Even in a pandemic, the size of the global superyacht fleet keeps on growing. The top 25 largest yachts in the world now total a combined 11,849-feet, with the smallest yacht on the list, Maryah, measuring a whopping 410-feet. Built by shipyards all over the world—from the Netherlands to the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and the United Kingdom, to name just a few—new launches and refits are delivered each year. The 2021 newcomers hail from Lürssen, Dream Ship Victory and Lloyd Werft. With many new gigayacht builds in the pipeline, the list will be much more competitive in the coming years. Here are the world’s top 25 yachts by size, from Maryah to Azzam.
25. ‘Maryah’ (410 feet, 1 inch), Neorion
This former Russian research vessel was originally launched by the Szczecinska yard in Poland. In 2010, it underwent a five-year rebuild at the Elefsis yard in Greece. The stodgy research vessel that went in reappeared in 2014 as a thoroughly modern custom-built superyacht. The UK-based H2 Yacht Design did both the interior and exterior, incorporating all the luxuries one would expect in a yacht this size. The swimming pool, spa, contemporary decor (including custom furniture, signature joinery, and bespoke details like fixtures and lighting), and generous interior space turned the ugly duckling into a swan. Maryah, which reaches a top speed of 18 knots powered by a twin azipods propulsion system, has accommodation for 54 guests.
24. ‘Octopus’ (414 feet), Lürssen
Originally built by Lürssen for Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, eight-decked Octopus is the world’s largest expedition yacht. Allen kept all the luxurious features of a superyacht, but wanted Octopus to be able to set anchor at the ends of the earth for exploration. The Lürssen, delivered in 2003, has storage for two helicopters, seven tenders, a large SUV and an internal dock that extends through the hull holding two submersibles. A glass-bottomed observation lounge makes for spectacular viewing when cruising. The yacht has been involved in multiple exploration discoveries, aided by its onboard dive centre and hyperbaric chamber. Espen Øino drew the exterior, including a full-sized basketball court on the aft deck, while Jonathan Quinn Barnett did the interior. The yacht underwent a refit in 2019. It reaches a top end of 20 knots.
23. ‘Al Mirqab’ (436 feet, 4 inches), Kusch Yachts
Launched in 2008, Al Mirqab was built for Qatar’s former prime minister under the supervision of Kusch Yachts in the Peters Werft shipyard in Wewelsfleth, Germany. The Tim Heywood exterior includes a long, navy-blue hull with a white superstructure. The yacht’s diesel-electric propulsion involves an azimuth pod drive and gives the 436.4-footer a top end of 21 knots. Its interior by Andrew Winch won several awards, with images showing Arabic-influenced motifs on the marble floors of large social areas. The yacht’s centerpiece is a stunning, complicated floating staircase encircled by custom-made glass panels. Al Mirqab has staterooms for 36, and crew quarters for 45.
22. ‘Serene’ (439 feet, 3 inches), Fincantieri
Serene was Fincantieri’s launch into the superyacht segment, and what a debut it was. The largest yacht ever launched in Italy when it was delivered in 2011 (surpassed three years later by Ocean Victory), the Espen Øino seven-deck design features a long, sleek blue hull, crowned by a white superstructure. The somewhat racy curves serve as a nice counterpart to the more serious-looking sections of the yacht, which include cutouts along the main and upper decks to allow strong visibility from the saloon and staterooms. The curved balconies on three levels are a nice touch that work aesthetically—and practically for better views. The open stern area has a winter garden (enclosed glass house) that allows dining in all seasons. Serene also has two helipads and a hangar, a big swimming pool, and a tender garage large enough for a submarine. Pascale Reymond of Reymond Langton Design created the 43,056-square-foot interior for the Russian owner, though its details have remained closely guarded.
21. ‘Crescent’ (443 feet), Lürssen
Espen Øino’s dark hull and tiered superstructure was one of the most exciting launches of 2018. Custom-built Project Thunder, as it was called internally at Lürssen, features cut-outs along the hull sides that allow full ocean views from the saloon on the primary deck, as part of Crescent’s distinctive curved superstructure. Its most noteworthy feature is the jaw-dropping bank of three-deck-high windows in the center of the yacht. This architectural feature serves as the centerpiece of a very compelling design. The yacht has accommodations for 18 guests in nine staterooms. Little is known about the François Zuretti-designed interior, other than Lürssen describes it as being “traditionally styled.” If it lives up to Crescent’s brash exterior, the complete yacht promises to be an entirely groundbreaking design.
20. ‘Savarona’ (446 feet, 2 inches), Blohm+Voss
Launched in 1931, Savarona was built for American heiress Emily Roebling Cadwallader. The yacht was eventually acquired by Turkey to be the presidential yacht of Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey. Jane’s Fighting Ships described the yacht in 1949 as “probably the most sumptuously fitted yacht afloat.” Savarona was later converted to a training ship for the Turkish Navy and, in 1978, destroyed by fire. The yacht laid in tatters for 10 years. A Turkish businessman spent around $45 million refurbishing Savarona, commissioning Donald Starkey for the interior and replacing the original steam-turbine engines with modern Caterpillar diesels. The yacht’s interior was refitted again in 2013, once again becoming the official presidential yacht in 2014. Savarona features a swimming pool, Turkish bath, 280-foot grand staircase, a movie theater, and a library dedicated to Atatürk.
19: ‘Flying Fox’ (446 feet, 2 inches), Lürssen
Delivered jointly by Imperial and Lürssen in 2019, 446.2-foot Flying Fox is the largest yacht available on the charter market. Key features of the Espen Øino-designed exterior are a curvaceous dove-gray hull and a 3.7-foot swimming pool that runs athwartship on the main aft deck, the largest ever found on board a yacht. A two-decked spa also gives guests access to a cryosauna, hammam and relaxation room with a fold-down balcony at sea level. Packed to the rafters with the latest amenities, the yacht holds a diving center, decompression chamber and two helipads. Flying Fox is PYC compliant and can accommodate 25 guests.
18. ‘Rising Sun’ (454 feet, 1 inch), Lürssen
Designed by the original guru of yacht designers, Jon Bannenberg, Rising Sun was built by Lürssen for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, and is currently owned by billionaire David Geffen. The yacht was delivered in 2004 and last refitted in 2011. Defined by banks of windows across the superstructure, Rising Sun has 86,000 square feet of living space in 82 rooms. It can accommodate 18 guests in nine cabins, with the capacity to carry up to 46 crew. The interior by Seccombe Design includes a gym, cinema, and wine cellar. The rear cockpit deck was designed as a basketball court. Geffen received a global media backlash in 2020 for his “tone deaf” social media posts that pictured himself on board his yacht during Covid-19 lockdown.
17. ‘Al Salamah’ (456 feet), Lürssen
When Lürssen launched Al Salamah in 1999, it was the third-largest yacht in the world. Its ranking at number 14 shows how much has changed in the last 20 years. Code-named MIPOS, or Mission Possible, the yacht was designed by Terence Disdale. The large imposing exterior is primarily protected space, with an upper deck exposed to the elements. Al Salamah has staterooms for 40 guests, including two owner suites, 11 VIP staterooms, and eight twin cabins. The yacht can carry up to 96 crew and has a top speed of 22 knots. Al Salamah was last refitted in 2009.
16. ‘Scheherazade’ (459 feet, 3 inches), Lürssen
The owner of 459.3-feet Lürssen-built Scheherazade (formerly known as Project Lightning) finally took delivery of the mega yacht in June 2020 after it was pictured during sea trials in November 2019. What can so far be deciphered from available photography includes two helipads, forward and aft, and a large beach club aft, as well as a reported seven-foot beam. Very few details have yet been released of the highly private vessel, including even the names of designers or naval architects involved with the build.
15: ‘Ocean Victory’ (459 feet, 3 inches), Fincantieri
The largest motoryacht ever built in Italy, Fincantieri’s Ocean Victory was delivered to its owner in 2014. The seven-deck exterior by Espen Øino includes two helideck platforms and a hangar belowdecks, as well as exceptional outdoor social areas, and a floodable tender dock. Ocean Victory has accommodations for 28 guests as well as quarters for 56 crew. Ocean Victory also has six pools, a 3,300-square-foot spa, and an underwater observation room. The interior by Alberto Pinto remains a secret.
14: ‘Solaris’ (459 feet, 3 inches), Lloyd Werft
The 476-foot Solaris is one of the largest yachts to deliver in 2021, and yet still little is known about it. The highly private, vast explorer is built by German shipyard Lloyd Werft and undertook sea trials in the North Sea. The eight-deck exterior is by Australian designer Marc Newson and features a displacement steel hull with bulbous bow and steel superstructure with teak decks. Reportedly owned by Roman Abramovich, it houses a large helipad, sun deck and spacious beach club aft. Lloyd Werft built the Russian billionaire’s previous explorer yacht Luna, which he reportedly sold for $360 million to his close friend Farkhad Akhmedov in 2014.
13. ‘Yas’ (462 feet, 6 inches), Abu Dhabi Mar
As a converted yacht, Yas is one of the most interesting vessels on this list. The dolphin-like exterior was originally a former Dutch Navy frigate that launched in 1978 and eventually sold to the navy of the United Arab Emirates, where it was renamed Al Emirat. The yacht underwent its dramatic conversion in a facility in Abu Dhabi’s main port, emerging as a gleaming superyacht in 2011, with one of the most interesting profiles on the water. It was eventually delivered four years later. The design by the Paris-based Pierrejean Vision, defined by massive glass surfaces, can accommodate 60 guests and 58 crew members. Mated to a steel hull, the superstructure is the largest composite edifice ever built. Yas is capable of a 26-knot top speed and was last refitted in 2019.
12. ‘Dream Symphony’ (462 feet, 6 inches), Dream Ship Victory
Sailing yacht Dream Symphony is a magnificent 462.7-foot schooner built by the Turkish shipyard Dream Ship Victory. When delivered in 2021, she will become the largest private sailing yacht in the world, knocking current largest sailing yacht, Black Pearl, off the podium. Featuring naval architecture by Dykstra Naval Architects and an exterior and interior by Ken Freivokh, she reunites the same team who were behind the legendary Maltese Falcon’s ground-breaking Falcon dynarig. Dream Symphony’s hull is being built in wood – glued and laminated using the latest epoxy and composite techniques. Wood, carbon and stainless-steel run throughout the contemporary interior, while the rig includes Hoyt booms for maximum control. Dream Symphony boasts a fully private owner’s duplex, with master suite, salon, and office at main deck level, and a further spa, gym and treatment rooms on the lower deck. A sheltered open deck between the owner’s facilities and the guest deck house can be closed off to bad weather, creating concealed channels for full protection. And when the sun is shining, a double-height glass swimming pool features a rising floor that can doubles up as a touch-and-go helipad or dancefloor.
11. ‘Nord’ (466 feet), Lürssen
Nord (Project Opus) has been a long time coming. She was announced in 2015 but didn’t hit the water until November 2020 when she conducted sea trials in the Baltic Sea. The 466-foot yacht features interior design by Italian studio Nuvolari Lenard and is Lürssen’s first yacht launched from its newly upgraded floating shed at its facility in Vegasack. Boasting many top tier amenities, the yacht includes a sports and diving center on the lower deck, multiple tenders ranging in size up to 50-feet and a large swimming pool. The two helipads support the yacht’s long-range cruising capabilities for autonomous remote exploration and a retractable hangar means the helicopter can slide neatly into the superstructure for storage when not in use. A generous 20 staterooms accommodate 36 guests across six decks, while a sleek aft-sloping superstructure gives Nord an individual profile on the water.
10. ‘A’ (468 feet, 5 inches), Nobiskrug
Delivered in 2017, the futuristic look of sailing yacht A includes smooth, silver-metallic surfaces and windows that look nearly invisible, three composite masts that bend slightly, and a deck hidden by high bulwarks. The Philippe Starck-design is a wild fantasy yacht of the future. The 468-foot sailing yacht is a technical victory for German yard Nobiskrug, which developed composite fashion plates to create the unusual shapes, without any compromises in strength or fluidity. It has the tallest freestanding composite masts on any sailing vessel, a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system and state-of-the-art navigation systems. The boat also reportedly has an underwater viewing platform in the keel. “Sailing yacht A is undoubtedly one of the most visionary projects Nobiskrug has ever been involved in,” said Holger Kahl, the firm’s then managing director. Starck’s interior remains a secret. The yard reports the yacht has a top speed of 21 knots. She remains today the world’s largest sailing yacht three years after her launch.
9. ‘El Mahrousa’ (478 feet, 1 inch), Samuda Brothers
El Mahrousa, which means “the protected” in Arabic, is currently Egypt’s presidential yacht, though the 478.1-footer has a separate history as that country’s royal yacht. The London-based Samuda Brothers began the build in 1863, and it was launched in 1865. It was originally built for the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Khedive Ismail, and later carried three Egyptian kings into exile. The yacht was also at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The world’s oldest superyacht features external design by the British naval architect Sir Oliver Lang, and has had multiple modifications over the years, including a lengthening by 40 feet in 1872 and another 17 feet in 1905. During the second refit, the owners replaced its paddle-wheel engines with turbine-driven propellers. The yacht, in care of the Egyptian Navy, occasionally goes to sea for a day or two. In 2015, it was used to inaugurate the new Suez Canal.
8. ‘Prince Abdulaziz’ (482 feet, 3 inches), Helsingør Værft
This custom yacht, launched by Helsingør Værft in Denmark in 1984, was most recently refitted in 2005. The 5,200-tonne Prince Abdulaziz is one of the Saudi Royal family’s yachts, its first owner being King Fahd. Designed by Maierform, the yacht was the longest and tallest in the world at the time of its launch. At 482.3-feet, Prince Abdulaziz held the title for 22 years until Dubai launched in 2006. The late David Nightingale Hicks, known for his use of bright colors, was the interior designer. The lobby is said to be a replica of the Titanic. Last refitted in 2005, it is rumored to be carrying surface-to-air missiles, though that may be an urban legend.
7. ‘A+’ (483 feet, 1 inch), Lürssen
Very little is known about A+ (formerly Topaz), which was launched by Lürssen in 2012, other than it is the fourth-largest yacht ever built by the German shipyard. Tim Heywood Designs did the exterior, which features helipads on the foredeck and amidships on an upper deck. A lower aft deck includes a swimming pool. The German yard has not released any images of the Terence Disdale interior. Reported to be owned by Manchester City Football Club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahnan – Emirati royalty and deputy prime minister of the UAE – A+ has a top speed of 22 knots, and can carry 62 guests and up to 79 crew.
6. ‘Al Saïd’ (508 feet, 5 inches), Lürssen
Another 500-plus-foot yacht from Lürssen, the original Project Sunflower gained its official name of Al Saïd following its launch in 2016. Espen Øino’s exterior is akin to a classic cruise liner, complete with the twin exhaust stacks in the center of the superstructure. Owned by the Sultan of Oman, six-decked Al Saïd can carry 154 crew and, according to some sources, 70 guests. Lürssen says Al Saïd has a top speed of 22 knots. The London-based Redman Whiteley Dixon studio designed the interior, which includes a concert hall that can hold a 50-piece orchestra.
5. ‘Dilbar’ (511 feet, 8 inches), Lürssen
The 2016 launch of Dilbar gave Lürssen the distinction of not only building the longest yacht ever (Azzam), but also the largest in terms of volume. Espen Øino designed the exterior, creating a full-bodied superstructure of long, flowing decks, along with two helicopter pads. Dilbar also has an 82-foot swimming pool that can hold an incredible 6357-cubic-feet of water, and according to Lürssen, is the world’s longest on a yacht. The interior by Winch Design is defined by its “rare and exclusive luxury materials,” says the builder, declining to go into detail. Lürssen added that the world’s largest motor yacht was one of the most complex and challenging yachts ever built, because of its dimensions and technology. Despite Dilbar’s volume, the designers did a masterful job making the yacht look relatively svelte, with no obvious bulges along the length of the light ivory and bronze-accented hull. In June 2020, Dilbar returned to Lürssen for a significant refit, the details of which are yet to be revealed.
4. ‘Dubai’ (531 feet, 5 inches), Platinum Yachts
This Andrew Winch design was originally commissioned for Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei as a joint project between Blohm+Voss and Lürssen, before it was halted in 1998 with just a bare hull and skeletal superstructure. The hull was sold to the government of Dubai, and, under the direction of the country’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, work on the 531.5-footer began again, though this time by Platinum Yachts. Dubai delivered in 2006 and is now the sheikh’s royal yacht, with accommodations for 24 guests and quarters for 88 crew. The seven-decked yacht has an impressive 70-foot-wide atrium, landing pad for a Black Hawk helicopter, submarine garage, disco, and cinema. Full certification was obtained from Lloyd’s Register in October 2006, and it can reach a top speed of 26 knots.
3. ‘Eclipse’ (533 feet, 1 inch), Blohm+Voss
Stately Eclipse, the 533.1-foot yacht delivered to billionaire Roman Abramovich, took five years to design and build. When it left the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg in 2010, it was the world’s largest yacht. The interior has 17 staterooms and a palatial master suite, with the capacity to carry 85 crew. Both the interior and exterior are designed by Terence Disdale. A proportional profile is defined by tiered decks that sweep upward and bend ever so slightly at the aft ends. Eclipse has a 185-foot-long owner’s deck and, at the time of its launch, the largest swimming pool on any superyacht (the bottom raises and converts to a dance floor). Other features reflecting its stature: the capacity to hold three helicopters, including one in its belowdecks hangar, a sophisticated stabilization system, six tenders, and an enormous spa, gym, and beach club. Hybrid diesel-electric engines are connected to Azipod drives that give Eclipse a top-end speed of 21 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles.
2. ‘Fulk Al Salamah’ (538 feet, 1 inch), Mariotti Yachts
Little information has ever been released about the world’s second-longest superyacht, custom-built Fulk Al Salamah, and it has been shrouded in mystery since first announced in 2014. Even the overall length of 538.1 feet has been estimated from AIS data. However, built and delivered by Italian builder Mariotti Yachts in their Genoa shipyard in 2016, the imposing vessel is believed to be owned by the Omani royal family. Exterior design is by Studio de Jorio, and it is considered by some to resemble more of a support vessel than a superyacht. Nonetheless, aerial photography shows an impressively large helideck, raked masts and a bathing platform.
1: ‘Azzam’ (592 feet, 6 inches), Lürssen
It’s not surprising that the world’s longest yacht hails from a shipyard with 13 out of the 25 top builds in the superyacht arena. Unfortunately, Lürssen could never really boast about Azzam after its launch in 2013 because of the owner’s penchant for privacy. Mubarak Saad al Ahbabi directed a team of designers and engineers who started with the bare concept, worked through the technical challenges of what might be the most complex superyacht ever, and finished with an unusually large vessel that can top the 30-knot mark. Nauta Yacht’s exterior features a long, sleek forward area, with well-proportioned tiers moving up to the skydeck. Lürssen describes the interior by Christophe Leoni as “sophisticated, with luxurious decor inspired by the Empire style of the early 19th century.” Its gas turbines, connected to water jets, push Azzam to more than 30 knots, giving it the ability to operate at high speed in shallow waters. She also boasts an impressive build time for a yacht of her size, with construction taking only three years after one year of engineering. Azzam was last refit in 2020 at MB92 in Barcelona.
This story was originally published on January 15, 2019. It has been updated to reflect the largest vessels in production as of the current date.