Photos by Klaus Jordan
The task for Lürssen was to build a 60m yacht for private use with a concept and layout differing from typical charter yachts, i.e. a formal dining on the forward main deck and an owners’ state room and a private exterior deck located on the aft upper deck.
The owner, together with his family and his personal representative, was very much involved in the whole design and building process. Together with the highly professional interior designers of Artline, reliable first class contractors and highly skilled shipyard workers, the project was delivered on time in June 2008. Rather unusually, the yacht actually left the yard for its maiden cruise with the owner and his guests already aboard!
Vive la Vie is a very refreshing yacht and it is great to see that there are always new ideas and new design features which challenge the shipyard, the designers and every involved sub-constructor to realize yet another dream of an experienced yacht owner.
The first “Wow-effect” occurs immediately as you enter the main foyer. The staircase which dominates the foyer is in itself a piece of art. Dominating the stairwell are the spectacular glass bridges which are suspended in woven steel grills. These bridges lead you from the foyer either to the main stairs or to a glass elevator. Seemingly floating carpeted steps lead up to the bridge deck or down to the lower deck.
An illuminated glass sculpture is incorporated within the glass elevator and the lighting in the elevator can be programmed so as to change colour depending on the day or night mood one would like to create. The walls of the stairwell are covered in Santos rosewood.
Going aft the main foyer leads into the main salon which, although it is designed in a very open way, includes four separate areas. On the starboard side there is a kind of veranda on a raised wooden floor. The outside border of the ceiling is styled in leather covered waves which underlines this separate relaxing area which in addition offers a gorgeous view of the outside.
The square dining table is laid out for a casual dining or breakfast for eight people. The third area is reserved for the TV entertainment onboard, where four nice Tresserra lounge chairs invite for a relaxing view of your favourite movie.
Last but not least a circular seating area in white leather and with adjustable backs completes the main salon in a perfect way. Every single bit of furniture is a modern piece of art and so is also the oval coffee table in light brown leather with a glass inlay. A thick white carpet with a square pattern underlines the overall design, which is modern but yet still very cosy and comfortable.
Forward of the main foyer a passageway leads you past a powder room to a superb fitness area on starboard and to the VIP cabin on the portside. The passageway continues further forward into a raised forward facing formal dining room.
The fitness room offers a fabulous view outside while exercising. Instead of a wall the fitness area is separated from the passageway with louvred wooden panels which can be opened or closed as one wishes.
Because of the immense windows, and the dominance of white colours, the VIP cabin is a very light room. The ceiling has the same radius as the windows and the shape of the bathroom is curved as well.
The dining room is certainly an unusual feature on a yacht this size. Besides the fact that it is forward facing and offers the dining guests sweeping unimpeded views, it also performs a dual use. The table can be raised into the ceiling so as to allow the room to be used as a disco. The table itself is quite spectacular, the middle part of the table includes an element out of woven gold wires which is lit from below but when the table is raised up it functions as a ceiling light element. The rest of the table is covered in imitation crocodile leather.
A semi-circular seating with cocktail table offers a cosy seating place and the back panels of the seating are covered with white leather in the same pattern as in the curtains. The pattern is especially designed by the fashion designers “People of the Labyrinth”.
Going up to the stairs to the bridge deck, which besides having the bridge and captains cabin, is mainly reserved for the owner’s area. You can either go forward to bridge and captains quarters, or go to starboard into the owners open lobby. This lobby features a lounger in which one can lie and read whilst looking out of the large windows. Adjacent to the lobby is the owners office which is effectively separated from lobby and stairwell by a glass wall.
The owner’s area is laid out in a grand fashion. A central corridor leads to a children’s cabin to portside and a small lobby to the aft which separates His and Her bathrooms port and starboard, two dressing rooms, and of course the sleeping quarters further aft. The children’s cabin is every little girls dream, all in pink and fanciful and is connected to Her bathroom.
The owner’s suite has a round shape and the bed is placed on a rotating circular platform in the centre, allowing for a selection of bed positions from night to day time mode and for adjusting ones position to make the most of spectacular views through the full height windows. Gold leaf on the ceiling and designer lighting make for a very impressive room.
The exterior private deck offers a fire place in a glass column, which runs with bio alcohol gel. A very cosy place indeed to enjoy the surroundings and gaze at the stars!
One deck higher is the sun deck, where a skylounge “tunnel” connects the fore and aft deck. As you can choose between different coloured light settings the mood of this lounge can change from a night club to a beach house, which offers their guests a bar and seating area.
The back glass wall can be completely opened and leads to the aft deck which offers an outside dining table as well as a huge sun deck. The skylounge leads forward through two doors to the Jacuzzi and sunbed which have been very skilfully integrated into the structure.
The guest cabins are placed on the lower deck – one double and three twin cabins - and are identical in design but with different colour schemes. The design of these cabins is very clear with nice little details, for instance the form of the edge of the bed has the same shape as the edge of the wash basin. The unique desk units look like a folded book and the windows are covered with a copper sheet, which gives a wonderful reflection with the sun.
Two tenders are stored on the lower deck aft and can be launched from either side through the large side shell doors by using a crane. In addition there is a multifunctional passarelle with an integrated lifting device to handle two motorbikes, which are also stored in the tender garage. The enlarged aft platform functions as a bathing platform where guests can also use a shower hidden in the back door.
The yacht is built to a proven hull design and fitted with an individually styled superstructure. Powered by two Caterpillar engines of 1.455 kW each, Vive la Vie reaches a top speed of 15,5 knots. The generator sets are located in soundproofed walk-in rooms and advanced sound and vibrations features guarantee an extremely quiet running yacht. Built to Lloyds Register this Lürssen can cruise all around the world and this is indeed what she is doing with her highly satisfied and proud owner.
Espen Oeino International