SYT exclusive: Heesen’s superyacht Project Apollo with Friso Visser

Written by Francesca Webster

Dutch shipbuilder Heesen Yachts has just unveiled the designs for its latest 55M Steel, superyacht Project Apollo, currently in-build at its facility in Oss, the Netherlands. The superyacht is the first of the series to feature a revised design from Omega Architects, exterior and Luca Dini Design and Architecture, interior. SuperYacht Times’ Francesca Webster gets an exclusive insight into the innovations with Heesen CCO, Friso Visser who sees the new design as “evolutionary”. Project Apollo yacht exterior designThe 55M Steel has been a hugely successful model for Heesen, why have you made the decision to revise the design at this time? 

Heesen is a very competitive company and remarkable in its continuous technological evolutions. We listen to our clients and their feedback is taken very seriously and we transform that feedback into positive change and more evolutionary designs. Though a lot has changed, we have retained the most important aspects of the yacht, including the Fast Displacement Hull Form with its fantastic fuel efficiency, the seaworthiness and the spacious interior.”Project Apollo yacht in buildProject Apollo yacht in buildWhat are the most standout features of the new 55M Steel design?

“The floor to ceiling windows in the main saloon and sky lounge with less mullions is a very important feature as it has really given her a more aggressive look. This has been enhanced by the continuous tinted windows, which stretch the optical length of the yacht, enhancing those clean lines that are so iconically Heesen.” Project Apollo yacht exterior design“The sundeck has been extended and there is now a wrap-around bar surrounding the whirlpool, which is completely new. The atrium is more modern, the staircases are wider, and the routing from the sky lounge to the sundeck has been improved for optimal crew flow. For me, though, one of the most impressive features is the french balcony from the owner’s suite, which is something truly unique that changes the space. “Project Apollo yacht exterior designProject Apollo yacht exterior designMoskito was also a development on the earlier yachts in the model with the rearrangement of the stateroom layout and upper saloon, have these modifications been retained?

“Yes absolutely, we reworked the interior arrangement of Project Castor and Pollux, now Solemates and Moskito, adapting the stateroom layout and enhancing the upper deck. These modifications have been retained with Project Apollo and are another example of how Heesencontinues to build on our winning recipe, creating better and better yachts at every stage.”

Project Apollo yacht exterior designProject Apollo yacht exterior designDo you see the Steel series increasing in size toward the 60m+ mark?

Heesen is already a leading shipyard in the 60+ metre range of fully custom superyachts and we will continue to deliver excellent vessels in the increasing size range. Whether we will extend the Steel series to that scale is yet to be determined, but we have a fantastic and very ambitious team here at Heesen and we will continue to set our goals very high.” Project Apollo yacht exterior designWill Heesen continue to create large scale speculation projects in the future with the current pace of the market?

Heesen is very successful in the presale production of superyachts and we don’t see that changing in the near future. As long as we continue to build innovative, high-quality yachts with short lead times, I see the demand increasing.”Project Apollo yacht exterior designFinally, with this now being the eighth yacht in the series, what do you think it is about the 55M Steel that has made it such a desirable superyacht? 

“The 55M Steel truly is the perfect mix with the combination of Omega’s iconic lines and the interior design matching perfectly with the exterior design. It is also the quality of the vessel, which is outstanding, combined with excellent pricing and it is the amazing performance of the hull form which really cannot be downplayed.” Project Apollo yacht exterior design“I think that Heesen hits the sweet spot with this particular model, it ticks all the boxes for a yacht of its size and as long as we continue to innovate in the way that we do, I do not see that changing.”  Project Apollo yacht exterior designProject Apollo is currently for sale and will be available for an Autumn 2023 delivery date. Project Apollo yacht general arrangement

Project Apollo yacht general arrangement Project Apollo yacht general arrangement

Project Apollo yacht general arrangement
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