CELEBRATE THE SWEET LIFE ON THE HIGH SEAS ABOARD THE WORLD’S LARGEST RESIDENTIAL SUPERYACHT, SET TO EMBARK UPON ITS INAUGURAL SAIL IN 2024
BY AMANDA MCCOY • PHOTOS COURTESY OF WINCH DESIGN, TILLBERG DESIGN OF SWEDEN, AND LUTTENBERGER DESIGN
It’s 6 a.m., and the sun is cresting the horizon over Italy’s serrated Eastern shoreline, flooding your glass enclosed living room with the day’s first light, while the cyan waters of the Adriatic Sea reflect against pearl white home accent pieces and marble tabletops. By nightfall, the castles of Valencia have come into view as your floating penthouse docks for the night. This is a snapshot of life aboard the upcoming Somnio residential super yacht, set to become one of the world’s most exclusive and elusive addresses when it sets sail in 2024.
Several factors, such as the rise of the experience economy and worldwide increase in net worth individuals, have contributed to the growth of both private yacht charters and the cruise industry over the last decade. Prior to the pandemic, which slashed yacht charters by a whopping 85%, the private yacht market was valued at nearly $11 billion, while cruising has witnessed a 5.4% annual growth rate since 2009. Somnio (“I dream” in Latin) seeks to bridge the two maritime experiences, blending the opulence of a private yacht with the community and camaraderie of a luxury cruise ship. The residential super ship is billed as the world’s first yacht liner.
There will be 39 ultra swanky, fully customizable residences onboard, ranging in size from 2,000 to a sprawling 10,300 square feet, featuring private balconies and terraces overlooking the endless ocean. Life at sea won’t come cheap, as even the entry apartment prices top €20 million (approximately $22.7 million), but a suite of “six star” amenities along with a never ending global itinerary promise an address that’s, quite frankly, unlike anywhere else on the map. The vessel’s specific route will be chosen based on owner consensus, with Monaco, Antarctica, Porto no, and French Polynesia all among potential destinations.
Norwegian naval architecture firm VARD (a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding goliath Fincantieri) is leading the design and construction of the enormous vessel, which is a marvel in scale alone. Stretching nearly 730 feet, the 33,500 ton behemoth will take the crown as the world’s largest yacht (for reference, the current gold medalist is “only” 590 feet). Overseeing the $600 million project is captain Erik Bredhe, former master of the privately owned cruise vessel MS e World, which first set sail in 2002.
Somnio tapped three of the world’s leading design firms that specialize in yachting to spearhead the residences: Tillberg Design of Sweden, Winch Design from the U.K., and Swedish firm Lutten berger Design. The interiors are completely bespoke, from the finishes to the layouts. Options include state of the art gyms, libraries, personal kitchens, dressing rooms, and living rooms with 270 degree forward facing windows that stretch from the floor to the ceiling for uninterrupted views of the horizon. One week your backdrop might be a colony of penguins in Antarctica, before shifting into the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
According to the company, the service and amenities will rival the world’s top rated luxury resorts, from Michelin caliber dining to curated experiences. There will be two ne dining restaurants, both offering al fresco seating when visiting warmer locales, plus a casual sports bar and café style marketplace for groceries and a la carte items. The restaurants will host different world class chefs on board from various cuisines and regions.
An expansive wine cellar and tasting room will provide a home for 10,000 bottles of high end vino, from big name Bordeaux to awarded niche labels. For tipplers who prefer a higher ABV, the Connoisseur Club will offer a platter of fine liquors and cigars. Other luxuries on tap include a top deck lounge with library, Movie Theater, spa, fitness facility, and beach club with an oversized lap pool, two spas, and ample seating. A marina area is located at the stern, housing a spate of watersports equipment and boats for off ship activities like fishing, diving, snorkeling, and beach landings. There will also be medical services onboard.
There will be a dedicated concierge to curate experiences, from bird watching in the Falkland Islands to diving in Tahiti. Somnio will also partner with a luxury tour company to provide destination driven excursions and bring aboard local experts, guest lecturers, and entertainers to craft immersive, destination specific experiences.
While lavish amenities and multi million dollar residences are, unarguably, a profusion of excess, the super yacht is taking industry leading steps to reduce its oceanic footprint and improve global marine conditions.
“Environmental sustainability is a key focus for Somnio, which is being built with the latest clean engine technology and advanced onboard equipment to help scientists and marine experts conduct research into ocean environments,” the company said in a statement.
What exactly is clean engine technology? The company had yet to release specifics as this issue went to press, but there are a variety of avenues large scale vessels can follow to slash fuel consumption and reduce impact on the water, most notably by adopting cleaner fuel alternatives to crude oil. Other beneficial processes include underbelly bubbles, which reduce friction between the ship and the water, and exhaust scrubbing to cut harmful emissions before they leave the exhaust funnels. Somnio also plans to invite internationally recognized experts in sustainability to join the ship’s itinerary, updating residents on the latest global challenges and solutions on key environmental issues.
Purchase is currently via invitation only.