One of the most popular stories on Megayacht News over the past year is “The Refit of Alucia.” The article detailed how a French-built submarine tender was being converted for service as a 185-foot private expedition yacht, fitted with extensive equipment for ocean study and exploration as well as liveaboard comforts and luxuries, including an artwork gallery.
Joseph Artese Design, which has been working closely with the owners on the interior and some exterior elements, and Rob McCallum, the project manager, report that the refit is now completed. McCallum is particularly enthused: “A well-proved performer in her previous life as the French sub support ship Nadir, Alucia is capable of making the largest private contribution to marine science since Cousteau’s Calypso.”
That’s quite a statement, but then again, Alucia has quite the assortment of equipment. Among the items the owners selected for inclusion are three submersibles that permit plunging down more than 3,000 feet – and which track to their individual berths onboard – extensive dive equipment, and sonar. Then there are the laboratories for studying ocean specimens, an aquarium, two film-editing suites, and a satellite hookup from the suites to send live film footage. The owners, through their company Deep Ocean Expeditions, are avid underwater documentary filmmakers and committed to preserving marine life.
Since they want their guests, some of whom will be scientists, to share in their discoveries, they requested that Artese create a special art gallery along the 60-foot-long passage that originally served the accommodations on Nadir. While it still connects the owner’s suite, the VIP stateroom, and four other guest staterooms on Alucia – outfitted with maple joinery and other luxe treatments – that hallway will now display a rotating assortment of photos that the owners plan to take on their underwater explorations.
In another nod to their love of the ocean, the main saloon features an “aqua wall,” a handful of two- by three-foot backlit, electro-luminescent panels from Lumicor covering the entire wall, mimicking being underwater.
With naval architecture and some additional design input from Kirilloff & Associates, including the subs’ hangar, the labs, and a helipad and heli-hangar, Alucia is anticipated to undertake expeditions for years to come.