Thanks to Robb Report for this:
‘Delphine’ (257 Feet 9 Inches) 1921, USA
Delphine is the original 1920s oceangoing queen. Rumored to have once hosted President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, she was commissioned by American automobile magnate, Horace Dodge and built by Michigan shipbuilding company, Great Lakes Engineering Works in 1921. At 258-feet, Delphine remains the largest yacht ever built in the US that is still in operation. She is also the largest active steam-driven yacht in existence. The two original 1,500-horsepower steam engines were re-equipped with two modern water-tube boilers during a 2003 refit, which provide 18 metric tons of steam per hour. Surviving a stint in the US Navy during World War II, several fires and multiple owners, Delphine is today fully restored to her 1920s glory, including original teak on the main deck and a revived Tiffany-designed interior.
‘Talitha’ (247 Feet) 1929, Germany
Talitha is one of the world’s first superyachts with an exceptional pedigree. Originally penned by naval architects Cox & Stevens, leading designers of their day, she was built by F. Krupp in Kiel, Germany. First known as Reveler, she was delivered in 1929 to Russell Algar, chairman of the Packard Car Company. A string of high-profile owners ensued, including Sir John Paul Getty, Jr. in the 1930s, son of one of the richest men in the world at the time. Getty commissioned an exterior and interior redesign by late superyacht designer Jon Bannenberg and, in 1993, a full reconstruction was completed at the Devonport shipyard in Plymouth, U.K. Regular refits since, including a 1999 newly installed wheelhouse, has made Talitha successful as a popular charter yacht.
‘Savarona’ (446 Feet 9 Inches) 1931, Germany
Launched in 1931, Savarona was built for an heiress, enjoyed by royalty and starred on the big screen. Built by Blohm & Voss for Emily Roebling Cadwalader, granddaughter of Brooklyn Bridge engineer John Roebling, 446-foot Savarona was featured in the German science-fiction film Gold. She was bought by the Turkish government in 1938 and leased to Turkish businessman Kahraman Sadıkoğlu in 1989, who spent $45 million refurbishing the yacht. The original steam turbine engines were replaced with modern Caterpillar diesels, but the original 282-foot gold-trimmed staircase remains. Today, Savarona is the official presidential yacht of the Republic of Turkey.
‘Shemara’ (212 Feet, 2 Inches) 1938, Great Britain
Within a year of being built in 1938, 212-foot Shemara was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and used throughout World War II as a training vessel for anti-submarine warfare. Following the end of her service, she was returned to her owner Bernard Docker, who entertained high society aboard her decks. Later in life, Shemara endured long periods of neglect until current owner Charles Dunstone acquired her in 2010, and began the long road back to refurbishment. Alongside much of the original teak and steel exterior features, Shemara is now fitted with a Rolls-Royce diesel-electric system including two electrically driven azimuthing pods and a bow thruster.
‘Christina O’ (325 Feet) 1943/1954
Possibly one of the most eminent superyachts of all time, 325-foot Christina O didn’t begin life in the spotlight. Built in 1943 by Canadian Vickers, she served as a frigate in World War II until 1954 when Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis bought her as war surplus for a mere $34,000. He spent $4 million on thea refurbishment, and then entertained the world’s elite on board, from Maria Callas and Grace Kelly, to Jack and Jackie Kennedy, prior to Aristotle marrying Jackie. Named after Aristotle’s daughter, 325-foot Christina O enjoys a bronze-edged swimming pool with a mosaiced dance floor that rises at the push of a button. The stools in Ari’s Bar retain the original leather upholstery.
‘La Sultana’ (214 Feet 56 Inches) 1962, Bulgaria
A Bulgarian passenger ferry turned Soviet spy vessel, 214.5-foot La Sultana has a checkered past. Built in 1962 for operations in the Black Sea, she was absorbed into the Russian fleet during the Cold War and sent to the North Atlantic for unofficial reconnaissance on the United States and United Kingdom. In 2015, La Sultana completed a seven-year refit which saw the addition of a raised bow, seven guest cabins across six decks, and a diesel engine installed to drive the original propeller. Several spying instruments were also discovered, including a radioactivity detector and thick aluminum insulation across the entire boat. The original push button steering controls are still in operation.
‘Highlander’ (164 Feet) 1986, Netherlands
Built by Feadship to a Jon Bannenberg design with De Voogt naval architecture, 164-foot Highlander was commissioned by American media mogul Malcolm Forbes in 1986. The yacht’s historic guest list reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood stars, from Elizabeth Taylor to Robert De Niro. Two bathrooms in the master suite are offset by six guest cabins. Those lucky enough to charter this piece of yachting history also have use of Forbes’ original cigarette boat, now re-painted in jet black with a bold red stripe.
‘Al Salamah’ (456 Feet 10 Inches) 1999, Germany
At the time of its construction in 1999, 456-foot Al Salamah was the third largest yacht in the world. The build began at German yard HDW in Kiel, but was completed by Lürssen in Bremen, the only yacht builder at the time capable of meeting the owner’s demanding timeline. Al Salamah was commissioned by the late Saudi Arabian crown prince, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz. Estimated to be worth in the region of $200 million and accommodating 36 guests, the ample amenities include a cinema, a fully equipped onboard hospital, two full-time beauticians, a business center and a spa.
‘NEOM’ (ex: Indian Empress) (311 Feet) 2000, Netherlands
For more than 15 years after her 2000 launch, 311-foot NEOM remained the largest Oceanco yet built and the largest yacht built in Holland. Originally named Al Mirqab, she was a highly private yacht under the ownership of the Qatar royal family, before ex-politician and co-owner of Formula One Force India team, Vijay Vittal Mallya, took ownership in 2006. The lavishly outfitted yacht, which includes a helipad large enough for a twin-engine helicopter, Elton John’s baby grand piano, a full medical suite and triple engines each delivering 10,000 horsepower, was seized by the Maltese government in 2017 over unpaid maritime bills. NEOM was sold by auction to her current owner in 2018.
‘Rising Sun’ (453 Feet) 2004, Germany
Built for Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison in 2004, and currently owned by business mogul David Geffen, Lürssen’s Rising Sun is another Jon Bannenberg design success story completed two years after the designer’s death. Even with her 453-foot length and 7,841-gross tonnes volume, Rising Sun achieves an impressive top speed of 28 knots. The owners were impressed enough with the speed to build a suspended, tube-like walkway so visitors can see the four MTU 20V 8000 M90 diesel engines providing the power. A bank of full-height curved windows run along the entire length of the superstructure, flooding the interior with natural light and giving the yacht a striking exterior profile.
‘Dubai’ (531 Feet 5 Inches) 2006, Germany
Superyacht Dubai was first commissioned by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei in 1995 to be built in collaboration by German shipyards Blohm + Voss and Lürssen. But she was not completed until 2001 by Platinum Yachts when current owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took over the project. The exterior was by British studio Winch Design. The yacht is reported to have cost in the region of $400 million to build. Dubai was the largest yacht in the world until 2010, when she was replaced by Roman Abramovich’s 533-foot Eclipse. Dubai’s amenities, spread across eight decks, include a helipad, two 33-foot chase boats, a squash court and 20 jet skis.
‘Maltese Falcon’ (289 Feet) 2006, Turkey
The legendary Maltese Falcon broke the mold of yacht design when launched in 2006. Perini Navi’s 289-foot, three-masted schooner was the result of her adventurous owner, the late Tom Perkins, and naval architect Gerard Dykstra’s radical design idea. The show-stopping Dynarig concept, now coined the Falcon Rig, catapulted Maltese Falcon to becoming the world’s most instantly recognized yacht, not to mention one of the most complex and largest sailing vessels ever built. The contemporary and computer-controlled sail system is based on freestanding carbon masts and yard-arms into which the sails furl. This system allows for easy sailing in all sea conditions. Famous charterers include Tom Hanks, Hugh Jackman and Google-co founder Larry Page.
‘Motor Yacht A’ (390 Feet) 2008, Germany
Few superyachts divide opinion like Motor Yacht A. Rumored to have been penned in a matter of minutes on a restaurant napkin by architect Philippe Starck, the striking 390-foot minimalist exterior cuts a highly distinctive sight on the water. Famed for its pelican bow, the naval architecture was by Martin Francis with construction by Blohm + Voss. Commissioned by Russian industrialist Andrey Melnichenko, Motor Yacht A has three swimming pools, including one with a glass bottom. Melnichenko kept the yacht for eight years before replacing it with the equally striking Sailing Yacht A (both said to be named ‘A’ to keep them at the top of the shipping register).
‘Eclipse’ (533 Feet) 2009, Germany
Aside from stealing the title of world’s largest yacht from 531-foot Dubai by a mere 1.5 feet, Eclipse is an exercise in amenities. Delivered to her owner Roman Abramovich in 2009, the yacht features a 52-foot swimming pool within an extensive beach club, two helipads and a helicopter hangar under the foredeck. The 533-foot yacht is powered by a diesel-electric system driving azimuthing pods, one of the first of its kind. Eclipse retained the title of world’s largest yacht until the arrival of 590.5-foot Azzam in 2013. Designed inside and out by Terence Disdale, Eclipse took five years to build and is reported to have cost in the region of $590 million.
‘Chopi Chopi’ (262 Feet) 2013, Italy
Tasked with an experienced owner’s brief for a private yacht on which to spend long family holidays, CRN delivered with Chopi Chopi. The largest yacht built by CRN at the time of her 2013 launch, the 262-foot Chopi Chopi remains the Italian yard’s flagship. A 656-square-foot owner’s suite with private terrace is complemented by a helipad capable of landing a three-ton helicopter. The interior ceiling heights are in excess of seven feet. But the focus of the design is on comfortable outdoor living, realized by a large beach club with an adjoining sauna, hammam, spa with a treatment room.
‘Azzam’ (590 Feet) 2013, Germany
At a whopping 590 feet in length, Azzam has held the title of world’s largest yacht since her launch in 2013. Soon to be overtaken by 600-foot expedition vessel REV Ocean when she is delivered in 2021, for now Azzam remains the longest superyacht delivered to date. Azzam was built by Lürssen in a record three years for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the current President of the United Arab Emirates. Alongside a 95-foot main saloon, Azzam carries a submarine and its own missile defense system. Two gas turbines and two diesel engines propel the yacht through the water in excess of 32 knots.
‘Lionheart’ (295 Feet) 2015, Italy
Owned by U.K. retail tycoon Sir Philip Green, 295-foot Lionheart was the largest Benetti built at the time of her launch. It was also the third commissioned from the Italian yard by Green. Often seen anchored off the island of Phuket, the closely-guarded yacht interior was designed by Sir Philip’s wife’s studio, Green & Mingarelli Design. The yacht is distinguished by multiple private balconies that provide panoramic views from all angles. Green’s 108-foot Mangusta Lionchase, which reaches 37 knots, is reported to serve as the very fast tender to the mothership. That is a wonderful combination of chase boat and mothership.
‘Cloudbreak’ (237 Feet 10 Inches) 2016, Germany
This launch from Abeking & Rasmussen was the start of the elegant expedition superyacht trend, where explorers not only look elegant, but also can travel to the ends of the earth. Cloudbreak has all the traditional toys, including a helicopter, but owner’s fondness for heli-skiing meant a chalet-style room, complete with fireplace, was in the Espen Oeino design. The 278-foot yacht also has a spa, circular cinema room, winter garden, and accommodations for 12. The heli-deck converts to a dance floor at night, complete with sound and lighting systems. Since Cloudbreak‘s launch the list of large, cool and handsome explorers has gotten much larger.
‘Aurora’ (164 Feet) 2017, Italy
While not among the longest on this list, the 164-ft. Aurora by Rossinavi is one of the most fascinating in both interior and exterior design. The 30-something German owner originally called for a “50-meter speedboat,” and while the yacht has a respectable 21-knot top end, everything about the lean, svelte profile breathes performance. An unusually large beach club, two master suites, and a 1,300-sq. ft. flybridge deck with a waterfall, give a sense of its customization. Achille Salvagni’s rich, colorful interior is dramatic, at points bordering on fantasy, but always with a sense of elegance. This yacht may look dated in a decade, but for now, she’s a vision of the future.
‘Black Pearl’ (350 Feet) 2018, Netherlands
The 350-foot Black Pearl is only the second yacht in the world to be fitted with Dykstra’s DynaRig carbon masts and sailing system. Delivered by Oceanco in 2018, its eye-catching black sails span 9,514 square feet and can be set in a record seven minutes with the push of a button. The hybrid propulsion system combines wind power with two electric propulsion motors, and its controllable pitch propellers generate enough energy to support the yacht’s hotel load. A waste heat-recovery system is just one of the onboard features that helps to realize the owner’s vision of a “zero-impact” yacht.
‘Excellence’ (262 Feet) 2019, Netherlands
Built for an experienced serial owner, American automobile magnate Herb Chambers, the Winch-designed 262-foot Excellence was delivered in 2019. She takes her design inspiration from Motor Yacht A, which Chambers at first didn’t care for, but then began to love. The piercing reverse bow (that mimics the beak of an American eagle) and triple-height glass-fronted atrium give her curb appeal, but has also led to the yacht being likened to a spaceship. Driven by the desire to have a connection to the outdoors, the design rests upon a symbiotic relation between the indoors and out, and was ultimately successful, partially due to the use hundreds of square feet of curved, mirrored glass panels.
‘Flying Fox’ (446 Feet) 2019, Germany
Flying Fox is designed to cater for every conceivable need, for the owners and anyone else who can afford to charter her. At 446 feet in length, she’s the largest superyacht on the charter market, available for $4 million a week. Everything about this yacht involves multiple choices. Designed by Espen Oeino, Flying Fox has the largest transverse pool to ever be featured on a yacht, and gives guests the choice between hot or cold, saltwater or fresh. Two helipads cater for the onboard VIP-configured H175 Airbus helicopter and another helicopter. A 1,300-foot two-decked spa includes a cryosauna, hammam and relaxation room with a fold-down balcony at sea level. The dive center is equipped with a three-person decompression chamber, and the large sundeck converts into a dance floor by night. Manned by 54 crew, the open-air galley has five different types of ovens and two teppanyaki grills.
‘Sea Eagle II’ (266 Feet) 2020, Netherlands
When delivered in July 2020, the 266-foot Sea Eagle II became the world’s largest aluminum sailing yacht, and the largest yacht ever delivered by Royal Huisman. She is also reported to be the largest Asian-owned yacht. The three-masted schooner has a cutting-edge Rondal carbon rig with more than 11,480 square feet of sails, and a hydraulic crow’s nest that rises up the main mast to give the owners an exceptional view of the water. Sea Eagle II also has two helms, one positioned on the flybridge with a large sundeck for relaxing, and the other on the bridge deck below.
‘Luminosity’ (353 Feet) 2020, Italy
Delivered by Italian yard Benetti in 2020, Luminosity lives up to her name, thanks to 2,625-square feet of windows. Powered by diesel electric Azipod drives with the capacity to run for 12 hours in “silent mode” on just the batteries, the 353-foot hybrid yacht also has a helipad with refueling facilities. A health club on the lower deck includes a steam room with a plunge pool, swimming pool and a steam room with side doors that open up at sea level. Designed by Zaniz Jakubowski Design, custom artworks take center stage, including interior panels that become huge screens, so any kind of background can be flashed on the walls. One of the favorites is a tropical rain forest. A glass elevator runs within these walls, servicing all decks.
‘REV Ocean’ (600 Feet) 2021, Norway
Currently being outfitted in Norway at Vard Brattvåg shipyard, the 600-foot REV Ocean will become the world’s largest yacht when she is delivered in 2021. With the earlier launch date delayed by Covid-19, the colossal boat has been commissioned by industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke to be not only a Superyacht, but also the world’s most advanced research vessel. Alongside onboard oceanography equipment, 10 labs, a large conference center, REV Ocean will also feature an autonomous Triton 7500/3 submersible, a moonpool and sonar systems for mapping the ocean bed. Efforts have been made to make REV as environmentally-friendly and fuel efficient as possible, with diesel-electric propulsion, an exhaust cleaning system and energy-recovery rudder system. Her luxury accommodations for 12 will include space for charter guests.