There is a separate category of luxury motor yachts that is truly unique. “Expedition,” or “Explorer” yachts are designed for long term cruising and to reach some of the most far-flung destinations on the planet. In the past, because of the particular specifications required for long term, long distance cruising, many “expedition yachts” started their lives as other kinds of vessels, such as fishing or maritime research boats, that were then later converted to yachts. More recently, with the idea of “adventure travel” among high net worth individuals becoming increasingly popular, expedition yachts are being designed and built from the ground up. Think of it as exploration, with style!
The construction of one such highly anticipated expedition yachts began just about a year ago at the Kleven Shipyard in Norway. The highly secretive project, known only as U116, is for the build of a nearly 400 foot expedition yacht for the same owner of another well-known expedition yacht, the somewhat smaller, 350 foot Ulysses. Since the beginning of her construction, U116 has remained literally “under wraps,” but recently, pictures of her uncovered, were revealed, in the Superyacht Times, giving the public their first view of this remarkable vessel since her construction was completed. According to the accompanying article, U116 has more features and amenities of a superyacht, than her sister ship, the Ulysses, such as a “perfectly faired navy-blue hull, and several on-deck balconies and a forward-facing master suite.”
The piece went on to say that, “U116 is based on a type MT 5006 MKII ESV platform designed by Norwegian firm Marin Teknikk in partnership with Oscar Mike Naval Architects from New Zealand. Manta Maritime is overseeing the technical aspects of the project.”
Why Build Such a Yacht?
Superyachts such as the U116 are setting the bar for a new branch of yachting — true luxury global cruising. Builders of expedition yachts are responding to a growing market and an unmet need. The fact of the matter is, most superyachts may have all that is required for the ultimate in luxury, but they fall short when it comes to the ability for true world-wide exploration and adventure. Typical yachts lack the sea-worthy capability to do much more than cruise the Mediterranean and offer the owner the occasional fair weather voyage to the Caribbean, or other usual vacation hubs for yachts.
On the other hand, many so-called “expedition yachts,” really do not cut it for the well-heeled, adventure seeking yachtsman. A converted trawler, or ex-military vessel may have the ruggedness required, but even when completely retrofitted, can only go so far in luxury.
Vessels such as the U116 represent a true paradigm shift: yachts built to literally take on the world with all the safety and seaworthiness of other ocean going vessels, combined with the luxury and aesthetics of a world class superyacht.
People choose to purchase a new or pre-owned motor yacht for many reasons, but, ultimately the reason to own a yacht, is to have the freedom to explore the world in total luxury – and vessels like these new expedition yachts mean that even the furthest corners of the world, are not off-limits.
Deciding on the new or pre-owned luxury yacht that is right for you, can be quite complex. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Sales Specialists, or call us at 954-900-9988.
Main Image: YouTube