reflective finishes maximise the natural light available. The entire length of the owner’s suite is glazed on both sides with full-length windows. Its position at the bow end of the main deck maximises the sea views and points to the course of the yacht.
State-of-the-art lighting systems have been integrated throughout the design of the interiors, with scene-setting ceilings which change the mood and atmosphere of every room, transforming the panoramic saloon from a beach hut by day to an urban lounge by night and also ensuring the right degree of privacy. At night, the windows appear opaque from the outside, while during the day, the strong outside light floods into the space, making the windows appear completely lucent and open to the seascape.
The guest cabins on the Lower Deck provide spacious accommodation for up to 10 guests. There is a central lobby with a translucent spiral staircase that filters through light from the decks above, and a segregated corridor for the crew to ensure maximum privacy for owner and guests.
The garage consists of two compartments, housing a generous tender transversally, and two jet skis and a rescue boat, which doubles as a crew tender, under the transom staircase.
The Owner’s Suite situated forward on the Main Deck, with over 53 square metres in size, is more spacious than most other superyachts in this category. It benefits from an abundance of light and forward looking views, without compromising privacy. Unique features include two “His and Hers” private balconies forward.
The Main Saloon offers a modern sense of space and light, enhanced by the ceiling-to-floor windows. All furniture is loose-standing and can be configured flexibly, including a home cinema solution using a giant screen hidden in the ceiling.
Forward-looking views from the Upper Deck Panoramic Saloon further enhance the sense of space and light. The Saloon provides an intimate setting for relaxing and leads onto a very generous Upper Deck, with additional seating and the possibility for al fresco dining.
Adjacent to the Upper Saloon is a cappuccino bar and children’s game station area. There is a very spacious second deck area forward of the Captain’s wheelhouse which provides extra seating and can be used as a workout area.
The magnificent Sun Deck provides the superyacht with a genuine fourth deck, unique for a yacht in her class.
In addition to the sunbeds and massage area, there is generous seating around the central bar. The privacy of the Sun Deck can also be used for work on the storable gym equipment. A light source captures unique quality of light at sea and filters it through to the three decks below. The entire Sun Deck benefits from an adjustable shading solution thanks to the retractable carbon-fibre hardtop bimini.
The YachtPlus Programme
In order to join the YachtPlus ownership lifestyle programme an initial payment of EUR 1.850.000 will give a 1/8th shared ownership of the yacht and guarantees 34 days per year on board – 11days in the Mediterranean during summer, 11 days in the Caribbean during winter and two six day cruises. In addition there will be an annual service charge of EUR 200.000. Ultimately 1/8th ownership will also give access to the YachtPlus fleet of yachts worldwide so owners will have the flexibility to choose when and where they go.
All arrangements from bookings to transport, private jet, helicopter transfers and onboard requests will be handled by the Swiss based management company Floating Life who will take care of every detail, thereby ensuring a totally hassle-free and relaxing time onboard.
The concept of fractional ownership is fast becoming acknowledged as the logical way forward for those wishing to have personal ownership of top-end luxury products and YachtPlus offers the investor the opportunity to part-own a truly beautiful superyacht. One of the main attractions of this type of ownership is that it removes all the stresses, concerns and unforeseen financial pitfalls experienced by sole ownership thereby giving total pleasure, exclusivity, privacy and relaxation to those participating.
An additional benefit of membership is that for those who do not wish to spend their total time allocation onboard Floating Life can arrange charters on behalf of owners during the available periods.