The latest spec superyacht at Heesen Yachts, the yacht Project Orion, recently saw her hull and superstructure meet and weld together. With her name inspired by NASA’s exploration rocket Orion, this 164-footer (50-meter) will make cruising all over the world a possibility.
Bearing a nearly vertical bow and plenty of striking curves, the superyacht started construction in September 2022. She’s an entirely aluminum yacht, with the accommodations and creature comforts cruisers want. For example, six staterooms, including a main-deck master with floor-to-ceiling windows, are possible. The remaining VIP stateroom (full beam, too) and four guest staterooms are all below decks. It’s a traditional layout, but one that has held appeal for quite a long time regardless of whether owners pursue private trips or make their yachts available for charter.
Even with this, though, the yacht Project Orion has two especially notable differences. Firstly, the sundeck affords more privacy when the yacht is in a marina. Oftentimes, sunning or soaking (a.k.a. hot tub) areas are aft on sundecks, for enjoying the great views. While that’s ideal when out at anchor or underway, when the yacht is docked stern-to, previous customers have said the area feels somewhat exposed. Therefore, Heesen shifted the hot tub forward, additionally ringing it with sunpads for further concealment. Interestingly, the shipyard says the sundeck should feel roomier as well. The layout change still preserves open space aft on the deck for loose lounges if guests want to spread out. Additionally, the shipyard left the alfresco dining area, beneath the hardtop, untouched. A bar remains on the sundeck, too.
Yet another layout change impacts the lower deck. The engine room, for instance, is actually forward, since the yacht Project Orion relies on the flexible configuration of hybrid propulsion. Stemming from the shift, 280 square feet (26 square meters) opened up for an enviable wellness area directly off the swim platform. Heesen and interior designer Cristiano Gatto suggest outfitting it with a sauna, a gym, and a day head with a shower. On a related note, Gatto further suggests a cornucopia of woods, marbles, and finishes, for a luxe look.
Finally, wherever owners and guests venture, they can take some comfort knowing the megayacht will burn less fuel than comparable semi-displacement projects of her size. According to Heesen, her twin 800-hp MTUs should consume just 26 gph (98 lph) at 12 knots, excluding hotel loads like air conditioning. In hybrid mode at 10 knots, meanwhile, consumption should drop to 12 gph (45 lph).
The yacht remains on pace for delivery in early 2025, even with buyers’ customized requests. Gatto’s vision is for details that are “crown jewels that refine the space whilst making sure it stays cozy and comfortable.”
Cristiano Gatto Design cristianogattodesign.com
Heesen Yachts heesenyachts.com
More About the Yacht Project Orion
LOA: 163’10” (49.98 meters)
Beam: 29’5” (9 meters)
Draft: 7’0” (2.15 meters)
Guests: 12 in 6 staterooms
Engines: 2/800-hp MTUs in hybrid propulsion configuration (battery information not available)
Range: 3,100 nautical miles at 11 knots
Builder: Heesen Yachts
Stylist: Omega Architects
Naval Architect: Van Oossanen Naval Architects
Interior Designer: Cristiano Gatto Design