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How The Monaco Yacht Show Is Redefining Luxury Boating For A New Age


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By The Sybarite Team on 2nd November 2023

Embracing a new-found focus on sustainability and technological innovation, the world of superyachts is entering an exciting era.

Every September for the past 32 years, luxury boating professionals and aficionados alike have flocked to Monaco for the country’s highly-revered yacht show. A true show of craftsmanship, the four-day long event, held in Port Hercule, displays the best and brightest in the yachting world with the intention to inspire and excite its esteemed guests. And, as winter looms in the northern hemisphere, it serves as the perfect excuse for its 32,000 attendees to spend four days drenching in the sun.

With over 100 of the world’s most luxurious vessels all moored in one place, the show provides a unique opportunity to get up close and personal (read: onboard) some of the biggest stars in the boating game. Drawing in a range of clientele from prospective buyers and charterers to designers and enthusiasts, the French Mediterranean coast finds itself abuzz with talks of the future while celebrating the industry's heritage.

With displays of cutting-edge technology and breathtaking designs, this event continues to draw a well-heeled crowd. Below, we share the key takeaways from the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show.

Eco-conscious craftsmanship

In today’s climate, no mode of transportation can be relied on without first analysing its impact on the environment — and the sea is no exception. The Monaco Yacht Show has set an ambitious goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% come 2025, putting sustainability at the forefront moving forward. In line with this, several shipyards unveiled designs, bringing the yachting world into a new era of eco-consciousness. 

Netherlands-based builder, Feadship, debuted a new vessel, which while still in the design stage, is a step in the right direction toward the shipyard's eventual goal of creating net-zero superyachts. The concept, named Dunes, will utilise fuel cell technology and a radical propulsor to eliminate up to 95% of negative environmental impact factors. Sleek and sophisticated, the 83-metre spectacle demonstrated how exterior design can utilise wind and solar energy to reduce power consumption. 

Swiss-based KMJ also revealed its concept for Symbiosis, which seamlessly blends the most grounding aspects of land and sea, coming together in spectacular harmony. Featuring a 140-metre garden, (complete with its own dedicated irrigation system) and a tree of life which will sit in the centre of the dining and lounge area. The type of tree planted can even be personalised according to the owner’s preference, creating a 180 degree ‘beating heart’ at the core of the ship. 

Image: KMJ
Image: KMJ

Technology talks

Alongside eco-conscious implementations are technological innovations, which allow designers to engineer new ways of powering these ships more efficiently. 

With the sun and the sea going hand in hand, solar panels have proven to be a game-changer for powering yachts of all sizes. This is best demonstrated in Bluegame’s BGM75 design which is capable of generating 5kw of green energy — courtesy of its 56 solar panels — which can be installed on the deckhouse. It is futurism at its finest, bringing a unique capability to give back the same, if not more of the energy it consumes. 

Image: Bluegame
Image: Bluegame

Daring designs 

In the world of superyachts, aesthetics matter. After all, anyone investing in boats of this size isn't expecting anything less than the best. It makes sense, then, that many of them employ the keen eyes of esteemed interior designers to achieve these lofty, artistic visions. 

Lürssen Yacht’s Phoenix 2 is at the forefront of modern design, boasting a beauty salon, movie theatre, spa, beach club, and gym, all within its 90-metre confines. Exuding art deco opulence, this yacht has drawn strong design influences from New York’s Upper East Side, as seen in the hanging art installations, velvet walls, and baby grand piano. The ship’s interior has been brought to life by Andrew Winch of Winch Design, exuding a sense of old-world glamour that feels as though you’ve stepped back in time. 

Similarly, Tankoa’s 50-metre superyacht has incorporated an outdoor cinema screen, strategically placed above the swimming pool lounge. The acoustic geniuses at Focal and Naim have incorporated a high-tech sound system to accompany the screen, creating a 360-degree, immersive viewing experience. While the ship has clearly been designed for alfresco living given its impressive exterior, the interior design handled by Giorgio Cassetta of Cassetta Yacht Designers is equally something to marvel at. With a natural flow of light streaming in through oversized windows, light woods and blue velvet highlights instil a sense of aesthetic harmony.

Image: Tankoa
Image: Tankoa

Once considered a symbol of old money, each annual instalment of the Monaco Yacht Show has seen new designs and innovation appeal to a younger demographic, ushering in a new era of owners. It’s these coming together of worlds that allows brilliant minds from multiple generations to reimagine these megayachts for a new age. For many, it’s the most glamorous event in their yachting calendars, but it’s also an opportunity to improve luxury travel in a myriad of ways.  

As any attendee would tell you, there is no better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a glass of champagne in hand, aboard the deck of a 120-metre yacht. But, as we’ve seen, this event is far more than luxury showmanship and the Monaco Yacht Show is proving to be a pioneer event, capable of reimagining the concept of water travel.

With the yachting world continuing to expand, innovate and excite, there is no telling what 2024 holds. But, if this year is anything to go by, it will be an unmissable affair for anyone who is anyone at sea.

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