At the Monaco Yacht Show, there is no sign that global turmoil is hurting sales

Monaco (CNN) – The world is in turmoil. The specter of global conflict lurks on the horizon. Energy prices are putting pressure on millions. Covid persists. But in Monaco, at the most glamorous event in the nautical world, everything is business as usual.

This week, superyachts with a combined value of approximately $3.8 billion gathered on the blue waters of the tiny European principality for the 31st annual Monaco Yacht Show. And no amount of geopolitical anxiety could tarnish the shine.

“All the boats are here,” Johan Pizzardini, head of communications and media for the Monaco Yacht Show told CNN Travel on the eve of the four-day event’s grand finale. Some 118 superyachts were among the luxury vessels on display at the country’s Port Hercules.

The superyacht crowd was also out in force.

The 31st edition of the Monaco Yacht Show began on September 28 and ends on October 1.

The 31st edition of the Monaco Yacht Show began on September 28 and ends on October 1.

Valery HacheAFP/Getty Images

The show is specifically dedicated to the superyacht market. Every year, in normal times, approximately 30,000 people descend on this small country on the Mediterranean Riviera to see the amazing spectacle of some of the world’s largest and most expensive superyachts gathered in one place.

And while the event is certainly an opportunity for wealthy boat owners to let their hair down in a safe space, away from the world of non-yacht owners, it’s also an opportunity to go shopping for even more ocean opulence .

It is, as Pizzardini acknowledges, a “niche market”. But one that shows little sign of slowing down, despite the turbulent times. This year there are around 40 new luxury yachts, including the massive 115.1 meter AHPO, the largest superyacht ever exhibited here.

Some of the huge yachts throwing off their mooring lines, including Italian shipbuilder CRN’s 62m Rio and Tankoa Yachts’ 50m Kinda, belong to first-time yacht buyers.

This reflects a growing trend that developed significantly during the pandemic, when a large number of new buyers opted to go big rather than step up from a smaller yacht.

“This [the pandemic] it inspired people who were always thinking about buying a yacht,” Bob Denison, president and founder of Fort Lauderdale-based yacht brokerage Denison Yachting, which has four boats on display at the show, tells CNN Travel.

“People are thinking, ‘we’re not going to wait 10 years.’ They were coming out of nowhere and buying a 60-metre yacht.

“We’re still seeing a lot of that, and I think that’s going to continue. People are stepping up.”

Pizzardini has also observed a change in the attitudes of potential superyacht buyers as a result of the global pandemic.

“We saw a carpe diem period where potential clients who were hesitating to charter or buy a yacht for months or years said, ‘OK, in this period of uncertainty, I need to enjoy life,'” he says.

While there is no doubt that the sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in the temporary freeze of some of the world’s largest and most expensive superyachts, have had some impact on the industry, demand continues being very strong

Arthur Brouwer, chief executive of Dutch shipyard Heesen, notes that “order books are quite full” despite elements of global uncertainty, due to the “post-Covid push”.

Indeed, Boat International’s 2022 global order book indicated that 1,024 superyachts were under construction or on order in 2022, up 24% from the previous year, with a 10.5% increase in orders for 45 meters or more.

As the Monaco Yacht Show 2022 draws to a close, here are eight of the most luxurious superyachts that have wowed the rich.

AHPO

Measuring 115 metres, Lürssen's AHPO, seen before the show, is the largest superyacht on display.

Measuring 115 metres, Lürssen’s AHPO, seen before the show, is the largest superyacht on display.

Guillaume Plisson

This gigantic 115 meter superyacht from the German shipyard Lürssen is undoubtedly one of the most popular boats on display. The largest superyacht ever on display at the Monaco Yacht Show, it commands a commanding view along the small country’s only deep-water port on France’s Mediterranean coast.

Built with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, AHPO, which has a gross tonnage of 4,850, consists of five decks and five cabins for a total of 14 guests.

Delivered last November, the superyacht is powered by two MTU engines, offering a top speed of 17 knots.

Lusine

Heesen's new Lusine superyacht features a complex interior by Sinot Yacht Architecture and Design.

Heesen’s new Lusine superyacht features a complex interior by Sinot Yacht Architecture and Design.

David Churchill/Heesen Yachts

Lusine, a 60-metre steel vessel from Dutch shipyard Heesen, is among the superyachts debuting at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show. With her sleek, sharp edge and ‘bird’s wing’ shape merging three decks, Lusine is a yacht that stands out in every way.

Although its striking exterior, designed by Omega Architects, is certainly a spectacular sight. It is Lusine’s meticulously detailed interior, the work of Sinot Yacht Architecture and Design, that has drawn gasps from those lucky enough to be taken aboard.

“We make a lot of boats and we’ve never done this before,” Heesen CEO Arthur Brouwer says of the superyacht, which cost about $70 million to build. “The amount of detail is incredible.”

Named after the Armenian word for ‘moon’, Lusine’s interior has been beautifully designed to combine elements of the ocean and sky, with mother-of-pearl inlaid wall panels and tables, as well as midnight blue sculptures.

Its furniture is made up of a special combination of materials, including white onyx, as well as rare woods and bespoke metals.

The boat, which can accommodate up to 12 people, is equipped with a helipad for private use, as well as a garage for tenders. With a gross tonnage of 1,079, Lusine is powered by two diesel engines, and can reach a top speed of 17.5 knots.

Blur

The classic sailing yacht Blush, seen taking off in the waters off Antigua, is currently for sale.

The classic sailing yacht Blush, seen taking off in the waters off Antigua, is currently for sale.

Billy Black/Camper and Nicholsons

This beautiful 45 meter sailing yacht built by the Italian shipyard Perini Navi has been exhibited several times at the Monaco Yacht Show since it was delivered in 2007. However, her stunning red exterior and sporty lines ensure that always stand out from the crowd.

Designed by yacht designer and naval architect Ron Holland, the vessel recently underwent an extensive refit at a cost of around $1.8 million, with refurbishment work completed both externally and internally.

Powered by a Caterpillar C-32 diesel engine, Blush is capable of a top speed of 13.5 knots and has a gross tonnage of 315. Owned by Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan, she is currently for sale at just under 12.5 million euros (about 12.2 million dollars) through the brokerage firm Camper & Nicholsons.

river

Rio, built by Italian shipbuilder CRN, features an interior filled with bright and vibrant colors.

Rio, built by Italian shipbuilder CRN, features an interior filled with bright and vibrant colors.

CRN Yachts

Delivered in May, this impressive 62 meter superyacht, made of steel and aluminum hull, has been attracting a lot of attention at this year’s show for its extraordinarily fun interior.

From its hand-painted jungle-themed murals to its fish-paneled carpets and animal-shaped ornaments, Rio is an explosion of vibrant colors from start to finish.

Built by Italian shipbuilder CRN and designed by Omega Architects, the vessel, which has a gross tonnage of 1,218, is spread over four decks and can accommodate up to 12 guests in its six colorful en-suite cabins. There’s also a gym on board, with a Peloton bike, while the beach club has its own massage table.

Named after her owner’s first cat, Rio offers a familiar and welcoming feel that is quite unique, especially for superyachts of this stature. “It’s impossible not to walk around this yacht without a smile on your face,” says a regular attendee of the Monaco Yacht Show.

Little bit

Kinda is the fourth hull in the all-aluminum series from Italian shipbuilder Tankoa.

Kinda is the fourth hull in the all-aluminum series from Italian shipbuilder Tankoa.

Renzo Chelazzi

Among the new superyachts at the Monaco Yacht Show, Kinda has also been making a splash, partly because of her impressive bow pool.

Delivered by Italian yacht builder Tankoa earlier this year, she features an exterior and interior design by renowned luxury yacht designer Francesco Paszkowski.

The ship is powered by a hybrid propulsion system that has been designed to increase fuel efficiency, with three different cruise modes, diesel-mechanical, diesel-electric and all-electric.

Kinda, Tankoa’s fourth aluminum S501 series, following Vertige, Bintador and Olokun, has a gross tonnage of 499 and can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests in her six impressive suites.

Giraud

Giraud is one of the many superyachts currently for sale.

Giraud is one of the many superyachts currently for sale.

Stuart Pearce

She may not be one of the newest superyachts at the Monaco Yacht Show, but Giraud is certainly one of the most eye-catching with her gorgeous sand-colored exterior, designed by Luca Dini Design & Architecture.

Previously named Cacos V, the 40-meter aluminum vessel was built by the Italian shipyard Admiral and delivered in 2013. Listed for sale with an asking price of more than 12.9 million euros (approx. $12.6 million), is equipped with five cabins, can accommodate 11 guests and gross weight of 479.

Giraud is powered by two engines giving the superyacht a cruising speed of 14.0 knots.

Flying

Soaring's unusual exterior ensures it always stands out.

Soaring’s unusual exterior ensures it always stands out.

Olga Dromas/Bluei/Ocean Independence

Another yacht of majestic height, Soaring, the work of German superyacht builder Abeking & Rasmussen, stretches to a length of 68.2 meters.

The vessel’s owner is said to have asked for a distinctive superyacht that wouldn’t be easily mistaken for any other, and German studio Focus Yard Design certainly achieved that.

Delivered in 2020, the four-deck superyacht features fluid, sporty lines, as well as a bright orange stripe located just above the waterline that makes it pretty hard to miss.

With an interior volume of 1,541 gross tons, it has six cabins, along with a library and a luxury spa and beach club.

Soaring is also for sale, with a price of 98 million euros.

victorious

Victorious: The largest superyacht to be built in Turkey.

Victorious: The largest superyacht to be built in Turkey.

Jeff Brown

It’s not every day you get to inspect a superyacht on the market for €110 million (about $107 million), but this year’s attendees have the chance to. Measuring 85 meters, Victorious lives up to its big name.

There has been increasing shipbuilding activity in Turkey in recent years, and this huge vessel from Turkish shipyard Akyacht is the largest superyacht ever built in the country.

Equipped with 11 en-suite cabins as well as a master suite, the large ship has room for up to 20 guests. Its incredible list of amenities includes a movie theater, a 200-square-meter beach club, a helipad, and a wine and cigar room with a fireplace.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the value of mounted superyachts.

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