Chartering Cloud 9 could induce, as its name suggests, a long-term state of bliss. While “something for everyone” is a cliché used to market most charter vessels, this graceful but voluminous yacht from CRN delivers on the promise with its abundance of ands.
For instance, the spa on the 245-foot yacht has a massage area, a hair salon, and a foldout balcony so guests getting a haircut or rubdown can sip a posttreatment Prosecco while savoring the view. The beach club’s espresso bar is a chic, laid-back sit-down area inside the transom—and the long swim platform just behind it provides snorkeling and scuba opportunities. Cloud 9’s 2,600-gallon glass-bottom pool sits between a Jacuzzi and an outdoor cinema. And among the yacht’s navy of water toys are a 30-foot Novurania Chase 31 tender, a MasterCraft X20 competition ski boat, a sailing catamaran, and five Jet Skis.
The Italian architectural firm Zuccon International packed these many bonuses into an elegant profile, avoiding the behemoth look—despite Cloud 9’s considerable length—by layering the yacht’s six decks. The foredeck works as a private gathering area and alfresco dining room under a tent designed for protection against wind and sun. Back near the pool, Zuccon worked closely with Andrew Winch, the designer of Cloud 9’s interior and exterior guest areas, for a seamless transition to the interior. The pool area is outfitted with a similar feel as the saloon, including sofas with deep cushions. The sense of being in an oasis of relaxation, inside and out, is reinforced at every turn, with calming choices in furniture, lighting, and the entertainment system.
Working with an area equaling several football fields, Winch created an informal but refined interior. Brushed Douglas fir and limed oak were his team’s woods of choice, but the designers customized each area by interspersing 50 other materials throughout the yacht. The artwork is modern but also classic, with British artist Fenella Elms’s porcelain cloudscape on the walls defining the saloon area. The owners decided to do without a formal dining area, so the designers created a circular entrance on the upper deck with a table at its center, where guests have the choice of dining with the transparent glass door closed or open to the elements.
Cloud 9 has eight staterooms—a master, a VIP suite, and six doubles (plus two cabins for assistants)—but it limits charters to 12 guests. The master suite on the owner’s deck measures an otherworldly 4,500 square feet and has access to a private terrace on the foredeck.
Despite its cavernous spaces and overall size, Cloud 9 is at heart an intimate family yacht that pays homage to formality without being imprisoned by it. It could be the coolest charter yacht in the fleet this year.
Cloud 9’s glass-bottom pool is the yacht’s natural gathering point, with a Jacuzzi and memory-foam sofas nearby to promote relaxation. The outdoor cinema (there’s a second one in the main saloon for rainy days) uses 97-inch Stewart screens and 4K video projectors. Revolution Acoustics’ SSP6 “multi-ducers” provide surround sound around the pool. These nonspeakers actually use the aluminum panels near the pool to transmit sound. “The surface becomes a full-range speaker, creating a 3-D audio effect,” says Maurizio Minossi, technical director at Videoworks. “It turned out to be a great listening area and, with no speakers,
had zero impact on the look of the yacht.”
The list of toys aboard Cloud 9 is almost unheard of, even for a yacht of its size. The selection includes a 30-foot Novurania rigid inflatable as a chase boat or landing craft, a MasterCraft X20 competition ski boat, a sailing catamaran, five stand-up and sit-down personal watercraft, diving gear, fishing gear, and a 40-foot inflatable slide. There’s also a drone to record all the maritime adventures.
The palatial master suite has just about everything anyone needs, including paired bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a bedroom surrounded by windows that offer private panoramic water views. Master-suite guests also have access to a private deck just in front, a nice little space where they can sip morning cappuccinos.
The glassed walls and mirrors of the gym provide brilliant waterside views, but the area is also designed for serious workouts. There are spin bikes (which can be brought up to the foredeck), a rowing machine, a treadmill, and even a Technogym kinesis machine. The area can also convert to a schoolroom when the gym is not in use.
Advanced Entertainment System
Though most of its cables and computers are hidden behind bulkheads, Cloud 9’s entertainment center is one of the most advanced ever on a yacht. “The system and servers are as extensive as any modern office building,” says Minossi, whose firm installed the system during the 3-year build. “The owner dedicated a budget so we could install a Cisco network and include the best audiovisual equipment from Yamaha, Sony, and Panasonic.” The independent entertainment zones (think saloon, staterooms, and aft exterior area) can be controlled individually by iPad, including accessing the yacht’s extensive library of music and movies. Surfing the web is also seamless. “Our goal is to design the system as if someone is at home,” says Minossi, “even when they are many miles offshore.”
Chartering Cloud 9
Builder: CRN Delivered: 2017 Length: 245 feet
Cabins: 8 Guests: 12 Crew: 22
Cruising areas: Western Mediterranean
Rates: From about $1,104,000 per week in summer