Megayacht News Onboard: Princess Yachts’ Imperial Princess

PHOTO: Marc Paris

When Princess Yachts decided to make a bigger leap into the megayacht market with the 40M, it couldn’t just build a bigger boat. It had to present a high quality of build and a high quality of finish. Imperial Princess, the first Princess 40M, shows that Princess Yachts took both well into consideration.

Construction-wise, the 131’9” (40.16-meter) Princess 40M is all fiberglass, built via the vacuum-infusion method. She marks the largest production hull made this way. Even though Princess Yachts has been using vacuum infusion for other, smaller models it offers, it’s quite a different thing to do so for a nearly 132-footer—and a trideck, at that, another first for the UK-based builder. The yacht was two years in development before the first fiberglass was laid up. Construction took another year after that.

Princess Yachts further made nearly all interior elements in house, from the satin-finished walnut paneling (fashioned in a checkboard pattern in places) to the macassar ebony and sycamore tables. Based on an initial Bannenberg & Rowell concept, Princess’ in-house team developed the layout and decor, customizing it further with the owner of Imperial Princess, practically unheard of for a production-built yacht. One smart feature is this glass partition, paired with a limestone sole at the aft formal entry. The idea is to screen the saloon from view, especially if the owner and guests are enjoying the saloon.

As for that saloon, there’s plenty to enjoy. A good-size seating area means large parties can stay together. Since the saloon is open to the dining area, the room doesn’t feel compartmentalized. It also makes the most of the 40M’s beam (26’4”, or 8.02 meters). Note, too, the balcony off the starboard side. There’s another balcony to port, and each are fold-down affairs that can further accommodate a small table and chairs setup. Each balcony entry is also fitted with sliding doors that can be left open or closed.

Speaking of open, check out the ports here in the galley. What chef wouldn’t be thrilled with this much natural light coming into his or her workspace? The countertop adjacent to them has enough room to prep for meals, plus a sink and dishwasher. The countertop then wraps forward and along the starboard side, revealing plenty more prep space before leading into the stove. A center island, with stowage beneath, is also present, making Imperial Princess’ capacious galley a well-designed area. It’s enhanced by a pantry/prep area that contains the dumbwaiter, which connects to a pantry on the upper deck and flying bridge.

As for the upper deck, there’s a secret door forward to port in the skylounge (next to the backlit bookshelf carved into the wall) for the crew to serve drinks and meals directly from the pantry. And as for the skylounge itself, blackout curtains create a suitable movie atmosphere for anyone watching flicks on the large TV. Of course, guests aren’t “trapped” back here, instead welcome to wander forward into the wheelhouse and sit on the observation settee while the captain guides Imperial Princess to her next port. (On a related side note, you can tell the owner of Imperial Princess has had a few yachts in his lifetime and wants to keep his crew happy: The captain’s cabin is a really good size, tucked aft of the nav area.)

A proper megayacht in the 130-foot range these days positions the master suite on the main deck, and Princess Yachts followed suit with the 40M. Princess Yachts allows some customization in the suite: Imperial Princess has an office preceding the sleeping area, while the owner of a yacht under construction requested a gym. Regardless, the bedroom reflects the standards buyers have, with good-size windows and a TV that stows out of sight when not needed. Also outfitted to high standards: the en suite bath, a his and her affair. His side contains the shower, while her side has a silverleaf wall with a painted finish, plus a bathtub.

Princess Yachts offers two different arrangements below decks, either with four or five guest staterooms. A beamy VIP with four ports is aft (left image), while a second VIP lies forward (right), with “only” three ports. Either is suitable for Very Important People, though the aft one arguably might be favored, given a vanity and a seating area. Neither aboard Imperial Princess suffers from lackluster amenities, though, as there are heated towel racks and heated limestone soles. In the four-stateroom layout, which Imperial Princess feature, two twins lie between the VIPs and have two ports each. In the five-stateroom version, the aft VIP becomes two double guest rooms.

Beautiful outfitting may initially attract a potential buyer, but it’s what’s behind the scenes that matters just as much. With a good reputation, plus the careful preparation behind making the largest-ever resin-infused hull afloat, Princess Yachts gives buyers a level of confidence. That confidence is bolstered by the 40M’s luxurious yet user-friendly design. And with reported speeds to either side of 20 knots, depending on which MTU power package is chosen, owners can take heart knowing that the 40M can get them where they wish to cruise.

For more on the Princess 40M, check out the Megayacht News Facebook page.

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