There is a new player in the superyacht industry and they’ve been creating quite a stir. Meyer Werft, the renowned Germany-based cruise shipbuilder, unveiled the new arm of its business, Meyer Yachts, under the fading sun during this year’s Monaco Yacht Show. To showcase the excellence of Meyer Yachts, the company pulled the wraps off the all-new One 50 concept – a 150-metre superyacht that ditches traditional diesel propulsion in favour of a more environmentally conscious beating heart.
In an exclusive interview with Merijn de Waard, Founder of SuperYacht Times, Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft and Chairman of the Meyer Group, went into more detail of the company’s vision. The biggest reveal being its exclusive focus on builds of 120-metres and above. Meyer, naturally, is no stranger to building big vessels and has delivered many boats in the 300-metre and above category. The two latest cruise ships the company delivered were the 347.2-metre cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas which has a volume of 169,300 GT, and the 345-metre Mardi Gras with a volume of 181,808 GT.According to Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of Meyer Werft, who also joined in on the conversation, interest in the big yacht segment has really picked up this last year. “Corona has really changed the market in many respects. There is now scope for new projects which weren't there before, or have not been successful before, like residence ships. We are also seeing a rising demand for big ships because their vast space naturally keeps safety precautions in step.” As we know from our superyacht market intelligence tool SYT iQ, there are currently only 28 yachts in the 120-metre and above category, which have been built in seven different countries and come out of 13 different shipyards. Lürssen currently dominates the field and is also responsible for the longest motor yacht to date: the 180-metre Azzam.
The combined might of Meyer Werft and Lürssen is already well-known, as the two builders work closely to deliver large vessels for the military. In regards to yachting, the two companies will be “competitors on paper,” but there is certainly “room for both of them,” Weigend said. Great strides have already been made by Meyer Werft in planning and developing Meyer Yachts and, as Bernard Meyer told us, they’ve been “planning the venture for around 10 years now”. Market research has been driven not only by the brand itself but also by its clientele who have been asking for some years now for superyachts designed and built by the esteemed company.
“We also come from an industry that parallels the superyacht sector in terms of customer demands. At Meyer Werft we have always prided ourselves on the personal details and how we are always available to our clientele, every step of the way. This is what differentiates us from our competitors – even after we deliver our cruise ships, we are there and available.” Even though Meyer Werft is one of the world’s largest shipyards, the family-run company is steadfast in its commitment to providing that personal touch, every time. It has been delivering boats for 225 years and Bernard Meyer is the seventh generation of Meyer to take the helm.
The company has three shipyards: two in Germany and one in Finland. It is at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany – a site considered to be one of the leading technological specialists in the field of cruise ship construction – where the company will develop and build its superyachts. “To build a big ship you need a certain organisation,” Meyer said. “We have the power of 1,000 engineers and the capabilities to build boats up to 185,000 GT. When I first started in 1985, if I envisioned such a project my father would have just laughed.” That is just how far Bernard Meyer and his team have taken the Meyer Group. The brand is simply a powerhouse when it comes to big projects, and the prospects that it’ll bring to the superyacht industry is exciting.
The company is also well placed to break down traditional silos in the marine industry and act as an intermediary between the superyacht and cruise ship sectors, and can spark meaningful dialogues for the many crossovers of boat design.