PHOTOS: Guillaume Plisson
The 129-foot (39.37-meter) Aurelia is the first of what Cantiere delle Marche (CdM) calls a Flexplorer. A play on “flexible explorer,” it means she pursues ambitious cruising along with luxurious entertaining. The owners were already experienced in both, having commissioned Galego, a CdM Darwin Class 102, in 2017. Still, they, the shipyard, the Hydro Tec studio, and the suppliers pushed things further. The remarkable spaces aboard Aurelia therefore aren’t confined to her interior.
Perhaps more than any other area, her giant A-frame crane commands attention. Made of carbon fiber, it’s 33 feet (10.1 meters) long and nearly 14 feet (4.2 meters) wide. Advanced Mechanical Solutions, a specialist supplier, designed it. Furthermore, the company designed the hatches that hide it when not in use. Typically for offshore fishing and research vessels, A-frame cranes incorporate two long side pillars and a horizontal connector housing the winch. As the crane rotates out from the hatches, the winch remains perpendicular to the pillars, to work with gravity. Additionally, it launches or hauls the tender directly aft. This therefore avoids the heeling issues that occur when a traditional davit reaches over the side of a yacht for the same tasks. Keep in mind, too, that this A-frame’s lifting capacity exceeds three tons. Her tender, meanwhile, is 26 feet (8 meters).
Since the owners treasure activity ashore as much as onboard, their design brief required a cruising range to put transatlantic destinations within reach. While Galego had a range of 4,700 nautical miles at 9½ knots, Aurelia can go farther. She actually exceeds her contractual range, allowing 7,000 nautical miles at 10 knots. Sergio Cutolo of Hydro Tec, her naval architect, adds that fuel consumption at that speed is just 18½ gph (70 lph). Additionally, during sea trials she reportedly hit upwards of 15 knots at top end, 1 knot higher than contractual obligations. Her performance comes from a round-bilge hull with a bulbous bow for good seakeeping regardless of conditions, true to her explorer heritage. She further has four stabilizers that work with independently driven rudders to improve course- and seakeeping even more.
Wherever they roam, the owners have a serenely stylish ambience to enjoy. Notably, while they knew what they wanted, they knew what they didn’t want, too. In fact, they specifically stated in the design brief “nothing should look as brand new or like a trendy top-class furniture’s showroom.” From the saloon to the skylounge and the staterooms, the look is simultaneously contemporary and classic. Ensuring the owners and guests can relax, the crew have access to a tank deck beneath the guest area, for extra stowage and freezers.
Enjoy this look around the amazing spaces aboard Aurelia—whose name pays homage to the famed car Lancia Aurelia. Click any of the thumbnails to launch a slideshow.
Cantiere delle Marche cantieredellemarche.it
Hydro Tec hydrotec.it