Once upon a time in the early days of luxury charter yachts, having a Jacuzzi on the sundeck was considered the height of opulence. Since then the superyacht industry has evolved to offer even bigger – and sometimes outrageous – comforts that fit seamlessly into the design of the vessel while providing those on board with plenty of entertainment options for distant, uninhabited shores.
Here we have a list of some of the most practical and unusual amenities it’s possible to find today aboard motor yachts and sailing yachts privately owned and those available for charter.
Underwater Observatory/Nemo Lounge – Sailing Yacht A
Known alternatively as underwater observatories, Nemo lounges or Neptune lounges, these rare interiors give guests a view of life below the water as they cruise past fish-filled coral reefs in Australia and the Caribbean or deep canyons in the crystal clear waters of the South Pacific. Luxury yachts SAVANNAH and ELANDESS both have semi-submerged lounges but luxury sailing yacht A goes one step further by having a completely submerged lounge that lets you see through the bottom as well as on both sides while guests enjoy conversation over drinks.
During the design process glass producers GL Yachtverglasung managed to reduce the thickness and weight by up to 50%, although images of the Nemo Lounge show reassuringly dense and durable panes.
If the thought of having glass below the water is an unnerving prospect there is no need to worry: To meet strict Lloyds building standards the observation windows had to withstand 10 times the pressure that they would be up against in constant everyday conditions.
Drive-in Tender Bay – M/Y Octopus
When stepping out of a tender and onto a swim platform the procedure can be trickier than it appears, especially in choppy sea conditions or sudden downpours. The drive-in tender bay solves this issue and while it has been around for some years now, the feature is usually to be found on larger custom-built superyachts such as OCTOPUS from German shipyard Lürssen.
The drive-in tender bay is capable of storing two tenders, and the current arrangement is for one Vikal-brand tender called MAN OF WAR as well as a mini-submarine. Water can be drained from within in minutes, and some luxury yachts launched in recent years turn the tender garage into a saltwater swimming pool while the tenders are out on the sea.
Tennis Court – Aviva
The tennis court aboard 98.4m/332.8ft superyacht AVIVA from Abeking & Rasmussen is one of the most ambitious luxury amenities to ever be installed within a luxury yacht – it was a marvel at the time she was launched in 2017 and is still regarded as an amazing feat of engineering today.
Two tons of sand were required to produce the bounce, while soundproofing was also installed so that guests sleeping in could do so without interruption. At 20m/65.6ft long and 10m/32.8ft wide and 6.5m/21.3ft of headroom, the proportions of a mega yacht come in handy for creating this impressive padel tennis court, which put her above and beyond her competition to win a Boat International Design and Innovation Award.
Swimming Pools with waterfalls – Galactica Supernova
Swimming pools with waterfalls are becoming more desirable than ever not just as a place to cool off in hotter climes but also for the ambiance they produce for daytime gatherings or evening soirees. As guests ascend the stairs of 70m/229.8ft Heesen motor yacht GALACTICA SUPERNOVA they are greeted by an extensive glass-sided swimming pool with a waterfall feeding down from the upper deck aft above.
Glass-bottomed inserts in the swimming pool allow light to filter down into the beach club below, making space naturally lit even while cruising between destinations, when the transom door cannot be opened.
Outdoor Cinemas – Maltese Falcon
Motor yachts tend to take most of the credit for innovative features but sailing yachts have been challenging that assumption in recent years with on board Jacuzzis, extensive storage for water toys and massive outdoor party areas that often have wet bars, large alfresco dining areas… and outdoor cinemas that use the sails for a screen.
Nowhere is this feature more impressive than aboard sailing yacht MALTESE FALCON, which captured the world’s attention at her launch in 2016 with her unusual cutting-edge sails when mono-hulled sailing yachts seemed relegated to be little more than nostalgic indulgences. She has a capacity for over 50 guests when hosting a dockside event and everything from home movies to the latest blockbusters can be projected using her top-of-the-line AV equipment.
Golf Tee – Lucky Lady
Golf is a favourite sport for many Owners and luxury yacht charter guests to the point where golf courses are easy to come by close marinas across the globe. Those heading off on an expedition to deserted shores don’t have to wait a whole week or even months to pick up their favourite sport again should they choose 62.6m/205.5ft Oceanco motor yacht LUCKY LADY.
Last refitted in 2017, she boasts the world’s first retractable golf tee and since it is located on the spacious swim platform, the rest of the group can watch on from shaded sun loungers until it’s their turn to putt.
Biodegradable golf balls disappear entirely within 96 hours of touching down in the saline seawater, so guests on board don’t need to worry about harming the environment they’ve come to appreciate.
LUCKY LADY also shares some of her features with other superyachts mentioned on this list, including a tender garage that doubles as a beach club, a spa pool with a two-tier waterfall and an outdoor cinema for family films together under the stars.
The Mediterranean luxury yacht charter season is now in full swing, but it’s still possible to grab a last-minute deal. Contact CharterWorld for more information on how to find a luxury yacht to suit the interests of your group in your desired location.