Finally, someone has managed to outshine Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s mighty Eclipse in the battle for the world’s biggest yacht. The Azzam, a more than 94,000 horsepower superyacht, is thought to have cost more than $400 million to construct, and at over 590 feet long, this really is a giant beast of a yacht. And, in a cloud of mystery and hushed excitement, the buyer is as yet unknown, but is rumoured to be owned by a member of the Saudi royal family.
This grand display of engineering, innovation and, let’s be honest, extreme wealth, was launched in April 2013 in Bremen, Germany. Engineer Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi has been praised for his incredible work on Assam, which has a top speed of more than 30 knots, and Peter Lurssen from construction firm Lurssen called the yacht ‘another milestone in yachting history’.
Described as the most complex, challenging yacht ever built, the yacht’s main salon stretches over 29 metres with no pillars, with the interior designed by acclaimed French designer Christophe Leoni, who worked hard to create a luxurious, elegant interior for the yacht’s inevitably well-heeled guests. While little is currently known about the interior, what we do know is that the yacht will require 50 staff to run it, creating images of a mystifying level of luxury. It’s a good bet this won’t be a charter yacht anyway!
Abramovich’s Eclipse was built in 2010 by German shipyard Blohm + Voss, under the watchful eye of designer Terrence Disdale. The Eclipse is described as ‘supremely luxurious’, providing opulent accommodation for 36 guests, and comprises one master stateroom and 17 VIP staterooms, presumably for Abramovich’s equally wealthy friends to enjoy a spot of seafaring in comfort. However, at a ‘mere’ 533 feet, even this was no match for the goliath that is Azzam.
Could Azzam trigger another battle among the world’s super-rich? In a bid to own the biggest and best superyacht, what appears to be incomprehensibly massive now could well be a drop in the ocean compared to some of the yachts in the pipeline. The Eclipse is known to contain two swimming pools, two helipads, a cinema and even a mini submarine, so it will be exciting to find out exactly how Azzam has topped this.
This yacht is not only a masterpiece in terms of its sleek appearance, but also in terms of dimension, speed and technological innovation. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the engineers come up with to top the current biggest yacht in the world.
Karen Jaeger is a luxury lifestyle blogger with a keen eye for the finer things in life
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