Monaco Yacht Show came to an end on Saturday 25th September after four days of action at Port Hercules, where over 300 global exhibitors and 60+ superyachts were in a buoyant mood.
This year’s edition was an enigma - after a tumultuous 18 months where our usual methods and channels for building commercial trust and relationships changed within the superyacht sector, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I could understand the pressure on show organisers: for the first time ever, they were reopening one of the leading superyacht events in the calendar after the pandemic wiped out last year’s show. Apprehension rippled throughout the industry, but I had great confidence that everyone attending was 'ready for business' - this was confirmed after the show started when it panned out as serious ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ seeing all the Monaco Yacht Show posts across social media.
Ready For Business
Ready for business was an understatement, the new format kicked off with Wednesday being dedicated to buyers and owners, aiming to funnel VIP clientele to meet directly with brokers, shipyards and designers.
A rise in ticket prices raised more than a few eyebrows this year. In 2019, the show attracted 31,565 visitors so it will be interesting to see how the 2021 format impacted on true foot fall; it seemed less busy but feedback gathered from exhibitors was that interest and the quality of visitors was high.
The show has really driven a progression towards B2C transactions and the end user, however there’s no denying Monaco Yacht Show has always and continued to prove itself a golden facilitator for B2B business. After all, an order for a new build, the latest yacht tender or toy, interior fittings or innovative technology has a flow-on effect across the supply chain - and this is why we need all sectors represented at the show. Positively, there was a lot of intra-industry networking, prospective leads gained just by randomly meeting someone on the way to a meeting and everyone brought enthusiasm after a hiatus since 2019's show.
Kudos to the show organisers because the entry measures in place were seamless for MYS including a quick scan of badges at the various entrances and the issuing of a health bracelet for attendees to facilitate faster and efficient entry.
I teamed up with OnboardOnline and Yachting International Radio to stay on the pulse with what happened during the week and how MYS keeps up with its heady reputation as the superyacht show not to miss.
Yachts on Display
We had the privilege of being invited on board a number of superyachts, with a limitation on invitations this year. Chatting to brokerage houses it seemed they were all inundated with back-to-back viewings during the week.
The largest yacht exhibited this year was the 108m Benetti-built IJE. Designed in collaboration with British studio RWD, IJE was crafted from a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, also incorporating 24.5 tonnes of laminated glass with a grey tint that opens up the interior spaces to the environment. IJE’s interior styling is by Benetti’s in-house department with beautiful finishes added by Loro Piana, Tai Ping and stunning carved staircase panels by DKT Artworks. Other Benetti vessels Zazou and 44m Diamond were also showcased.
Exhibited by Burgess, 85m Victorious built by Turkish yard AK YACHTS took pride of place at the end berth on Quai l’Hirondelle, complete with a convertible Bentley gleaming on the helipad. I can’t deny that I enjoyed the lush setting of Victorious’ gentleman’s club with full cocktail bar, humidor, working fireplace and a seriously impressive audio system. Also notable was the ambience from the beach club with direct views onto the water from the wet bar.
Beach clubs were centre stage with Italian shipyard Tankoa Yachts revealing a 76m superyacht concept named Apache, designed inside and out by Alberto Mancini. The beach club is fully integrated with the main deck saloon so it can be used around the clock; measuring 125sqm which includes fold-down sides. Mancini said he “wanted to avoid the typical dark cave effect found on many beach clubs”. Another feature is the master cabin that leads forward to the 9.5m ‘flying pool’. This glass-bottomed pool allows light to be reflected through the water and fall into the lounge and gym on the deck below.
There were some familiar vessels berthed next to each other - Kismet, Tatoosh and Bold, the 85.3m build by Silver Yachts. Bold launched in 2019 with a special accolade of being Espen Øino’s 50th yacht project, and since then has proved her capability for go-anywhere cruising.
The pièce de resistance, central to Bold’s design, is a vast loft salon housing floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular sea views. Whatever the weather, a clever glass panel system allows guests to dine alfresco or enclosed without losing connection to the exterior. Further highlights include a sun deck jacuzzi surrounded with glass for wind protection and privacy, a teppanyaki/barbecue zone, an outdoor cinema with a 6x3m media wall, and a 5x2m LED screen in the heli-hanger/gym and yoga room which doubles as a party space with surround sound and disco lights.
It was clear why Bold still turns heads as Australian Captain Todd Leech and his crew were affable and hospitable during MYS. Charter guests can book to join Bold en route during her round-the-world itinerary, ending in the Mediterranean in the late summer of 2022.
Journalists were kept happy with news of fresh expedition yacht concepts at Monaco Yacht Show including a 115m concept, APEX, penned by Monaco based studio The A Group and in-house naval architecture by Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven. With a 9,000 nautical mile range, capability to carry two 20m tenders and a dedicated helicopter hangar, APEX seems fit for future ocean-going adventures far and wide.
Elsewhere at the show, ICON Yachts presented a new 70m conversion superyacht, Project Master, that will retain 95 per cent of the ship's original platform and superstructure. Highlights include the owner's stateroom - part of a 135sqm suite with office, lounge and private terrace - a large toy store and a 42sqm expedition preparation area, two 11.5m cranes which can be altered to accommodate tenders and submersibles and a fully certified helideck that doubles as an entertainment platform with more than 200sqms of exterior space.
Sustainability in the Design & Build Process
One of the recurring topics during the show was a stronger commitment that designers, engineers and shipyards were embracing the ideas and demand for efficiency and sustainability in the design and build process. Fuel consumption, energy-saving design, reduced emissions and hybrid propulsion were the talk of the week as projects shone that are driven toward the next generation of yacht owners.
On the opening day of MYS 2021, Dutch yard Heesen Yachts announced the launch of their new Bluenautech initiative, where all their hulls will now be available with hybrid propulsion. I remember viewing their first hybrid Home at MYS a few years ago; demand has progressed since then and notably Heesen has reported a strong order book and sales with 97 per cent output capacity. Heesen Yacht’ also announced their rebranding, which I’m certain we’ll hear more about from marketing director Mark van Heffen, who has previously held senior roles in the lifestyle products and automotive sectors.
The big yards came to the show with big news. Feadship marked the show opening by unveiling their Future Concept for 81.75m superyacht Pure, developed by designers Jan Schaffers and Tanno Weeda and in close collaboration with De Voogt Naval Architects. Standout features include a three-deck atrium and a concealed command centre where all of the yacht’s operations are simulated and displayed on screens. The designers propose three different propulsion systems: The first would utilise a diesel electric energy hybrid with a battery pack and generators which run on fossil or renewable diesel fuels. The battery pack would provide enough energy for Pure to cruise for 120 nautical miles on a single charge. The 2027 rendition of Pure would – technological developments permitting – sport a hybrid of battery packs and generators which run on methanol. A challenge presented by this would be to provide methanol fuelling infrastructure in yachting hotspots. The 2030 edition of Pure would sport all-methanol fuel cells with batteries, which are currently available on the market, but do not currently yield a better efficiency level than diesel engines.
Lürssen fuelled a few conversations with their superyacht concept, Alice, giving a rip-roaring refresh on the relationship between the hull and superstructure. Designer Jim Robert Sluijter said Alice wouldn’t have a main deck, but a wide open exterior deck that could be used for al fresco dining, lounging and entertaining. Who wouldn’t love a paddle tennis court, a semi-enclosed bar and dance floor in the middle of their superyacht and a small nature park with plants and its own pond? Alice will be emissions-free courtesy of fuel cell technology and its tenders and toys will be fully electric.
Custom builder Oceanco, naval architect Lateral and Italian design studio Pininfarina revealed a scale model of 90m Kairos, to be powered by an e-hybrid system that allows for lower vibrations and zero local emissions. The yacht’s design leads to a large open-space piazza, perfect for socialising.
Baglietto was well placed to chat about their plans for the Bzero, or B Raised to Zero project, which will integrate hydrogen fuel technology on a hybrid or diesel-electric platform to power its vessels in zero-emissions mode. They aim to have a working prototype of the propulsion system by next year and plan to launch new hybrid seawater-powered yachts by 2025.
Australian studio Sorgiovanni Designs piqued interest with its latest concept: the 96m superyacht ZeRO. The propulsion system comprises hydrogen tanks and fuel cells and electric engines, with a battery storage system.
The Yacht Design & Innovation Hub located at Virage Louis Chiron was an excellent addition to the show programme. On the Thursday morning, we heard more about The Sustainable Yacht Design Taskforce organised through the Water Revolution Foundation where yacht designers, naval architects, interior and exterior designers have already conducted round tables focused on sustainability. I will be following future developments with interest.
MY Artefact, the award-winning superyacht by Nobriskrug, attracted a fair amount of attention at Port Hercules, being one of the most photographed and filmed vessels during the week. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco made an appearance on Friday morning, further upping the media glare.
I met with Rainer Sommer, Head of Marketing at List GC, an Austrian-based company that has outfitted more than 60 superyachts including Artefact. “We have been in the superyacht industry for over 20 years now, so we brought a lot of experience to MY Artefact. But of course, every project is a new challenge because as you know, every interior is unique. Especially the demands around acoustics have been a great challenge for the project team around Artefact. We already knew from the beginning, that the Nobiskrug project was very special, because of the artful design by Raymond Langton, but also because of the extensive use of glass.
We got a lot of great feedback from the industry about the interior and the awards which Artefact won for the interior, speak for themselves. So being part of this project was a big challenge on the one hand but also a highly welcome entry into our list of references. And we are delighted to be able to talk about it. Because we’ve worked on a lot of very secretive superyachts and discretion is one of our main pillars when it comes to working with our clients. That’s why we are more than happy to be able to show our work in Artefact.”
Wheels & Wings
Created in 1991, Monaco Yacht Show has grown to become a hub for premium clientele looking for the latest innovations and projects from the nautical sector, alongside luxury automotive, helicopters and aviation.
Dassault Aviation, a French-based partner in the Upper Deck Lounge exhibition area, showcased their brand’s reputation for reliability and high-performance, paired with 2 scale models (scale 1/20) of a Falcon 6X and the ultra-long range Falcon 10X that boasts the widest and tallest cabin in the industry. No wonder business aviation has been booming as UHNW clients seek out the efficiency, safety and privacy of jet charters.
On the first floor of the Monaco Yacht Club, Lufthansa Technik, the world's leading provider of cabin interiors for VIP and government aircraft, previewed a new cabin design study for long-haul aircraft. The design, called ‘Explorer', is based on the current trend for superyachts of the same name, which optimally fulfil their owners' wishes to go anywhere at any time. Lufthansa Technik's VIP business specialists chose the Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ330 as the platform with the pioneering idea for an interior projection system that can generate a new design on the walls and ceiling depending on the projection content used, such as an underwater world.
MCA accredited course provider Maritime Aviation had an enviable panoramic view from their base on the roof of the Monaco Yacht Club, a focal point for clients planning on building or buying a yacht capable of helicopter operations. They were available for questions about onboard heli ops and considerations such as shipboard heliport design, firefighting, refuelling and crew training as well as laws, regulations and best practice.
Across the opposite side of Port Hercules at the Car Deck, German VIP car outfitter KLASSEN® was back on the scene. Visitors to their exhibition area could learn more about the KLASSEN® Optimum vehicle, as well as their continued partnership with superyacht builder Dynamiq.
DAB Motors' a French high-end motorcycle manufacturer unveiled their one-off Concept-E RS prototype at the Car Deck. The electric setup offers a range of 68 miles on a full charge while the engine also has the gumption to get up to a top speed of 65 miles per hour. Simon Dabadie, CEO and Founder of DAB Motors, explained how their engineers have worked to conform the experimental concept motorcycle to the street legal safety standards, which includes electromagnetic compatibility (EM), approved lighting systems, braking tests and introducing new components such as a digital dashboard.
The pandemic has proved the complexity of navigating globally through travel restrictions with different nationalities on board, therefore destination and key entry updates at Monaco Yacht Show were vitally important.
I attended a number of breakfast briefings, including the South Pacific event hosted by ACREW at the Star Deck on Friday morning. Manoa Rey from Tahiti Tourisme, Jane West from Tourism Fiji and David Good - linking virtually from Australia - gave the attendees an update about cruising in French Polynesia, Fiji and Australia covering discussion points ranging from Covid protocols to itinerary options.
As I enjoyed my fresh juice, coffee and croissant, I chatted to the attendees. Etienne Colliaux, CEO and Founder at Le Sur Mesure, shared his perspective about the importance of being at the show. “An event such as the Monaco Yacht Show is an opportunity for us to promote the possibilities of yachting in French Polynesia internationally,” he said. “Our main objective during MYS was to inform and meet new people, to assure a network of passionate and qualified professionals, always in correlation with the field of yachting. Our vision of a luxury service begins with a relationship of trust, and therefore to present ourselves physically to our future partners, to promote our private and personalised concierge service based in French Polynesia.”
Jane West reinforced the variety of experiences on offer in the Fiji Islands with the supporting role of the Blue Lane Initiative - in all instances owners, charterers and crew should adhere to current entry protocol to enjoy cruising Fiji aboard their yachts.
Buoyed by Australia’s relatively new charter legislation, Monaco Yacht Show provided an opportunity to communicate that Australia remains open to superyachts and crew (note: currently under a case by case exemption procedure). We saw the release of the first official trailer for SY Original Australia InDepth, a nine-part documentary series which will roll out on superyachts.com featuring local insight from David Good, CEO AIMEX and Superyacht Australia, and Ocean Alliance's Managing Director Joachim Howard. The series will promote Australia as a destination, showcasing the diverse cruising grounds and yachting infrastructure available in Australia.
Friends and exhibitors from Down Under were low in numbers compared to previous years, however there was no shortage of polished media and marketing. Visitors to Monaco Yacht Show could claim their free copy of the fourth edition of the Great Southern Route Superyacht Directory published by Ocean Media in the Press Centre; the latest version is also available for free viewing online.
Super Yacht Group Great Barrier Reef also captured press attention. Sadly, Manager Joanne Drake was not present at the show, however word of mouth rapport with Captains and their crew at Port Hercules stirred many conversations. Their informative Superyacht Guide sparked interest in everything from destination advice and provisioning to anchorages and availability to refit/maintenance facilities such as the Austal Shipyard in Cairns with a 1120T MBH/Travel lift.
As well, yachts were reminded about ocean conservation and the opportunity for vessels and their crew to get involved with the Great Reef Census, a program that encourages yachts to do their part toward vital research and reef surveying.
Already known for their world-class yachting infrastructure in Barcelona, Marina Port Vell announced an investment plan to create a high-tech and eco-friendly marina. The plan of action will consist of three large-scale projects: reconfiguration of the marina basin replacing berths for small vessels with more space for superyachts, a landscaping project to create more green space, and a new bunkering system for clients that will be installed at berths.
It was excellent to see industry professionals travel from afar to give current updates, and prove that the value of liaising with shore agents, travel consultants, marina representatives, government authorities and captains is crucial.
Located in the Parvis Piscine exhibition area, Bromic Heating has set a new standard for marine outdoor heating on open decks for luxury and cruise vessels. Daniel Bruntsch, Global Head of Marine at Bromic Heating, was pleased to attend MYS to continue building relationships forged in 2019 with designers, naval architects and project managers from shipyards. “We embarked on development after the last Monaco Yacht Show for edition two of our marine outdoor heating range, which are fully ENV5-certified by Lloyd's Register.” MYS was fortuitously well-timed, with Bromic Heating named as a finalist for ‘Product of the Year’ at the 2021 Seatrade Cruise Awards. Daniel continued, “Partnering with prestigious projects with Lürssen, Damen/Amels and Heesen Yachts to name a few, MYS gives us the chance to reassert the place of Bromic Heating in this particular segment of the luxury market.”
YachtCloud harnessed the foot traffic passing their stand at their prime location opposite the Rascasse near the entry to the Darse Sud. Nikusia Kooijmans, Business Development Manager, told me they were happy to be back at Monaco to demonstrate their Yacht Information System (YIS), discuss their OMNIYON streaming integration and welcome visitors to ‘Press for Champagne’ with their GEST Service Call devices.
Dan Armsden, CEO and CoFounder at Crewdentials chatted to me about what MYS meant for their brand awareness. “We founded Crewdentials just before the pandemic, so the Monaco Yacht Show was the ideal platform for us to start spreading the word and meet existing and new contacts. As it turned out, it was arguably the best Monaco Yacht Show to date in terms of networking opportunities. The tyre kickers and freebie grabbers were absent, so every meeting and introduction was a very high standard in terms of leads and feedback. Over the next 6-12 months, we’ll be focused on building partnerships and delivering powerful tech within a trusted platform.”
The importance of networking at Monaco Yacht Show was clear. Rainer Sommer, Head of Marketing at List GC said: “For us, being at MYS is a visual business card for the industry; it’s a networking event for us where we can meet our most relevant stakeholders like shipyard and owner representatives, designers and also, our valued market competitors. In my point of view, the trade show is not so much about growth, but more about brand awareness and being a vital part of the industry. This year, with our new booth which was produced with yacht standard processes, we not only wanted to show what we can do but also making a statement towards the audience. We got a lot of very positive feedback and it was good to be back in Monaco. For us, MYS is not about signing new deals, but more about talking about current projects (at the moment, we’re working on 19 projects in different stages at the same time) and evaluating the possibilities of new ones.”
Tenders & Toys
Entertainment systems and tender and toy garages continued to be a winning highlight for yachts, particularly with the evolution of yacht support vessels and demand for the latest thrill-seeking products. Electric tenders were more present than ever before.
Falcon Tenders’ eye-catching stand at Quai Antoine 1er caught my attention. On display, was the brand’s first limousine tender from superyacht designer Michael Leach Design, a 10.5m beautifully crafted boat. I look forward to seeing more of their future projects.
Nearby, Overboat by Neocean was running trials of its fun water toy with retractable hydrofoils and electric propulsion. I missed them at Cannes Yachting Festival so it was great to see them in action. Nautique Custom Marine and Zephyr Yachting partnered in the Tenders & Toys exhibition zone to showcase the premium wake tender, the Super Air Nautique G3.
I fancied my chances to find out what U-Boat Worx was up to located near the Darse Sud tent and discovered their two-person NEMO submersible, the world first series produced submarine with a depth rating of 100 metres. Discovering the world below the waterline comes at a price tag; nevertheless demand is already fruitful with five of the NEMO subs sold. Close by they had a Super Yacht Sub 3 in the water available for private viewings.
MYS 2021: That’s a Wrap!
This year we didn’t see the large-scale parties of previous shows; however there were plenty of private invitations for lunches, dinners and low-key cocktail soirées with esteemed clients and, as always, Stars ’n’ Bars, Quai des Artistes, Caffè Milano and the Rascasse fuelled a few moments of liquid distraction.
I noticed many companies had made positive changes towards the reduction of their environmental impact, including promoting digital brochures only. There was the return of the water refill stations, however, we still have a way to go with plastic water bottles and lots of throwaway merchandise was still present.
I had great feedback from everyone I spoke to about the content on OnboardOnline and Yachting International Radio that supports a wide range of sectors across luxury yachting and is read, listened to and viewed by the right people.
A huge thank you to the individuals and exhibitors I spoke to during the week, without whose support I would not be able to report about interesting stories and industry updates. Monaco Yacht Show 2021 has been a special show for many reasons including sheer happiness at seeing clients and friends in-person after almost two years! I hope you had as many memorable moments as I did.
With MYS 2021 now over, the busy show season continues with our media eye on upcoming events including:
The Superyacht Technology Conference in Barcelona from 14-15 October.
YARE Networking in Viareggio from 20-22 October.
The 67th edition of Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from 27-31 October.
METSTRADE at RAI Amsterdam from 16-18 November.
The inaugural Caribbean Charter Yacht Show from 9-12 December in St Thomas, USVI.
All photos courtesy of Antibes Yachting and MYS 2021, except APEX concept (Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven), List GC: MY Artefact Dining and Salon photos (Francisco Martinez), Explorer concept (Lufthansa Technik), Concept-E RS (DAB Motors), BROMIC team photo (Daniel Bruntsch).