“‘Woah!’”, I recall my expression being when I first stepped inside Elsea after exploring her comfy and chilled-out outdoor spaces on a sunny Cannes day like only the French Riviera can deliver. My astonishment was not a result of any particular feature, an eye-catching art piece or even the exceptional build quality, but rather the alter ego world I was presented with that stands in such contrast against the easy-going Mediterranean lifestyle that is suggested from the outdoor areas alone. This speed demon is hiding within her a plush and playful environment that comes as quite a surprise.
For Cerri Cantieri Navalli, Elsea is certainly one of the 20-year-old shipyard’s finest projects and by far its largest to date. If you didn’t know better, it would be very easy to believe that one those C’s in the CCN abbreviation stands for Custom. The Italian shipyard is quickly building an increasingly strong reputation as one of Italy’s more advanced shipyards capable of building highly customised yachts in the 30-50-metre range with its skilled special-division Fuiriserie team. With this, the first of her kind in their ‘off series”, and having another two exiting and vastly different projects under construction, Imperial's skills in new build projects were also put to good use.
Her sleek Studio Bacigalupo profile may be indicative of a conventional layout like many super speedsters before her but, of course, this is not the case. A single deck connecting the bow to the upper deck aft has moved the wheelhouse and sky lounge inward to make space for the wrap-around walkways.
This setup creates room for a splendid semi-outdoor skydeck that is partly covered under a skylight deckhead and partly exposed with access to Jacuzzi and massive sunpad area that stretches the entire beam. Here guests can relax protected from the elements on two curved sofas with a big screen TV on either side and a service bar at their disposal.
The main deck aft is where any outdoor dinner parties will take place and guest can walk forward where a drop-down staircase gives access to the foredeck area that is made for more intimate conversations or simply taking in the sunset without any obstructions to compete with.
On a performance level, Elsea can run up to 28 knots with all three water jets in action. Built for speed and exactly long-range cruising, she does, however, cover a respectable 1,000 nm at a more economical speed of 18 knots.
Studio Vafiadis was selected by the owner to capture his eclectic vision for the interior of the new Elsea. Details is the name of the game and there is another dimension to the yacht altogether if you just stop for a second and take a closer look. Behind that high-gloss and sparkly veneer are thousands of hand-crafted crystal notes scattered across the interior. LED lighting and steel accents make each surrounding element stand out even more.From the upper deck, one enters the imposing entertainment room with its dark lacquered bullheads and starry night leather deckheads. A family-friendly crescent sofa is perfect for late night movies or simply snuggling up with a new book in this secluded space.
The layout of the interior is also somewhat unique, with the entire forward part of the lower deck reserved for guest use. This allowed Vafiadis to incorporate a VIP cabin in the bow section with a central corridor that leads to four additional guest suites.
On the main deck is the grand master suite. No elaborate colour tones or lavish decorations here, instead, only a neutral selection of highly textured fabrics and a more natural wood finish to veneers. The ensuite bathroom is divided into his and hers sides with a large walk-in wardrobe aft of the bed.Photos by Emelio Bianchi