The Monaco yacht show is the most prestigious yachting show in the world with the biggest and best in the yachting industry showcasing their latest creations and services. The 2022 show ran from September 28 to October 1 at Port Hercule, Monaco with an estimated 30,000 visitors. The yachts presented at this year’s show are collectively worth over 4.5 billion euros.
The annual Monaco Yacht Show has become an emblematic event for private visitors who come for the outstanding concentration of superyachts available for purchase or charter and to meet the industry experts in Monaco’s festive and glamorous ambiance. Although superyachts are the focus of attraction, the attendees can visit a wide selection of builders, designers, service providers, brokers, and yacht equipment manufacturers and tour yachts on display for sale or for charter. There are also luxury cars, helicopters, private jets, speedboats, tenders, personalized submarines, and lots of parties hosted by yacht builders, owners, brokers, charter companies, and designers. This year, I attended a lavish James Bond Sky Fall -themed party at the Yacht Club de Monaco, hosted by IGY Marinas. The song and dance by four sexy ladies was incredibly entertaining. Unfortunately, I could not attend the most popular Lürssen party.
A car deck exhibited classic luxury cars coveted by collectors. After all, luxury yachts and luxury cars go hand in hand for same clientele. Companies with products and services catering to superyacht customers’ lifestyles also showcased exhibits offering watches, hotels, and wealth management. This year’s show also featured a new exhibition area dedicated to sustainable yachting solutions.
The evening before the yacht show, September 27, the Monaco Yacht Summit held a panel of 14 experts who shared their expertise regarding purchasing, chartering, building, refitting, new destinations, and other subjects. Stewart Campbell, editor in-chief of Boat International Media, and Derek Munro, owner’s representative for Divergent Yachting hosted the panel. Topics included industry trends in new technology, new designs, new destinations, new functions, etc. The new build or purchase panel’s experts included Michael Berman, sales director of Lurssen; Andrew Charlier, co-head and partner of HFW; and naval architect Espen Oeino of Espen Oeino International.
The top 10 largest yachts presented at the show this year were:
• 115.1-meter Lürssen Ahpo
• 90.1-meter Lürssen Phoenix ll
• 89-meter Amels Here Comes the Sun
• 88-meter Golden Yachts Shipyard Project X
• 85.65-meter Abeking & Rasmussen B2
• 85.01-meter Akyacht Victorious
• 78-meter Amels Energy
• 74.5-meter Abeking & Rasmussen Elandess
• 73.15-meter Delta Marine Laurel
• 72.2-meter Delta Marine Albatross
I took a comprehensive tour of the biggest and newest yacht, the Ahpo, guided by a representative from Moran Yacht & Ship, the company involved from contract to delivery in the creation of the 115-metre vessel which was the brokerage firm’s 61st new build project. Moran is also representing it for charter.
I have been attending the Monaco Yacht Show for over 15 years and have visited dozens of megayachts there. Rarely has a yacht left me as speechlessly impressed as the Ahpo. This elegant yacht features long, sweeping exterior lines and half-moon windows. With its beautiful, artistically designed interior, the Ahpo is an outstanding representation of her owner’s refined style and taste. The Ahpo reunited the owner, Italian design firm Nuvolari-Lenard, with the Lürssen shipyard and Moran Yacht & Ship, the same team that worked on the creation of the owner’s former yacht, the 86-meter Quattroelle, delivered in 2013. I visited that ship at the Monaco Yacht Show, too. Nearly double the size of Quattroelle, Ahpo, at 5,257 gross tons, is much more complex with designs nspired by nature and exquisitely intricate.
The newest masterpiece of the Lürssen shipyard and Nuvolari-Lenard, Ahpo is named after the Chinese word, in the Hakka dialect, which means grandmother. Ahpo was a birthday gift delivered to the owner’s mother for her 89th birthday in December 2021. The elegant interior with exotic and deluxe Asian materials, such as a master bed inlaid with mother of pearl in Japanese maple leaf-patterns, reflects the owner’s taste. The beautifully designed spaces testify to the amazing team, with extensive experience in superyachts, who created such beauty and perfection.
ROOMS AND AMENITY FEATURES
Luxury amenities on the Ahpo include an interior spa with a hot tub and relaxation area. Its world class gym on the sky lounge deck is more spacious and luxurious than a 5-star hotel gym. It features every sort of exercise machine imaginable: equipment by Technogym, bikes by Peloton, and custom-made dumbbells by Gym Marine. The gym and spa also feature lacquer furniture, attractive synthetic flooring, and televisions hidden behind mirrors.
The side decks on the sky lounge deck are exceptionally wide like a promenade and 100 meters all around, allowing the owners and their guests to take walks in the open air. The sky lounge deck also has an 8-meter pool with counter-current system and a separate Jacuzzi® hot tub on one side of the pool and a sun pad on the other side.
The panoramic salon, forward on the sky lounge deck, provides incredible views over the bow. A beautiful pair of large, matching, curved white sofas, a pair of matching coffee tables, and a huge crystal chandelier dress up this room. The salon is adjacent to owner’s duplex suite below and to which it is connected by a private grand staircase.
Sliding and folding glass doors expose or protect the winter garden from the elements. The winter garden provides space for entertaining and family gatherings. A 16-seat dining table surrounded by greenery and rattan furnishings is perfect for hosting casual meals.
Natural light floods the owner’s deck, an elegant and understated space for relaxation. A potted red maple tree inside flanks the entrance corridor leading to the staircase and the salon above. The owner’s deck boasts two large semicircles of informal sofas providing plenty of space for family and friends to relax and enjoy the views.
The entrance to the owner’s suite has two glass columns engraved with maple leaves. The owner’s bedroom features two reclining sofas flanking either side of the bed and a custom-designed breakfast table in tinted lacewood and mother of pearl. The bed’s headboard matches the room’s décor of maple leaves and bluebirds. In her bathroom and dressing room, pink marble, pink onyx with onyx viola, and onyx fantastico complement each other. Shower mosaics replicate a cherry tree with elegant blossoms and birds. The vanity displays an intricate combination of different shades of sycamore in various pinks and ivories with rose gold and champagne gold metal inlays. The opulent master bath and dressing room combine honey onyx and black Portoro marble. The shower’s mosaic wall was inspired by Klimt’s paintings. The bathroom’s focal points are the Venetian glass furniture from Murano and an impressive, freestanding tub in black and gold with a matching chandelier.
The formal dining room on the main deck features a custom dining table made by List and seating 18. Its glass top was created by DKT Artworks, using the French technique of verre églomisé with a theme of water lilies. The chandelier and doors repeat the water lily theme. The room’s oval ceiling and shape echo that theme. The dining table sits on an oval “carpet” of sodalite and azul macaubas surrounded by a laminated elmwood floor. Sliding glass doors on each side open onto the side decks and balconies.
The formal salon features a self-playing Steinway piano, handcrafted balustrade in bronze and engraved glass, large sofas, and a corner bar. With the aft sliding doors open, the salon is connected to the aft deck. The impressive staircase in the center of the room takes guests down to the large wellness deck below, creating an expansive space for business, entertaining, and relaxation.
The Beach Club Spa, a 205-square meter wellness area on the lower deck, is the first place guests see when arriving by boat. When the ship is at anchor, the space serves as a private living room at water level with contemporary sofa seating and coffee table. Stepping from the swim platform through the transom door, a large bamboo grove encased in backlit frosted glass forms a stunning backdrop to a stylish bar. A Jacuzzi with intricate mosaic patterns sits in the center of the room. The private massage room and beauty salon replicate the bamboo imagery on hand-painted wallpaper by the artists of renowned wallpaper company de Gournay. On the spa’s ceiling, huge leaves made of walnut are illuminated with borders of LED lighting. Teak stripes undulate behind a plunge pool with a waterfall. The wellness space also includes a Turkish hammam with blue mosaics by Sicis and a fountain in ivory onyx and mosaics. Fiber optics in the ceiling create shining stars. Azul macaubas and sodalite stones repeat throughout the yacht, including on the mullions. Directly opposite the hammam is a large, state-of-the-art, curvaceous sauna with Himalayan salt bricks inserted into its walls.
The 12-seat cinema is decorated with portraits of the owner’s three favorite actors—Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, and Sammy Davis, Jr.—black and white fabric mosaics, and a starry ceiling.
There are two guests suites on the owner’s deck, decorated in pink and green for the owner’s twin daughters. Their deluxe bathrooms feature handmade metal bathtubs from Catchpole & Rye, mosaics inspired by Gustav Klimt, and crystal chandeliers by Lasvit in the style of Baccarat. Gingko leaves and rolltop baths are similar to the master bathrooms.
My favorite room is the spacious, informal lounge on the owner’s deck with a striking latticed wood pattern. Three white, curved sofas and three gorgeous oval coffee tables create a focal entertainment space under a gigantic crystal chandelier. A bespoke bar and a game table on each side of the entry area entertain guests of all ages.
One can’t help but notice the artistic design of the grand spiral staircase. The stunning, intricate bronze balustrade represents an olive tree rising to the sky through several decks. It’s surrounded by cranes and nature-themed décor. A bas-relief adorns the staircase wall over five decks, each with its own color theme. The staircase wraps around an elliptical sculpture with a central column supporting delicate feathers handmade of crystal. The steps feature backlit Calcutta marble, leather, and Tai Ping silk carpeting.
While conventionally powered, the yacht boasts advanced systems, such as super-efficient HUG after-treatment filters complementing the now mandatory SCR system, a dynamic positioning system, controllable pitch propellers for precise maneuvering at low speed, and four massive Quantum fins. Its heat recovery system efficiently redirects heat generated by the engines and the generators’ normal operation to warm the swimming pool, spa pool, and other water systems. Amazing noise insulation yields library-quiet sound levels in the guest areas.
The Ahpo is very close to perfect, from its superlative guest areas to its sizeable crew spaces and an engine room so clean you can eat off the floor. The engine room is visible through a glass corridor leading from the Beach Club Spa to the guest lobby and lift. Up to 53 people can share space on the Ahpo, including two helicopter pilots. There is a gym and a spacious lounge that can accommodate all crew. The team of Nuvolari-Lenard, with Valantina Zannier as the creative designer, is behind the nature-inspired, exquisitely intricate interior created with the owners.
Luckily for the world’s yachting enthusiasts, the Ahpo is now available for charter in the Caribbean this winter and in the Mediterranean in the summer. This stunning superyacht accommodates up to 16 guests in eight immense staterooms. In addition, the ship has four staff cabins for security, a nanny, or other auxiliary staff. Her professional crew of 36 will cater to your every need. The forward helideck is commercially compliant and available for use during charter for guests’ convenient arrival and departure. With generous accommodations and a wide selection of amenities, the magnificent Ahpo is perfect for a family yacht charter. Accommodating 16 guests, the charter rate is 2.5 million euros per week.