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Boat of the Week: Meet ‘Rio,’ the 203-Foot Superyacht That Brings a Riot of Carnival Color to the High Seas

"Rio" was built for a young family, so while the design is simple, and even classic in some areas, it's mostly about celebrating life.


Superyachts make the best party venues, especially when their design is inspired by a Brazilian city famous for being festive. Delivered by CRN earlier this year, Rio brings a riot of carnival color to the ocean and a 1,200-sq. ft. foredeck ripe for dancing the night away. Paired with a dedicated owner’s deck, two VIP suites and a beach club with hammam, it’s a boat to “party, karamu, fiesta, forever” aboard, as Lionel Ritchie would say.

The interior was designed by Pulina Exclusive Interiors, with exterior styling by Omega Architects.

The 203-foot yacht scooped Robb Report’s Best of the Best Superyacht award this year, where judged praised it for its pockets of flexible living. The Zen-like sky lounge primarily serves as a private owner’s salon but is equally well suited to sophisticated soirées for all 12 guests.

CRN Superyacht Rio

The owner’s design brief was for open, light space, simple decor and splashes of color. The upper salon achieved that.  Courtesy CRN

Two full-beam VIP suites—one forward on the main deck with its own grand dressing room, the other located amidships on the lower deck—promote socializing with friends and family. Three other suites—two doubles and one twin—accommodate six other guests. The yacht also has nine cabins for 15 crew.

“The owners are from a new generation of yacht clients—young and with children,” interior designer Alessandro Pulina told Robb Report. “They had a clear design vision in mind, and a family-oriented boat with open space where they can relax and work was a central focus.”

CRN Rio superyacht

The young family that built Rio mandated that water sports be integral to life on board, so the boat is outfitted with a flotilla of toys.  Courtesy CRN

From the outside, Rio has a sporty profile, with clean lines, a vertical bow and open decks for entertaining. On the inside, communal areas are open, bright and welcoming, furnished with modular furniture that can be moved around to create more room for guests or impromptu dance floors.

Splashes of exotic reds, blues and greens that recall the Amazon rainforest breathe life into white walls and wooden floors. This is most evident in the lower deck guest cabins where toucans, butterflies, macaws and lush, green foliage are found in the linen, lamps and woodwork. It’s also featured in the artwork, including hand-painted wall murals.

CRN Rio superyacht

One of the most relaxing views from the boat is from the bathtub in the owner’s suite.  Courtesy CRN

The lower deck also houses a beach club that opens to the swim platform and features a wellness area with hammam and shower. A lounge creates a relaxed ambience with the sound of lapping water just a few feet away.

On the main deck, huge windows fill the main salon with natural light. On the dedicated owner’s deck above, light and clean décor is twinned with views that stretch across the private foredeck with a Jacuzzi and sun loungers for solo relaxation. The area also includes an office and large dressing room. A second Jacuzzi is found on the sun deck.

CRN Rio superyacht

The upper salon beneath the boat’s telltale rear arches.  Courtesy CRN

The yacht’s preferred woods are American walnut and white-lacquered oak. Crema d’Orcia and Calacatta Vagli Oro marbles have been used in the bathrooms, including the beautiful bathtub in the owner’s apartment. Other marbles are used to colorful effect:  The Azul Macauba lends shades of blue in the salons, while and the mossy Irish Green stone is integral to the outdoor bars.

Zago, a company owned by the Ferretti Group, did the interiors, including the bespoke décor and intricate woodwork. Beyond the old-world craftsmanship, the boat has been outfitted with smart technology to allow owners and guests to control their own destinies in their staterooms.

CRN Rio superyacht

The rear of the boat is all about interconnectivity and the outdoors.  Courtesy CRN

“Owners have to split their time between entertaining family, hosting guests, dining, excursions and water-based activities, so it’s important to carve out an area on board that centers around romance,” says Pulina.

Aboard Rio, that space is the owner’s ensuite, where his-and-hers bathrooms interconnect via a two-person shower. For end-of-day soaks, a full-sized bathtub against the window delivers views out to sea.

CRN Rio Superyacht

The open foredeck serves as another extended social area or a dance floor.  Courtesy CRN

Rio—referencing the city of Rio de Janeiro—was originally built with charter in mind. Since delivery, however, the owners have decided to keep the boat and its raft of toys strictly for their private use. The SACS Rebel 47 chase boat Rocket is paired with a 26-foot Beachlander tender. There is also the latest in watersports gear, from E-Surfs and Liftfoils to a flotilla of inflatable towable toys.

The family has cruised the Western Mediterranean, taking in Italy, France and Monaco. With winter approaching, the Caribbean and Bahamas are on the agenda.

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