Monaco Yacht Show: The Ultimate one upmanship “Mine is bigger than yours”

The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) is always full of pomp and circumstance set in iconic Port Hercules in the Principality of Monaco along the French Riviera.  Surrounded by spectacular rock sheers jutting strait up into the sky and the magnificent new Monaco Yacht Club at the base, built to mimic a megayacht, the superstars of the week are the125 superyachts worth a combined price of $4.4 billion.

The Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) is always full of pomp and circumstance set in iconic Port Hercules, in the Principality of Monaco, along the French Riviera. Surrounded by spectacular rock sheers jutting straight up into the sky, with the magnificent new Monaco Yacht Club at the base, built to mimic a megayacht, the superstars of the week are the 125 superyachts worth a combined price of $4.4 billion.

Billionaire businessmen, A-List celebrities, gigayacht builders and brokers, plus plenty of partiers, all rendezvous in the world’s second smallest country to buy, talk shop, gawk or party party party during the Monaco Yacht Show. The superyachts in the show are some of the newest, biggest and most expensive floating mansions on the planet. Visitors are also treated to the latest water toys, tenders, submarines, helicopters and cool cars. This year the Car Deck showcased a selection of vintage Mercedes from the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

The Monaco Yacht Show was started in 1991,  supported by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.  It has grown from 32 vessels to 125 superyachts in 2019. Visitors this year totaled over 30,000. Stars like Robert Redford, Nicole Kidman, Gwen Stefani, Andrea Bocelli among others were on hand to help His Highness for his annual Global Ocean Gala, hosted adjacent to the Monte Carlo Casino.  “The Ocean plays a critical role in the climactic and life balance of our planet, producing 50% of our oxygen and absorbing 25% of CO2. Fighting the climate change crisis starts with protecting our Ocean, and we cannot address one without first addressing the other,” states HSH Prince Albert II.

MYS 2019 had 600 exhibitors, 125 superyachts, 60 new tenders and 30 cars and bikes.  First prize for most environmentally-friendly yacht was awarded to 209.97 feet/64 meter “Attila” by Italian shipyard SanLorenzo. The best interior award went to 365 feet/111 meter “TIS” built by German shipyard Lurssen and designed by British studio Andrew Winch.  “Excellence”, 263 feet/80 meter by German builder Abeking & Rasmussen won two awards for best exterior design and most sophisticated, for featuring sustainable innovations and fluid harmony inside and outside.

Some people just seem to have more money than they know what to do with.

So in the spirit of “mine is bigger than yours”, here are the top ten biggest superyachts at MYS 2019.

  1. “TIS”, 365 feet by Lurssen
  2. “AMADEA”, 348 feet by Lurssen
  3. “Phoenix 2”, 295 feet by Lurssen
  4. “DreAMBoat”, 209 feet by Oceanco
  5. “BOLD”, 278 feet by Silver Yachts
  6. “Her Comes The Sun”, 272 feet by AMELS
  7. “Secret”, 270 feet, by Abeking & Rasmussen
  8. “Excellence”, 263 feet by Abeking & Rasmussen
  9. “Dragon”, 260 feet by Columbus Yachts
  10. “Mimtee”, 258 feet by CRN

The most notable world debuts at Monaco Yacht Show included “MADSUMMER” by Lurssen and “SYZYGY” by Feadship.  Feadship celebrated 70 years with a special booth display, “The Jewels in the Crown”, glass medallions with the names of almost all the boats ever built by them since 1949.  Riva expanded its brand into the yacht category launching their first one, Riva 50 Metre M/Y “Race”. ICON Yachts announced its partnership with Sunseeker to create the first Sunseeker yachts with Sunseeker 161.

Madsummer, Nice, France, 2019

One of the most unique looking motoryachts for sale during MYS was “Adastra” which looked more like a spaceship ready to fly in orbit.  “Solo” by Tankoa Yachts seemed to be a great party boat with entertainment areas almost everywhere and even a helipad that transforms into a dance floor.

“Attila” by SanLorenzo has three pools and a climate-controlled wine cellar capable of storing up to 500 bottles. “Metis” by Benetti entertains guests of all ages with a children’s playground, backgammon table, private lounge and a gym with sea views. Sailing vessel “Ghost” is a revolutionary beauty for sale perfect for navigating around the globe. During a tour, Ghost’s Captain explained why all boats are female. “All About You” at 164 feet is another special sailing yacht for sale displayed at MYS. Sunreef, luxury catamaran manufacturer, showcased their “Sunreef 80”, perfect for cat lovers.

“Flying Fox” by Lurssen is the world’s largest charter yacht, at 446 feet.  Lurssen’s “TIS” can be chartered for a ‘mere’ 2.2 million euros per week.

To help all these superyachts find a “home”, places like Porto Montenegro and Saint Barth Yacht Club were on hand to meet and greet boat enthusiasts at MYS.

Henk de Vries, of Feadship, concedes that they build a product that no one needs.

“I make the most unnecessary product that you can want, but I make it so nice that you still want it”.

Who really needs a boat priced at $500 million +?

Alongside the billionaire buyers, the yacht builders are getting simultaneously rich. They are building family dynasties starting with the German Lurssens as well as the Dutch De Vries’ and Italian Vitellis of Azimut Benetti. The megayacht demand started with robber barons in the Gilded Age and moved onto the Vanderbilts and J.P.Morgans, then Greek shipping magnates followed by royalty and Hollywood movie stars. Today those competing to have the biggest boats include Middle East Sheikhs, Russian oligarchs, technology titans and real estate moguls.  Currently there are more than 350 superyachts under construction.

During the Monaco Yacht Show there seems to be plenty of parties.  After all, who doesn’t like a celebration?  Yacht builders and brokers like to thank their clients with big bashes.  The ultimate party invitation is to the annual Lurssen gig hosted at the Monaco Yacht Show.  This year, Lurssen literally dressed the club with green tentacles coming out of it, in honor we guess of their 414 foot Octopus gigayacht, owned by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.  Gloria Gaynor got the party started for Lurssen and revelers kept going til the wee hours under the Monaco twinkling sky.

Promptly at 6pm on closing day, the traditional boat horn ensemble starts and keeps going and going and going for about fifteen minutes signaling the end of the show.

Until next year….

Not quite, because coming up this week is the largest in-water boat show in the world in Ft. Lauderdale. The Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show celebrates its 60th year from October 30-November 3.  It was founded in 1959, long before the internet came into being or even the first man walked on the moon. The show attracts 110,000 visitors and 1200 exhibitors representing 52 countries with more than 1500 boats on display.  This year the show is supporting Bahamas hurricane relief programs including Mission of Hope and One Bahamas Fund.  A new Superyacht Village has been added. Plenty of rose wine will be poured, compliments of Whispering Angel while Ulysses Nardin, will keep everyone on time yacht hopping.

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