Plenty of notable names hit the water last year, but not all of them were delivered. (Witness Musashi, Larry Ellison’s latest, still receiving finishing touches in northern Holland.) These, however, are happily in their owners’ hands, with some owners perhaps being far happier than others; read on to learn who.
1. Eclipse. At 163 meters (about 535 feet), Eclipse (above) pretty much eclipses all other yachts…and the sun as she passes in front of you. For at least two years, newspapers and websites around the world breathlessly reported rumors of battles between owner Roman Abramovich and builder Blohm+Voss, as the yacht ran behind schedule. She was originally to be delivered in late 2009, according to people with knowledge of the goings-on. Some news reports even held that Abramovich wasn’t happy with the quality of finish work inside some rooms, leading to more delays. Whether or not that’s true, it’s still not terribly surprising that Eclipse took quite a while to build, given her immense size and, no doubt, complexity.
2. Katara. Originally referred to as Project Crystal, Katara (above) emerged from Lürssen in April and was delivered in late summer. Measuring 124.4 meters (408 feet), she drew extra attention in December by pulling into Monaco, an unusual time of year to head there. Details about Katara’s features have been kept tightly under wraps, though it’s no leap of logic to say that her owner is Middle Eastern, given the flag of Qatar hanging over her transom.
3. Luna. Yet another new delivery said to belong to Russian billionaire (and, apparently, yacht collector) Roman Abramovich, Luna (below) is an expedition yacht. In fact, she’s the largest such style in the world, coming in at 115 meters (377 feet). There’s a huge expanse of deck area on her main level aft plus a concealed pool. If multiple people will arrive for a trip at once, two helipads can handle the whirlybirds. News reports and photos from last summer revealed that singer/actress Madonna was onboard in the Med for a few days.
4. Palladium. Originally code-named Project Orca, Palladium is one of the most unusual-looking launches of 2010. Blohm+Voss handed over the 96-meter (315-foot) yacht in September. Her profile, designed by Michael Leach Design, was not without its technical challenges. They include swaths of horizontal glass that rise two decks high and curve outward. Even with that, the owners’ representatives say the yard and suppliers rose to the occasion.
5. Phoenix2. Lürssen lands back in this Superyacht 6 list with a launch for a repeat client. The owner’s first yacht with the German yard was Phoenix, delivered in 2004. Phoenix2 is a good deal larger, at 87.2 meters (286 feet). Andrew Winch Designs graced her interior with Art Deco flair, echoing elements of old New York. The exterior decks are not to be missed, though: The sundeck contains an alfresco cinema.
6. Cakewalk. Arguably the most highly anticipated delivery stateside, Cakewalk is the largest yacht by volume built on American soil in more than 70 years. Her 281 feet (85.6 meters) of LOA feature everything you’d expect of a yacht commissioned by serious cruisers who also have a serious charter following: polished teak caprails, lush fabrics, carpets you can sink into, and seemingly acres of teak decks outside and woodwork and stonework inside. Paul Derecktor, president of Derecktor Shipyards, acknowledged that his craftspeople had quite the challenge on their hands: “Needless to say, as with any project of this scale and sophistication, there were some growing pains along the way, but we think the result speaks for herself.”