These days it simply isn’t good enough to be a billionaire with a stunning megayacht. Nowadays, many of the rich and famous want something more from their billionaire boats than to simply be the height of luxury.
The new breed of restless mega-rich yacht owners seem to have developed a huge wanderlust for far-reaching destinations and sitting around in the Mediterranean, sipping champagne and looking good doesn’t cut it any longer.
This year there has been a huge surge in demand for 100 metre-plus yachts that are capable of exploring the furthest reaches of the oceans and sailing some of the most inhospitable waters of the globe.
According to a recent report published by Boat International Media, there have been orders placed for 23 privately commissioned billionaire boats measuring at least 100 metres that are currently under construction. The annual study shows that this is up from 21 in 2019, and 18 two years ago in 2018.
A thirst for exploration
According to feedback from the largest shipbuilders, the rise in these types of commissions is down to demand from billionaires with a thirst for exploration for more robust ‘explorer yachts’ that are capable of navigating in extreme conditions, such as the seas around the Arctic Circle or South Pacific.
In an interesting twist, many of the new explorer billionaire boats are being fitted out with state of the art research equipment, allowing the owners to take part in research projects or host scientific fact-finding expeditions.
Although there are already well-equipped scientific research vessels exploring remote locations, the boats tend to be a little on the basic side and as most research grants are tight, the ships are pretty bare-boned and allow for little luxury or comfort for the research teams.
But curious millionaires with a thirst for knowledge can have the best of both worlds by having an explorer yacht commissioned that is fitted out with the most lavish of furniture and amenities so that they can explore to their heart’s content, while still living in the lap of luxury and comfort.
REV Ocean: Set to be the largest explorer yacht so far
The largest explorer yacht currently under construction is the REV Ocean, which is set to be completed in 2022. The billionaire boat will be just under 183 metres long, which will make it the biggest private yacht built so far.
Commissioned by Norwegian billionaire businessman Kjell Inge Røkke, famous for his international fisheries business, the luxury explorer yacht is being specifically built to carry out environmental research missions. However, nothing is stopping the onboard research team and other special guests taking advantage of the planned luxuries, including three swimming pools and a 35-seat auditorium.
The current largest explorer yacht
With 821 yachts of more 24 metres long currently being built, competition is going to be strong for the titles of ‘best or largest explorer yacht’, but currently the largest single billionaire boat delivered this year is thought to be the Nord.
Built by the German shipyard Lürssen, the Nord comes complete with an ice-class hull equipped for cutting through Arctic waters. She also has two helipads, a hanger to safely store and protect the helicopters during adverse weather on in inhospitable climates, a personal submarine and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will allow for researchers to explore the sea bed.
Yet the Nord is fitted out with all the luxury amenities you would expect to find aboard a billionaire boat, such as a spa, fully equipped gym, sauna and a 25-metre swimming pool.
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